Thursday, April 15, 2010

SCBWI Western Washington Conference 2010, Part I

Last weekend was our regional conference. I know I've said it before, but our Advisory Committee is amazing. They always manage to put together a conference that's full of positive energy and valuable information on the craft and business of writing.

Laini Taylor
gave the first keynote address. I've heard Laini speak before and she has impressed me every time. Her talk, My Own Personal Labyrinth: Finding My Way As a Writer, was about her emotional life as a writer. She said she's a perfectionist, which so many of us can relate to. She's warm and intelligent, and she expresses her points in unique, wonderful ways. For example, she talked about bringing perfect ideas to execution, and she compared the attempt to getting fingerprints on a glossy photo: she said soon the fingerprints are all you see. Wow, I loved that!

I bought her book
LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES, which I've been dying to read. She and her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, both autographed our copy to my daughter. Jim also did illustrations for her keynote! How sweet is that?! LIPS TOUCH was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award.

Jay Asher
's keynote provided attendees with oodles of fun, hope, and inspiration. His talk was called How to Sell a Book in Twelve Years...or Less! He said that while he was on his journey to publication, he repeatedly saw signs that told him, "This will be my year." Since I've been thinking this will be the year I make it for about seven years now, I immediately felt a kinship with him. Hee! Just think, this is Jay Asher. All that time he invested more than paid off. It can for us, too, bloggy friends! Persistence!

Mitali Perkins
's talk, Risky Business: Not Your Mother's Publishing Industry, was also great. She spoke about changes in the industry. She shared her experiences, and she talked about vision statements and adapting to today's publishing world. I really enjoyed her. At the conference, I heard her blog is excellent, and it's true. Check it out!

The very talented
Peter Brown spoke about The Realities of Being an Author/Illustrator. He read us a book that he'd written and illustrated as a child then led us through his career. The book he created as a child, by the way, is something he shares at school visits. What a neat idea, showing kids even illustrators, once upon a time, drew pictures that looked like any child could have drawn them.

It was a fabulous weekend! I'll share more next time!

What are some of your favorite conferences? If you haven't been to one yet, what is the first conference you'd like to go to?


Roland D. Yeomans said...

You never fail but to try to inspire. That is admirable about you and your blog. Don't be a stranger to mine. What is your vision statement?

Dawn Simon said...

Roland, good question, though I haven't come up with my own vision statement. I'm still in that post-conference digestion period, if that makes any sense. Thanks for the visits! :)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Wow...Jay Asher was at your conference!!!!

I went to the Highlights' Summer workshop at Chautauqua. It was exceptional!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you had such a great time. I saw your photo on Molly's blog. You looked so happy! :o)

jdcoughlin said...

I love Mitali's blog! She is right her in MA, and I am always finding wonderful readings and meetings and bookish activities going on in the area. I don't know if I'll be able to commit to a conference this year, it's a tight one, but I so love the energy there. It sounds like yours was terrific!!

storyqueen said...

Wish I could have been there! I'd love to hear Laini speak. Lips Touch was such an incredible book.


Molly Hall said...

Oh the conference was so wonderful! I absolutely loved it. And I loved meeting you, Dawn. The only other one I have attended was the Oregon Coast Children's Book Writers Workshop and it was great.
And amen to persistence! This *is* going to be your year, Dawn! And when the time comes, I'll be first in line to get your autograph! : )

Kelly said...

That sounds like an amazing conference! Great speakers!
I've been to one SCBWI conference so far (and occasionally attend local SCBWI mtgs). I'm looking forward to the next one!

Hema P. said...

A very informative post, thanks Dawn! Will have to check out some of the links you posted...

I have attended one local SCBWI conference so far, and am looking forward to the editor/agent day next Saturday there. I would *love* to attend the much-touted annual SCBWI conference in NY!

I have been on a prowl since morning, checking out new friends' blogs -- each of them impressed me in a different way. Interesting how much of our personalities we bring into our writing, isn't it?

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the conference snippets. I knew some of Jay Asher's story, his long road to publication. It's inspiring to me as well.

As for conferences, I've been to PNWA, the BYU Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers, and the Alaska Writers Guild Conference.

