Tuesday, May 17, 2011

SCBWI - Spring 2011 Writer's Conference

Saturday I spent the day at the SCBWI writer's conference.

It was an inspirational day. I had a great time and saw some old friends and made some new ones too.

It all began with Diane Muldrow from Little Golden Books giving one of the keynote speeches. She talked about her imprint and how she works and what she acquires but the thing I enjoyed the most was the blast from the past that she shared with all of us. It was a smorgasbord of stories she shared with us. One cover after another flashed up on the screen. These were some of the great stories LGB has published during the last 70 years. It brought my childhood swimming back before me in a whoosh of digital cinematography. Those stories colored my life like a kaleidoscope when I was growing up. I loved Little Golden Books then, and I still do.

We took a short break and then it was time for another wonderful key note address by another leader in the publishing industry. We sat down to hear the words of wisdom that Bonnie Bader's talk would impart to us on Writing for the Masses.

This was another educational keynote speech. Bonnie talked about her imprint, the process of acquiring manuscripts and what it takes to get a manuscript picked up by her company. But, that wasn't all. She not only talked to the writers in the room, she also talked to the artists. She said that copy artists (which I think of as a 'sort of' form of fan art) are always in demand. I thought that was very encouraging since I have two artist sons.

Then I went to a workshop put on by Sandy Asher. It was "a different way at looking at revision of scenes, chapters, and entire stories..."

Since I'm currently working on revising a MG manuscript, I thought I could use the help from a pro. She talked about the emotional aspects of a story and did a few exercises with us to help get the point across. I came away with some new insights.

Then it was time for lunch.

Right after lunch it was time for another workshop. I chose to go to Pamela Smith Hill's presentation on Plot, Setting and Character.

I really loved Pamela's presentation and the examples she used. She even gave me another blast from my past by pulling out some examples from classic writers. She read a couple passages that reminded me of times I read those stories to my kids. I'd forgotten how wonderful the classics can be.

Then it was time for a break, a brownie and a cup of coffee for me.

After my snack, it was time for Martha Mihalick to talk about what goes on behind the scenes of publishing. I'm always curious about this "business" of writing. And, it was fun to hear a perspective from one of the people who sees the "man behind the curtain". She had a bubbling personality and lots of energy, which kicked the atmosphere into high gear--even at the end of the day, which is nothing short of amazing.

Then it was time for a faculty panel question and answer session followed by door prizes and book sales.

I left feeling inspired but exhausted. It was great fun but with so much energy floating around the room and so much information swimming around inside my head...I was ready to curl up on the couch with a good book. So I did. That's when I read Elsewhere.

Hope you all had a fun-filled weekend, learned a little something, and were inspired by someone along the way :)


Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Sounds like a great conference! I went to a local writer's conference with my mom last winter and found it interesting.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Lucky you to have a good conference to attend!