SCBWI Pioneers Come to Cottonwood

If we define pioneers as those individuals who go out and explore new lands then Co-Regional Advisers, Erin Dealey and Patti Newman, proved themselves SCBWI pioneers today. They made the trek from Sacramento (two hours south) and landed at North Cottonwood Elementary School’s multipurpose room, a perfect venue to meet local members and children’s book writers and illustrators.

Due to my ongoing camera issues, my camera died immediately after my first shot so I’m lacking on photo support here. In this picture is Patti Newman (left) and Maggi Milton, first timer talk before we get started.

The day began getting to know each other. Beginning, pre-published authors to veteran multi-published authors were represented. Each shared where she is in the process. And it is a process. Nobody learns this stuff in a day. It’s encouraging to hear other’s stories. It makes us realize there are so many paths to publication.

We covered some points from the Big Momma LA Conference like what editors are looking for, how to get your manuscript publisher-ready and how to get to know your character’s voice. Ahh, the mystical voice.

Erin did an awesome exercise on listening, something we can so easily forget to do. She put a bunch of ojects in the middle of the floor and asked people to pick one. My personal favorite was the rainbow-colored mohawk head mask. As you listen to your object, you find voice. (Lou, the bulldog in this picture, was not there, but if you want you can practice with him. He lives at my doctor’s office.) One of the most fascinating parts of this exercise was to see how two different people hear such different story from an object. The point: your voice is unique. Find that.

Erin and Patti represent 33 counties in Northern California, and since Cottonwood sits over two (Shasta and Tehama) they can knock a few more off their list. Thanks, Pioneers. We appreciate your pilgrimage to the great North-North.

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