SCBWI Con is a Bass Player

Posted on 02/08/2012 by


I’m going to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators summer conference this weekend. I’m excited because it’s filled with people like me* and I love meeting and hanging out with other writers and listening to agents and editors talk, but I’m also terrified because, well, people.

People are unpredictable and strange, which usually I like about them. But it makes meeting new ones occasionally traumatic. And, at least in theory, I’m also supposed to be pitching my book, which introduces this extra weird layer to the meeting-people thing.**

I’ve written before about my theory that finding an agent or an editor is a lot like finding a romantic partner. It’s not just about the value of your work, it’s about being the right fit. You have to like each other, you have to think you can work together, and this new person has to be prepared to love this thing you’ve created.

Arkem: So it’s like a speed dating conference and everyone’s a single parent.
Me: Yes, that’s exactly what it’s like.***

So, I’m reframing the idea. I’m not trying to sell my book, I just want to share my enthusiasm and love of my book. I can do that.

I hope. When I’m surrounded by the kind of talent you get in conferences like this, I have a tendency to become gradually more and more certain that everything I’ve ever written is in fact appalling. Which is not really the best frame of mind to be in. I want to come across as charming and fun to work with, not a neurotic ball of mush. So, uh, wish me luck with that.

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators organisation logo


* Last time I went I looked around at the sheer number of people with oddly coloured hair and Cons on their feet muttering to themselves and thought, My people!

** Because you can’t just throw the book at people and run away (shame).

*** That was the good analogy. This is the bad one:

Arkem: (singing) Before you came into my house I missed you so bad.
Me: But I’m here now to distract you.
Arkem: Yes. But I’m not going to wash my car in order to get your attention. That’s just not my thing.
Me: Besides, I’d only run off and hit on your bass player.
Arkem: Now I’m wondering who my bass player is in this scenario.
Me: Well, shortly I’m going to run off to SCWBI Con and leave you.
Arkem: SCBWI Con is a bass player.
Me: Yes. SCBWI Con is a bass player.
Arkem: But the bass player isn’t interested. This is a terrible analogy.
Me: You’re right. I blame you. You need to be stopped.


Posted in: Kandace