Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Swimming through SCBWI LA Conference Ocean

As a first timer, do I dive in, catch a ride on a dolphin or wait to see what swims my way? With a sea of almost 1200 people, workshops, panelists and speakers, I did all three for three days. I had an awesome roomy, Daphne, swim my way-an illustrator(and writer, though she's not claiming that,yet) from Tahoe. I dove into the waves of workshops. Highlights: Learning about small presses from Alison Weiss, Sky Pony Press and Rana Dioro, Little Pickle Press. The Agent panel where I soaked in how each of these agents work. Break-out session with Michelle Knudsen, PB, MG & YA New York Times best-selling author, her agent, Jodi Reamer from Writers House and her editor, Julie Strauss-Gabel, VP of Dutton Books an imprint of Penguin Young readers Group. Listening and observing this team was inspiring. Keynote speaker, Mem Fox, a PB author, was a delight. Her rhythmic read of her "Hattie and the Fox" continued to resonate in my head into the wee hours of the night. YA authors, Stacy Lee and Anna Shinoda's workshop on amping up tension left me on the edge of a...

The Gala was the dolphin ride with a little wine, dancing, connecting with old friends and meeting new ones, in this sea of sparkles. Then there was buying books and getting them signed. And a few moments that felt okay to approach and speak one on one with a couple of agents and editors.The schedule was so packed, there was barely time to come up for air. Amazing as it was, at the end, I was feeling like a fish-out- of -water and couldn't wait to swim back to Laguna Beach. Maybe I'll pitch to Lin Oliver & Stephen Mooser The Surf and Sand, beach-front hotel for next year's conference.

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