I’m so excited about a unique opportunity for people who like to write for children in Fort Wayne in May! The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is conducting its regional conference at Hotel Fort Wayne, 305 E Washington Center Road on May 3-5. Organizers are calling it the Wild, Wild Midwest Conference which is a little different for the theme in a Midwest location, but it is sure to be informative and fun!

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I say it is a prestigious group because this is a well-known international group of people who care about producing quality children’s literature. I joined the group in 2012 and have learned much from them through their magazine and on-line chat forums, postings for work, etc. Even though I’ve published nine non-fiction books for middle schoolers (several are available in Allen County Public Library) and two additional books by another publisher to be released in 2013, I still have lots to learn about writing for kids. That’s why I registered for the conference. For possibly the first time in the group’s existence it is conducting its regional conference in Fort Wayne. I’m thrilled with the line-up of authors scheduled to be at the conference: Jane Yolen, Franny Billingsley, Kathi Appelt, Peter Brown, and SCBWI founder Lin Oliver to name a few. These names are familiar to me after working in a middle school library for several years. Most have won awards and have a well-established place in children’s literature. I’ve volunteered to help with Jane Yolen’s book signing and hope to meet her! She has written 300+ books for children and even has an award named after her! The conference encompasses five regions for children's writers and illustrators so it promises to attract many attendees. The conference features editors, agents, illustrators, an art director, and marketing pros. The summer national conference takes place in Los Angeles later this summer. I won't be attending that one, but with 25 faculty members right in Fort Wayne, this event is available at a fraction of the cost. Here is the link to the on-line brochure: http://www.scbwi.org/Resources/Documents/WildWildMidwest2013Brochure.pdf. Registration for the conference closed on April 24, but keep the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in mind for your own writing needs and consider becoming a member!