All were worthwhile. I've also been to the ALAN workshop, where over a two day period you hear from 40 to 60 YA authors--it's like the Candy Land of YA. It's part of the annual NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English Conference).

Susan Fields said...

Hi Dawn - I'm so glad you came over to my blog and found me! I've been meaning to find you but haven't had as much blogging time as I need lately.

Sounds like a great conference. I keep thinking "this will be my year", too - one of these years, right?

I went to the same Highlights Workshop at Chautauqua that Sharon Mayhew went to - in fact, she's the one that talked me into going (and I'm so glad she did - it was wonderful!)

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Sharon! I know, he's awesome! I just Googled the Highlights workshop and it looks great! Good for you!

Niki, it was a blast! And meeting Molly was one of the coolest parts! I'll talk about that in my next post!

Judith, she talked about MA and some of those bookish activities. I have family there. It's a great state!

Shelley, she's uber cool. I bet you'll get to hear/meet her before too long! I can't wait to read the book!

Molly, Molly, we've already decided, you are my total blog soul sister. I LOVED the Oregon Coast Children's Book Writers Workshop when I went in 2007! BTW, you did a fabulous job recapping the conference at your blog--plus, I was incredibly flattered. One of the things I'll be talking about in my next post is how wonderful it was meeting you in person. <3 Thank you for your kind words. When you get published, you know I'll be right there, cheering you on! I just know good things are coming your way, and I can't wait to see them happen!!

Kelly, SCBWI rocks. We're so lucky to have such an incredible organization at our fingertips!

Hema, thanks for the visit! I really like your blog. How cool that you're going to an editor/agent day next Saturday. I bet you'll have a great time and glean lots of info! It's nice getting to know you.

Paul, thanks for the recommendations! I wonder if we've been to PNWA any of the same years. That ALAN workshop sounds over the top cool.

Susan, I haven't been able to blog as much this week, either. That's great that you and Sharon went together. I'd heard of that one, but really knew nothing about it. That's why I had to Google it! Keep the positive attitude! It'll pay off--and make life more fun in the meantime! :)

SWK said...

As always, great to see you Dawn. Loved your summation of the keynotes, here. As always, reading your take on things leaves me feeling super-positive!

Natalie said...

I've only been to SCBWI in NY, but I've heard really good things about Pikes Peak. I think I'll try to do that one next year.

Marsha Sigman said...

It sounds like an incredible experience! Good for you! I just joined SCBWI, isn't it awful that it took me this long? But the local chapter does not meet very close to me so I foresee a lot of online interaction. I look forward to the conferences though!!!

Dawn Simon said...

Thank you, Stasia! It's always lovely seeing you too! *hugs*

Natalie, I've heard of that one, but I don't know anything about it. If you go next year, you'll have to tell us about it! And if we both go to NY again, we have to meet in person!

Yay, Marsha! I'm so happy for you, joining! You'll love it!

Jackee said...

Wonderful! I love these authors' blogs (especially Laini's) so I'm sure they were amazing to hear in person.

And a signed copy? I'm so jealous--I loved that book!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thank you, Dawn, for leaving such nice comments on my blog. I've been existing on fumes these past three days. I've driven 900 miles for the blood center for which I worked and have tallied seven hours sleep in those 3 days. Whew! Thanks again, Roland

Anonymous said...

I enjoy conferences. SCBWI brings in great speakers in my neck of the woods as well.

Also, I have a blog award waiting for you.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I would love to see Jay speak. He was at the SCBWI LA conference last year but I was too shy to speak to him. I would have probably ended up sounding like a freaking out girlfan. ;)

Samantha Bennett said...

I'm a HUGE SCBWI fan. Went to my first conference last summer and found it crazy inspiring. Fun post! Found your blog through Molly's. :)

Susan Fields said...

Hi Dawn - there's something for you at my blog. :)

Dawn Maria said...

Thanks for this recap Dawn, I really enjoyed it even though I'm not writing for the YA market, so much of the advice and encouragement is useful for all of us.

I attended the La Jolla Writer's Conference last November and really enjoyed it. It's small, limited to 200 writers and all the faculty volunteers their time, which is very cool.

prashant said...

I'm glad you had such a great time.
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