This past weekend I participated in the Northern Ohio Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference, planned by co-chairs Laurie Knowlton and Vicki Selvaggio, with their committee of volunteers. They had a record turnout of over 155 attendees (they had to cut off registration.)
Editors attending were Margaret Miller from Bloomsbury Children’s Books, Harold Underdown, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books, and Elizabeth Bewley from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Tim Gillner, Art Director from Boyds Mills Press handled the illustrator track. Authors included Andrea Cheng, Kathianne Kowalski, Bonnie Pryor, and me!
I presented a workshop called “Ensnaring the Wary: Engaging the Middle Grade and Young Adult Reader.” The two hours flew by (for me, anyway, and hopefully for the participants).
I always seem to have too much information to present. My university students used to accuse me of vomiting information on them. I shared that story with the workshop. Afterward, someone wrote that she was never so happy to be vomited on! (!) I don’t know that I can quote that on my website!
I showed off my sample copy of The Demon King. Gorgeous!
Between the workshop and manuscript critiques, I didn’t have the opportunity to attend the other breakouts, which looked awesome. Harold presented a great, upside/downside overview of the current state of the publishing business, and Elizabeth Bewley spoke in general session on writing for teens. Margaret Miller’s presentation on working with an editor made us all want to work with her!
Conference attendees ranged from newbies exploring the world of children’s lit for the first time to multi-published experts. Laurie asked attendees to group by geographic area so critique groups could be formed to carry on the journey.
I had a great time reconnecting with friends. I’m still smiling!