If you're going to be in the New England area in April, you should definitely consider registering for the New England SCBWI Conference from April 20-22.
I attended my first regional conference in April 2007. I was an extreme newbie. Nervous. I was sure I was a poser, and that everyone else knew more than me. Keep in mind, at the time I had been a director of a department at a major American university, had supervised professional level staff, had coordinated a regional conference (for a different organization). In short, I was a grown up. I knew stuff.
But the writing thing was new.
The people of NESCBWI are awesome. No one ever made me feel "less than." I immediately felt part of something. Something cool.
Flash forward five years. I've been a volunteer since 2008. Getting involved as a volunteer is a great way to feel a part of something, network, and make friends. This year, I'm organizing the Special Interest Groups and the Submissions Strategy Consultations.
And for the first time, this year, I'm faculty. I have the extreme honor to be on an Author/Agent panel with my agent Vickie Motter, as well as Kate Messner and her agent Jennifer Laughran, and Christine Brodien-Jones and her agent Stephen Fraser. If I squee a little, you'll know why. ::pinch me::
It's going to be an awesome conference. Registration opens on Monday, January 23. Hope to see you there!