Posts Tagged ‘Lisa Yee’

Aug

3

2016

LA 2016 SCBWI Conference Part 1 (Friday) #LA16SCBWI

Filed under: Check-it-out, Class of 2k12, Community, Conferences, Publishing, SCBWI, Stuff I Love, The Class of 2k12, Touching the Surface, Uncategorized, Writing for Children

Hello… it’s #LA16SCBWI time…is there anybody out there? I know. I’ve neglected the blog, but for a good reason. Blogs are secondary to the writing and the writing has been my priority. But I LOVE my SCBWI conference blogs. They help me process everything I learned and I also love sharing a bit of the magic and insight with those who couldn’t make it. Plus I missed you. So, let’s go to #LA16SCBWI together!

 

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Compared to last year, my journey to #LA16SCBWI was a breeze. No hassles. Everything was on time. The Jet Blue snack was blue chips. I even had my roomie picking me up at the airport and we defied the laws of LA rush hour and made it to the hotel in a record amount of time for the afternoon. Everything was perfect until…

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My luggage lock wouldn’t come off. Really???? I think what happened was I accidentally twirled and twisted when I should have pushed and clicked–resetting the combo to a magic number I did not know. Grrrr. I thought about trying all the possible combinations then called the hotel desk and had a lovely gentleman cut it off for me. Crisis averted. Dinner was had and friends caught up. Easy Peasy. And when all was said and done, I fell asleep and never rolled over until morning. Not even the Biltmore ghosts could wake me.

Yes, the Biltmore hotel, the sight of #LA16SCBWI is supposed to be haunted. Do you see the wee ghosty on the SCBWI folder? I wouldn’t lie. Totally haunted. I’m positive, although I didn’t see, hear or sense a thing.

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But any building that looks like this inside must be haunted, right?

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BTW–sorry for the grainy pictures–I left my good camera at home by mistake. Boo!

But the ghosts aren’t really the important part–unless they inspire some fabulous stories. We were there to get our kid lit on and we took off running on Friday.

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Steve Mooser and Lin Oliver were on the scene–Lin entertaining us with stories of her senior prom and bachelor party at the Biltmore. Which by the way, was built in 1923 and was originally a cathedral. And this past weekend it housed…

-952 Full Time Attendees (with a 950 seat ballroom) Good thing there were always spatially challenged writers who had trouble finding their way around the building LOL!

-348 Published

-603 Pre-Published

-47 States. (West Virginia was absent and Vermont. But Lin figures they were still too busy feeling the Bern)

-15 Countries

-And there were some interesting primary occupations listed: 101 Full Time Artists, Cake decorator (because frosting is a legit medium), 93 FT Writers, A Writer/Shepherdess (and obviously a good one–never saw a single sheep in the Biltmore), 3 Paper engineers, a Bonsai Artist, a cluster? herd? swarm? flock? pod of lawyers? and a Retired Housewife. Lin didn’t know that last one was an option. Sign her up!

And our joke contest was Books in the Olympics–write your own headline!

In LA the faculty also marches in and shares their word of the conference. Here are some of my favorites from #LA16SCBWI…

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David Diaz–melarchy

Arthur Levine–personal

Justin Chanda–inclusivity

Ginger Clark–Brexit

Peter Brown–awkward

Nancy Castaldo–noble

Lisa Yee and Martha Brockenbrough–Wonder Woman

Alvina Ling–Breathe (she was congested)

Linda Sue Park–(for anyone who cares about kids) VOTE!

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The first Keynote Speaker of the conference was Drew Daywalt of crayon fame.

DOES THIS KEYNOTE MAKE MY BUTT LOOK BIG?

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Drew was funny and sweet as he talked to the group. Here are some of the most interesting things Drew had to say…

*Jack Gantos wanted Drew to write for children–he was his Obi Wan Kanobi

*Did you ever notice how crayons are in your house but you didn’t buy them?

*20 years later..”I told you so, idiot!” Jack Gantos

*First school visit he panicked but the librarian told him he could bring THE box of crayons LOL! A boy raced past”security” and jumped in his lap and said…”I love you, Mr. Daywalt.” It changed his life. <3

*Hollywood kicked me for 20 years and knocked me down and a million little hands caught me. <3

*Be true to your voice.

*Be vulnerable.

*Authors find meaning in the meaningless and define meaning in the meaningful.

*Don’t overstay your welcome. *waves*

 

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Next up was Pam Munoz Ryan: ONE WRITER’S CONFESSIONS

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Things she’s learned along the way…

*Getting published and discovering I could still fail.

*If you’re not struggling to learn something new, you’re failing.

*If you aren’t struggling, you’re setting your goals too low.

*I wasn’t self actualized to feel marginalized. (On not seeing herself represented in the books she read)

*Things that get you out of writer’s block–a deadline.

