The legendary Steve Mooser has just welcomed us all to the conference, reminding us how much courage it took to be here.
"Most of you have sacrificed a lot in terms of time and money to be here," he said. "Take the opportunity to reach out to your fellow attendees ... don't be afraid. If you're like thousands of others who've gone before you, you're likely to come away with new friends and maybe even a best friend."
Steve and Lin, who are best friends, met as office mates before they founded this organization. (Lin wants us to know she was in preschool at the time. OK, kidding. She was 23.)
Lin, meanwhile, reminded us that we're like-minded "weirdos"--a word that earned applause because SCBWI conferences, fortunately, aren't middle school.
Lin introduced us to Sara Rutenberg, who organized this conference for us with such grace and warmth. Among other things, she reminded us that the mobile app that we're using for the conference--Guidebook--has been updated. So if you downloaded it before, be sure to update it for the most accurate information.