Post No. 112: SCBWI – CAMARADERIE AND COLLEGIALITY

by Mark Rogers

Our Founder, James Thaddeus “Blackjack” Fiction  ‘Tell our stories, Raji. If you don’t, it will be as if we never lived.’ These whispering cries of joy and sorrow rise from the bookshelves and portraits in the Fiction House. I cannot refuse. (Artwork enhancements by: Joseph Rintoul)

Our Founder, James Thaddeus “Blackjack” Fiction
‘Tell our stories, Raji. If you don’t, it will be as if we never lived.’
These whispering cries of joy and sorrow rise from the bookshelves and portraits in the Fiction House.
I cannot refuse.
(Artwork enhancements by: Joseph Rintoul)

This past weekend, on the campus of a University near Kansas City, I observed ecstatic adults exiting a conference hall. Why such passionate vibrancy? The varsity footballers hadn’t won that afternoon. The Royals barely lost the World Series just a week earlier.

The reason, I was to find out later, was that the 120 or so people had just attended an all day conference of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). They received priceless information and instruction by half a dozen editors, agents, or other writers on what it takes to be published in the 21st Century.

I learned, rather astonishingly, that this wasn’t a get together where the ‘pitching of ideas’ was an end all, be all for writers and illustrators. The conference – sponsored by a caring organization – featured knowledgeable, giving instructors. It was meant for those writers and illustrators wanting to build community.

“It was amazing,” one conference attendee I spoke with relayed. People were there to gain a genuine knowledge of their art and craft; not to just – I am paraphrasing – ‘get a foot in the door’.

I am not a member of SCBWI.

Once, I attended a seminar SCBWI sponsored. I paid the non-member higher fee. It was worth it! It was taught by New York publicist, Susan Salzman Raab. She writes a column for the SCBWI magazine. Ms. Raab’s was one of the most intriguing, informative one-day classes I’ve taken. She knew her trade – a true professional. She relayed that knowledge in a no nonsense manner to the seminar attendees. I learned invaluable lessons that day about handling publicity. I put them into daily practice at Fiction House Publishing.

(Kudos Ms. Raab, on your excellent book, An Author’s Guide to Children’s Book Promotion. I bought the 11th Edition new. It is now dog-eared, from ongoing use. It fits for adult marketing as well as for children and young adult books and illustrations.)

Are you a potential writer or illustrator? Find such positive and knowledgeable people to be around who will encourage your art and craft. There are many out there and they are willing to share.

*     *     *

Mark Rogers, author of Seeds of Vengeance, and Raji Singh’s Tales of the Fiction House, is an Editor at Fiction House Publishing.

(Join me every Sunday night at the Fiction House, your place for short story, lark, whimsy, and merriment.  Meet the many residents as I archive their lives and centuries of adventures.  You can read of their origins in my novel TALES OF THE FICTION HOUSE.  They are completely different stories.  My novel is available at Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.)

©2014 Mark Rogers

 

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About Raji Singh

I am a writer, a foundling anchored by tale-telling and imagination. Read my history in Tales of the Fiction House, available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble (This is a portrait of my great-great grandfather. He's a handsome devil and I am his spitting image.)
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