Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Molly and Dawn's Excellent Adventure: The SCBWI Summer Conference, Part II

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!


Kjersten said...

Great pictures, Dawn!

Diane said...

I can not imagine all the excitement and delights you had the whole time. Yippee fun!!! :O)

Molly Hall said...

Dawn! You are so sweet! I love you too. SO much. Like I said, I feel like we are sisters now. And this post is terrific. It's great to see a shining jewel from each of the great talks you went to. Next year is definitely ON! I'm already counting down the days... : )

SWK said...

Hi, Dawn. What an excellent adventure! Next summer I'm heading to LA for sure--hope you're planning to go again, too! And thanks for the link-back! - Stasia

Dawn Simon said...

Thanks, Kjersten! It was so great seeing you!

Diane, you're right, it was a wonderful experience!

Molly, I'm totally crossing my fingers for next year! We had too much fun and learned so much! Must. Go. Back.

Hi, Stasia! So glad you get to go next year! I'm hoping I'll be able to go, too! It was awesome hanging out with you in NYC last winter!

Susan Fields said...

Sounds like an amazing time. "If your face is melting off, we'll buy it." Oh my! That's something to shoot for, I guess. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I loved Rachel Vail's session, too. I wish I could have attended the other character one the next day, but it conflicted with something else I wanted to take.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I loved Rachel Vail's session, too. I wish I could have attended the other character one the next day, but it conflicted with something else I wanted to take.

Nancy Coffelt said...

I want to hear about the editor pet peeves!

Dawn Simon said...

Susan, I totally hope to write something that makes an editor feel that passionate about taking it on! :)

Stina, Rachel Vail is so cool. I could only make it to one of the sessions on character as well, but they both sounded great.

Nancy, the editor pet peeves varied from individual to individual.

WritingNut said...

Great pictures Dawn! Sounds like you had an amazing time! :)

Faith E. Hough said...

Very very cool. I hope I can go some year--and maybe meet you!

Amy Holder said...

More awesome pics! And the info you got from all the workshops and keynotes sounds incredible! I CAN'T miss this next year. Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Awww...looks so fun! Glad you had a great time and met so many cool people!
I can't wait to go to a conference again!