This past weekend I was one of 265 lucky attendees at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference in Northern Virginia. (Whew! That’s a mouthful!) It was a huge learning experience from those at the top of this field and those at the bottom. I took tons of notes and learned pearls of wisdom from great presentations and panel discussions given by big time authors, editors, agents and one art director, Dan Potash, the Creative Director at Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, who was probably my favorite. I had my 15 minute consult with respected agent Marietta Zacker who was very nice. My manuscript needs more work but now I know what to work on. I got to show my little portfolio on the illustrator art display table. That is someone looking at mine in the photo. I knew no one when I went and through a peer critique group I left with a couple new kid-lit friends with whom I plan to stay in touch. I learned that people in this field are not only creative and hardworking but also fun loving, generous and kind. Most of all, I gained perspective and gratitude on where I am today and what I want to do next. The SCBWI Conference was a huge success!