Posts Tagged ‘SCBWI’
It’s been awhile since I’ve been late posting my blog. But here I am, keeping it real. LOL! What is making me late today? In a nutshell, there are a mess of things on my To-Wacko-Do-List.
In not particular order…
*The hubby had a small surgery last Tuesday. He’s recovering nicely, but when he’s home I have the worst time keeping track of time.
*Switching over to fall/winter gear is time consuming. Where did I put the hats? No, you can’t wear shorts to school anymore! And of course anything that no longer fits the 8 year old goes into the “For the Cousins Pile.” STUFF EVERYWHERE!!!!
*And I know I’ve been saying this forever, but we’re still moving. It’s not the house we’d originally planned on, that deal fell through, but we’ve found a wonderful new house and *crosses fingers and toes* we should be moving in some time before I die. I swear. This whole moving thing feels like an Indiana Jones movie. There are hurdles and traps around every corner. (But no snakes please) Moving is not easy, I didn’t expect it to be, but it’s harder than I thought it would be also. I can’t wait to get to the part where I can simply settle in and be excited. In the mean time, I’m in purge mode. It’s like fall clean up on steroids. I’m trying to do a little bit every day to make the process easier. I am FIGHTING my procrastinating nature and like I said, I want to get to the fun part of this adventure asap! Anyway, more to come about the move craziness as it gets closer.
*And running–I want to be running as much as possible in this weather because it’s perfect. No further explanation needed, but I will say one thing. Crunchy leaves. <3
*And dancing–it’s recital time. Extra rehearsals. Costumes. Trying to remember my dances eek! Always so much fun.
*Prepping for NaNoWriMo and my next WIP. This is a funny little book that’s coming together in my mind. *breathes a sigh of relief because it IS finally coming together* It’s just weird because it’s doing everything differently than my other books. It doesn’t give two figs about a playlist. Really? And it clearly has it’s own agenda. I may kick-off NaNo in the middle-ish of the book. Or maybe not. But I could. I still might. THIS BOOK! And this WIP has weird demands about how it should be written stylistically. I don’t even know what it means, but I know I’m excited about it and I can’t wait to get started. In fact, if it wasn’t for NaNoWriMo kicking off, I’d be typing like mad right now. But I need a timeline for this crazy manuscript. *head thunk* Yup, I’ve never done that before either. I guess I’ll plan, the way this book demands I should, until Nov. 1st!!!
*Oh, and Halloween. Because if you have three kids, Halloween takes up a huge chunk of your existence–for weeks. LOL!
*And don’t forget all the time I spent checking out the new SCBWI website!!!!! You must go check it out and while you’re over there, don’t forget to sign up for the NY SCBWI Conference in February. It is so much fun and we can hang out!!!!
*And reading!!!! Oh, I am reading like a fool. I’m reading for information and inspiration for the WIP. I’m reading Veronica Roth’s ALLEGIANT. I’ve followed the series and I’m hearing all kinds of rumblings and unrest about the ending. So curious!!!! I want to find out what the heck is going on. (Before someone hits me with a spoiler) I’m also reading WONDERBOOK an illustrated guide on creating imaginative fiction. I’m fascinated by this book and it’s speaking directly to me about what I’m about to attempt to write. I love perfect timing. I love it so much I’m carrying it everywhere with me. Plus I’m reading a bunch of other great books in addition to having a heavy line-up of books in the wings begging for my attention. I love books. <3
Alright, you get the point, I’ve been busy and it’s with mostly good stuff so I’m not complaining, just explaining. But now it’s time to hear what you’ve been doing. What’s on your To-Wacko-Do-List? What are you reading? What are you cleaning? Are you prepping for NaNoWriMo? Fill me in…
TOUCHING THE SURFACE is out in paperback TODAY!!!!!
Where you can find it:
*Barnes & Noble
Can you believe it’s been almost a year since I became an author? And even longer since I sold my first book and got an agent. Here’s a little walk down memory lane. Humor me–I’m nostalgic today. So in no particular order because that would add a layer of organization I’m not capable of, here’s just a few of my most fabulous moments between finding my agent and birthing a paperback…
Standing outside the Simon & Schuster offices.
Apocalypsies at the LA SCBWI Conference!!!
Meeting my agent (Michelle Wolfson) and editor (Anica Rissi) for the first time. <3
The Class of 2k12!!!!!
Came home from a run to find my ARC’s had finally arrived!!! Such a squee moment!!!
Authors, Simon & Pulse friends and Writer Buds at the NY SCBWI Conference. <3
Bookmarks!!! Thanks Jeff Fielder.
