We also had a panel discussion. Topic? Climbing through the thorns. Two panelists gave us their take on the down side of writing. You know, the rejection, the revision, the recycling ... Did I miss a 're'? Writing requires toughness. And you only get that by sticking to it and re-sending those re-written manuscripts. (Because I was the supposed 'moderator' of this session I have no notes, and my memory is spotty because I was trying to think of clever things to say in case there was a lull - which there wasn't.)

Dianne Young went first and got us all laughing as she told the story of her now finally accepted picture book manuscript. (Years and years later.) The story of her stick-to-it-tive-ness was a great story.

Gillian Richardson told of how opportunity comes when you least expect it and maybe when you most need it? She's got an impressive list of titles and has shown that tenacity pays off.

Heather Nickel shared information about her company, a self-publishing option in Regina. (Your Nickel's Worth Publishing). Her books are beautifully produced and a viable option for those interested in a more limited distribution and print run.

The session was over too fast and conversation spilled over into the next session - which was a meeting for local writers involved in the founding of a Saskatchewan Chapter of CANSCAIP. (Sniff, sniff - I'm an outsider from Manitoba). But it's inspiring to see such a lively kids' lit group in Saskatchewan.

Interesting note: There was nobody east of Winnipeg at the conference. I guess the east has enough happening in their more densely populated areas.

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