Friday, February 10, 2023

WHAT A NIGHT! Industry Party and Portfolio Showcase

What a night! 

With SCBWI’s first in-person conference in years, the room was buzzing with excitement. Surrounded by positive energy and stunning artwork, how could you not be?!

There were a hundred and fifty portfolios at the Industry Party! Agents, publishers, and industry professionals were able to browse through all of the wonderful submissions. The artwork was beautiful, spanning the Grand Ballroom— a cacophony of colorful and expressive work, each unique and fantastic in its own way. 

This was my first time participating in the showcase, and seeing the breadth of work was astounding. There were portfolios of all different styles, mediums, and voices from attendees of all levels at all different points in their careers. It was incredibly inspiring.


From 8 pm-9 pm, everyone was invited to view the work of the attendees and I was able to speak with an agent AND a publisher who gave me such great advice. The generosity and energy of the attendees were so electric and it reminded me that this is a community of special, kind, and warm people who all have a love for children’s literature.

I was definitely nervous to submit but I am SO glad that I took the plunge, and put myself out there. It can feel vulnerable and scary, but aren't we all in the business of vulnerability and connection? After submitting and attending, here are a few takeaways I've learned:

  1. Be yourself and showcase your voice!
  2. Presentation is key! (This is a representation of you!)
  3. Don’t be afraid to connect! It can be nerve-racking but you aren’t alone!
  4. Postcards were SUPER helpful! (By the end of the night, the attendees had their hands full of them!)
  5. TAKE a postcard and support your fellow SCBWI members! (I’ve gained so many new illustrators that I’m excited to follow and be inspired by) 
  6. Take deep breaths! (Growth can feel wonderful but also, uncomfortable. But just take a moment, and be present. You never know what could happen!)
I am so happy to have had a chance to participate in the Portfolio Showcase and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to be inspired, find momentum within their career, or take a chance on themselves! Take risks, share your passion, share your art, and BE SEEN! 


Stay connected with this AWESOME community, with #scbwiNY23 on Twitter @scbwi & Instagram @scbwi

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