This month is extra special because I'll be blogging about TWO SCBWI meetings! The Central & Southern Ohio chapter of SCBWI encompasses a large chunk of the Buckeye State including Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton. Since I'm in Columbus, I attend the monthly meetings there. But Cincinnati is home to our chapter's Assistant Regional Advisor, Andrea Pelleschi, who also holds meetings in her corner of the state. With the winter weather receding, Regional Advisor, Jody Casella, and I took a road trip to attend the March Cincinnati meeting and connect with our southern SCBWI siblings.
The SCBWI meetings in Cincinnati are held on the 2nd Tuesday each month at 7:00 pm at the Sharonville Library. They feature a mix of critique meetings and speakers, and you can always find the details at ohiocensouth.scbwi.org. Jody and I were thrilled to meet 30 members from Cincinnati, many of whom we'd connected with via email and Facebook over the years. (It's always wonderful to put faces to names!)
|The Sharonville Library. We even arrived before dark!|
Jody and I started the meeting with an overview of the happenings in Columbus and how the Cen/South Ohio SCBWI Board is trying to better serve and connect members across the region. (Like our website improvements, our in-the-pipeline plans for published members, and our awesome new members-only Facebook group for artists: Cen/South Ohio SCBWI Illustrators.) Jody and Andrea also reminded the group that SCBWI is an organization made up of volunteers, and everyone is invited to get involved. So if you want to see more events or critiques in your hometown, don't hesitate to volunteer and see what a difference you can make in Ohio's children's lit community.
Jody also warned about two big pitfalls for writers: being Arrogant and Insecure. She admitted that she fell into the camp of being Arrogant when she started and thought she knew more about writing than she did. It took her a while to realize that she still had a lot to learn, but once she did, her newfound openness to workshops and critiques provided a big boost to her work--and ultimately her career. On the flip side, Jody cautioned that being Insecure can be equally damaging. Some writers have a difficult time believing in their own abilities, and she has seen many that are afraid to share their work with the world. But if a writer is too cautious, he or she can miss great opportunities and run the risk of never going anywhere.
Jody's parting advice to the group was to never give up. The journey can be tough and full of surprises, but success comes to those who persevere!
A big thank you to Jody for her inspiring presentation! You can learn more about Jody and her writing (and follow her wonderful blog) at: http://www.jodycasella.com/
I'd also like to send a huge thank you to the Cincinnati members for giving us such a warm welcome! We had a blast and can't wait to come down to see you all again!
|Me (Kathryn Powers), Andrea Pelleschi, and Jody Casella|