This weekend, I attended the New Jersey SCBWI conference in Princeton, NJ.
This is really a great conference. So much to do and you get to pitch your idea to an agent, dine with the faculty, view the great illustrations and display your art if you are an illustrator.
But the best part is that you get to meet groovy super creative people, some of which could become your pals forever.
Of course, you can’t do it all. I had a hard time choosing where to go and what to do.
I can only say that going to this conference is like going to a great restaurant – wonderful creative menu but you can’t do it all.
On Saturday, I started with a first page appetizer with Susan Dobinick from FSG and Carter Hasegawa from Candelwick. Of course, I was eager to know what they thought of my first page but it was also very useful to hear what they said about other writer’s first pages.
For main course, I chose Kathy Temean who gave a great session on how to sell more books. She actually took the time to look at each participant’s web site and / or blog and gave suggestions and recommendations. She inspired all of us.
Carter Hasegawa gave a great presentation on narrative Nonfiction. It really helped me realize how to improve my non fiction manuscript. He brought lots of books with him and we teamed and made comments why these were fantastic books. Yes, he did mention that the books were heavy but it was well worth the schlepping.
For desert, Rachel Orr gave an informative presentation about plotting.
I had to miss some of the goodies because I had a very wonderful one on one critique with Emily Feinberg from Roaring Brook Press.
On Sunday, I had a wonderful session with Natalie Zaman who reviewed each participant’s non fiction proposal. It was very helpful to hear her suggestions on how to write the kind of proposal that will get a publisher convinced that you could write and deliver.
Unfortunately, I missed some of Katie Davis’s presentation on how to use video to explode your career because I had an agent pitch but Katie gave a few links to websites and lots of information to a newbie like myself.
There was so much to whet my appetite and, oh, I forgot, the food was yummy too