Saturday, August 13, 2011

Volunteering for NESCBWI

A call for volunteers for the 2012 NESCBWI conference went up today (click here, The Write Joyce) and I wanted to blog a bit about the wonderful experience of volunteering.

My first writer's conference was in Nashua, NH in 2008. I was a newbie writer, and nervous about attending a conference where so many people had achieved what I desperately wanted. I tried to be unobtrusive, fly under the radar. I did meet a few newbies, like myself, but it's always hard to break into already established groups of friends. Especially when you're trying not to feel like a poser. (Or maybe, this was just me over analyzing. :) None of us are posers.)

The first conference was a great experience. But having been involved with the National Association for Campus Activities during my days as a student activities person, I knew I needed to get involved with the organization to feel like I belonged. So I filled out a volunteer form for the following year on my way out the door.

In 2009 and 2010, I helped at registration. Great way to see people (agents and editors, too!) as they check in. Scope out who you might be sitting with at your critique later. I also helped out at the book signing. Talk about a fangirl moment!

This year, in Fitchburg, I worked as a critique timer. And, having made some strides in my writing career, I served as a Special Interest Group facilitator.

Make new friends. Rub elbows with the seasoned and experienced NESCBWI members of our region. If you're interested and complete your responsibilities, you might get tapped for a more involved volunteer position next year.

If you're interested, fill out the form you can find at Joyce Shor Johnson's The Write Joyce. If you have questions about the volunteer experience, I'm happy to answer from my perspective.


Laura Pauling said...

From my experiences at church too, the best way to get to know people is to get involved! Great advice. :)

Jonathon Arntson said...

Okay, well, I am seriously jealous of you NE folk and your proximity to like-minded individuals. Here in Michigan, I am lucky to find another YA writer/blogger within a three hours drive (there's one that I know of).

I bet if I really buckled down and saved my money, I could go to a sweet conference in Detroit or Chicago. But, it's so comfortable in this seat of naiveté, ya know?

Gah, why am I blathering about this now?

Kudos to you for getting involved for your own interests and for keeping the NESCBWI running smoothly!

Kristine Asselin said...

We should totally take up a collection so Jon can come to New England. :)

Kristin said...

Good post, Kristine. You have me thinking. I've felt the last 2 years, since I live further away, it would be too difficult to volunteer, but I could easily time or check people in.

Julie Musil said...

What a great idea! I'm always a fish out of water at these events, but I can see how volunteering makes a big difference.

Laura said...

Sounds like a fantastic experience!

Joyce Shor Johnson said...

Fantastic blog post on volunteering! Thanks.