Gathering to Celebrate and Set Goals
by Avery Fischer Udagawa, Bangkok, Thailand
Like many members of SCBWI Japan, I perform my children’s lit-related work largely in isolation. Our 2016 New Year’s Dinner was the perfect antidote to this! Held on the cozy heated terrace of Un Café, inside Tokyo Women’s Plaza, Shibuya, the gathering gave 14 writer, translator, and illustrator members the chance to come together in community, encourage one another, and share plans for the upcoming year.
Several attendees had good news to share, including book launches, art showings, and awards. Several projects that began at SCBWI events or with the inspiration of fellow SCBWI members are—with persistence—nearing fruition! Kampai!
All participants in the gathering shared a craft goal for 2016. These goals ranged from “write more” to “write less,” and from exploring a new genre to studying a new topic, or working in a more self-directed (rather than as-commissioned) way.
When faced with deadline pressure, work-life balance issues, and the constant challenge to face the blank screen/page in solitary space, it helps to know that others have taken on this task. In time, we will all progress in growing children’s books from our experiences and interest in Japan—and we will come together again, to feast, commiserate, and celebrate!
Avery Fischer Udagawa is the SCBWI Japan Translation Coordinator and the SCBWI International Translation Coordinator.