Hello everyone! We’ve all had a week or so since the excitement of our Team SCBWI conference, and if you’re like me, you came away pumped full of inspiration and renewed enthusiasm for doing the work we do. It’s one of the best things about conferences, I believe, that this almost always solitary endeavor of writing and illustrating for children can be shared for a few days with like-minded people talking, listening, learning and having fun. I have made tons of friends, been educated about this business, and had many positive experiences at our SCBWI conferences. I continue to be awed that this organization is so nurturing, despite the fact that creating books for children is a very competitive business.
So, what can you do to keep the level of excitement up about your craft between conferences?
Well, you are in luck! There are smaller events for our region coming up in the next few months that you can put on your calendars:
There’s a Write-In/ Sketch-In on Saturday, April 23rd at the Perry Hall Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library, 9685 Honeygo Blvd., Perry Hall, MD 21128 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. You can spend the afternoon, or just drop in for a little while to work on your latest project surrounded by fellow authors and illustrators. There will be refreshments, hourly door prizes, and lots of moral support on tap! Please register on our website by April 20 if you’d like to come, so we can have a head count.
On the next Saturday, April 30th, you can join other illustrators in a Garden Sketch Crawl at the beautiful Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20902 at 1:00 pm. Brookside Gardens includes an Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden, Rain Garden, and the Woodland Walk. Bring your sketch pad, favorite illustrating tools, and a lunch and take in the spring gardens and camaraderie of fellow artists! The rain date/time is May 1st at 2:00. Please register on our website by April 26 if you’d like to come, so we can have an idea of how many will join us.
The Gaithersburg Book Festival is lots of fun, and takes place this year on May 21st from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm at the Gaithersburg City Hall Grounds. Our MD/DE/WV SCBWI region is fully sponsoring a table for authors and illustrators, in shifts, to sell their books as well as provide promotional materials to festival goers. Come out and support your fellow members — it’s free! For more information, contact Kathy MacMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And in the fall, The Baltimore Book Festival will be held, and MD/DE/WV SCBWI partially covers the cost of a booth where authors and illustrators can sell their books and provide promotional materials to festival goers. It takes place September 23-25, from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Four authors or illustrators will be scheduled in 4-hour blocks throughout the weekend. During scheduled blocks, each member will be featured in the program space of the tent twice. A panel discussion on one of the festival stages is also being discussed. For more information, contact Kathy MacMillan at email@example.com.
Additionally, our region holds Author’s Book Club events for author or illustrator members to speak about a recently published work to SCBWI members. ABC events typically last 1-2 hours, with refreshments and time to socialize, usually at a library or bookstore. If you are interested in presenting, submit your proposal on our PAL page. Watch this space for coming ABC events!
If you are a Published And Listed author or illustrator (PAL) there are Member Socials planned from time to time at eating/drinking establishments, and they are fun and a great way to network, too. I encourage you to help plan one — it’s easy! 1) Pick a place 2) Plan a date with a friend 3) Send the date, time and location to our new PAL Coordinator, Veronica Bartles firstname.lastname@example.org 4) Show up early and secure a table. That’s it!
Do you have an idea for an event? See one you like but wish it was closer to you? You are encouraged to get in touch with our Event Coordinator, Sarah Maynard email@example.com and she can help you plan an event in your area, or give you more information. We need you!