Bringing my book to the Golf Bag Holder (Eastern PA Poconos Mountain Retreat with Jodi Moore.)
First book I ever signed went to Laurie Halse Anderson. Love her.
This made it feel so real.
Loved participating in the YAmazing Race with my Apocalypsies!!!
First author event, even before my book was out. LOL! With my buds from the Class of 2k12. <3
Making friends at BEA!!! Lisa and Kim.
First BEA was even sweeter because I got to spend time with my fabulous agent. <3
Blogger love <3 Finally got to meet Erica!!!!
Joining YA Outside the Lines.
It was a BEA Apocalypsie event of awesome.
Ummmm I got to hear JOHN GREEN!!!!!!!!!!!
Made amazing new blogger friends. Kim and Grace. <3
Hanging with Jay Asher at LA SCBWI–Dude, it was awesome.
Joining the Bookanistas!
Kimmiepoppins met Mary Poppins!!!! I met Julie Andrews!!!!
Signing my contract!!!!!! I AM GOING TO BE AN AUTHOR!!!
My book was at Bologna. Takes my breath away.
My Yanni dance girls wearing TOUCHING THE SURFACE T-shirts. <3
Signing books at my book launch.
Good friends drove in from far away despite all the trouble with Hurricane Sandy.
Just an amazing experience.
Unable to thank my friends and family enough for their love and support on that special day.
More book launch at Oblong Books. I LOVE that bookstore and everyone in it. <3
Dad–there–even when he couldn’t be. The dedication.
On bookshelves in bookstores.
Kimmiepoppins finally gets a book launch in NYC after Hurricane Sandy delayed it. Mean Hurricane–awesome party.
Woo hoo!!! I got to speak at the NY Public Library.
I’m a fangirl–it’s A.S. King people!!!!!
I’m a fangirl–it’s Sharon Creech people!!!!
My first SCBWI faculty gig at the Eastern NY SCBWI Conference–where I got paid to talk with my hands about things I love.
Connecting with teen readers and making hedgehogs. *grin*
Loving on my writer mama, K.L. Going. <3 Wouldn’t be here without her.
And because you made it to the end of my reminiscing…you shall be rewarded with a chance to win a signed copy of the brand spanking new TOUCHING THE SURFACE paperback!!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Just this past weekend (September 21-22) I got the chance to sail into inspiration at the Eastern NY SCBWI Regional Conference. It was a fabulous event for multiple reasons…
*This is my local conference and I love supporting my local SCBWI in anyway I can. This was the very first SCBWI conference I ever attended (back in June of 2007) and it was a life changer for me. I am here to tell you I would not be a published author if it were not for the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators)
*Because this was a local conference, I had the good fortune of have more of my Eastern NY buddies able to attend than I do at most conferences. I seriously love this group of writers and I never get to spend as much time with them as I would like. This was a treat.
*The Faculty was INCREDIBLE! And no, I’m not just saying that because this was my first time as conference faculty. LOL! Although, it was an awesome experience. I’m saying that because it was an incredible line up with speakers who have or who need to grace the SCBWI international stage. But just so you know, this is absolutely an area where I’d like to see some personal growth on my part. I have proposals developed for future SCBWI events so keep your fingers crossed that I get selected.
So, let’s get to the conference recap…
After registration and a warm welcome from the ship’s captain (RA Nancy Castaldo) We had the honor of listening to a Children’s Literature legend–Jerry Pinkney. Seriously, I could stare at his art and listen to his thoughtful stories all day.
Here are some of Jerry’s best thoughts during his Keynote Speech about ENVIRONMENT, TOOLS AND PROCESS
*His mom read him Hans Christian Anderson and it informed his work.
*His parents supported his artistry–in fact he drew on his bedroom walls and when they became full, his dad would repaint them white.
*He uses poetry to interpret our history and to help bring to light the roll people of color played in our past.
*Jerry Pinkney is dyslexic and to compensate, he is very organized with his art. *fist pump* A big HUG going out to another awesome dyslexic!!!! Yes, you know I hugged him–I do that.
Session #1–An Editor and An Agent Discuss Acquisition (Jennifer Laughran-Agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency and Elise Howard-Editor and Publisher of Algonquin Young Readers)
Here are some of the best take aways from this session…
*When you write a good query/pitch, it will get used in the publishing process.
*In most cases, titles change.
