Okie-diddly-dokie, one more week entranced by George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords, book three of the Song of Ice and Fire, means one less week reading for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday. But I know you'll all forgive me. Instead, I'd like to fill you in on the pre-conference session I attended last Thursday with the head honchos from the SCBWI: Lin Oliver (Executive Director), Stephen Mooser (President), and Chelsea Mooser (Director of Outreach).
|Chelsea Mooser is back row second from left
Front row, first from right is Stephen Mooser; second is Lin Oliver
They were in Portland because there's a changing of the leadership guard. Our long-time Regional Advisor is stepping down after many years of service.
As always happens at a change of leadership, there is new blood and new ideas. There will be four people coordinating our chapter's activities. The folks from head office shared some new ideas, and were open to hearing from the membership.
First, the SCBWI is always ready to change with the times. Lin Oliver spoke about a new focus being on how best to promote SCBWI members. Getting one's book read is perhaps an author's hardest task in this day and age (beyond the writing of the book, of course). The public has so many other diversions, breaking into the public consciousness is difficult. (Trust me, the readers of this blog and all others versed in childrens' books have heard of all manner of books, but when one mentions to a member of the "general public" what one considers to be a well-known title--DIVERGENT, let's say--you'll see a lot of headscratching. The books that everyone knows, the Harry Potters and Hunger Games and Twilight and, sorry to say, 50 Shades of Grey, are few and far between.)
The SCBWI plans on using its website to feature books and bloggers and to even have a bookstore, with links to IndieBound, Barnes and Noble, and that old Trex, Amazon. (But please go to IndieBound and keep the indie bookstores alive!)
They plan to do more for their "PAL" members (which means published and listed), but are also talking about how to support well-written self-published works.
I was impressed with Lin Oliver, who was the moutpiece for the leadership. She's smart and funny and thoughtful. One thing that shone through was how much the SCBWI leadership wants all of its members to succeed. If you are a children's writer and illustrator, belonging to the SCBWI is a must!