Several writers and illustrators met last evening in Salt Lake’s Liberty Park. It is a pleasure being a part of the local writing community.
Local is a relative term. The Utah portion of the SCBWI regional chapter planned the thing. Some came from Utah County, others Davis or Salt Lake. Two of us came down from Cache. I live near the park so it was a short drive for me. I could have walked.
A lot of illustrators were there last night. A PB person came up to me hoping there were others like her; there were. We had YA and MG and people writing blogs, magazine articles, or for adults. Some faces were familiar and I met new people.
It was refreshing to socialize with other like-minded people. Writing is a solo business (though we had some partner writers in attendance, too). It is self-absorbed thing we participate in. There are always other obligations and sometimes it is hard to steal away. But when we do escape, we leave real people behind and hang with imaginary ones. When you pull out, family and life are still there and wants your time. It’s hard to find more time, but spending an evening with fellow writers and illustrators is a nice thing to do.
Kudos to Elissa Cruz, the local SCBWI official, for organizing the potluck dinner. Elissa heads up things for Utah writers while Neysa Jensen holds up the Southern Idaho end of our region. Elissa is trying to plan something bi-monthly. She plans them to be in Utah and Salt Lake counties and the Ogden area as well, making the various functions close to all sometime throughout the year. We miss the southern Utah folks, but in such a large geographic area, that is understandable.
The topic for the evening was social networking and how to get your name out there. Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter came up. There were ideas for blogging and some shared the printing of business cards or postcards to have something physical to share.
All children’s book writers and illustrators should jump in and join one of these sessions periodically. We are a community.