Monday, August 11, 2008

Notes from SCBWI LA

Well, now that everyone has already posted, I’ll shout out to all my LiveJournal friends I saw at the SCBWI meeting in LA last week. I went out to dinner Thursday night with a whole group of LJ-ers including Mary Cronin, Jody Feldman, Melodye Shore, and 15 others.

Got to lunch with Debby Garfinkle and hang out with Jody Feldman. Jody signed up for the Pro Track, so she attended some different workshops than I did, and also participated in the Editors’ Luncheon and Authors’ Reception and Sale. This is me and Debby and Jody.

Lest you think I just ate and drank and schmoozed my way through the conference, Bruce Coville’s keynote was totally inspiring, just what an opener should be. He discussed the Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Deadly Virtues of Writers. Illustrator Mark Teague told the hilarious story of how he stumbled into illustration via a degree in American history. It seems unfair that so many illustrators are witty as well as graphically talented. Later that day, agent Steven Malk shared strategies for developing a long-term career.

On Saturday, Rachel Cohn spoke on Embracing Your Inner Teen. She actually brought her inner teen with her and displayed her to the audience. Jay Asher’s presentation on injecting suspense into any novel had us on the edge of our seats. And Adam Rex, another unfairly witty, articulate, and otherwise talented illustrator discussed how to get a kid’s book published.
Here Jay Asher uses Grover and There's a Monster at the End of This Book to make a point.

On Sunday, I attended John Rocco’s session on book promotion, a good review of tactics to use before and after publication. The Golden Kite luncheon was inspirational, and in the afternoon Lisa Yee had us working very hard in her workshop on revision.

On Monday, Bruce Coville’s workshop on Plotting provided a lot of take-away, though I was tempted to go to Katherine Applegate’s How to Write and Stay (Relatively) Sane. Editor Donna Bray and agent Steven Malk spoke about collaboration and interaction between agents and editors. I heard from Jody that Sara Pennypacker’s session on Firt Pages was awesome. And Susan Patron was like the perfect dessert—a satisfying finish to the conference. And afterwards, I stood in the autograph line and had Susan sign The Higher Power of Lucky. This is me and my hero, Susan Patron.

Jody and I each furiously took notes at the seminars and workshops so we could share with each other.

Afterwards, I linked up with Ellen Hopkins and Susan Lindquist and others for a little happy hour out on the patio before I left for the airport.

That's Susan, me, Ellen, Kristin Venuti, and another friend.

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