Now that I've digested more of the conference, I'll follow Molly's lead and share the highlights of what I gathered from the keynotes and workshops I attended.
*Krista Marino moderated an editor panel, From Your House to My House: What Makes Me Choose Your Book. It was so interesting to hear the editors on the panel discuss things like pet peeves, what they're looking for, and books that inspire them. The agent panel the following day, Literary Agents View the Market Place, was also great.
*During the session Submission Strategies, agent Josh Adams shared how his agency submits to editors. I enjoyed hearing about the submission process and the thoughts behind the strategies.
*All the keynotes gave me something. Rachel Vail blew me out of the water. She's incredible! Before she gave her keynote, I'd already been to her informative workshop, Hearing Your Characters: Creating Distinctive/Contrasting Voices for Each of Your Characters. Her keynote made me laugh so hard I cried, then touched me and I cried again.
*E.B. Lewis gave us inspiration, sharing his beautiful art and words. One of my favorite parts was when he shared the paintings he did on unscratched lottery tickets. Each one had a child on it. He said you never know if the ticket is a winner. He mentioned scratching too deep. He said, "We do that with our children sometimes. We scratch, we destroy." He later said, "As artists, what we need to do is fill ourselves up to overflowing and give it all back."
*Justin Chanda spoke at the workshop Simon & Schuster: The Not So Distant Past, and the Really Fast Approaching Future. The talk was fun and enlightening. He said he tells his editors, "If your face is melting off, we'll buy it. If not, no." He spoke about what a big part passion plays in their work.
*Wonderful quotes came out of the talk A View From the Top: 4 Publishers Discuss our Industry. For example, Francesco Sedita said, "If you're not making mistakes, you're not taking risks." Justin Chanda said, "If everyone goes home and writes to the trends, the vampires win."
*Jennifer Rees spoke on voice, and her session was great. She considers a good voice the most important item in a writer's toolbox.
Now...on to Saturday night's party, the Heart and Soul Celebration! There was a costume contest for the "heartiest and souliest" costumes, and it was really fun seeing what people wore. Lots of us just wore red. Molly had a beautiful red flower in her hair, and she looked super glam. Wearing red instead of an actual costume was definitely the best option for me since I had quite the time fitting clothes into my suitcase around all the shoes I'd packed. Seriously. And I'm not even a "shoe girl"; I wear the same three pairs of shoes year-round, and I like comfortable shoes. I don't know what came over me.
I have lots of fun pictures!
Here I am with Ashley Bryan.
Something awesome? When I told him my name, he recited a poem for me! Ashley Bryan, people! Big moment! I won't write the lines on my blog because I don't think I can legally post someone's work without permission, but I'm sure I can name the poem he recited. It was "Dawn" by Paul Laurence Dunbar.
Angela Driver, in the pic with me below, is my new friend from Australia.
In this picture, I'm with fellow SCBWI-Western Washingtonians Dan Gemeinhart and Kevan Atteberry.
This is Kevan Atteberry with Kjersten Anna Hayes. For those who don't know, Kjersten is in our region's SCBWI, but she's temporarily living in Kuala Lumpur. It was such a nice surprise when I first spotted her at the conference, and I really enjoyed seeing her.
Here Molly and I are with Jon Scieszka.
Ellen Hopkins also posed with Molly and me.
My third and final summer conference post will focus on the autograph party, and I'll give the deets on Molly's and my giveaways! Woo-hoo! So stay tuned! And speaking of giveaways, hop over to Stasia Kehoe's blog and check out her latest contest (Stasia's name is linked to the post with the contest). She has a great interview with co-authors Suzanne Williams and Joan Holub, and they have a GODDESS GIRLS Swag Bag Giveaway.
I'd like to end this post telling Molly Hall how extra, extra special she made my first ever L.A. conference. Molly, you're a talented writer, an incredibly fun person, a sweet and classy lady, and a true friend. I love ya! I'm hoping next year we can have our second excellent adventure!