In 2008, I had the most nerve-wracking 20-minute drive of my life. My knuckles paled, my stomach gurgled, and my thoughts raced faster than the 35 MPH I could manage to clock on the highway. I was on my way to my first kidlit conference ever: the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature One-on-One Conference. AHHHH! Somebody help me!
Thanks, Ryan. I know you would have, honey. But I digress…
I knew practically nada about writing for kids, but I had the start to a middle grade novel that had gotten good feedback from my critique group. So I slipped the first three pages into an envelope earlier that summer and waited patiently for the response. Thankfully, I was on vacation for the final two weeks of the countdown. It made my vacation go by much more slowly. I recommend this tactic to anyone who must wait—go to a beach and plop a lounge chair in the sand, facing the ocean. Or facing Ryan Gosling in surfing trunks. You’ll come to love the waiting.
But when the vacation was over and the car hit our driveway, I jumped out and dashed to the post office. Awaiting me was a thick envelope, and remembering the drill from college admissions, I knew this meant a “yes”!
So off I went. I was so green. (Although I wore a cute purple blouse.) But when the event was done, I blogged all about it. It helped me absorb the information like a SCBWI sponge. Hopefully my notes help prepare you for this year’s conference. You can review them all here: RUCCL 2008.
But Tara, what does this all mean?
It means that the RUCCL 2012 Application is now available!
And guess who’s your morning “Success Story” speaker?
As Miss Piggy would say, “MOI!”
Yeah, I was pretty floored they asked me. Trinka Hakes Noble sent me an email saying, “I hope you don’t mind, but I put your name forward as our Inspiration Speaker for the mentee breakfast. Would you be interested?”
Would I be interested? Are you kidding? Of course I am! Wow! Whoopee! Holy macaroni! Keeno Yaccarino!
Wait a second, what did I just agree to…? Pale knuckles and gurgling stomach again?
Well, I am hoping many of my blog readers will be accepted to the conference this year. Because not only do I want to see you succeed, I’ll need your help during my presentation. (Details to come. No, you won’t need to hold a barf bucket. Well, maybe. OK, don’t hold me to that promise.)
So polish up those manuscripts! You’ve got until July 2 to postmark them.
And if you have any questions about the conference, please ask away in the comments!