Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Coville’
This is it! I’m ready to finish this up and move on. Fasten your seat belts and get ready for your final SCBWI LA Conference installment!
This is not John Green. Not a single one.
I wasnt the only Nova fan! Every crowd should have an enthusiastic Mike Jung
in the back LOL! (If you’re lucky)
Some highlights from their discussion…
*Nova-When something really scares you, its probably the right thing to explore. I picked Michael as an agent because he pushed me to grow as a writer.
*Michael-I know that I’ve lost out on clients because I’ve been honest about what my expectations were.
From my own experience, I can’t agree more. A great fit with your agent is the foundation you need and it will increase the chances that you’ll find an editor who is also an amazing match.
Time for the 2011 Golden Kite Awards Luncheon
We had a wonderful slide show, looking back over 40 years. It was amazing. Wish it was posted some place so that I could share it with you
This was dessert. Everything about this made me smile.
Listening to the speeches of the Golden Kite
recipients. They were fantastic–so proud of them.
A special keynote from the impeccable Richard Peck
. I adore this man.
This is when that big lunch and dessert became a problem. Navigating the halls in a chocolate coma, I didn’t get to Bruce Coville’s workshop in time to get a seat or a piece of rug. This picture was taken from the door with my hands up over my head. The good news was that I could hear him just fine.
-AT THE INTERSECTION OF PLOT AND CHARACTER: THE PLACE WHERE STORIES HAPPEN.
GAHHH!!!! Every word out of this man’s mouth is genius. I’ll try to pick the best ones to share with you…
*Stories happen when a character is forced to make a difficult choice. NEED DRIVES THE ACTION.
*Use yourself, steal from everyone around you. Cast the book as if you are writing a play.
*Characters should have…
-an agenda (theirs, not yours)
-some inconsistencies (do you know anyone who doesn’t?)
*Plot is what happens when desire meets obstacle.
*If there is no chance to crash if you have not jumped.
Because the universe is fair, and wanted to make up for my inability to even cross the threshold of Bruce’s workshop, I was able to snag front row seats for the final keynote of the conference. *squee* While we waited for…drum roll…Laurie Halse Anderson. We decided to take some pictures. Guess who joined us? Linda Sue Park
Jodi, Laura, Edna, Amy N., Linda Sue Park, Kim and Amy S.
Then Linda switched out with our buddy Jeff so he could get in the picture too!
Laurie, means so much to me. I can’t put into words the effect that she has had on my life, the impact she has made. The places I’ve dared to go because I knew I had a friend along for the journey. Yes, because of her I have become someone who dares to disturb the universe. I love that, I love her and I want a T-shirt that says it!
Here is what you just can’t miss…
DO YOU DARE DISTURB THE UNIVERSE?
*Art disturbs the universe. When we create it we make our neighbors nervous and our politicians fret.
*We gather here to collect our courage.
*Revolutions of the soul are a scary thing.
*If you don’t jump, the wings never come.
*To write is to terrorize yourself.
*When things get bad, just remember, BABY…YOU’RE GOING TO DIE. Puts it in perspective. Ha!
*It is your obligation to disturb the universe the best that you can.
*THIS IS OUR WORK.
*In 20 years, you will be more disappointed in the things you didn’t do than the ones you did.
*In children’s literature, we are not competitors, we are co-conspirators.
And here are the best co-conspirators that any of us could possibly have. *sniff*
Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser taking a bow after 40 years of love, dedication and brilliance. <3
Kim and Dan giving K.L. Going
the thumbs up. (Dan is illustrating her new picture book)
The amazing author/illustrator Marla Frazee
. I adore her picture books. *heart squish*
No one can blame me for sneaking Jon Scieszka
the bunny ears. He’s just mad because he didn’t think of it first. LOL!
No need to get teary about the end of the conference–yet. It’s off to KidLit Night at the Pink Taco
What you don’t know is that we’re hungry enough to eat the table! (Can you see me leaning in?)
