Saturday, September 28, 2013

SCBWI Carolinas - 2013

I am sitting in my hotel room on the Saturday night of the AWESOME SCBWI conference in the Carolinas. This was my 3rd year attending. Third year IN A ROW. After that first amazing year, I made it a goal to attend EVERY year thereafter. So far, so good. The people here are wonderful and open and giving. Everyone shares and laughs. It's electrifying to have so much passion around you.

This year, I heard Cynthea Liu, Alan Gratz, Dan Yaccarino, Emma Ledbetter, Patti Ann Harris, Joy Neaves, Emily Easton, and more speak to us. The agent panel was lively with Stephen Barr, Sarah Davies, and Danielle Smith.

A few things I learned:

  • When submitting attachments (and only when requested, of course), make sure they are .doc and not .docx.
  • Do what works for you.
  • Stay true to your vision.
  • Set clear goals and write them down, even the ones that seem unattainable.
  • Celebrate every success, but especially the small ones like finishing a manuscript, getting your 10th rejection letter, writing for a solid hour this week.
  • The main character can be the antagonist, while it's the protagonist who actually does the changing.
  • To sell a lot of picture books, your book must do at least one of these three things really well (more is better):
    • deal with a subject that speaks to the child
    • use rich language to create special moments
    • create genuine characters
  • Word count doesn't really matter.
  • Idea notebooks are important.
  • It's always about the craft, the actual writing. Keep practicing.
  • Even in the first 200 words, be grounded in time and place, get to the conflict early on, hint at what's at stake for your character, save all the details for later, and use good language without being too descriptive.
  • And of course READ, READ, READ, WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, REVISE, REVISE, REVISE
Looking forward to the final workshop with Cynthea Liu and the Closing Keynote with Dan Yaccarino tomorrow morning. It feels good to be recharged.

Today's QUESTION: What do you do to get recharged? Yearly, monthly, weekly, even daily?

My annual SCBWI conference is a definite must! Not sure about the rest of the year, anybody have any great ideas?

Keep on keepin' on...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Read Me on Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari (NOT Google Chrome)

For some reason, one of my lovely blog follower friends got malware on their site. Then they commented on my site, and now Google Chrome browser (my favorite) won't let you read any posts on my blog. Won't let me even GO to my blog from Chrome. So, if you see my title, please use another browser when reading my blog. If anyone has any thoughts, tips, or ideas on how to fix the problem, please share! I tried deleting the comment, but I don't think that fixed a thing. In the mean time, I had an interview at a school today. I'll find out Friday if I get the 6th grade Language Arts position. (I hope so!!!!!)