It’s conference time again — time to consider whether to think locally, act globally, or neither.

The lineup for the Austin SCBWI fall conference (October 21) has been announced:

Speakers include: author Bruce Coville, editor Lynne Polvino (Clarion), agent Sara Crowe (Harvey Klinger Agency), author/book doctor Esther Hershenhorn, and illustrators Tony Sansevero and Don Tate. A limited number of manuscript critiques are available with Polvino, Crowe, Hershenhorn and authors Dianna Aston and Cynthia Leitich Smith. Polvino and Tate will offer portfolio reviews. Registration opens in mid May.

Registration typically fills up fast, at least for the review slots, so I’ll need to decide soon whether to make this a rare instance in which I skip the local conference. And why would I do that?

The last time I missed, it was because I’d gone to the SCBWI annual conference in Los Angeles instead. And while I don’t see that happening this year — I’m saving up my travel days and budget for the research trips I hope will be necessary for some of my projects — it’s possible that a family trip to L.A. to visit one of my wife’s best friends and her new baby will coincide with Russell Freedman‘s appearances (August 4-5) before the SCBWI gathering. And even a one-day pass to that conference would wipe out anything set aside for the Austin shindig.

But I may not want to do either conference this year. Why not? Well, besides the aforementioned travel plans (or rather, at this point, travel wishes) for research purposes, perhaps it would not kill me to do something new — to find a new conference or workshop or experience that could fuel my writing. While I couldn’t have gotten as far as I have without those SCBWI conferences, I’m unlikely to get to where I still want to go with only those conferences.


Note: Edited to include the latest and up-to-datest about the Austin conference.