*When submitting a PB manuscript, use illustrator notes sparingly (to explain a visual joke that can not be understood through the text)
*It’s okay to break the querying rules if and only if your manuscript is so fantastic I’m obsessed with it. If it’s that good I’ll read it scribbled on a cocktail napkin. (But yours is not that good.) LOL! Jennifer Laughran
Session #2–PUBLISHING NUTS AND BOLTS with Harold Underdown
I’m a huge fan of Harold to start with. I’ve seen him speak before and he’s written The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Children’s Book Publishing. He’s a fabulous source of information on a broad swath of children’s literature topics and you can’t get better than picking his brain. Here are some great take-aways from his Saturday session…
*Platform: in children’s writing it is not a necessity to come with one–it will develop over time.
*Picture Book writers are going to have a hard time finding an agent. Kids commercial fiction needs an agent.
*Kids have different developmental needs and have diverse tastes. This is a wonderful thing but it makes writing for them challenging.
*Picture Books are not just ONE thing.
*Study what’s on the shelves now, not what is on your shelves–Books are always evolving.
*Study the books on award lists.
*On formatting a manuscript–ALWYAS FOLLOW THE RULES.
Lunch was YUMMY! I have no pictures, I was too busy inhaling it. There was soup and salad with chicken or beef. The rolls were warm and toasty and the cookies were scrumptious. In fact, they were so good, I wasn’t even focused on the DEBUT AUTHOR PANEL right after lunch!!!!!
Ummmm I have no notes for you LOL! I was doing double duty being moderator and panelist along with Lizzie Foley (REMARKABLE) and Lisa Amowitz (BREAKING GLASS) But I do have pictures (Thank you to everyone who shared them with me!!!!!)
Yeah, I talk with my hands a lot. *giggle*
Next up was an Agent Panel–REPRESENTING OUT WORK with Amy Boggs (Donald Mass), Melissa Turk (Melissa Turk & the Artist Network) and Jennifer Laughran (Andrea Brown)
All three agents gave a ton of insight into how they operate, what they’re looking for and the general ins and outs of working with an agent. Here are some of the highlights…
*Your query should leave out the “it’s a fast paced …” part of the cover flap. (AB)
*Don’t hand any paper (synopsis) to an agent at a conference. It will burn their hand. LOL! Follow submission guidelines and reference the conference. (JL)
*On contracts: Every little word id there because it happened to somebody. (AB)
*Good questions to ask an agent in an interview: What books do you like that you don’t represent? What books do you dislike? (JL)
*PB Writers or Author/Illustrators should query one MS but have 3 or 4 fleshed out MS’s in the wings.
Next there was a book signing!!!!!! I LOVE getting a chance to share TOUCHING THE SURFACE with new people and talking about their projects and aspirations. I made so many new friends this weekend.
Autographing was followed by dinner and then…
A DESSERT CAFE WITH ELIZABETH BIRD (Youth Materials Specialist for the New York Public Library)
Let me just tell you, I was blown away by Betsy’s Keynote and the dessert selection was the bonus!!! YUM!!! But I would have adored her talk even without a HUGE side of chocolate yumminess. But since it was there…BONUS!!!! I apologize because I didn’t take a lot of notes or tweet–I was simply a captive listener. But if you’d like a taste of what Betsy has to offer, I highly encourage you to check out her blog–Fuse #8. It’s amazing!
Kim Sabatini, Betsy Bird, Harold Underdown, Lois Miner-Huey and Nancy Castaldo
On a side note–Betsy incorporated Lois’ fabulous book Ick! Yuck! Eew!: Our Gross American History into her presentation and raved about it, not remembering that Lois would be in the audience. How cool is that??? All my teacher buds, be sure to check this one out because it’s got librarians cheering.
After such a fabulous day, I went home completely pumped, totally exhausted and full of too much chocolate. But I needed to get over it quickly because I still had the SUNDAY INTENSIVES!!!!!
There were three choices for the Sunday event…
*Harold Underdown: MANAGING YOUR CAREER IN A CHANGING MARKET
*Kendra Levin (Editor, Viking) MEET YOUR CHARACTERS: HOW MOTIVATION DRIVES STORY
*Semadar Megged (Art Director, Philomel) PORTFOLIO EXAMINATION AND DISCUSSION
They all sound great, don’t they? I picked the session with Harold. It was a small intimate group and I learned a metric ton of stuff. I didn’t tweet or take pics because I was interactively engaged and that is a great thing. After two hours of intensive we finished off the conference with an amazing presentation from Steve Sheinkin, author of BOMB. Steve is a former text book writer with a passion for history and a drive to turn our past into really honest and interesting stories so that kids can remember and enjoy them. I was also very impressed with the idea that most of out history lives in gray area. The text book writers and those who influence them have created a world of black and white. Steve pointed out that no one wants to hear there is good and bad in everyone, particularly their heroes.But maybe that narrow way of thinking is in the past–because with the accolades that Steve is getting for his writing and research, I think history books are changing for the better.
