Today, I asked award-winning author, Claire Saxby why she keeps coming back to the bi-annual SCBWI Conference.
I missed the first Australian SCBWI Conference. I think SCBWI was just coming on my radar, although I’d discovered and been a keen attendee at several CBCA Conferences. But I was there with boots on for the second and third SCBWI conferences, and am eagerly anticipating the upcoming one!
People talk about the conference being ‘boutique’ and ‘intimate’ and certainly in terms of numbers it is. It is also like going to a three day party. People you know via email, phone, reputation and/or association are all in the same place, sharing their stories, their knowledge. It’s a place to meet, re-meet, learn and share. It’s what SCBWI is all about. But lest that make it sound like just a social event, it’s also a place to hone your craft, discover opportunities, and explore new ways to create.
This year will be extra special for two reasons. It’s the first conference I’ve attended since winning the Australian and New Zealand Crystal Kite Award for my picture book, There Was an Old Sailor (illustrated by Cassandra Allen, published by Walker Books). What a thrill to get the early morning phone call from Lin Oliver from the US! This is a peer-voted award which makes it extra special. Since winning, I’ve made connections with Crystal Kite winners around the world, as well as gaining a lovely silver and blue sticker for each book.
I’ll also be presenting at SCBWI for the first time, on a panel talking about picture books, specifically There Was an Old Sailor, my most successful picture book. If you want to know if there is a ‘formula’ for creating a winning picture book, come and listen to Corinne Fenton, Nina Rycroft, Tegan Morrison and me in discussion with Frane Lessac.
About Me:I write fiction, non fiction and poetry for children. I write about the ocean, the land, the people and animals who live there, real and imagined. When I’m not writing, I’m reading. I also work one day a week in a lovely independent bookshop in seaside Williamstown. I was as disappointed as most people would be to discover that a bookshop worker never has time to sit and read at work. I review books for aussiereviews.com. I also help Corinne King with SCBWI Victoria gatherings.
Details of my work can be found at my website www.clairesaxby.com