I attended the SCBWI Orange County/Inland Empire Editor’s Day this past Saturday. We had some wonderful speakers who gave very informative and inspiring talks. I particularly liked the presentation by Screenwriter Michael Mahin, who compared plot outlines used in movies to those used in books.

This is the second conference I’ve attended since I began to write. Do you have to go to them to get published? No. My picture book manuscript was accepted by Pelican Publishing before I had attended a conference. However, conferences are a wonderful way to learn more about your craft, meet other local writers, and find out the needs of a particular editor.

There are a variety of conferences throughout the year in many regions across the United States. Some are well worth the money; others could be a waste of time. Try to get some feedback on the conference from past attendees so you can see what they have to offer before you put down your hard earned cash. Make sure they will cover areas you are interested in.

I do want to go to the big regional SCBWI conferences held annually, but at this time they are beyond my budget. So I’m content finding a few good ones where I can get some great information and make some valuable contacts for a minimal cost.

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