Finding Community at the SCBWIOK Spring Conference

The 2018 Spring conference for SCBWI Oklahoma, “Striking at the Reader’s Heart,” will be held on April 6-7 at the OKC Embassy Suites on S. Meridian. If you write/illustrate for children and young adults, I highly recommend you check it out. You’ll certainly gain useful information about the craft and business of writing, but perhaps even more importantly, you’ll find community.

Attending a writing conference is a great way to connect with other writers who are working in the same genre and/or looking for a critique group. I met my writing group at an OWFI conference well over a decade ago, and it didn’t take long for three of our group to realize we were particularly interested in writing for children. We knew that SCBWI was the best organization for kidlit writers, and thus in 2007 we made a trip to the national conference that takes place every winter in NYC. What an eye-opening experience!

It was only after attending a national conference that I attended our Oklahoma regional events. (I do things backwards sometimes.) Since these local meetings and conferences were a little smaller, the prospect of “networking” was much less daunting, especially for a somewhat socially anxious person like me. The above photo actually was taken at the 2008 SCBWI summer conference in Los Angeles, but how nice it was to find my Oklahoma tribe whilst there. The national conferences can be a bit overwhelming, but connecting with affiliate members makes everything more manageable.

And when, after countless rejections and heartbreaks, I finally got a book deal, my Oklahoma SCBWI buddies celebrated right along with me. No matter where you are in the process, there’s always someone in your regional affiliate who has been there, too. A conference like SCBWI can help you connect with people who understand the particular challenges of this path.

More often than not, these new connections help boost mood and confidence, sometimes even leading to DELIGHTFUL SHENANIGANS. (Writers are weird in the most wonderful ways!)

Hope to see you in April!

4 thoughts on “Finding Community at the SCBWIOK Spring Conference

  1. Helen Dunlap Newton

    Great blog, Sonia! I’m so glad you connected with SCBWI. I didn’t know that 2008 LA Conference was your first event. I’m grateful to have gotten to know you. Encouragement is definitely a part of SCBWI-Oklahoma! Looking forward to seeing you in April in OKC.
    Helen Dunlap Newton

  2. Shel Harrington

    I’ve heard wonderful things about that conference – productive on so many levels. And I can attest to the wonderful relationships that can result from the simple act of introducing yourself to fellow tablemates at such a conference. Loved the critique group I was privileged to be part of for years, and LOVE participating in delightful shenanigans with like-minded writers!

  3. Michelle Lunsford

    I can relate to similar experiences in association with the children’s ministry conferences I have attended in the past. There’s nothing quite like that connection with community, no matter what your field of passion.


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