!!!! Gretchen, Kim, Emily and Debra. I love these gals!!!!
We ate. We hung out. A few of us even did the Pitch Slam with Mary Kole.
It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone. The conference was amazing, but it was time to go home to the other people we love, to return to our writing, to once again sleep more than 4 consecutive hours and to begin to dream about going again next year. Ummm and to do laundry. *head thunk*
I know that these recaps have been endless. I hope I was able to capture a little bit of the magic of the experience and share it with you. Because honestly, I wish you’d been there too. If you have any recommendations for things you’d like to see in future conference blogs–let me know and I’ll see if I can make it happen. Hope to see you at a conference soon. :o)
Imagine it’s Saturday, the second day of the SCBWI LA Conference. You are up at 7am and you’ve freaked out your roommate by Face-Timing your family on the computer while she’s in the shower. (She thought you invited a gaggle of really loud people into the room and figured she might have to dash out and say hi in her underwear.) All is forgiven when your kids see her (fully clothed) and run to grab her debut picture book, WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN. Impressively, they can put their hands on the book in less than 30 seconds, making your roommate very, very happy. *grin* You don’t even have to buy her a make-up cake-pop. You cyber kiss your kids and pray for your hubby who is road tripping to New York City with the rug rats to “do stuff”. You and your roommie head out the door when you realize that you’ve got a phone message on the room phone. Popular roommate is being sought by the goddess of the Blue Boards, Verla Kay. Off we go…
Verla and Kim <3
But the clock is ticking and its time to find your coffee (which out of desperation has changed from decaf to half reg/half decaf) and something yummy to snack on.
This is the point in the morning that you realize you just left your camera in Verla’s room. *head thunk* So you run, passing Richard Peck (blowing kisses) as you leap into an elevator and hope you’re not too late. Verla is walking down the hall and you wave your arms and she pulls your camera out of her bag. Like a lightning bolt, it all becomes very clear. There is no way in hell that you will ever be able to host a discussion board. Not gonna happen. You’ve discovered your social media limits and it feels good. You hug Verla (because she’s cool that way) and slide into the Starbucks line just in time to meet another cyber friend…
And FINALLY, coffee and bagel.
If, and only if, you can visualize this, will you be ready to have the full Saturday morning conference experience. Let’s roll!
Donna Jo Napoli-HOW WRITING ABOUT TERRIBLE THINGS MAKES YOUR READER A BETTER PERSON
For the record, next time the Wall Street Journal wants to write about YA books being too dark, I’m going to gift wrap the brilliant Donna Jo Napoli and send her to them. Donna Jo laid out a brilliant response to those people who do not understand why we must write about terrible things.
First she talked about the Unprotected Children in the world. They are…
-The children who are loved by their parents, but are abused by society.
-The children who are abused by their parents.
She said that children who are unprotected are isolated with the abuse. They do not go out and share the horrors of their life with others. They are alone. But they are able to find a like person that they can relate to in a book.
Most kids don’t have the power to change their world. They do not have control over their situation. To read about someone who survived the same things that they are going through, with dignity, can help a child to survive too.
Secondly, she spoke of the Protected Children. These children, must learn empathy for the rest of the people in the world and the safest way for them to do that is in the pages of a book.
I’m going to stop here because I think this is important. The next two speakers coming up are equally as powerful and I want you to have the time to really think about this. I’m still mulling it over a week+ later. I don’t know about you, but for me this is bigger than just writing books. It is about saving lives and changing the world we live in. As Bruce Coville said earlier, “We love our children individually, but we have a hard time showing it collectively.” So often my hands are tied and my ability to impact change is ineffective, but there are two ways that I know I can make a difference.
