Monday, April 2, 2012

Coming Full Circle

Call me crazy, but I like sorting things into neat categories.  I do it with everything, including (unfortunately) people.  Once, when I was a tween, I upset one of my dearest friends because I always called her my "church" friend as opposed to my "school" friend, because we'd met at church.  She thought it meant I didn't want to be friends with her anywhere other than at church. Oops.

Anyway, I also tend to categorize myself, particularly when it comes to my writing life.  And for the longest time, I called myself an "aspiring author" because only those who published something could be called an author.  I couldn't even bring myself to say "writer" when I talked about myself, mostly because when I did, people would inevitably say, "Oh, are you published?" and then I'd have to explain how I was an aspiring author.  And I'm notoriously lazy when it comes to that kind of looped thinking, so I just skipped to the inevitable end and stuck with "aspiring author."

But in 2006, my "aspirations" took a huge leap forward.  And it was because of a little activity called Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers (WIFYR for short).

Okay, so WIFYR isn't little.  It's actually a week-long writing conference for those who write for children and teens.  And it's AWESOME.  No, it's BEYOND AWESOME.  In fact, it's the best deal out there.

I'm biased, of course, since this conference took my sub-par writing and pushed me closer to the pro status, but I'm telling you IT'S WORTH EVERY PENNY.  This conference made me start thinking like a writer, start acting like a writer, and start writing like a writer.  I now call myself a writer, and I don't bother much with that "aspiring" stuff anymore.  And it's all thanks to WIFYR.

So why am I telling you all about this?  Well, because life has a funny way of coming full circle.

Because, you see, this year I'm presenting at WIFYR.

See for yourself!  Here's a screenshot for those of you who won't take my word for it:

And here are the links to the info in all its glory: (the schedule) (the afternoon presenters, I'm on the list...promise!) (heck, I'm even listed in the #7 FAQ!)

So, for those of you close enough, find the time and money to sign up for WIFYR.  Mostly because it's the best deal you'll ever get for a 5-day conference, and also because I want you to stop by and say hi so I won't feel so lonely.

They do have the full-day conference deal (which is what I did in 2006), where you workshop your book with a small group of attendees and a published author mentor.  (Did you see who those mentors are this year?  HOLY AWESOME BATMAN! )  And they also have a price just for the afternoon sessions.  I've done that, too, but the whole day is much much much more fun.  If you can swing it, go the whole day.  Especially since this year, one lucky full-day attendee could get a $1000 fellowship.  (More details about that here, but be aware that the deadline for that is April 20th, so HURRY:

So, yes.  WIFYR.  Do eet.  I'll save you a seat.


  1. I believed you even without the screen shot. :-)

    It's extra fun to be a presenter at a conference where you've been an attendee!

  2. Hey, you're famous! Congrats and have fun presenting.

  3. WFYR is also where I got started being a serious writer. That's so awesome that you are presenting this year! Wish I could go.

  4. Jennifer--I hope it will be extra fun!

    Barb--*hysterical laughter* Famous. ha ha ha That's a good one. ;)

    Alice--I wish you could go, too! It's going to be so lonely there by myself. :(