Let’s face it, no matter how long an SCBWI conference is, it ends too soon. So, before I go, some candids proving how much everyone was enjoying it…
Kim and Linda–your neighborhood Shop Talk Coordinators!!
Jeannie and I met because she almost knows my brother LOL!
Some of our Shop Talkers doing a pile on. <3
I love being a mentor for talented young writers. Kim and Danielle. ((((hugs))))
Kim and Linda hugging on our awesome RA!!!! Thanks for everything, Nancy. <3
And that’s a wrap. Any questions about the conference? Want to know more about our Hudson Valley Shop Talk? We want YOU!!!! Anyone take notes for the debut author panel. I’d love it if you threw a highlight or two from the presentation in the comments. What conference are you planning on doing next? Want more info on the SCBWI??? Just let me know what you need to know. And plan on coming to #EastNYSCBWI next time. <3
Thought I’d share some of the writerly gadgets, gizmos and must haves. In no particular order…
The rolling cart I use for school visits and presentations. I have lots of props and this lets me move them around so much easier than hauling heavy bags on both shoulders..
This is a two for one. I absolutely could not function without my Macbook Pro. It travels with me all over the house and everywhere else I write. (With three boys that could be just about anywhere.) I also love the decals I found on Etsy to personalize the back of the screen. (I sometimes joke that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.) LOL! The tree and leaves sit underneath a clear Invisishield skin and I still can believe I installed myself. *fist pump*
Of course if you love your laptop as much as I do, you want the perfect bag to tote it around it. This Osprey is the best laptop bag I’ve ever had. LOVE it!
My whiteboard calendar is a must. I only use it for my writing related stuff, but that’s okay, the family calendar is in the kitchen. (I actually have two so I can see the upcoming month also.)
My writing magazines inspire me daily and I learn sooooooo much from reading them. It’s like an at-home, mini-conference in my kitchen.
And of course the SCBWI!!! It could be the Bulletin, a Shop Talk meeting, writer friends online or a conference. It doesn’t matter–it’s all good.
Okay–time to share your writerly gadgets, gizmos and must-haves.
Today I’m cross-posting over at YA Outside the Lines and talking about The Truth About Sleep Away Camp. There may be 80′s permed hair for your amusement!
Just a reminder, you still have time to enter my write a review contest!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I also have some up and coming events…
*I’ll be at Oblong Books and Musics HVYAS Birthday Party!! More info HERE!
*Children’s Writer or Illustrator and located in the Hudson Valley? Join us for our local SCBWI Shop Talk Meeting in August. For more information, feel free to contact me directly.
*I’ll also be faculty at my very first conference, which is also the very same conference I first attended as a newbie. Yea, pretty WOW! Registration is still open for the SCBWI Eastern NY Conference on September 21-22nd. Lots of amazing speakers and opportunities.
*September 28th I’ll be part of a fantastic line-up at the Warwick Children’s Book Festival. Details Here
*October 17th I’m thrilled to be a part of the Ulster BOCES FALL INTO BOOKS CHILDREN’S & TEEN LITERATURE CONFERENCE in Kingston NY. I adore hanging out with librarians!!!
And good news…finding me is not nearly as hard as finding a little unidog. So, come hang out and we’ll squee and hug and talk about books and maybe eat some chocolate. I usually have some stored in a bag or pocket somewhere.
This morning I’m headed to the NESCBWI Conference!!! (It’s Daddy Party Weekend!!!) This is my first time attending a New England event, but I always here people raving about them. So excited to finally go. *fist pump* I’m very excited to meet up with some old friends and to make some new ones, too. I’m also thrilled with the amazing classes I’m taking. Lots to learn. Here’s what’s on the agenda. The 2013 NESCBWI Conference Word-by-Word: The Art of Craft. Can you guess where I’ll be? Come on, you know me pretty well by now.
No need to miss me while I’m gone. *grin* I’ll be tweeting live from the hashtag #nescbwi13 Feel free to join the virtual conversation. It will be just like I packed you in my suitcase and smuggled you in, but without appendages falling asleep and me getting in trouble LOL!
Of course when I get back I’ll have pictures and an overview of the conference for you. ((((hugs))))
Have a great weekend!!!!
