Four of us converged in Brooklyn Park, MN, to carpool to Des Moines for the three-day 2012 Iowa Society for Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) Conference. On the way home, all four agreed that the eight-hour round trip was worth every mile.
The journey started one year ago when my new writing partner, Cynthia Weishapple, (the stranger who sat by me at the 2011 MN SCBWI Conference), happened upon the web site of Jan Blazanin.
We followed the cyber trail to Jan’s Magical Writing Group friends (Eileen Boggess, Sharelle Byars Moranville, and Rebecca Janni) and vowed we, too, would one day attribute our success to our writers group sisterhood. Our vision paid off in the spring when Elise Hylden and Kristi Herro joined us. (See My Writing Friendspage.) With four invested in each other’s success, the group is magical, as promised. Like Jan’s group, we hope to inspire other writers, who will inspire other writers…
Conference organizers gave us three opportunities to share our work: a Friday night peer review workshop, a Saturday manuscript review, and a Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning open mic session. They also orchestrated table assignment mixers and a Creatures of the Night Tour of downtown Des Moines. All could come away with new insights and new friends. No one would come away a stranger.
Thanks to the Magical Writing Group and 2012 IA SCBWI conference committee members: Connie Heckert, Lisa Morlock, and all conference volunteers. You shouldn’t have been so nice, because we’ll probably be back again next year.