SCBWI-LA Writer's Days 2014
Sat. & Sun., March 22-23, in San Gabriel, CA
Click here for the Flickr album, where you can download pictures.
Click here for the Facebook album, where you can tag yourselves and each other.
These photos will also appear in the upcoming Summer 2014 issue of Kite Tales, the SCBWI-LA/Tri-Regions newsletter. (As always, if you use any of these photos on your blogs, Web sites, etc., please credit me, Rita Crayon Huang. Thanks!)
Some personal highlights:
Newbery Award winner Katherine Applegate, "Frog and Toad at The Hunger Games: 10 Rules for Genre Jumping and Career Building from a Seasoned Hack . . . I mean, PRO"
My takeaways from Katherine's talk: She and her husband, Michael Grant, are funny. They used to ghostwrite Sweet Valley High. They gave Jessica her first period.
Children's Book Buyer and Author Catherine Linka, "What Every Writer Needs To Know About Retail Book Buying Today"
Look at Catherine's awesomeness. The glasses, the pointer, everything. She's got something to say, and she's going to say it!
Catherine's talk was really interesting. She showed how different versions of your author bio get used to convince book buyers to stock your book in stores, among many other things. And she had insight into what book buyers think when they see what's coming out. It's not what you'd assume.
Writers doing writing exercises! Every speaker gave one this year.
The hand model above is Robin Reul, who later won one of this year's writing contests. Note this hand. It's going places.
The Sunday intensives included an Agents Picture Book Track taught in the morning by Danielle Smith (pictured here), and in the afternoon by Jen Rofe;
the Agents Novel Track, taught in the morning by Jen Rofe (pictured here) and in the afternoon by Danielle Smith;
Jen kicks off her intensive with an example from her favorite movie.
the Editor Track with Heidi Fiedler, "Work For Hire and Trade Publishing";
and a plotting intensive with Martha Alderson, "The Plot Whisperer," which I attended.
Martha Alderson talks about the four energetic markers in stories.
I spent a thoughtful five hours analyzing my novel, sitting amongst good friends. It was like a writing retreat!
At lunch on both days, everyone made the prettiest little tableaux you ever saw, everywhere, of writers having fun. Seriously, these friends could not have made more diverse portraits if they were posing for Benetton ads.
All this pic needs is me! the Asian. ;)
Actually, most of the pics didn't need me. ;)
Look at the colors everyone's wearing in both of these pictures above: Red, green, blue. Red, green, blue. Perfect.
I remember my glory day (singular) of having won a Writer's Day contest once. That's why I always take pictures of winners getting announced now, no matter how haphazard. That moment glows.
Remember that hand in the dark sweater sleeve? Congratulations, Robin!!!
Congratulations to all of the winners! And congratulations to Sally Jones Rogan for winning this year's Sue Alexander Service and Encouragement (SASE) Award. It's well deserved!!
Sally is our new SCBWI-LA Assistant Regional Advisor. She's the best! And so nice.
There's a whole lot more, so check out the full album on Flickr here and on Facebook here.
This year's Writer's Days was my first significant time away from my baby. I was more nervous about pumping than anything else. But it went great. Sally and Lee and Sarah found classrooms I could sneak off to during breaks. I felt so triumphant each time I had finished pumping for that day, knowing I had done it. I didn't get to pal around as much as usual, at this conference, but I was giddy to be back among writers.
Lee gets everyone to sing the names of our respective intensives--"Plo-t!" "Novels!" "Picture Books!" etc.--in harmony, using a pitch pipe app on his phone. This doesn't exactly illustrate what I was just talking about, but he's giddy, too.
Even more amazing, everyone knew about my baby and asked after him, and commented on photos I've posted to Facebook. I've tried not to post a lot, but there you have it. We are one big happy family.
Topanga Maria with my baby, after my husband brought him to pick me up Sunday. This guy has a following!
That is some crazy shiz, social media, that you can bring the whole world in, when I feel like I've fallen out for a little while.
It's great to be back!
Me and the indomitable Greg Pincus, my original carpool buddy for SCBWI events--and this year's Writer's Days social media guru. His book, The 14 Fibs of Gregory K., just got announced as a Crystal Kite Award finalist!
P.S. And don't think I've forgotten about those Summer Conference pics I said I would post, too. Those are coming. Maybe by next Summer Conference. :)