Sunday morning was rough and involved coffee and help from strangers. Oh, the life of an overly talkative, sleep derived conference goer…
After checking out, scavenging a breakfast sandwich, stowing luggage and coat and hauling around my books like a pack mule, there were lots and lots of well deserved Sunday morning awards. The illustrators were honored for their gorgeous work and the Tomie dePaolo award given out by Tomie!!!! It’s been a few years since he’s been at the conference and everyone was so excited to see him and hear him talk.
There was also the Emerging Voices Awards given out by Jane Yolen. These awards celebrate the mid-list authors who are the work horses of publishing. (Unlike the dancing Arabians.)
Then, with coffee finally charging through my system, it was on to KEYNOTE #1: Tell Me a Story by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Margaret is a wonderfully animated speaker, which was very exciting, but also resulted in some bloopers for your entertainment…
Luckily, we aren’t defined by our bloopers. LOL! Here’s all the good stuff…
*You don’t get to be a historic artifact or an author without a certain amount of persistence.
*Books are alive and relevant for kids in the digital age.
*Don’t you think they thought it was a dooms-day scenario when we shifted from storytelling to the written word? Or from hand-written books to the use of the print press? We’ll sort out the digital stuff.
*I have absolute faith that what we do is essential to kids and society.
*There is a high correlation between childhood reading and vocabulary.
*More children reading wouldn’t fix EVERY problem in society, but it would certainly help a lot.
KEYNOTE #2: IT TAKES TWO: The Pleasure and Pitfalls of Writing a Series by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton
I sat there in awe as I listened to Julie Andrewsand her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. Sure, part of it was because Julie Andrews is an icon. But that wasn’t the only reason, they were both lovely, hard working, funny, sweet and knowledgable. I was blown away by their dedication to children’s literature. Here’s some of what they had to say, but I have to be honest and let you know that some of their best stuff was in subtle gestures and humor–their interactions with each other. It was in the things that weren’t quotable. You could see it–fell it.
*The more we serve young readers, the more they will flourish & the better the world will be for everyone.
*We are so lucky to do what we do and love what we do, which is the secret to life, really.
*When writing, never underestimate the value of the bathroom break. (Or a spritz of perfume LOL!)
*The more you know your characters, the better your characters will react to the situation.
*Which of us here doesn’t remember the book that made the difference …that showed us we weren’t alone?
*Books were my anchor. My escape. My safe haven… They became the most trustworthy of friends.
*It’s hard to write books and it’s an enormous responsibility to write for children.
*Nobody’s perfect except for Mary Poppins … and she’s only practically perfect. *grin*
Check out more books in the Julie Andrews Collection
And when I met Julie and Emma, I got to tell them about my nickname (Kimmiepoppins) and the picture of me attending my book launch event.
It was a long story, told quickly, but I was at least able to share the truth by saying…you made a difference in my life. I got to say thank you. And then my arms and legs turned to jelly and I had the shakes for twenty minutes LOL! It sounds so stupid. I know that Julie Andrews puts her pants on one leg at a time, just like everyone else, but I have a soft spot for the people who change the world in a way that involves some of my favorite things–musicals, books and children.
But I would also be remiss if I didn’t tell you how utterly and completely Emma won me over. She’s a gem in the writing community and we are so lucky to have her. On Sunday I became a huge fan.
I personally wouldn’t want to follow Julie Andrews and be the final speaker of the day, but I know one guy who can pull it off…
FINAL KEYNOTE: Writing in 3 Easy Steps, 3 Somewhat Less Easy Steps, 2 Pretty Difficult Steps, and 1 Impossible Step by Mo Willems (<—–Mo’s 9 steps are posted here)
Here are some other Mo-isms that i loved…
*Everyone was so inspirational–as the closer I feel obligated to be OUT-SPIRATIONAL!
*The glass is 1/2 full of poison.
*When I write a manuscript, if it makes sense I’ve done it wrong. (On leaving room for the illustrative part of the story)
*It’s my job to write incomprehensible books for illiterates. ROTFL!
*Craftsman vs Artist–An artist makes it beautiful, a craftsman is trying to understand the audience. Ex-A coffee mug can be gorgeous, but it also has to be able to hold coffee.
*Write about what you are passionate about.
*ALWAYS THINK ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE, NOT FOR YOUR AUDIENCE. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.
*Get better dreams. If you are making your dreams come true–you’re not shooting high enough. You’re setting the bar too low and that’s as far as you’ll go. You might not reach all of your dreams but you’ll go higher than you might have expected.
*You need to be invisible. How? Read THE BEST and find their mistakes. Every book has holes–there’s your space–your entry.
