The 40th International Conference remains a highlight for this writer and new Regional Advisor. The amount of high quality writers and illustrators inspires and intimidates. The bar is very high for new writers, my potential colleagues. Your potential colleagues. I say potential because the keynote and breakout session faculty for writers include the brilliant Laurie Halse Anderson, Lisa Yee, Bruce Coville, Gary Paulsen, Judy Blume, Ellen Hopkins, Richard Peck - whose presence leaves me tongue tied and babbling. There are more amazing faculty writers. Go to the SCBWI.org main web site for a full listing, and if you are serious about your own writing, budget for attendance and immersion at the next conference. Seriously! You must believe in yourself, invest in yourself and talk with this calibre of published author - those whom you admire and seek to emulate. Plan now for SCBWI 2012. You deserve the experience.