SCBWI Conference Notes

This past weekend I attended what I think is my fourth SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) regional conference here in Seattle. My first one, four years ago was a one-day affair and a very different experience as a newbie writer. They’ve also expanded from a one-day affair to two days. There are pros and cons to both of their scenarios, not the least of which is if you’re going to hold a two-day conference, PLEASE DON’T SERVE THE SAME LUNCH TWO DAYS IN A ROW!Someday I’ll attend one of the national conference (in either LA or NYC) but I’ve always learned a lot at our regional affairs, every time. One important lesson: Manners count! I was amazed at the pushy nature of some attendees when approaching presenters. That’s not the way it works, people.

For me, this year was much more successful because I was selective and focused. It helped this year that the organizers apparently really listened to evaluation comments from 2009 when all the presenters seemed to talk about was their life story.

It was great to hear some pretty substantial presentations, including Harper Collins editor Jordan Brown on the intersection of high-concept and literary fiction, author Suzanne Selfors on developing and nurturing the author-agent relationship, authors Mitali Perkins on who and how can you write about race, author Sundee Frazier on writing believable boys and Dystal & Goderich agent Michael Bourett on how much or how little do you need to dip into social networking and why.

In the spirit of my resolution to post more regularly, summaries of each of this sessions will be forthcoming…..

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