When you first start writing, the community of writers seems so cool and so out of reach. It takes a long time to realize that writers, especially children’s book writers, are the nicest and most welcoming people in the planet.
Take tonight for example. I went to our local Barnes and Noble to see my friend Tommy Greenwald read from his new book “Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to NOT Reading.” The reading was packed with friends, family and kids. In the audience were two of my critique partners, Sari Bodi and Karen Swanson, other writer friends, like Lauren Tarshis and Laura Toffler-Corrie. Tommy’s editor, Nancy Mercado at Roaring Brook, is a lady I’ve met before at a weekend writing retreat (and coincidentally edited Lauren’s first book, Laura’s book and Tommy’s book!). I met Timothy Ditlow, The Young Adult Acquisitions editor for Brilliance Audio (who produced the audio book for Tommy). All these folks are in my field and were amazingly friendly. And that’s how you start to build a writer’s community — you just show up and support fellow writers.