First of all it was super cheap $90 for SCBWI members $105 for non-members.
It was local, only 45 minutes away from my house. And every session had something I wanted to know about.
WIN WIN WIN
It was awesome.
I got there and sat down and a very awesome girl sat down next to me. We hung out for the entire conference.
The first session was from an editor who talked about how to make your manuscript stronger. A lot of it I already knew, but it's nice to hear it again. You know, you confirm you're doing it right.
Then I had my one on one session with Laura Bowers, she's an author and SUPER Awesome. Her feedback was detailed, insightful and most important, USEFUL. Laura has been updated the SCBWI MD/DE/WV and it's one of the best resources out there. Go check it out.
The next session was a break out session. There were sessions for Picture Books, Middle Grade, Illustrators and Young Adults. I went to the young adult session, also by Laura Bowers.
Then I went to lunch and met more awesome people. You know what the best part of conference? Being in a room with lots of people who write YA and like all the same stuff you like. Did you know people like that existed OUTSIDE of the internet?
Then we went to a lecture by Kathi Appelt. It was SO moving, I cried twice. She talked about writing like your fingers were on fire. She simultaneously inspired me and shamed me. Her advice included:
Find the seeds of stories that are in your own life.
- Write to the hole in your heart.
- Keep a journal --- keep a journal for each project
- Write stories that bind: Take care with your stories, make the significant.
- "Write consciously with the subconscious voices of the writers who came before us."- Eudora Welty
- Write I say for those who came before us. Honor them by not forgetting.
- Children are priority.
- Write what scares you.
- Write what you think you can’t.
- Write your own story as true as you can.
- Look for the magic.
She was so inspriring and smart... and my book has dick jokes. Sigh. And honestly, I think it needs MORE dick jokes.
The next session, was the day in the life of a children book editor. She explained why it takes six months to read your submissions. Yeah, um, her life is INSANE, its a wonder why ANY BOOK gets published.
The last session was how to write a good query. By an agent who repped a little know book about games where everyone is really hungry and 3 pages about to the main character's sister's goat.
Every session I learned something. The people were awesome.
If you get a chance, go to a conference. It's totally worth the money.