*The hook isn’t the story.
*Be a philosopher. Write what you don’t know. It’s only interesting to you if you’re trying to figure it out.
*Ideas are not to be trapped, they are gardens you plant everyday. You have to be patient.
*Write a lot and whatever’s not funny (or good) take it away and see what’s left. If nothings left at the end–start over. That’s what it means to be a professional.
*You are going to have to do public speaking–get used to it. Take a class.
*Your job is to be some child’s best friend.
Then it was time for the autograph party. Boo! No pics allowed of Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton. But here are a few others…
Shaun Tan and Me (plus a little bit of Arthur Levine’s arm LOL!)
Hanging out with Meg Rosoff. She is so fabulous!
Shaun Tan signing a copy of The Arrival for my local elementary school. Go Frogs!
And then I ran–dragging bags of books and luggage behind me–another conference over. But not really, it’s inspiration is only beginning to take root and grow…
What is the biggest thing you’ve heard from someone in the children’s literature world that has stuck with you and blossomed over time?
Welcome to Kim’s wild and wacky conference recap. I’m so sorry, but this was the first year since 2008 that I didn’t get to attend the Friday Intensives. I was going to do the novel writing session this year, but due to a busy schedule, all the slots were filled when I registered. You SCBWIers are busy little monkeys. If you’d still like to find out about how it went, I recommend checking out the SCBWI blog.
I did make the most of my fabulous free Friday though. It was the 100th Anniversary of Grand Central Station. What a treat for me to “accidentally” be there.
I have a soft spot for the clock. This is where I told my husband that I was pregnant with my first child. *heart squish*
I also went into Posman’s Book store in Grand Central Station and took a picture of my book on the shelf 100 years after the doors to this beautiful transportation hub opened.
And it’s even more exciting because look at the company I’m keeping on the shelf. I’m such a fan-girl!
Then, I had lunch with my wonderful agent, Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary. I know you hear me say this all the time, but I love her!!!!! I also hit another NYC bookstore and signed stock.
In an interesting twist, I was able to hang out with my husband and meet some of his colleagues. His building has a great view of Grand Central, the Hyatt (where the Conference is held) and the Chrysler Building.
By evening, everyone who was coming on Friday, had either rolled into the hotel or out of the Intensives in order to hang out. Lots of folks hit Kid Lit Night at the Wheel Tapper. And as is typical, the hotel lobby was overflowing with the buzz of chatting writers and artists. A lovely sound.
On to Saturday morning and the official kick-off of the conference…
Seriously, it wouldn’t be a conference without Lin Oliver giving us the conference stats:
*There were 999 of us in attendance, but Lin rounded up in order to make it easy.
*There were representatives from 17 countries outside the United States.
*FIVE states were no-shows and are now on Lin’s list. (Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana, Mississippi and Hawaii) It was determined that the first three were probably frozen solid and couldn’t make it and Hawaii would have crumbled in this freezing NY weather. But Mississippi–we’ve got our eyes on you!
*There were 796 women, 138 Men and 65 people who shouldn’t use their names as the MC of a novel because no one will know what bathroom you should get to use.
*287 in attendance were published! Woot!!!!
Now let the Keynotes and Break-out sessions begin…
KEYNOTE: So When Are You Going to Write a Real Book, You Know, For Adults? by MEG ROSOFF
I’m just going to come right out and say it. Meg may have put the screws to some celebrity authors. ROTFL! She was hilarious. Now I’m aware that not all celebrity authors, are celebrity authors. For example–the amazing Julie Andrews (whom you’ll hear more about later) is an author who just happens to be a celebrity. And I feel that way about Jamie Lee Curtis too. But…
This one is harder to argue with LOL! I can’t claim to have personally read it, so I’ll leave the ultimate decision on this up to you. While you’re mulling it over, here are some of Meg’s best bits (besides her small reading from Fifty Shades.)
*When I was a teenager, I was the right age to have my life changed by books.
*Most of the best books I’ve ever read, I read before I was twenty.
*The best children’s books are about the the same topics as the best adult books.
*Books that are very good are worth reading, no matter who they’re written for or why they were written.
*Picture Books are #18 on the Goodreads list because how hard is it to write picture books? All you have to do is draw a duck. *insert sarcasm here*
Next up was a KEYNOTE PANEL DISCUSSION: Booksellers Panel: What’s Selling?
