IWSG – To Conference or not to Conference

Hi everyone! Lauri here again… today I am blogging as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Face it, every writer battles insecurities at one time or another. They bubble up at the most inopportune times–for example at critique meetings and conferences.

I still remember attending my first writer’s conference. To say I was nervous… well, that’s the understatement of the year! My hands were clammy, my stomach was rolling, and most distressing of all, my left eye had picked up an intermittent fluttering. I nearly crawled back under the covers, ready to call it a day. Instead, I styled my bangs over the uncooperative eye, grabbed my pens and paper, and wobbled out in brand new high heels to face the music. And, you know what? It wasn’t bad. Not by a long shot.
The first thing I noticed was that everyone else looked as frightened as me. I sat down beside a nice lady who smiled at me, and we began talking. Turns out it was her first conference as well. Somewhere in the course of our conversation, I realized that this stranger, this person sitting beside me in an ice-cold conference room, was exactly like me. And, for the most part, every other person I met that day was too. I had stumbled into a gathering of kindred spirits.
Year after year, each January and June, I made the pilgrimage to the same conferences. I reconnected with my writing soul buddies—we shared our triumphs and our disappointments. Now, due to a regional realignment in the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), I have the opportunity to interact with a new group of people. The butterflies are back… but this time I can’t wait to meet my new writing BFFs. Will I be nervous? You bet. But at the end of the day, I know without a doubt that these fellow writers, published and yet-to-be published, all share something in common. We’re here because we love what we do.
So, SCBWI Springmingle 14 in Atlanta, GA… get ready. Here I come–butterflies and all.
This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. If you aren’t already a member, it’s never too late to sign up.

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. You’ll make a ton of new friends and learn a lot, I’m sure!

  2. Never been to a conference. No time. Everyone says they’re great, though. so maybe one day.

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