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Thursday, August 19, 2010

SCBWI Annual LA Part II

Yes, I've been slacking off.  Well, not really.  I've been filled alternately with angst and rapture while I continue the revising process. I redid the first 3 chapters.  Overall, I think they're getting pretty well polished now.  My new critique partner has them now...we'll see what she thinks before I get too carried away.
Anyway, back to LA!

Having been exhausted from the party and jet lag and the general disrupted sleep of motherhood, I slept in and skipped out on most of the panel discussion on "Why narrative nonfiction is hotter than ever".   I didn't feel cheated since researching for nonfiction isn't my thing.

Next was the keynote by Carolyn Mackler, which was totally awesome.

I went to another breakout by Rachel Vail because she was so great at the first one.

Lunch was the Golden Kite Award Reception.  It was amazing...think the Oscars without the glam dress code and self importance. Only this was for MY people.  It was so inspiring.  Tears were shed, not just by the people on stage.  So who won?  Yeah, remember up there when I said researching for nonfiction isn't my thing?  I could look it up for you, but I hear the little guy stirring on the baby monitor so blogging time is at a premium here.

Breakout by Deborah Halverson on how you know your manuscript is ready to submit.  Very informative.  Loved it.

Keynote by Gennifer Choldenko.  She's the author of
Al Capone Does my Shirts.
Keynote by Rubin Pfeffer about the future of children's publishing.  Wow.  It was heavy but it was awesome.  Leads me to a question for all of you reading this.  Rubin told us not to worry about books because they will always be around, but I'm not so sure.  Don't get me wrong, I don't want print books going the way of the Dodo, but I'm not a child in the digital age.  I haven't had the experience of being a 2 year old with a computer mouse in my hand.  When I did a book discussion a couple months back for a group of 5th and 6th graders, I asked them if they would mind if print books went away.  One girl was adamant that she'll always prefer a print book but the other kids weren't so sure.  One boy said he'd prefer e-readers and couldn't care less if print books were gone.  Interesting.  The other kids were too tweeny to want to speak up with an opinion of their own, so that was that. 

After that, we were left to our own devices for the rest of the night.  Jody and I grabbed some dinner at the mall across the street.  Then, we decided to finally do a little sightseeing before we came home.  We heard Rodeo Dr. was not far away so: Viola!

Isn't this lovely?  Reminded me of Europe.  The building with the columns is Versace.
It was so much fun strolling Rodeo Dr. that we considered ditching something the next day to do one of those bus tours.  However, when we got back to the hotel, we discovered the the first keynote of the day was addressing middle grade, which is what Jody is doing, so our brief dream of skipping out was brought back to reality.  Next year, Jody, next year.

DAY 4 - Last day
First keynote was Rachel Vail...3rd time I'd heard her speak at the conference and she was amazing every time.

Second keynote by Paul Fleishman

Editors panel...very insightful!

Gail Carson Levine workshop.  You know, she's an awesome lady but not the best presenter.  I went to see her though because I love her work and wasn't feeling compelled by the other workshops.

Final breakout I attended was by Coleen Paratore and it was so awesome.  I arrived a good 15 minutes early and no one was there, except Coleen.  So I took the opportunity to chat with her, she's super nice!  I asked if I could help her set up anything and she allowed me to be her DJ.  She wanted the song, Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield to play continuously while people strolled in so I got to be in charge of that.

Finally, everything came to a close with Ashley Bryan.  Wow.  Have you heard of him?  I hadn't.  He's an 87 year old African American poet.  He made us recite poetry with him and you haven't heard poetry until you've heard Ashley perform it.  Check him out on Youtube.   And that isn't even a fraction of the passion he put into it at SCBWI.  It was a life-changing event just to see him.

Finally, Stephen Mooser and Lin Oliver sent us off to our homes around the globe and the conference was complete.  I started the long trek home but let me tell you, there is a large portion of my brain that is still in LA, still processing everything I learned.  If there's a way I can get back there again next summer, you bet I'm going.  Next summer and every summer for the rest of my life, as far as I'm concerned.

1 comment:

  1. Books will never go away. How we read them might change, but the actual writing will be around forever. We will never stop telling stories or sharing information. Think about it, would you still write your story if it was going to end up on a Nook, Kindle or iPad in the hands of a 14 year-old instead of as a paperback? Of course you would. And you'll still need an agent, editor and publisher.

    Energy is never lost it just changes form. Books will never die, they may just (eventually) change form to keep up with the times.