I should've posted this before so that more people could sign up if it had slipped their radar. Better late than never, I suppose.
Wed. night, Jan. 14th, I will be critiquing nonfiction manuscripts at the Great Critique offered by our local SCBWI chapter. You can go here and register.
The Great Critique was my first visit to our local SCBWI. Molly and I were already in a critique group together and she kept encouraging me to join SCBWI, but I didn't feel ready because frankly, I didn't feel like a professional writer. Molly persisted and I finally agreed to go with her to the Great Critique.
I brought a picture book manuscript, which was very kindly reviewed by Kathryn O. Galbraith. Her biggest criticism was that it wasn't really a picture book at all, but had flavor of a chapter book. A couple of years later, I was submitting the revised manuscript as a chapter book. I got a few good rejections (more about that in another post), but no takers. I've submitted pieces of it as magazine stories and some of them have been accepted. Ever since that first Great Critique meeting, I've been receiving helpful comments on making my stories better, every year. This year I'll be the one encouraging and helping other writers. It feels like I'm coming full circle.
As a result of that first meeting, I finally joined our local chapter (they call this being a subscriber) and have learned so much from so many of our local authors and visitors. A couple of years later, I felt professional enough to join the parent SCBWI (I am a member). This organization is the only one I know of that is devoted to educating and networking children's authors and illustrators. If you are one -- join it. Don't wait to feel professional like I did. Consider it an investment. SCBWI especially geared toward the beginning writer.
So what are you waiting for? Go join.