Monday, May 6, 2013

SCBWI Wild, Wild, Midwest Conference Recap

This past weekend was amazing! I can't believe how much I learned and how many cool authors, illustrators, agents and editors I met. Being with such a wonderful group just reinforces why I'm writing for children, and the support from everyone is so crucial in my writing journey. Rather than make this an incredibly long post, I'm just going to bullet point the highlights of what I learned.
  • "In writing, nothing is wasted but the paper." - Lin Oliver via Sid Fleischman
  • "Don't force the funny." - Chris Rylander
  • The key to Voice - maintaining the interior logic of your story. - Brett Duquette
  • Picture book writers - be sure to have little description or action in your words.  Leave that to the illustrator. - Peter Brown
  • When writing middle grade, be sure that your main character's thoughts match his spoken vocabulary. - Linda Pratt
  • When writing dialogue, write the way people talk. - Lin Oliver
  • You must know the primary role your character is playing for your story.  Once you figure that out, what is his/her controlling belief? - Kathi Appelt
  • Jill Corcoran is an amazing query letter teacher!
  • I also learned that it is smart to know your competition and how your book is different, manuscripts are pulled from the slush pile AND published, some editors don't read query letters, and award winning authors/illustrators can get nervous too.
Needless to say, my brain is full right now! I also wanted to give a shout out to Summer the owner of Summer's Stories, a bookstore in Kendallville, Indiana. She is the nicest person and a true book lover. I would definitely encourage you to check the bookstore out if you live in the Fort Wayne area.

Now I'm off to write and revise!  Have a great week!

Thanks, Chris Rylander!
Oh, one last thing - Just wanted to share the books I was able to get signed.
Thanks, Peter Brown!

Thanks, Kathy Appelt!