Do you remember the moment when you entered your first Shop Talk or SCBWI-MI workshop with a tinge of nervousness, and then someone in the room smiled and said hello? These friendly gestures led you to feel welcomed and allowed you to feel like you belonged—so you stayed! Fortunately, we’ve been able to adjust through the covid19 protocols and have said hello through our screens and monitors!
As your Outreach Coordinator, I invite you to share these moments with our community to celebrate and reaffirm the importance of how we foster relationships within SCBWI-MI. Our new column, It Starts with Hello, will highlight these positive personal memories that may inspire others. Based on my own experiences, I can attest those welcoming moments made me feel seen and valued. From the conference organizers and Shop Talk Coordinators who ask for first-time participants to stand and be recognized, to the empathetic person who invites you to join their table at lunch, together we form a network of creative kidlit professionals. Many of these relationships develop into long-lasting friendships and a support system we often need in our line of creative work.
The stories you submit will be shared on The Mitten blog throughout 2022. Send your It Starts with Hello submission (under 300 words) to Isabel Estrada O’Hagin by December 20, 2021, at: email@example.com
Note: I will post a second call for these submissions in 2022 as a reminder. Start thinking about which welcoming moment you’d love to share with us!