Tuesday, February 2, 2010

SCBWI Winter Conference 2010, Part 1

Have I mentioned how much I love New York? Only like a bajillion times, right? Yet it's totally worth repeating. Every cell in my body gets extra bouncy and cheery when I'm there. I also love SCBWI conferences. Put them together, New York and the SCBWI Winter Conference...weeee!

Friday's Writers' Intensive was one of my favorite parts of the weekend. An editor led my first group and an agent led my second. Both were very helpful. Each writer had an allotted amount of time, and all the table members gave feedback on each person's pages. It was fun and extremely educational.

Moving on to Friday night...I've been to Kidlit Drink Nights, but I went to my first
NYC Kidlit Drink Night on Friday! It was a blast! I met lots of new people, and I also ran into some SCBWI-WWA friends there. Here's a pic of Joni Sensel and Laurie Thompson, our Co-Regional Advisors. They're awesome!

The rest of the conference was great, too. Conference stats:
*There were approximately 1,047 people in attendance
*Attendees came from 45 states
*Attendees came from 14 countries

Libba Bray, our first keynote speaker, was hilarious. The title of her talk was
Writing as an Extreme Sport, and it was about risk taking in our writing. Those of you who are up on your awards know that Libba Bray recently won the Printz Award for her book GOING BOVINE.

Jacqueline Woodson's talk made me cry about three times. I'm a sap, but it wasn't just me--she seemed to touch everyone. Her writing: beautiful, powerful, moving, concise...wow. She writes in verse, and listening to her speak made words bubble up in my brain, begging to be put onto paper. I felt peaceful, clear, and inspired. I plan to pick up one of her books for the times when I need an extra boost.

Here are some pics.

Grand Central Station

I roomed with
Jennifer Mann. The above picture shows us looking like tourists in Grand Central Station. Maybe because we were tourists in Grand Central Station? We were going to breakfast and I already had my conference name tag on. Poor Jennifer...she can't take me anywhere. Jennifer is a very talented artist and writer. If you want to see some of her lovely art, go to her blog. It's fun there!

This is a picture of Stasia Kehoe
, Jennifer, and I at the conference. Stasia and I have agreed to be beta readers for each other in the future. I met Stasia at my very first SCBWI conference in Seattle! I got to peek at her manuscript's opening while we were in New York and it's great!

Some exciting news: I'm going to have my first ever blog contest after I get 100 followers! Hooray! I really do appreciate my followers--you guys are wonderful and you make the blogging adventure a fun one! Thank you!

I'm breaking the conference into two parts. I'd post all my tidbits now, but I need to work on the final pre-query revision of PERFECT VISION. Clearly that whole writing thing is getting in the way of my blogging. Tee-hee! ;)


Deb@RGRamblings said...

Wow! NYC, excitement, inspiration, new connections...Awesome!!

Tamika: said...

Sounds you had a blast! I haven't been back to New York since I was twelve. I'm long overdue.

Travener said...

But did you get a hot dog from a street vendor?

Susan R. Mills said...

Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great time.

Dawn Simon said...

Deb, it was awesome! I loved it!

Tamika, you totally have to go back! I hope you get to soon!

LOL, Travener! What a memory you have! Yes, the hot dog will have to be mentioned in my next installment. ;)

Hi, Susan! :)

Belle said...

This sounds like such fun. I'm planning on joining SCBWI once I get my current WIP done - I've never been to a writing conference and now you've inspired me to add this to my wish list!

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Belle! I totally recommend you join! SCBWI is amazing, and it's such a great way to meet other people who are passionate about children's books!

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

So glad you had such a great time! I'm totally jealous. :)

Paul Greci said...

Dawn, glad you had a great time in NYC and at SCBWI! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos.
And good luck with polishing Perfect Vision!!

Molly H said...

Ooh, nice recap! Thank you for sharing. I am still dreaming dreaming dreaming of going to one of the national conferences... maybe this summer!

Natalie said...

We were at kidlit drink night too! How did I miss you? I loved Jacqueline Woodson's speech too. I can't wait to start reading her stuff. She was incredible.

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Roni! No need to be jealous--you were on a cruise in the Caribbean! ;)

Paul, thanks for the good wishes. I think this revision will go pretty quickly since it's mostly surface stuff.

Molly, ooh, I hope you get to go to one soon! While I'm from LA County, I've never been to the LA Summer Conference. It's supposed to be awesome, too!

Natalie, that is so funny! I hope we meet at the next one! Jacqueline Woodson is great, isn't she?

Cuppa Jolie said...

As always, so great to see you, Dawn! I love that picture of the three of you. :)

Amy Tate said...

I'm so glad you had such a good time! Thanks for the book info - I'm always looking to add to my pile.

Dawn Simon said...

Thanks, Jolie! It was so fun seeing you, too!

Amy, I always come home from conferences with a bigger TBR list! That's part of the fun, I guess. :)

Guinevere said...

Reading about your conference makes me want to go to one too! Maybe I'll add this to my wish list for travel, because it sounds like a blast!

Also, you're sooo close to 100 followers now! I'm excited for you.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful experience for you :o) How exciting!

Dawn Simon said...

Guinevere, I totally recommend going to a conference. Of course, look at the faculty first and pick one that will give you lots of bang for your buck. The SCBWI national conferences, in my opinion, are a safe bet for children's authors. So are the SCBWI-WWA conferences. Thanks for being excited for me re: followers! I am, too!

Hi, Niki! :)

Nicole Ducleroir said...

Hi Dawn! I loved reading this post about the conference. I can't wait to attend my first -- though I have no idea when that will be :P I was actually in NYC last weekend, for my youngest sister's baby shower. The irony! Hopefully, next time... For now, I must live vicariously through you and the other writers blogging about the conference.

Thanks for following me, and I'm off to click your follow button as soon as I post this! Have a great weekend!

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm so jealous - I've never been to either NYC or a conference! Sounds incredible :)

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Nicole! How fun that you were in NYC, too! And congrats to your sister. :) Babies are awesome! I look forward to hearing about your first conference, whenever that may be.

Jemi, I totally recommend both!

And thanks for the follow, you two! Guess what?! You brought me to 100! Woo-hoo! My next post will have my first contest!

Solvang Sherrie said...


New York has to be the ultimate experience for a writer.

Dawn Simon said...

OMG, Sherrie! It is! :)