*I don’t have a muse, but I’m still waiting.

*I don’t write every day. A writer has a relationship with writing.

*Goal: I want the reader to sit down and turn the page.

*It still stings–writing doesn’t get easier for me.

*I write in a feeble attempt at immortality.

*I read to forget and I write to remember. <3

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Every conference has those bathroom breaks between speakers and they are perfect for coffee and meeting friends you’ve only loved on line. So pumped I FINALLY got to meet Lynne Kelly on of my fellow Class of 2k12 siblings. <3 Such a lovely treat.

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The next Keynote belong to Justin Chanda (VP & Publisher of four children’s imprints at Simon & Schuster)

THE STATE OF THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRY

Justin took the stage fighting the urge to suggest we unify the party. LOL! Here were a few things going on in the industry…

* 2015-2016 was a great year for independent books stores.

*Kid lit is doing well, but blockbusters are driving the overall sales while the mid-list are struggling.

*Blockbusters keep the lights on.

*It’s a big leap of faith to acquire a picture book. Because of that editors are selectively looking for character drive, humorous books that appeal to adults as well as kids. You have to be the best of the best to get a deal in this market.

*Advice: Write, Illustrate, Rinse, Repeat.

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Sorry it’s a little dark. Remember I forgot the one with the telephoto lens. Grrrrr But even so, I can vouch, this is my first break out session of the conference. It was a Pro-Track session with Don Tate on SCHOOL VISITS.

Don gave a sample of his own presentation, followed by advice and tips from himself and multiple experienced authors/illustrators. It was a wealth of knowledge.

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He also shared the fabulous Debbie Gonzales who works with the academic standards to create projects, presentations and study guides. She’s currently working with TOUCHING THE SURFACE and I’ll be excited to soon launch some fabulous new ways that TTS can be used in the classroom.

And my favorite tip from Don? GO WITH THE FLOW–IT’S NOT ALWAYS GOING TO GO AS PLANNED!

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Next up was the Editor Panel: THREE BOOKS I LOVED PUBLISHING AND WHY

SB-Stacey Barney–Senior Editor (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin)

KB-Kat Brzozowski–Editor (Swoon Reads/Feiwel and Friends)

AL-Alvina Ling–VP and Editor in Chief (Little, Brown)

MM-Melissa Manlove–Editor (Chromicle)

NP-Neal Porter–Publisher (Neal Porter Books)

MR-Matt Ringler–Senior Editor (Scholastic)

SS-Sara Sargent–Executive Editor (Harper Collins)

RS-Reka Simonsen–Executive Editor (Atheneum)

KS-Kate Sullivan–Senior Editor (Delacore)

Moderated by: ED-Emma Dryden (Dryden Books, LLC)

Each editor was asked to talk about three books they proudly published and talk about why they were meaningful. They also gave advice to the audience. I missed a few here and there and I can’t possibly effectively duplicate their gushing–but here’s what I can give you…

SB–Firebird, The Lions of Little Rock, A Crack in the Sea

      *Breathe, publishing is a marathon. It teaches patience. Work on your craft.

KB–RL Stein’s Fear Street Series, When the Moon Was Ours

       *Build a strong network of people. Publishing is small. Reciprocal relationships.

AL–Thunder Boy Jr, The Year of the Dog, Daughter of Smoke and Bone

       *Rejection is not personal.

MM–Picture This, President Squid, Josephine

       *Inspiration is electric, but it’s the lightening bolt that hits the person grinding the generator. You have to do the work.

NP–Giant Squid, School’s First Day of School, Ideas Are All Around

       *Do I HAVE to write this book? Is there intense feeling?

MR–Kill the Boy Band, The Hero Two Doors Down, Puppy Place Series (Because you can’t have a bad day picking out puppies for book covers ROTFL!)

          *Rejection can feel personal, but it’s an industry thing. Editors can’t always get what they want.

SS–Cruel Beauty, The Museum of Heartbreak, Last Year’s Mistake

          *Look for the window where you know what an agent/editor likes but then make it different.

RS–Enchanted Air, THE WICKED AND THE JUST (In caps because it’s a fabulous book by my Class of 2k12 sib J. Anderson Coats) and Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal.

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        *Write what you love.

KS–Ash, Rapture Practice, Passion Counts

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Next up was another Keynote with Jenni Holm: IT TAKES A FAMILY

Jenni shared lots of personal stories but this fact was key…If you’re going to write about your family, write about your mother’s family first LOL!

And then, just when you think you can’t do one more minute of conference, we got to celebrate the Golden Kite Award Winners and have a celebratory dinner.

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We even had a display in the lobby of our celebrated books for #LA16SCBWI

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And don’t forget the pyramid of chocolate. It was very yummy.

