This week, The Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and the Rocky Mountain Chapter in particular, is at the tippy top of the gratitude list, so I will depart from the usual format for these posts to talk about that specifically.  I just got back from the regional conference, and I am nearly catatonic from excitement and joy, but also fatigue.

It was exactly one year ago that I drove home from my first SCBWI conference so inspired and motivated that I knew it was time, once and for all, to leave my former career behind and dedicate myself fully to writing.  Forgive the cliché (I did warn you I’m exhausted), but what a difference a year makes.  My writing has come so far, and although I am still  pre-published, I feel so privileged to work on an art and in a field that I feel so passionate about.  I have always enjoyed my work, but now I LOVE my work.

All of the “big wigs” at this particular conference – the keynote speakers, the editors and the agent – were so lovely and funny and approachable.  Talking with them as well as the other writers I had met at previous events, I felt like “one of the gang.”  There was no stress – just fun.

Best of all, I got some much-needed affirmation from industry professionals that my primary manuscript is ready for submission.  One of the editors made positive remarks during the “first pages” session (They read the first page writers’ stories and give quick reactions.  There are no names on the pages, so it is anonymous).   I pitched to the agent, and she asked me to submit to her.  An author I have a huge amount of respect for loved my story, gave me two very specific ideas for making final improvements, and otherwise gave me nothing but support and encouragement.  The wheels on the truck barely touched the road on the drive home.

So, I am grateful for this writing and publishing community and for the chance to live the dream.

What are you grateful for this week?

Categories: Authors, Children's Books, Gratitude Sunday, Publishing, SCBWI, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , ,



  1. WOO HOO! So happy for you and all my fingers and toes are crossed 🙂

  2. Wonderful, Julie. Sounds like MUCH to be grateful for! 🙂 Looking forward to hearing good news from you.

  3. Congrats on a successful conference!

  4. Wow!!! That is SO awesome! I am so happy and excited for you! What a thrill! Congratulations!

  5. How awesome.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you . . . best of luck with your submission.

  6. Thanks for all your well wishes guys – both before and after the conference. Now comes the hard part – getting back to work and getting that submission ready!

    But honestly, I just needed some good news/good feedback. The conference was worth the price just to get some.

  7. This is awesome! I’m so glad you had such a positive experience! Yeah!!!!

  8. I am doing a degree in English Lit with Music and some I would either like to follow you in the writing profession or become a music teacher. Any tips with writing

  9. Hi Julie! Huge congrats that you got affirmation that your manuscript is ready for submission. I hope it goes well!

  10. Oh my gosh, this is all such great news! It sounds like this conference was very fruitful for you. Congratulations! Truly, this writing and publishing community is amazing.

  11. This is such fabulous news, Julie!

  12. Yay! I’m glad your pitch appointment went well. Best wishes with querying. I know you’ll do great! It was fun seeing you at the conference again. I’m glad I found your blog. Now, I can follow all the fabulous things you are doing. 🙂

  13. I just came over from Rach Writes and wanted to say hello to a fellow crusader. I signed up for the email subscription to your blog. I’m not sure there’s another way to follow. Anyway, hello and nice to meet you! Oh … I would love to talk to you more about SCBWI. I’m contemplating joining.

  14. Woo hoo, fellow crusader!!! Congratulations on living the dream! I’m very happy for you 🙂 (and, yes, somewhat jealous…!)

    • Thanks Rachel – sorry this went into my spam folder. Please don’t be jealous of me. Nothing concrete has happened other than I got good feedback on a piece I’ve been working on for a long time. But you know, you have to take your victories where you get them! But please DO keep your fingers crossed for me as I am not subbing that piece. 🙂

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