Today was my last day as coordinator for the West San Gabriel Valley SCWI schmoozes, which have met six times yearly. Purpose to network, share experiences, encourage writers of books for children. My first schmooze was at Gay Kinman's home six or more years ago. Then Peggy Spears was our master-mind at her lovely home in Altadena, until she was lured away to Claremont.
Our next locale has been the Hastings Branch of the Pasadena Library, not as comfortable as a home perhaps, but accessible (not only for us, but in the path of the occasional homeless person who wanders through on the way to his weekly/monthly? ablutions)
We have had as many as a dozen attendees, as few as two - each event a success - with a surprise speaker - Joe Cepeda (professional award-winning illustrator) - or a planned guest, Erika Oller (illustrator and creator of greeting cards and peripheral items) - Susan Lendroth and Ann Garrett, terrific tag-team about writing picture books - Gay Kinman on query letter writing - Ann Garrett on best websites - Elana Blum, Education Director of the Pasadena Humane Society along with a mini demo of Barks and Books, plus the pros and cons of what makes a good picture book.
Participants have met, spun off, returned, and always shared terrific feedback. Even tho' we are not on the heavily populated "west side" we have fun - and merit.