Writing for children has long been a dream of mine but I don’t really know where to begin or what it’s all about. A friend suggested going to a writers conference. Do you think that’s a good idea? Can I learn what children’s writing is all about at a conference? Where can I find a list of childrens’ writers conferences?
If you want to find out what children’s writing is all about, please read The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books by Harold Underdown.
For raw beginners like yourself, attending a writers conference is an excellent way to get a “feel” for what children’s writing is all about. You will have the opportunity to hear speakers who work as editors, agents, or published authors, and learn about the trends in children’s publishing today. You will meet other writers and form friendships, which will help you as you grow and develop your writing skills. When you connect with other children’s writers in your area you can join critique groups or meet-ups.
Through the Society for Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) you can find children’s writers conferences all over the world. Go to the web site and click on “Events”. You will find information about their national conferences in New York and Los Angeles. Then click on “Regional Events” to find out about regional chapter conferences. The conferences are listed according to date, so you will need to search through the months listed to find the next conference in your area. Non-members are welcome at SCBWI conferences.
You can find a calendar of conferences and workshops in the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market . Shaw Guides is another good resource for writers conferences in general. Go to the web site and click on “Writers Conferences & Workshops”. You can search by date or location, but since this is a listing of all conferences and workshops you will need to sift through the results to find conferences specifically for children’s writers. When all else fails, do a Google search for “children’s writers conference” and you will find additional listings.