Wednesday, 10 November 2010

SCBWI Savita Kalhan

This weekend I will be getting on the train at Paddington and heading down to the beautiful city of Winchester for an Event. I don’t know why I’ve never been there before, but I haven’t. It is, after all, less than an hour and a half from London. I’ve heard that it’s very beautiful and well worth the visit. It’s a paradise for shopping connoisseurs, apparently, although I’m not going for the shopping, and it’s packed with museums and historic buildings. It even boasts a couple of haunted inns and a theatre!

In my bag I will have packed something that passes for smart evening wear for the Event. I’ve agonised over it, read the messages toing and froing between the people attending it, and have settled on an outfit that doesn’t involve any of the banned items of clothing – jeans, slippers and a comfy jumper! But does involve a few sequins and some bling. I will be finishing the look with the only type of heels I can guarantee I won’t fall over in – wedged boots! (If I do fall over, it’ll happen at the end of the night and it won’t have anything to do with the heels!) As long as no one looks at my feet, I’ll be fine!

But of course no one is going to be looking at my feet. We’re all going to be too busy talking books, chatting, drinking, eating, and generally having a good time. It’s SCBWI’s annual conference – their tenth anniversary, and it promises to be a fantastic event, complete with sparkling wine and a string quartet.

For those of you who do not know about SCBWI here’s what it’s all about. SCBWI stands for The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and it’s open to published writers and illustrators and those yet to be published. SCBWI is international, and it runs lots of events from writing workshops, critique groups, discussion groups, talks by published writers to meeting in a pub and sharing stories. It’s great for networking and learning the ins and outs of the craft of writing and working in the children’s book industry.

I came to SCBWI very late having already had my novel published. I did a lot of things the wrong way round, but better that way round than not at all. But there is still so much that the organisation can offer in terms of advice, guidance and support even after you have been published. And when you feel confident enough, there are many writers who have yet to find the elusive publication deal, who might benefit from knowing what a published writer has learnt along the way. Once they have found that deal, we might see their names on the SAS roll call as well as SCBWI’s.

So cheers to SCBWI - I’m really looking forward to Saturday night, meeting lots of new children’s writers and talking children’s books.


Elaine AM Smith said...

You're going to be surrounded by women-who-write (and maybe a few men) and you think none of them will be looking at your feet?

Even putting the Gok-minded to one side for the moment, next to the book/pen in your hand and your eyes (if they are brave) some wanna-be authors will spend a lot of time looking at your shoes.

Candy Gourlay said...

it's gonna be great! but i was aghast at the loooooong discussion about what to wear for the evening! even the men were being coy and wanting to wear tiaras.

looking forward to seeing you there ... and those shoes ...

Nayuleska said...

It was good timing for this post - I think I'll join up in the new year - I can't go to my local meetings, and possibly not the main events but I like the online/email support that is on offer. Several writing friends have recommended it to me too :)

Savita Kalhan said...

@Elaine - I know exactly what it's like to be a wanna-be-author!
@Candy - I know! Drat, still can't find my tiara anywhere... See you on Saturday!
@Nayuleska - It's definitely worth joining!

Miriam Halahmy said...

So looking forward to meeting up with you and all my scooby doo mates at the weekend. I've been in SCWBI for five years now - crikey! In the past two years I've been helping out more, offering workshops and even running the Agents' Party this year. Its good to be able to give something back.
And I haven't a clue what to wear on the Saturday night!

Lynda Waterhouse said...

Savita just finished reading The Long Weekend - what a gripping and exciting story. My heart is still pounding. It would translate beautifully into a radio drama or film.

Savita Kalhan said...

Lynda, a big thank you! So glad you enjoyed it. Hope to see you at the next CAR meeting.