Is an illustrator at a conference a con artist?

I admit, that was bad. But whenever I think of something even minutely clever, I must share it. Mock at will.

So conferences . . .

In my opinion, they’re necessary. I’ve become a better writer, been inspired, uplifted, networked, and gained a few stories to tell in the process. Writing is such a competitive field, some agents and editors are choosing clients exclusively from writers they meet at conferences.It shows you’re committed through increasing your education and putting writing first.

Here is a small list of conferences here in the Midwest if you feel so inclined.

SCBWI Kansas Region 2016 Events

logo-scbwiSaturday, Feb. 20: LET ME SAVE YOU 20 YEARS . . . Speed Course in Children’s Writing and Publishing workshop with Lorri Cardwell-Casey, Overland Park. Registration now open.

June 3-9: CRITIQUE ACROSS KANSAS AND MISSOURI. More information to come. Watch for a March email seeking critique group hosts in locations across the two states.

FALL CONFERENCE Nov. 4-5: Overland Park. Manuscript critiques Friday night, conference all day Saturday. (I always love this conference!)

SCBWI Oklahoma Spring 2016 Conference (One day event)

April 16, 2016 Spring Conference Registration Now Open

SPEAKERS: Sara Sargent–Executive Editor with HarperCollins, Carter Hasegawa–Associate Editor at Candlewick, Karl Jones–Assistant Editor at Grosset & Dunlap, Jodell Sadler–Agent at Sadler Children’s Literary, Vicki Selvaggio–Associate Agent at Jennifer De Chiara Literary, Jason Henry, Senior Designer and illustrator at Dial Books For Young Readers

SCBWI Illinois 2016 Wild, Wild Midwest Conference

Wild Wild MidwestDate(s) – 04/29/2016 – 05/01/2016

Location: Chicago Marriott, 1801 N Naper Blvd – Naperville, Illinois 60563

• February 1: Member Early Bird Registration: $295 ( rate available through March 25th)
• February 8: Non-Member Early Bird Registration: $335 (rate available through March 25th)
• March 26: Regular Registration begins (Members $310; Non-Members $350.00)
• April 24: Registration ends

Member only add-ons, if selected, are: manuscript critiques ($45), manuscript contest ($12), 3 hour intensives ($40), portfolio reviews ($45)

Program & Faculty:

40 faculty members! Click here to view the current list.
8 different intensives
35-40 different sessions on topics related to Picture Books, Novels, Nonfiction, All-Genres, Business, Illustration, and Publishing Independently
First Pages Panels, First Looks Panels, and onsite Art Show included in registration
Written critiques; Onsite portfolio reviews; a manuscript contest (with four categories):prize–full manuscript submission!
Autograph party and Costume Party and Prize for best costume!
Bookstore:  Sponsored by Anderson’s Books. Registered attendees who are either traditionally or independently published will be able to sell one title. Faculty books will be available, too.

Midwest Writers’ Workshop (#MWW)

MWWJuly 21-23, 2016
L.A. Pittenger Student Center, 2000 W. University Avenue
Ball State University, Muncie, IN

Registration is now open. There are three options for different price packages.

The mission of MWW is to give all writers the opportunity to improve their craft, to associate with highly credentialed professionals, and to network with other writers.

We have 45+ different instructional sessions with top quality faculty during our three-day program on everything from fiction to nonfiction, marketing, and ways to get your creative juices flowing. Thursday focuses on genre-specific intensive sessions. Friday and Saturday are packed with sessions on the craft of writing and the business of writing.

Those were just a few . . .

For a more comprehensive list of conferences and workshops around the country, a great resource is the Conference and Residencies page under Tools for Writers from the amazing Poets & Writers publication.

I hope you can attend a couple conferences this year!

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