Sunday, September 26, 2010

My First SCBWI Conference

Soooo, I have just returned from attending my very first SCBWI Carolinas conference. Wow! I am so inspired! In fact I've never been so inspired to toil lovingly on/ at my craft. Out of respect for the presenters and conference goers who paid money to go to the conference, I won't tell the specifics of what I learned... but I feel like a pirate who has just returned to his cove with trunks and sacks full of treasure.

I learned about Plot and Pacing from a masterful author, Alan Gratz. I enjoyed the nuggets dropped by Liz Waniewski, editor at Dial, on what editors look at when new projects cross their desks. Elizabeth Dulemba spoke on breaking into the children's market...(she made an iPad app of her picture book... How Cool Is That?!?!?!) Super Agent Chris Richman from Upstart Crow Literary spoke on whether or not you *need* an agent... and why you probably do! A pleasant surprise, was hearing and meeting Fran Slayton, award winning author, who now lives in Charlottesville, VA... My Home Town!! Holla! Lastly Alvina Ling of Little, Brown spoke eloquently on the differences between Literary fiction and commercial fiction... 'cause I *sure didn't know before I heard her speech.

All in all I had an awesome time. Though, one moment in particular made me feel like I was at my first junior high school dance... and had to walk all the way across the *empty* dancefloor to ask the prettiest girl in the school to slow dance. (DRUMROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL)
I read (volunteered to read) a portion of "Caenus" at an open mic. O.M.G. I mean seriously... my hands were shaking... palms sweaty... throat dry... voice cracking... but I made it through! Why? Beacuse I was determined to not leave there with a regret. That didn't help me heart thundering beneath my oxford. But I'm glad I did it!

I'm so glad I went and eagerly await the spring one. Actually I'm planning on going to the national SCBWI conference in NYC. That will be a *whole 'nother level* of nervousness!!

See you there!