To be continued…
Usually, the above words and ellipsis conclude a piece of writing.
This particular greeting, though, needs to be an exception.
This summer, the characters in our Chapter’s story once again change.
Come August 1, current Assistant Regional Advisor Alice McGinty and current Program Co-Chairperson and Oak Park Network Rep Lisa Bierman jointly take hold of our Chapter’s leadership reins to serve as SCBWI-Illinois’ Co-Regional Advisors. Sara Shacter, our current Program Co-Chairperson and former City Network Rep, joins Alice and Lisa as our Chapter’s Assistant Regional Advisor.
Lucky us, to have this trio of smarts, heart, and professionalism, ready-willing-and-more-than-able to continue our story!
Of course, it’s quite the story. How a bounty of SCBWI-Illinois volunteers, decade by decade since the 1970s, when the organization’s name was but SCBW, continued to work together to purposefully grow a vital, professional, caring Chapter that hovers now near the 900-member mark.
And lucky me, to have had a leading role! My responsibilities—first as Program Chairperson in 1989, next as Co-Regional Advisor in 1993, then as Regional Advisor since 1994—continued (and continue!) to provide overflowing content for daily entries in my Gratitude Journal. My pages tell of opportunities and connections created and come upon, each one ripe with possibilities: for instance, Networks and newsletters (both hard copied and online), Writer’s Retreats and Prairie Writer’s Days, Speakers Directories, writing groups, listservs, programs, and exhibits across Illinois.
But best of all? My pages note the people who helped me grow as a writer, keeping pace with our ever-changing Chapter: the requisite (and treasured!) mentors, allies, and friends who ensured a Happy Ending for my quest-driven tale.
Fortunately, my Gratitude Journal offers blank pages aplenty: enough to note my ongoing service on SCBWI’s Board of Advisors, and more than enough to express my joy for our three new lead characters—Alice, Lisa, Sara—and all they bring to our Chapter’s story.
The founder of my long-ago journalism school, former U.S. Ambassador Walter Annenberg, was known for his response whenever asked, “How are you?”
His never-changing answer?
“Hopeful and grateful.”
Annenberg’s two adjectives capture my heart, now full and almost bursting thanks to SCBWI-Illinois.