40th Birthday of SCBWI — LA Conference

Literature Blogs
My brain is hurting. Right now the SCBWI National Conference is going on. (Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) It’s in California. I’m in Michigan. All I can say is hurray for tweets and blogs. I find myself following these awesome speakers (authors, editors, agents, illustrators) and have to remind myself to blink, or to get up from my computer screen and go for a walk about the house — thinking, thinking, thinking about what I’ve been reading. I’m not having those face-to-face contacts of a national conference. However, I glean the golden nuggets others pass on, and I’m grateful to them. Between conferences, I forget how hungry I get for good advice.

Reading tweets and blogs is rather like getting the Cliff Notes on the talks, but I’ve already met many of the speakers from our own Michigan conferences and libraries. Hurray for Michigan. I can picture their faces and expressions. Here are a few Cliff Notes from the Cliff Notes from the conference for beginning to published writers:

Agent Tracy Adams sees herself as a real estate stager — getting the book to its best to submit it to an editor.

Author Sarah Stewart spoke about giving yourself and your own thoughts as much time as possible. (I know she’s a gardener, too. 🙂 )

Agent Marcia Wernick suggested rallying your business team, including agent, writers group, editorial relationships, publicist, social media, book trailers, etc.

When Norton Juster wrote THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH 50 years ago! He said that ideas do not  come crashing through the window like a lightning bolt. It takes time to revise and make it work.

Author Jon Scieszka said, “I wanted to write for pre-schoolers, my kids were older and I never taught that age. To get to know that audience, I went and worked in a kindergarten near my house. I didn’t realize until it was too late that pre-schoolers are insane. If you have a three or four-year old then you know that they’re kind of like Alzheimer’s’ patients on acid.”

Enough (for now). My brain hurts from writing out a blog about the blogs. If you are serious about writing, join a professional writers group. Attend conferences. Learn and grow. And, of course, WRITE!

Okay… back to worrying about getting our broken house fixed.

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