When the Marvelous Midwest Conference came around in May, I had no plans on going. I didn’t have the fund to attend the conference. I applied for the KidLit Nation Diversity Scholarship for the conference, but I didn’t win.
The week of the conference rolled around, and I was at the dentist when my phone buzzed. I received an email from KidLit Nation stating that a local SCBWI member, Tamara Barker, couldn’t attend the Marvelous Midwest Conference, and she donated her ticket to the Diversity Scholarship! They offered me the scholarship and I was completely thrilled. This all happened on a Tuesday afternoon, and the 3-day conference started that Friday.
After talking to my husband to make sure he would be fine taking care of our son for the whole weekend without me, I started making plans for the conference! They were going to allow me to enter the Art Contest, and get a Portfolio critique. Since this was all last minute there was no way I would be able to attend on Friday because of work, and not having a babysitter for that day. This gave me roughly 3 days to get all my materials together for the conference by Saturday.
After securing a place to sleep at the conference I immediately went to my computer for recent illustrations that I could print to add to my portfolio (and one I could enter in the art contest). I gathered several pieces and uploaded them to the Office Depot website to pick up prints the next day.
This was also going to be the first conference I would be attending since I signed with an agent, so I wanted to get new business cards printed with her contact information. I slapped something together in Photoshop, and uploaded my business card files to Overnight Prints!
I still had a bunch of postcards left over from my last conference. So instead of trying to get all new ones printed, I printed my agent’s information on return address labels that I already had, and stuck them on the back of the postcards.
By Friday, I had all my new portfolio pieces in place, my new business cards arrived, my updated postcards were ready to go, Pav submitted my piece to the illustration contest, and I had a hotel room to save me from driving back and forth. The next day I was driving to Naperville bright and early to attend the final 2 days of the conference.
I wouldn’t have been able to pull this off in 3 days without my husband being completely supportive and amazing, and incredibly generous and helpful fellow illustrators friends I’ve made during this kidlit journey! A huge thank you to KidLit Nation for the scholarship opportunity and Tamara Barker for her generous donation.