Get this, Jay, Robin and Eve of Disco Mermaids fame are offering to pay some lucky person's tuition for this summer's SCBWI Conference. Outasightous! And extremely generous, too.
I'd love to enter the contest, but I probably won't attend this year's conference. I had a blast last year, and I'd planned to return this year — winter or summer — it didn't matter. But last year's conference cost me well over $2,000: $400.00 air travel; $425.00 tuition; almost $900.00 (after taxes) for the hotel; couple hundred dollars for food and drinks; couple hundred dollars purchasing books; $8.00 for an electric green colored shirt to wear to the Jade Jubilee party. That was a major hunk of change! Good thing I didn't do any mathematical calculations beforehand 'cause that price tag would have scared me into staying my behind at home.
The conference was worth every penny, though, don't get me wrong. Probably the best time I've had doing anything in a long time. But this year, my family and I aren't taking any vacations. I'd feel awful spending that much time and money on a vacation for myself while leaving them at home.
So, what will I do this summer? Well, I figure the best way to spend time is by knocking out these two books I'm working on, and finishing up the last round of revisions on BILL. I'm gonna keep on keeping on, doing what I do best, and hopefully, when I attend the conference again in the future, I can do so as an author/illustrator faculty member! Maybe that sounds kinda pie-in-the-sky considering I don't have any fancy Caldecott medals — or even a recognizable name for that matter — but I still have enough experiences in the field of children's publishing to offer other artists tips and tricks in a workshop setting.
I'm gonna miss hanging out with the Mermaids and Gregory K and the many other fantastic people I met last summer.
P.S. I reserved time off from work on the first week of August, just in case I change my mind at the last hour --- shhh!