First, I can write books that respect and support Unprotected Children. I will not censor my heart and soul. Those kids deserve better than that. Secondly, I can choose to raise my Protected Children with empathy. At the very least, they will meet these Unprotected Children in the pages of a book. They will learn how lucky they are and how big their hearts must grow. I want them to learn that we can not live in isolation and blindness. I want them to begin to see that we are better off dealing with the struggles of growth than the hurdles of ignorance.
I urge each and every one of you to share Bruce Coville’s and Donna Jo Napoli’s message with as many people as you can. It is time to make a change.
First up on Friday–David Small.
It’s Friday afternoon at the SCBWI LA 40th Anniversary Conference and we have…
Libba Bray-WRITING IT ALL WRONG: A SURVIVAL MANUAL
Seriously, I’m not great at taking notes when Libba is speaking, due to the fact that I’m laughing so hard. But here are some pearls of delightful wisdom that did manage to make it into my notebook…
*Getting it wrong is a necessary part of getting it right.
*Book 1-this is a kind of ignorance is bliss and you only get it once.
Book 2-this is fun, I already know the characters!
Book 3-yeah, I got nothing. I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make when they fly by.
*Best Survival suggestions…
-The voice is in there, buried under the one you hate.
-Close the door on external voices.
-Readers are not trends.
-The difference between the right novel and the wrong novel might just be in how you present your novel. Find out what works for your story.
-Writing is freaking scary.
-We write it wrong in the beginning to protect ourselves.
-All books carry our DNA and if we knew that going in we’d be too frightened to write.
I know I’m spoiled. I know it’s completely unfair that I get to follow a Keynote by Libbra Bray with a Workshop session with Laurie Halse Anderson. All I can say is that I have a freaking fantastic fairy god-mother. That’s the only logical explanation.
Laurie Halse Anderson-THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF CRAFTING A CREATIVE LIFE: FINDING LOST TIME AND RECLAIMING CREATIVITY
Laurie is one of my personal super heroes. Many of you probably know that she was the first speaker at my very first SCBWI Conference and she has shaped my life as a writer. I never get tired of being inspired by her heart and soul and her wisdom. Again, here are some of my favorite take-aways from her talk…
*Personal problems are like whack-a-moles…they never stop popping up. You need to accept the distractions and manage the interruptions.
*24 hours is enough. God is not cruel, but she expects you to do the work. *grin*
*Discomfort won’t kill you. Staying with discomfort will pay off with strength and growth.
*You are in more control of how you spend your time and energy than you want to admit…
-Turn of the TV/internet
-Stop volunteering. There are other people who fill their creative voids through volunteering at the PTA-this is not your calling. You fuel yourself through a different kind of art.
-Family needs to see you follow your dreams.
*Be gentle with yourself. The doubt lives in all of us. Don’t be a writer, be writing. Be the verb instead of the noun.
Emma Dryden-TRAVELING THROUGH THE DIGITAL LANDSCAPE: WHERE WE’VE BEEN AND WHERE WE ARE HEADING
This was a very interesting look at a topic that we are constantly debating and trying to figure out. Here are some key pieces of info…
*Adults reeducate and retool to maneuver new landscapes. Children have nothing to unlearn about the digital world-it’s where they live.
*Story still matters the most.
*We are not moving away from print, we are moving towards a world of print AND digital.
Now its Autograph time!!!!!!
Talking about dyslexia and how my boys love to play Unicorn Chronicles.
Bruce Coville and Kim.
signing the Phantom Tollbooth and laughing because Jules Feiffer didn’t leave him any room when he signed it at the NY Conference. LOL!
Laurie Halse Anderson and Kim *heart squish*
Finally got to meet some awesome online friends in person. Mike Jung
, debut author of GEEKS, GIRLS AND SECRET IDENTITIES out in the fall off 2012 and Nova Ren Suma
, author of IMAGINARY GIRLS. I love these guys!
While I didn’t get a picture, I also snagged a copy of BROOKLYN BURNING by Steve Brezenoff
. I am so excited to read this!!!!!