And on that sweet note, I’ll leave you to digest this first day of #LA16SCBWI and I promise I’ll be posting more soon.

 Want to see a little bit more of the Biltmore and it’s Hollywood History? Check out this video…

http://la.curbed.com/2013/10/4/10190584/watch-the-many-film-roles-of-downtowns-biltmore-hotel

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Aug

24

2011

SCBWI LA 40th Anniversary Conference-Part 7

Filed under: Conferences, The Class of 2k12

I don’t mean to scare you, but we are now HALFWAY through the conference.  And that’s only because I didn’t attend the Intensive Sessions on Monday.  I’ve never been to anything like this before.  It’s amazing and exhausting.  At this point, I’m sucking down ice tea, caffeine riddle soda and full-on regular coffee as needed. ( Read as–with an IV drip)  I’m breaking off glacier size hunks of dark chocolate from the stash in my bag.  So far, I haven’t missed a single keynote or workshop, but I’m openly weeping at the drop of a hat and running to the SCBWI store every break to hoard more books.  I may have even high-fived Jay Asher in the lobby.  He was totally cool with it though.  Ah…so where were we?


Norton Juster-AN ACCIDENTAL AUTHOR TELLS ALL 
Legenwait for itdary!

Here are your nuggets…
*The great puzzle for kids is what their parents are made of.
*Boredom is an undervalued commodity.  It is a mistake to banish boredom.
*My books were motivated by “trying to avoid doing other things.” Ha!
*The hardest thing to make kids understand is how to listen to their own voices.
*Being out of context is the one great, liberating thing in our lives.  Spend a lot of time out of context and help kids stay out of it as long as possible.
*Playing with words is my great disease.
My friend Edna Cabcabin Moran, taking in Norton Juster.
I always like to watch for the little messages that the universe sends to me. *heart squish*
Next up, I had a workshop session with Gary Paulsen.  I am going to save my notes for his keynote since there was a bit of overlap.  I’ll combine the best of the two for you later.  
And then there was shame.  My shame.  *sticks out hand to be slapped*  I have no excuse, except the hideous crash of all that unfamiliar caffeine in my system.  Oh, Mary Pope Osborne of MAGIC TREE HOUSE fame…I have done you wrong. *sobs*
Mary Pope Osbourne-A BRIDGE OF CHILDREN’S BOOKS
My brain has turned to mush.  I could see Mary up at the podium…talking…but it sounded like the teacher from the Charlie Brown specials.  The words would not go in.  I took no notes.  I fiddled with my camera…
Cute, huh?
I climbed over a row of people and went to the SCBWI store and fed the book habit–again.  Came back and ate some more chocolate.  It wasn’t her.  It was me.  *hangs head in shame*  
How will I ever feel good about myself again?
I GOT TO HOLD PEEPY!!!!!  And meet Lisa Yee. *heart squish*  
(My boys laughed so hard, when I squealed about holding Peepy. *snicker*)
I’m totally over exposed with Ellen Hopkins LOL!  I *heart* her!
She signed my copy of IDENTICAL…”A banned author to be!”
I hope I don’t let her down.  She is such a hero of mine.
Me and Cynthea Liu  
Cynthea is a major resource and support to the Children’s Book Writing community.  
I’ve learned sooo much from her.  Thank you!!!!
Jay Asher signing a copy of Thirteen Reasons Why for my babysitter Amy.
She’s the best and loves this book!!!!!
Nancy Castaldo (Best SCBWI RA evah!) and me.
Eastern NY SCBWI in the house!

Brought my own copy of HARRIS AND ME, a personal favorite, for Gary Paulsen to sign.

The wonderful Mary Pope Osbourne who DOES NOT sound like the teacher from Charlie Brown and is super sweet.

What time is it?  It’s almost time for the 40 Winks Anniversary Poolside Gala!!!!!

Everyone hanging out and getting on line for some food.

(Kim and Jodi) Got my bunny slippers!!!!
Surprisingly is was pretty cool out.

Jodi, Kim and Laura
Can you see my PJ’s?  Fiction that Rocks–The Class of 2k12

Captain Stupendous aka Mike Jung in his cape blanket with sleeves.  :o)

Jeff, rocking the dance floor in his night gown night shirt. *grin* Not my fault guys are so easy to tease.
It was at this point that I ran up to the room and dumped my sweat shirt and everything that did not fit into my name tag holder.  Take my word for it, dancing in bunny slippers just gives you really hot feet and a desire to throw your hands in the air and wave them all around!  What a great night!!
Phew, we made it through Saturday.  Now we’re almost done with the LA Conference blogs.  Are you clapping?  Seriously, that’s not nice.  *gives you the stink-eye*  I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled blather soon enough–then you’ll be sorry.  
Friday’s post will kick off (Sunday at the conference) with an Agent Panel and Gary Paulsen.

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