I joined and attended my first Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conference in October of 2017. During the conference they hosted an on-the-spot competition to illustrate a folder cover. So, throughout the day, all of the illustrators in attendance could work on their covers. We would all turn in our work at the end of the day, to be judged by the editors and art directors who were presenting at the conference. I was already doodling during the presentations—it's the way that I take "notes." My notes became characters and messages based on the presentations and I added them to my folder cover. Then something crazy and unexpected happened. I won the folder illustration contest. But the real "win" was getting up the courage to go, take my beginner portfolio, and meet my tribe. Such lovely, smart, and thoughtful people. I'll be there again next year.!