Wow! That was a great weekend of amazing speakers. Every year of going to the SCBWI conference gets better.Just wrap your head around the idea that it's more about networking than pitching your goods to an agent or editor. Meeting other writers is great fun and reassuring. I met real beginners and had an opportunity to encourage them to keep going, I met published authors and got to ask them questions about their career path and how they get/got things accomplished. Always an interesting answer.
It's always humbling to hear the success stories of local author panel and what they have to say about their backgrounds; how they achieved their dreams. Motivating too. This year I was particularly pleased with the selection of agents. Nathan Bransford is not only a stellar agent, but he's humble and generous, straightforward and efficient. If I could be so lucky.... Also Steven Malk from Writer's House gave a great talk on how writers should have a career strategy. It was very welcome information.
Ellen Hopkins, Patrick Jennings, and Lisa Papademetriou were three of the authors I was lucky enough to see speak. Ellen is a ballsy woman with the guts to closely examine the most difficult of subjects in teens' lives: meth addiction, incest, rape, suicide and more. Not exactly uplifting, but exactly what teens want. Honesty. Patrick Jennings gave a talk on school visits and demonstrated how he captures the attention of hundreds of elementary school kids at a time: subversive manipulation. Of course! Much the same techniques of another one of my favorite authors, Jon Scieszka (keynote speaker). Lisa Papademetriou was really a hoot. She's an unrepentent fantasy geek and spoke on world building. Very entertaining.
There are always a few fun games to play during the weekend and this time I participated in the haiku contest and got an honorable mention with a haiku about Michael Stearns (agent at Firebrand!!) after seeing his talk about plotting on Saturday:
Thirteen points of plot
for Michael Stearns to cover
good thing he talks fast
And that's all for now!