So. Raise your hand if you had a fabulous time at our region’s SCBWI Spring into Action Conference!
(My hand is up! My hand is up!)
Wow, talk about a great day! There were approximately 190 attendees, and among them, a record-breaking 86 had critiques. The Bishop Claggett Center was a lovely location . . .
. . . that offered some great Frederick County views!
But highest on everyone’s agenda that day was hearing the great speaker presentations! First up was Marshall Cavendish editor, Marilyn Brigham, who spoke about The Editor’s Eye: How to use powerful word choice and sentence structure to make your work stand out.
After a break and book sales . . .
. . . the next speaker was Candlewick Art Director, Kristen Nobles, who talked about Thinking Visually: The Illustrator as Illuminator. (I apologize for not having photos of Kristen and several other speakers.)
Following a second break, attendees separated into genre-specific breakout sessions: For mid-grade writers, Katy Kelly, author of the LUCY ROSE and MELONHEAD series, spoke about Writing Funny!
For nonfiction, Amy S. Hansen, author of BUGS AND BUGSICLES and over twenty other science books, spoke about Finding Drama in Real Life.
Hmm . . . kind of awkward talking about yourself, but Laura Bowers, author of BEAUTY SHOP FOR RENT and JUST FLIRT, gave a presentation on Fearless Teen Fiction: How to combine passion and perseverance to totally rock your young adult novel.
(BTW, if you look closely at the above three pictures, you’ll notice how Katy, Amy, and I all have our hands to the left. Funny!)
For picture book lovers, Susan Detwiler, illustrator of BIG CAT, LITTLE KITTY and ONE WOLF HOWLS,
and Patti Zelch, author of READY, SET . . . WAIT!, both talked about Celebrating the Creation of a Picture Book.
After lunch, more book sales, and signings . . .
. . . it was time for our wonderful keynote speaker, Kathi Appelt, author of KEEPER and THE UNDERNEATH, which won the Newbery Honor, and was a National Book Award Finalist. She gave a gorgeous presentation: Writing Like Your Fingers Are On Fire, that left me inspired and longing to be a better writer!
Our next presenter was Dial Books for Young Readers Assistant Editor, Heather Alexander, who discussed A Day in the Life of a Children’s Book Editor.
After a snack break, next up was awesome-agent Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio, who discussed book pitches that worked . . . and pitches that didn’t!
(Okay, how many of you were anxious to discover whether or not she had signed that bold fourteen-year-old? :))
After a very informative Q & A panel, Lois Szymanski . . .
. . . drew numbers for the raffle, (congratulations to our winners!) and final goodbyes were given!
All in all, it was a fabulous day. Thanks to our wonderful attendees, Edie Hemingway, and planning committee members Barbara Dell, Susan Detwiler, Naomi Milliner, Sue Poduska, and Lois Szymanski! Thanks, also, to Naomi for organizing the critique sessions, and to Edie’s lovely daughter for keeping everyone in line. 🙂
And be sure to mark your calendars for the following SCBWI regional upcoming events:
And finally, there will be a “Staying On Track”: A Hands-On Literary Weekend with picture book, mid-grade, young adult, and nonfiction tracks, how awesome!
I hope everyone had a great time, and happy writing!