Hi, Dave Stricklen here, former SCBWI-MI Indie Coordinator, Grand Rapids Shop Talk Coordinator, and overall Michigan Shop Talk Coordinator. I’m here to talk about the upcoming multi-state Marvelous Midwest conference in Davenport, Iowa on April 12 through April 14. Many of you have already registered, have your hotel and are looking forward to it. I suspect there is also a large number who are on the fence as to whether the time and expense justify what you will get out of it.
I have attended several of these conferences and the popular saying is that this is a way for us to enjoy a large conference similar to the national conferences in New York and LA, without the long travel distance. Allow me to share my own experience and perhaps you can fall on one side of the fence or the other. My first multi-state conference was in Ft .Wayne. I was honestly overwhelmed by the number of attendees and the maze of classes on topics that I knew nothing about. So much to learn…
|Dave at the "carnival" at the multi-state
conference in Naperville, Illinois
I found the entire experience to be empowering. You cannot underestimate the power of like minds coming together. The conference is a gold mine of inspiration, thoughts and ideas. When we are inspired, we can run with our passion for new concepts or ideas and build on them.
In our new world of zoom, a face-to-face meeting has greatly increased in value. Yes, there are advantages to zoom in connecting people from vast distances. However, nothing can take the place of sitting down and having a conversation with other writers.
Friendships are built from face-to-face interaction. I am the same guy who walked into my first conference somewhat overwhelmed. Conferences have made me part of the SCBWI writer community. I have made many lifelong friends, all of whom I met face to face sharing a cup of coffee and a funny story (writers are the best storytellers). Zoom may have kept us together, but it’s time to see each other person to person and shore up our creative relationships. The value of getting writers together in the same room cannot be understated. I always leave with my creative batteries fully recharged.
For more about the Marvelous Midwest Conference April 12-14, click here: https://www.scbwi.org/