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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Conferences Conferences Conferences

I have attended several conferences this year and they are such wonderful experiences.

I started off in May with the inaugural #KidLitVic2016 in Melbourne which was an intense day of networking and listening to panels of publishers talk about what they were looking for from writers and illustrators.   Wandering around the room dedicated to the portfolios of the exquisite art of the attending artists was an absolute delight and the breaks afforded excellent networking opportunities. My brain was an overload of ideas and it was certainly a good way to kick start y creativity after a bit of an hiatus. 

In June I attended the National Foster and Kinship Carers Conference in Darwin #NFKCC2016
I wrote my previous post about the conference but there have been several fabulous follow ups since then. I wrote several newsletter posts for various agencies about my experience of the conference and I have begun to write about my 26 years of experience as a carer. I was invited to speak to a number of kinship carer groups and I have also been asked if I will present at next years conference.

On July 2nd I attended Children's and Young Adult Writers And Illustrators Conference#CYA2016 in Brisbane and once again had an awesome networking and learning experience with an incredible collections of writers, illustrators and other industry experts.

If you are an aspiring author or illustrator then conferences are a must do activity on your professional calendar. There are opportunities to skip the slush piles and get your work in front of the people who need to see it. Pitch programs are offered and you really should take the chance and do it!

I met a number of people who had only been facebook friends prior to this conference and it was wonderful to put real faces to the social media personalities. There are so many opportunities to meet like minded creatives online but I find it is always richer to have actual encounters with these marvelous people.

In August I attended the  Romance Writers of Australia conference in Adelaide. #RWAus2016

 This was the 25th anniversary of RWA conferences in Australia and was certainly a grand affair and the Stamford Grand in Glenelg. Once again the most valuable part of the experience was the networking. Being surrounded by 400 other people who 'get it'. 400 introverted usually solitary writers who happily discussed their wide and varied research and experiences to support each other. Amazing workshops and speakers and a terrific opportunity to pitch to agents and publishers. There are a large number of writers who are not Romance writers but they, like me, appreciate the organisation that is RWA. It is run by volunteers who are all writers or hold some sort of writing industry experience and they are incredible.  
The best thing I took from this conference is the goal setting. Thanks to Michael Hauge I have a new story outline tool and have been goal setting since I arrived home. I also have new friends and new opportunities.

I was sad to miss the SCBWI conference this year but it is on my to do list.