Moderator–Lin Oliver (LO)
Mary Brown (MB)–Owner of Books, Bytes & Beyond, a children’s specialty bookstore
Robert Brown (RB)–National Sales and Program Manager at Scholastic Book Fairs
Jon Fine (JF)–Director of author & publisher relations at Amazon
Here are the best take-aways…
(MB) 70% of her market is schools and libraries. Non-fiction is increasingly important due to the core curriculum. *FYI you can download a free app with the core curriculum for our iPad and other devices.
(RB) It’s about getting books into children’s hands.
(JF) There is no finer group of authors than the SCBWI!!!!
(JF) The core concept is to tell a great story. If you do that, your words will be heard.
(JF) The benefit of today’s technology is that anyone can tell their story. (Access) But the down side it that anyone can tell their story LOL!
BREAK-OUT SESSION #1: What Hooks Me: Editors and Art Directors Tell All with Molly O’Neill (Editor, Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins)
Some of my favorite thoughts from Molly…
*Having a marketing background never leaves you. (Making her an editor with a double filter.)
*Pay attention to the balance between the specific and the universal.
*Kids are the primary audience.
*An editor is an advocate for the reader.
*When you boil it down, books are about what it means to be a human being.
*There needs to be things that ring so true in your writing that readers want to ingest it–tattoo it on themselves!
*When the reader is done with the book, are they unwilling to let go of it?
*Write what you know emotionally.
*Decide as an author, what part of your book or writing is non-negotiable and stick to it.
Also…Molly has made me crazy to read WILD AWAKE by Hilary T. Smith. It looks fabulous and I’ve always loved Intern Spills.
After lunch (in which I ate a giant healthy salad followed by a large, chocolate cupcake from Magnolia Bakery. *yum*)
it was time for…BREAK-OUT SESSION#2: What Hooks Me: Editors and Art Directors Tell All with Rosemary Brosnan (editorial director of HarperCollins Children’s Books)
Gahhhh *pulls out hair* I was so entranced listening to Rosemary, I forgot to take a picture. So sorry.
*I love starred books and great reviews, but readers still have to buy the book. (Can I get an amen?)
*I LOVED the story about how my fellow Apocalypsie sistah, Anne Nesbet, author of CABINET OF EARTHS, met with Rosemary while she was sick in bed at a conference. It goes to show you, you never know what’s going to happen in publishing LOL!
And SQUEE!!!! Rosemary also highlighted the books of a personal friend and member of my local SCBWI Shop Talk, Jennifer Castle!!!!
I loved The Beginning of After!!!!
And I’m dying to read You Look Different In Real Life–Available June 4, 2013.
THE LAST KEYNOTE SPEAKER OF THE DAY: Internal Migrations by Shaun Tan
I have to start off by telling you, that it never ceases to amaze me, how much I’m affected by the illustrator or illustrator/author presentation at the SCBWI. They are so amazing. I’m very glad our diversity is our unity.
I WANT!!! Not only the book (it wasn’t available at the bookstore) but I want ERIC to come and stay at my house. This is one of my favorite book characters now!
I did get THE ARRIVAL signed!!!! Amazing and I played it cool, but Arthur Levine helped me get my books ready to sign when a conference helper had to step away. Between Tan and Levine, I was a tongue-tied fan-girl, muttering gibberish. *sigh* I may have said something about awesome and great and fabulous, but I can’t be sure.
And just so you know, Shaun’s words and thoughts are as beautiful and magical as his artwork…
*Never listen to what an artist says–the truth is in the work.
*The dark side of familiarity is complacency.
*Migration can be internal.
*The truths I’m most interested in are the ones that can be spoken of directly.
*I imagine my stories as really happening.
*I’m very suspicious of artists that have neat and tidy studios–I admire them–but I’m suspicious.
*Comprehension is over rated–what’s more important is a feeling of imaginative empathy.
AND MY FAVORITE…
*The thing that matters most in art, is that thing you can’t explain.
Ummm I may have been too busy lounging across the MASHED POTATO BAR at the Cocktail Gala Meet and Greet to take pictures, but you can’t blame me, it had a toppings bar. Just know that Day #1 was so inspiring, I stayed up way too late in order to discuss it with anyone who had feet. (Yeah, my criteria for bookish conversational comrades is very high LOL!) And in fact, my roommie believes that I fell asleep mid-sentence that night. A new milestone. *grin*
I’ll be back with Sunday (Day #2) on Friday’s blog post. But in the mean time, talk to me, I’m still awake–sort of. What’s inspiring you, my arm chair conference buddy? Anything that resonates? New authors/illustrators to check out? Any editors just added to your Must Have list? Are you saving your pennies for the next SCBWI Conference?
