Thursday, August 3, 2023

Orientation For First-Time Attendees: Jolie Stekly


Recognized as SCBWI's Member Of The Year in 2009, Jolie Stekly has been welcoming new conference attendees at both the in-person and virtual SCBWI conferences since 2011, and is one of the original SCBWI Team Bloggers. Jolie is a writer and educator, and has also worked with editors, agents, authors, and illustrators to develop programming for conferences, retreats, and classes. 

The webinar text chat was super-active throughout, not just with attendees from all over the world responding to what Jolie was saying, but also chatting with each other throughout. SO fun! We also had access to the emoji reactions. 😁👍🏼❤️

Jolie gave a shoutout to founders Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser, and shared how much the SCBWI affected her own life and friendships.

During the session, Jolie gave us all opportunity to answer some polls. Here are just some of the results:

Jolie gave us a walkthrough of important features of the new website to make it easier for us to navigate the conference, explained how to find the info we needed.

Be sure to fully explore the conference offerings, Jolie encouraged. Check out the Conference Bookstore and the Portfolio Showcase, for example (both open tomorrow/Friday). Participate in the socials. 

Just a few of the tips from Jolie on how to get the most out of the conference:

Set up realistic expectations so you don't feel overwhelmed. Consider three achievable goals, write them down.

If you're attending pitches, BE PRESENT. Don't just focus on your own pitch, but listen to others and other feedback as well.

Connect with others. Check out the socials, and Jolie encouraged us to leave our cameras on. Connect online as well, using the conference hashtag #scbwiSummer23.

Remember you're not alone.

You can find out more about Jolie at, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also join Jolie's early-notification list for her WRITE FOR KIDS three-course series, which begins October 2023.


If you want to view this session to hear the full content, along with the rest of the conference, register at Replays of the conferences will be available until September 10th, 2023.


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