It’s Sunday. Technically it’s Super Bowl Sunday and I’m sitting in the middle of a football party in my living room. I’m in the big chair in the corner with my lap top and a heavy-duty set of ear plugs, digging into this last conference post that took place last Sunday. I’d like to say this is dedication, but truly it’s not. I’m *gasp* not a football die hard and I only feel compelled to even be in the living room (instead of hiding upstairs) because my kids think I should be thrilled about this spectacular sports event. I do not begrudge them the excitement and passion of the game, I feel the same emotion when I go to the “Super Bowl” of kid lit writing events. To each his own and if you like both…more power to you. Let’s kickoff this last conference post!
Sunday January 29th, 2012
8:30-9:00 AWARD PRESENTATION for the Tomie dePaola Award and the Art Showcase winners but first a HUGE shout-out for the staff of the SCBWI.
Feel free to stop reading and give them a little standing ovation…I’ll wait.
Now, on to the Portfolio Showcase Winner: Mike Curato
This could have easily been a picture of me standing in front of the cupcake counter at the Magnolia Bakery. Mike obviously knows how to capture a moment!
9:00-9:15 SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT by Jane Yolen
I don’t know about you, but I get tingly just thinking about Jane Yolen speaking–she always captures my attention and has something fantastic to say. This year was no exception. The SCBWI has started the Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Grant.
Here is what Lee Wind on the SCBWI Blog had to say about it…
“Congratulations to Mary K. Whittington for winning this year’s inaugural Jane Yolen Mid-List Author grant! A published author who hasn’t had a new book come out in a while, Mary recently had a stroke, and is halfway through writing a new novel using voice recognition software. Jane calls Mary her hero, and hopes the grant helps her get that novel finished and out into the world.
And our cheers as well to Ann Whitford Paul and Barbara Diamond Golden for their honor grants.
More information about the Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Grant (and how to nominate a mid-list author you know for next year) will be forthcoming on scbwi.org, where you’ll find information on all the author and illustrator Grants and Awards.”
Yes…Jane Yolen is made of awesome!
9:15-10:15 PANEL: METHODS TO THE MADNESS: THE PROCESS OF MAKING PICTURE BOOKS: Featuring the Bookmakers Dozen and moderated by Laurent Linn
Don’t hate me–I loved the Bakers Dozen, but there were just too many people for one panel. So many, I’m not even going to list them all. It took me the first half hour of the presentation to figure out who was who. But I did jot down a couple gems from Peter Brown…
*If you plan on making a career in this business–you have to be an idea factory!
*You need to take the reader into account–you don’t want to make the best book ever that no one reads.
*You don’t want to be the last one to write a vampire book–you want to be the first one to write a robovamp book. Don’t steal that.
Time to goof off a little before the next panel…Lin said to stretch.
Scott, Jodi, Kim and Sam
Allan, Justin and Scott…ready to tackle the agent panel. LOL!
10:30-11:30 PANEL” THE CURRENT MARKET FOR YOUR WORK: FOUR AGENTS’ VIEWS
Moderator (LO) Lin Oliver
(GK) Ginger Knowlton, Agent, Curtis Brown LTD.
(RB) Regina Brooks, Founder and President, Serendipity Literary Agency, LLC
(CR) Chris Richman, Agent, Upstart Crow Literary
(KW) Ken Wright, Agent, Writers House
***I’M INTERRUPTING THIS BLOG WITH A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT…THE GIANTS HAVE SCORED A TOUCH DOWN!!!! EVERYONE SEEMS EXCITED. NOW BACK TO OUR REGULAR PROGRAMING.***
State of the market…
(KW) Every time I make a submission, editors are asking where is this book going to go and how is the author going to get me there. The days are gone when someone can acquire a book just because they “like it.”
(GK) Exciting, Exhilarating, Exhausting
What are you looking for?
(CR) Voice…but a lot comes down to the hook.
(KW) I choose based on what I know about individual editors.
(RB) My job is to come up with ways to position the book.
(GK) Lots of debut novels being published, so agents and editors are looking for fresh voices.
(KW) YA is going to continue to trend.
On building a career author…
(GK) Nurture every connection–small community, play nice.
(CR) The more attractive you can make yourself, the more likely we are to want to work with you. (No…not physically attractive. *head thump*)
11:30-12:30 CLOSING KEYNOTE: KEEPING YOUR FOCUS by Kathryn Erskine
I love how animated and enthusiastic Kathryn is!
Here’s the best of each category…
*Create whenever you can.
*Free yourself from the guilt that you’re taking time away from other people.
*Free yourself from self-doubt. Do you remember what books got awards when you were 15? No–you remember what books moved you.
*Whenever you think about hanging it up–remember there is a kid out there who needs you.
*Organize your workspace.
*Organize your MS–Scrivener. (I’m a personal fan.)
*To be creative you really have to take care of yourself.
*Being creative is hard, sublime, ridiculous.
*You’ve got to do what works for you.
*What do you want to say?
*Understand your audience–how to relate you your readers.
*At some point you have to let your “baby” out into the world, but have it ready. Taking some time to do it right is worth it.
*Published of now, take some time to connect with your readers NOW.
*You know your passion–that’s why you’re here.
*talent plus determination.
*Books save us.
12:30-1:00 DOOR PRIZES AND CLOSING REMARKS
1:00-3:00 AUTOGRAPH PARTY!!!!!!
Chris Crutcher and Me!!!!
Kim and Kathryn Erskine–totally LOVE her!!!!
Kathryn Erskine signed one special for my Fishkill Frogs!
Me and the love triangle queen, Cassandra Clare.
Cheryl Klein is AWESOME!!! That’s all I have to say. *grin*
Lin Oliver signing for my boys who ADORE her books!!!!!!
The perfect end to a perfect weekend. (Magnolia Bakery)
Hope you enjoyed my virtual tour of the NY SCBWI Conference. Next I’ll be heading to the Eastern PA 20th Annual Pocono Mountain Retreat, where I’ll be spending the weekend with…drum roll…Laurie Halse Anderson. *SQUEE* If you’re not too far away, think about signing up, I’d love to hang out with you.
Any conferences in your future? Tell me where you’re heading–I always love to hear about your writing adventures and I’d love to read about what you’ve learned along the way. Were you at NY? What was your highlight? And who won that Super Bowl? And were you watching?