PS–Chris Crutcher, you were missed in the lobby. Everyone was wishing you were there for another fabulous night of conversation. (((hugs)))
My brain is spinning and I am exhausted, but it was another amazing NY SCBWI Conference. Notes are coming, but in the meantime you should know that a great SCBWI Conference is like a spoon full of sugar to help the medicine go down. (The best medicine against rejection, writer’s block, and marketing fatigue.) I’m serious, just ask the amazing Julie Andrews. I’ll tell you all about her Wednesday.
What’s your favorite Julie Andrews moment?
Okey dokey–let’s catch up.
Sorry there was no post on Friday. The server for my web host was down Thursday into Friday. But I’m back now and I’ll try to get you updated on everything. Soup to nuts.
First off, it’s *gasp* THIRTY FIVE days until TOUCHING THE SURFACE hits the shelves. Back in February 2011 the birth of TOUCHING THE SURFACE seemed like it was light years away. And now that it’s almost here…
…it seems as if I’m going to run out of time long before I run out of things to do to get ready for this amazing new chapter of my life.
Since I know I will never be “ready” the least I can do is invite you to share in the chaos with me.
On October 30th, TOUCHING THE SURFACE’s official book birthday, I’m going to have a launch day challenge. Tweet, Facebook or email me a picture of TOUCHING THE SURFACE out in the wild and you’ll get a chance to win this…
Which is really this…
A silver origami crane necklace. I have one of my own and I’ve given one to my agent Michelle Wolfson and my editor Anica Rissi. I’ve been holding on to this one for the big day.
Of course I’ll be reminding you about the contest again right before the launch.
My very first author event will be taking place in ELEVEN DAYS! I’ll be doing a reading of TOUCHING THE SURFACE at COTA (Celebration of the Arts) in Hasbrouck Park–New Paltz, NY.
The event takes place from 11am-5pm but I’ll be reading at 1:30pm. Afterwards I’ll have swag to sign for anyone who is interested. And OMG! I’m reading right before one of my larger than life writing mentors, KL Going. I don’t know how I’m going to keep from bursting into a million pieces from a combination of pride and nerves.
I also have several wonderful book launch events planned and I’m hoping that if you’re nearby, you’ll be able to attend one.
*The first event is a NYC Cocktail party on Thursday, November 1st at 7:00pm, thrown by my very wonderful husband–yes, I am the luckiest girl in the world. The information is HERE. Feel free to add yourself to the evite or if you’re having trouble, just contact me with your name and email and I’ll add you to the group.
*The second event is going to be held on Saturday, November 3rd at 2:00pm at the Poughkeepsie, NY Barnes & Noble. You can find out more about this event HERE. The Poughkeepsie Barnes & Noble is a fabulous bookstore and I am so excited to be launching my book there. This B&N is the site of my local SCBWI Shop Talk, the place where I began learning how to be a writer. It has so many wonderful writerly memories for me. It is also the closest bookstore to my home, so you know I’ve spent a lot of quality time there. This is my community bookstore and I can’t believe I’m going to get to share this day, surrounded by people who have known and loved me since I was just a little kid. Signing my books here will be a mind blowing experience.
*The third event is going to be held on Sunday, November 4th at 4:00pm at Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, NY.
This is one of two very special indie bookstores in my area and I can’t freaking believe that I’m going to be the author at a Hudson Valley YA Society event!!! I love going to these events to eat cookies and drool on my favorite authors. I can’t tell you how many times my husband and my boys and I have attended these events and then talked the whole ride home in the car about how someday they might ask me to do a book signing. Surreal.
Oblong books is asking for an RSVP to the event and if you can make it, you can respond on Facebook or RSVP at Oblong.
If you can’t make any of the formal book launch events–I’m completely bummed–but Oblong is taking orders for SIGNED COPIES OF TOUCHING THE SURFACE. I’ll be signing them that very afternoon, so there is a really good chance that the book will have residual festiveness tucked between the pages. How awesome is that?
Oh, and before I forget–I’ll be activating my newsletter function really soon, so don’t forget to sign up at the bottom of any page of this website.
Wow! I think I finally have all the up dated info properly laid out for you, so Wednesday we can get back to chatting about regular stuff LOL! But before you leave, my friend Linda Hanlon has recently been clarifying her bucket list. And this post absolutely is going to give me a few things to check off on my own list. So, I’m wondering what’s on your bucket list? Since not everything in life revolves around books (really?) I’ll also tell you another one of the things on my bucket list…I’d love to learn to play the piano. My list is L-O-N-G so I’ll add in more in the comments. Feel free to leave more than one.