This round of posts we're talking about conferences—their value, which we've attended, and which ones we would recommend. In fact, I've never enrolled in a conference, but have only attended conferences where I've been a keynote speaker, break-out session presenter, or on a panel—SCBWI Conferences, the Charlotte Huck Festival, California Reading Association, CCBC biennial, Mazza Museum of International Art from Picture Books Fall Weekend, Reading the World, and several others. Many use the conference as an introduction to attending editors. There is often a policy that allows submissions (at houses where submissions are not usually open) for a period of time after the conference. Perhaps because I worked in-house at several publishers in NYC, this has not been my own strategy or intent. Conferences provide rare times to draw creators out of their caves to connect with others. For me conferences are about community and inspiration. I love hearing other writers and illustrators describe the backdrop and development process of their stories. Speaking at conferences gave me the opportunity to meet fellow potatoes Stephanie and Edie. Stephanie and I are pictured below at the Charlotte Huck Festival many years ago. Which one of you will I meet next?