We’ve finally made it through the first day of the conference, unless you’ve decided to do Peer Group Critiques, Yoga, the Illustrator Social, International Member Social or the Nonfiction Writers Social. I opted to just be social and EAT!!!! I’ll be back on Wednesday, kicking off Saturday’s recap with the amazing Donna Jo Napoli. If you want the conference effect to feel real, you should probably stay up till the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, jump around in excitement and grab a coffee and some starch at a Starbucks near you before settling down to check out the blog. *yawn*
See you Wednesday.
In the past, I’ve always tried to get at least half, if not a full day of conference recap into each of my blog posts. I’m going to be doing something a little bit different this time. I’m going to keep each entry a little bit shorter. This means that I’ll be writing about the conference slower than most people, but for me, this needs to be savored and relived without rushing–it was special.
Of course, no conference can start without a warm welcome from the official mom and dad of SCBWI–Stephen Mooser and Lin Oliver.
We also must begin with some of Lin’s stats for the conference.
*1,342 people in attendance. (A record number.)
*The men broke the 150 mark. (But we still commandeered their bathroom.)
*42% of those attending were published. (Woot!)
*49 out of 50 states were in attendance. (South Dakota needs to get their act together.)
*There were representatives from 20 countries. (70 people from outside the United States.)
*The Children’s Book Market is doing better than the Real Estate Market. (Fist pump!!)
I also would like to show you what the California Ballroom looked like. I loved the tiers in this room and how they allowed so many more people to have a wonderful view of the podium.
On Friday morning we were introduced to the faculty which had the effect of blowing on an ember. I couldn’t wait to get started after this spark was lit. (Sorry, the picture is a little blurry.) Each person on the faculty was tasked with giving a sentence with “40″ in it, to celebrate 40 years of SCBWI. The responses ranged from hilarious to inspirational. So much fun.
I took tons of pictures of everyone (because that’s what I do) but I’ll pick one to highlight. As we all know, we’ve arrived not only at the end of the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, but also the movies. *sniff* The least we can do is send a cyber hug to the man who was instrumental in our happiness. He is perhaps best known as the American editor for for the Harry Potter Books, Arthur A. Levine, the Vice President of Scholastic and the Publisher of his own imprint, Arthur A. Levine Books. I really wanted to meet him, but this was the closest I got, without falling over and melting into fan-girl gushy puddles.
As if being JK Rowling’s go-to guy isn’t enough, he is also the editor for the wonderful, fantastic, debut author Mike Jung. His middle grade novel Geeks, Girls and Secret Identities, comes out in the fall of 2012. I can’t wait to mug Mike and run away with an ARC of this book.
Hmmm…I told you I was going to keep this short. Lets get moving!
The first Keynote Speaker was someone I have been dying to meet and listen to. I was not disappointed.
Bruce Coville–RIPPLES IN THE POND: WHY WHAT WE DO MATTERS…AND MATTERS…AND CONTINUES TO MATTER.
Here are the highlights that stuck with me…
*There are 22,000 people in our SCBWI Tribe, the only other place for us is the Island of Misfit Toys.
*It takes a delusional person to believe we are a society that considers children our most valuable resource. We love our children individually, but we have a hard time showing it collectively.
*Craft without inspiration leads to basket weaving, inspiration without craft leads to modern art. Ha!
*There is a butterfly effect. You never know what kind of impact you will have. The smallest gesture is a turning point.
*If I wasn’t already won over by Bruce (and I won’t lie–I was) he would have had me hook, line and sinker when he quoted from the Broadway play, Into the Woods. I swear, I played the soundtrack to this musical until my college roommate’s ears bled. I love to be inspired.
No One is Alone… a song of responsibility. Our responsibility.
*Don’t start with a message, start with your own heart…You can not know the effect of your words.
*I can’t help but think that we reach a very special, lasting place in a kid’s soul.
*Leave an unfinished chord…