The SCBWI NY conference was incredible. There just is no other word for it. The staff was helpful and I was impressed at how smoothly everything ran. They provided delicious breakfast breads and coffee (!!!!) each morning and the cocktail party was stunning and so yummy. I ate way too much of that sweet potato dish.
Here's a picture of me with Kit Grindstaff and Ruth Setton at the social.
I took tedious notes throughout the conference and if you followed the Twitter hashtag #NY13SCBWI you'll find my brief comments along with many others.
Here's a picture of my MiG crit partners: Andrea Mack, Susan Laidlaw, Kate Fall and Carmella Van Vleet. So fun hanging out with them!
I found the conference inspiring, and within it, many gems of wisdom that I can use in my own writing.
Some brief thoughts of the weekend:
Meg Rosoff talked about not getting discouraged when others ask: "When are you going to write a real book? Like for adults?" She also encourages writers to: "Be flexible"
For my breakout session, I went to Molly O'Neil's talk- she's encourages writers to write with authenticity and heart.
Here's the line of books that Molly has edited.
Next I went Francoise Bui's session because of her focus on characterization. Her three points were to build great characters you need voice, characterization and texture with in the story.
Margaret Peterson Haddix reminded us that we must write a book for the kid that doesn't like to read. If we can do that, then the kids who do like to read will love it, too.
Julie Andews spoke with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. I was amazed by Andrew's presence, which seemed to fill the entire room. The two of them talked about brainstorming and then plotting since they need to work with each other to get the job done. Interestingly, they use a web cam for most of their writing sessions.
Since they write multiple books in a series, they realized they needed to keep the books balanced between the inevitable and the element of surprise, which can be tricky.
Finally, Mo Williams raced to the podium and then around the room. He was great and I laughed so hard. Williams urged us to go deeper, write what we don't know and understand so that we can explore new emotions within ourselves. He also said to not be afraid to ask the tough questions.
Here's a link of great advice on Mo Williams's 9 Steps of Writing.
Oh, and I loved this line Williams said, "Writing is like a sale at the Gap. Take off 20%!"
Such a great experience. I would highly recommend this conference!