November, 2012

2012 SCBWI Missouri Fall Conference

Since I am the ARA for SCBWI Missouri, I may be a bit prejudiced, but I think our Fall Conference was a huge success. The facilities and food at Linwood University were top notch. The Italian buffet was delicious! However, it was the faculty that really stole the show. We had insightful keynote addresses from author David Harrison (The Writer at Work), editor Emma Dryden (Driving Through the Digital Landscape: Fasten Your Seatbelts and Don’t Close Your Eyes),  illustrator Will Terry(Changing Tides), and author Ellen Hopkins (Writing Bravely).  Breakout sessions proved productive. Attendees chose between sessions led by Terry for illustrators, Hopkins for advanced writers,  Harrison for authors, and a “combo” session led by Polette, Harness, & Igalls that focused on Nonfiction,Education Markets, and School Visits.  During lunch, attendees were  treated to a visit from a panel of authors Jody Feldman, Beth Fehlbaum, Jo Knowles, Deborah Heiligman, Selene Castrovilla, and Shannon Delany, who were in town for YALSA. Lastly, critiques were available for both illustrators and authors from either Terry, Dryden, or several editors from Harper Collins. Agent Regina Brooks was slated to attend, however the recent disaster on the East Coast derailed her. She will be e-mailing her critiques to participants at a later date.

On a personal note, Friday night, I enjoyed dinner with Emma Dryden who is personable, knowledgeable, and a true professional!  The conference presented an opportunity to reconnect with authors that I’ve met at previous events and whose company I really enjoy. Saturday evening, sharing cocktails and dinner with Ellen Hopkins was a perfect way to end the day. A weekend in St. Charles would not be complete without a short shopping trip to the historic district -where I picked up multiple bottles of Red Ghost hot sauce for my husband. And we took the scenic route home, stopping for lunch in wine country.

If you are a children’s author or illustrator-I urge you to join SCBWI and start taking advantage of all the wonderful opportunities the organization offers.

Lunch in wine country.

My daughter, Kelsey, with author, Ellen Hopkins.

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