Wednesday, April 12, 2017

SCBWI WWA Spring 2017 Conference

I had the pleasure of going to the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) Western Washington Conference this past weekend. It is always a treat and I want to share the exciting times. I took a few pictures, my iPad seems to take blurry shots, but I'll put up the best ones.

The theme this year was "Let your storytelling BLOOM & accomplish the extraordinary."  Saturday kicked off with my favorite part, the Editor and Agent Panel. We had several well-known people including, Jessica Anderson from Christy Ottaviano, Melissa Manlove from Chronicle and Danielle Smith from Lupine Grove Creative. I took copious notes, so look for the upcoming editor and agent profiles in upcoming Inside the Publishing World Wednesday's.

We then had a great keynote from author/illustrator David Small. It was an interview type presentation where David told us all about his career and the development of his graphic memoir, Stitches.

My first workshop was with Writers House agent, Rebecca Sherman. She gave us the down low on everything you wanted to know about an agent but were afraid to ask. The number one secret of this not so secret agent- "I love books. I will always love books."

Next, we broke for lunch and a local success panel. We also had a keynote from Laurie Ann Thompson the winner of the Crystal Kite Award.

It was a busy day, right after lunch was breakout session number 2, and I headed out to hear Danielle Smith from Lupine Grove Creative talk about the founding of her new company.

Deborah Warren was my choice for breakout 3, and we received a look at the inner workings of East West Literary. But no, the day was far from over, first, there were two more keynotes before the book signing and the wine and cheese reception.

Artist and writer, Kazu Kibuishi spoke first, giving us a glimpse at his road to success, including highlights from his Amulet graphic novel series. Patricia Hruby Powell spoke last, talking about her dancing and writing career. Her book, Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker led to her breaking out into the Charleston! She is definitely a
woman with skills!

 Sunday for me included two, three-hour intensives. My first one was with Alison Weiss, an editor at Sky Pony Press. We did a hands-on workshop that involved getting your story off on the best foot. And I have to give a big shout out to my team, Edge, we won the contest for who knew the most first lines from novels. I got an ARC as a prize!

My final event was a workshop with agent Danielle Smith. The fun activity in this class was reading another person's first 10 pages and then coming up with a blurb that captured the book.

What a fun weekend! I definitely felt the BLOOM!

(pictures- top- Rebecca Sherman, mid right- Kazu
mid left- Patricia, and bottom- Danielle.)

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