Confession: I missed SCBWI CA North/Central’s Spring Spirit this year. >SIGH<
As my mother used to say, “I can’t be two places at once.” (Right again, Mom.)
I envisioned you, dear SCBWI pals, sharing good news and sparking your creativity during the always-fabulous Spring Spirit workshops.
Meanwhile, I did my best to share the #kidlit spirit and kick off Independent Book Store Day at Laurel Books in Oakland CA (Thanks Luan Stauss!). That afternoon, I had the honor of speaking to an entire MP Room-full of young authors, grades PreK-8th from 33 schools, at the Oakland Diocese 24th Annual Young Authors Faire, and boy were they proud!
Over 500 students submitted books they had written. Honors and awards were given out in every age category, and covered eight genres. The joy beaming from these kids as they showed their books to their equally proud parents lit up the room. Their excitement mirrored ours, SCBWI pals, as did the question first and foremost on their minds: What do I do now?
I know that look. That question—the one that pops up after a contract is signed (or not), a manuscript critique goes well (or not), a book is launched. So I took the podium and shared a few vignettes about authors from J.K. Rowling to Christopher Paolini, 9-yr-old Alec Greven, and me. Because no matter where our #kidlit paths have taken us, we share several commonalities:
- Our parents own small publishing companies. (Just kidding.)
- We strive to listen to our muse. That gut feeling. The story that won’t let go.
- We write because we cannot NOT write.
- No matter whether it’s our first success (or not) or our books are now a theme park (or not), WE KEEP WRITING.
Baseball players don’t quit after they strike out.
Nor do they stop after their first home run. (Seriously—writing a children’s book is sort of like baseball: Anyone who’s ever thrown a ball thinks they can coach, right? But I digress…)
Unlike my young author friends, we are so fortunate to
have our SCBWI tribe. Whatever our #kidlit path, our SCBWI community helps us keep going. Because just like in baseball:
You win some,
you lose some,
and some get rained out.
But you always suit up like it was the real thing.
Keep suiting up!
ERIN DEALEY (@ErinDealey—Twitter~Instagram~Pinterest) writes in many genres, from board books to YA, including DECK THE WALLS (Sleeping Bear Press) a kids’-eye view of the holidays. Among her five forthcoming picture books are BABIES COME FROM AIRPORTS (Kane Miller/ 2017), and PETER EASTER FROG (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/ Atheneum, 2018). Her first picture books with Atheneum, GOLDIE LOCKS HAS CHICKEN POX, and LITTLE BO PEEP CAN’T GET TO SLEEP have taken her to school visits as far south as Brazil and as far north as Tok, Alaska. Dealey is an experienced K-12 Language Arts/ theater teacher, actor, former Co-RA of CA North/Central, frequent conference presenter, 12×12 faculty, and the social media/ PR Coordinator for East West Literary. She lives in northern California and lasted one full day as an employee at a Pineapple Factory in Hawaii. If you’re still reading this bio (thanks!), check out her FB page WRITE NOW! An Occasional Day in the life of author Erin Dealey and her youtube Writer’s Rap at Writers – Erin Dealey