It's a good thing we have a holiday dedicated to thankfulness. Otherwise I would rarely give my blessings a thought. I am one of those "the glass is half empty" people. So here is what fills my glass this year.
Sorry, Carmela, but I have to begin with one you already mentioned, our terrific Vermont College MFA group, The Hive. Outside of my family, they are my longest sustained relationship. Most of us met on the airport bus going to campus on a July evening in 1998. Rarely a day goes by that at I am not in contact with at least one of them. Collectively, they are a never-ending source of energy, enthusiasm and advice. I truly do not know how I survived as a writer without them. Thank you, lovely Bees!
Next up on the gratitude list is my own local critique group, WINGS (Writers in North Georgia). Every month (with occasional sabbaticals) since October 2001, I have driven the hundred miles, round trip, to meet with this group of five in Conyers, Georgia. Driving that far in Atlanta traffic is no small matter, but the reward is worth every nerve-wracking mile. Connie, Nancy, T.K. and Stephanie as well as our Fearless Leader Susan (plus member-in-absentia, Maureen) are the best writers and critiquers one could ever hope to find. Almost everything I have published is the result of their sharp eyes and spot-on suggestions. I could not fly without my WINGS.
Lastly, I am grateful for SCBWI, The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (we writers do like our acronyms!) I learned about SCBWI from a Hive member while I was at Vermont College and wasted no time joining. SCBWI is more than just an organization of like minded people.
It is an endless supply of all a writer needs: the latest publishing information, editorial contacts, writing conferences, and most of all Opportunity (with a capital O). The conferences alone provide the opportunity to meet editors and agents, to submit manuscripts to houses that would otherwise be closed to unagented authors (like me), to have work critiqued by industry professionals. SCBWI, you are worth every penny in membership dues and conference fees.
To enter our latest giveaway, a copy of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, check Carmela's Friday post. (http://www.teachingauthors.com/2014/11/thanks-giving-CWIM-giveaway.html). Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.
Posted by Mary Ann Rodman