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San Francisco Cable Car

Thursday, August 9, 2007

26 -- SCBWI Summer Conference 07 Rocked! Part One

NOTE: This blog is a continuing dialog between the two faces of rilla. The identity crisis is explained (if such a thing is possible) in the first edition. Click here to read: 1 -- Introduction

Rilla: Mmm…
rilla: Yes?
Rilla: Uh…
rilla: Is there something you want to say?
Rilla: Look down.
rilla: Where?
Rilla: Your feet.
rilla: My feet? What’s wrong with my feet?
Rilla: They’re not…exactly…touching the floor…
rilla: Oh…you’re right…I’m floating!
Rilla: So it was good, huh?
rilla: Yes, the Summer Conference in LA of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators…
Rilla: Squibby…
rilla: Squibby, was FABULOUS! It is entirely to blame for the feet off the floor, also known as the walking on air, syndrome I am currently suffering from and for which I hope there is NO cure…and here’s a few reasons why…

In a four part series on the SCBWI Summer Conference 07, I paraphrase and quote the amazing and inspiring speakers I heard.

Lin Oliver opening the conference...

We started out with the faculty traipsing up onto the stage and saying one word they thought important. They were funny, inspiring…, but one raised the bar and set the tone for the rest of the conference…

Susan Patron
Author of The Higher Power of Lucky, winner of the 2007 Newbery Award


Then we went into keynote speeches and breakaway sessions. Here are a few tidbits…

(Inspiring) Walter Dean Myers: A Passion for Detail
Author – Somewhere the Darkness, Scorpions, Jazz

What inspires me to write? I want to create a world – be God!
In order to do this convincingly, you the writer need to “give sufficient detail to allow the reader to recreate your world in their minds. The reader needs to recognize the details as truth.”
You must have a passion for details – search for the right details that will make your reader believe in and care for your characters.

(Awesome) Emma Dryden: Sailing Away from the Safe Harbor: Connecting Young Readers with Books in a Media-Driven Society
VP and Associate Publisher of Margaret K. McElderry (pron. Mack-el-dary) Books and Atheneum (A-then-aum) books for Young Readers – imprints of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division

We read stories to explore, to journey, to relax, to escape fear. “If we don’t explore our world with stories, we will cease.”
“Story matters most. Write what you know, write what you feel, write what you care about.”
“The confirmed sailor goes on tacking forever.”

(Hilarious...OK and anal) Tamora Pierce: Developing Cultures in the Fantasy Novel
Author – The Circle of Magic Quartet, The Song of the Lioness Quartet

On why she writes fantasy – “Well, duh, I like magic!”
“The immature artist imitates – the mature one steals!”
Details make the world you create, yet must avoid drowning the reader in them.
Tip: A great resource for researching historical costumes and customs:
Google – Amazon, Pickling and Dry Goods

(Informative) The Panel: Professional Criticism: How to Receive it and What to Do With It
Arthur A. Levine: VP at Scholastic Inc and Editorial Director of Arthur A. Levine Books, Elizabeth Parisi: Exec. Art Director at Scholastic Books, Mark McVeigh: Editor Alladin Paperbacks, Krista Marino: Editor at Delacorte Press in the Random House Books for Young Readers division.

- Think of the editor as an equal who is trying to help you improve your work.
- It is a partnership, be nice!
- Keep an open mind, critiques are meant to help
- Don’t debate.
- Don’t get defensive
- Ask them questions, pick their brain.
- Be willing to take risks.
A. Levine – “It’s not about obedience, it’s about respect”

LJ Bloggers Unite!
Lisa's Little Corner,KidLit-Kim,Tamarack

The wonderful Laini Taylor and Jim Di Bartolo of Faeries of Dreamdark -- Blackbringer fame that I raved about in my last post. LAINI SOLD A BOOK TO ARTHUR LEVINE AT THE CONFERENCE!!!! Is that amazing or ... what!! Good on ya, Laini and Jim!


Lisa Schroeder said...

Rilla, it was so great to meet you, and hold your camera for you while you showed your stuff to the judges. I didn't know Laini sold a book while there - how cool is that? She's a fellow Oregonian.

Anyway, have fun floating around. Make sure you get some writing in, writing and floating go well together.

Rilla said...

Hey Lisa,
Thank you for holding my camera while I the stage in my costume, by the light of the silvery moon. Will post the fab pic you took of that forgettable...instant in part two ;)

It was great meeting you too. And, you're absolutely right...floating and writing go hand in

Colorado Writer said...

It was soooooo cool to meet you and hang out. There was not enough time together!


Rilla said...

Hey Steph,
It was wonderful meeting you. You looked fab by the light of the silvery moon! Wish there were more time to hang out. Sorry I didn't make it down Monday night, I was so pooped, I kinda collapsed in a heap and my feet refused to walk out the door again. But, I know we will meet at more such wonderful events! Good luck with your agent and keep us all posted on the progress of your book... that is... as much you are allowed to to do ;)

Anonymous said...

the pink hair was laini taylor!! i had no idea!!
great meeting you all. =)


Rilla said...

Hey Heidi,
Yeah, the pink hair is so cool. Would love to try it sometime, if I weren't scared of all the bleach that goes in before hand... OK... I'm scared of more than the bleach and of course it would NEVER look as good on me as it does on Laini.
Great to see you at the conference. Next time you should stop by for a glass of wine ;)

Anonymous said...

GREAT photos, Rilla!! You are a master photog!
BUT...I thought you were going to call your conf. blog 'The Night Arthur Levine Came to My Room'????


P.S. It was real, and it was fun...real fun :-)

J said...

Hi Rilla,
So glad you had such a great, informing, and inspiring time. I've only been once and that time I was so overwhelmed that I could hardly take anything in. I plan to go again, if not next year, then the following. Maybe by then I will be able to hear what people are saying and get up the nerve to have a critique done.

Your writing and imagination are sooooo awesome. I am totally jazzed, but not surprized, that the editor asked for your work. Keep at it

Rilla said...

Hey Marge!
What a blast it was! So good to be able to go to such an event with one's own critique group buddies. Glad you like the pics. Thanks for the great foreshadowing on one of my future blog post titles ;)

Rilla said...

Hey J,
Really do think you should come to the one next year. The princess rocks and would love to be critiqued...can't wait to see what an editor will say about Kandake!