Posted by: nancyisanders | January 10, 2011

SCBWI San Diego

On Saturday, I had the delightful experience of traveling down to SCBWI San Diego with my husband and my son. What a great group of children’s writers and illustrators this is!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for inviting me to join your group for the day.

It was wonderful to connect with all of you who are passionate about writing and illustrating for children.

And wow! What fantastic leaders you have. Thanks to Debra and Janice and all the wonderful and creative leaders who put on such an amazing meeting for you month after month.

And Gigi, your stories are the best! We’re still talking about them.

Always remember the Rule of 3. Print out the biggest 3 you can, decorate it with the shiniest stickers and the most colorful markers, and hang it in your writing center.

Pursue the Triple Crown of Success. Make it your quest to use 3 different strategies to meet 3 different goals.

And learn to be a Piggyback Writer.

But most of all, remember: Yes! You Can!!!


  1. Nancy – You were the best speaker we’ve had at SCBWI this entire past year. Thanks so much for the detailed tips in planning out our work, and the ideas to successfully get an editor’s attention. I’m a freelance writer with credits in magazines and newspapers, but after a year of submitting to children’s publishers and agents have not been successful. I’d love to attend one of your workshops. Where and when is one available? Thanks again.


    • Lora, thank you so much for your kind words! I really really hope that the tips I shared will help you leap to the next level of your writing career! To find out where I’m speaking or offering workshops next, please visit my AUTHOR’S EVENTS tab at the top of my blog. I update it several times a year.

      Also, I teach a teleclass each month for the Children’s Writer’s Coaching Club and you can purchase any of those audio downloads for less than $6 each. At the site you’ll see my upcoming teleclass on Agent Contracts, but if you dig around on the site you can find all the teleclasses I’ve taught over the past year or so.

  2. I tried your piggyback writing technique by sending a query to a favorite children’s series suggesting topics for the ‘hole’ in their series. Within two hours of clicking send, I received a reply with tips from the editor on a successful proposal and her comment “your ideas sound great.” Thank you so much for helping me emerge from that dark box. Happy New Year!!!

    • Oh Annalisa, I think this is the fastest response I’ve heard about from a Piggyback Writer yet!!! Wahooooo! Thanks so much for sharing. Happy New Year! -Nancy

      • They requested proposals for all FIVE of my suggestions (I’m so excited). Luckily I had one already prepared and emailed it off to them as requested…now to finalize the others. Thank you again for your marvelous encouragment and help to make the leap.

      • 5? All 5? Wahoooo! You go, girl!!! -Nancy

  3. Hi Nancy –

    I too attended the SCBWI conference in San Diego and was inspired by your presentation. The rule of three and the Piggyback Writer were so insightful. Above all though, I enjoyed your graphic for organizing the rule of three for a picture book. Wondering if you have your chart in a PDF file that you could send along. Thank you.

    I’ve bookmarked your page for your ABC journey too. Thank you for your generosity of spirit.

    God Bless,

  4. Hi Chrystal! I’m so glad you got so much out of the day. Let me look into offering the PDF file…I might have to keep that out of actual circulation until my new book comes out this year: YES! YOU CAN LEARN HOW TO WRITE BEGINNING READERS AND CHAPTER BOOKS. But hopefully, by that time, I’ll be able to post it on my Yes! You Can website.

  5. Was this a free conference for you. Assume so and what a blessing! Did you attend other workshops and presentations? With all of your experience do you learn that much?
    Is Gigi a published author? Perhaps you can recommend one of her books if she is.

    San Diego is always a lovely place to visit so imagine you just got to enjoy the weather. What a blessing there too.

    • Hi Jan, actually this was one of San Diego’s SCBWI chapter’s regular meetings each month. I was honored to be their guest speaker. And I don’t know if Gigi has books published…hey Gigi, if you’re reading this, have you had any books published? -Nancy

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