Over the past three months, I participated as a Group Facilitator for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) 8 & Under writing group. In our initial meeting, I was blown away by the creativity and heart each woman brought to their own respective stories. After taking time to review each manuscript and provide constructive criticism to help make each story stronger and more captivating, everyone went their separate ways to work on their manuscripts. The passion in this group of women was so contagious that I dusted off an old manuscript myself and dove into edits trying to create a story an editor wouldn’t be able to pass on.
At our second meeting, the revised manuscripts came back stronger and even more engaging than the first, which I know is the point, but it was inspiring to see how much of themselves these women put into their writing. Each one of them took suggestions from our initial meeting, considered which ones worked best for them, and made their stories better. It was so heartening to see these women, who were put together randomly, come together and support each other on this journey. As I’ve mentioned before, getting a book published is an extremely daunting task and one that comes with lots of rejection, so the positivity and support of the group was wonderful to experience.
Our final meeting was filled with praise and support about each manuscript as we took time to reflect on the changes made from the initial manuscripts. It was obvious these women had poured their hearts into creating a final piece that was worthy of submitting to an editor. Even though I was merely a facilitator in this process, it was so inspiring to be a part of as I watched each story morph and change over the time we spent together. I wish each of these women the best of luck in their publishing journey and thank them for inspiring me to once again put myself out there and submit a manuscript.
And with that, I have once again dipped my toe into the publishing pool. I will keep you posted on how it goes and let you know if and when I hear back. In the meantime, keep pursuing your own dream and best of luck.