I spent the past weekend in Sydney at the Hughenden Hotel for the 2nd SCBWI Conference. Organised by Susanne Gervay and Chris Cheng, this conference for writers and illustrators was a blast! It featured appraisals, publishers, editors, case studies, fine food and wine, trend-spotting, trend-setting, 2 min pitches, new voices, experienced voices, sunshine and laughter.
The program was designed to facilitate plenty of chat time. It also allowed delegates to absorb the content of each presentation without feeling like heads might explode. I met several people I'd previously only 'known' via email. It's always good to match the faces with the names. Interesting too, who is like their on-line self, and who surprises.
What is the best thing about a conference? The chance to be with people who share your passion, to learn how to improve your craft, to take a break from the solitude that is so necessary for creating, to see new books. They reinvigorate, re-enthuse, recharge and totally exhaust you. They are fantastic.