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?