Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A *Groovy* SCBWI Summer Conference - 2012

Tonight marks a week since my first day back from the 2012 SCBWI LA Conference. For the fifth time in a row, I attended the national children's writer's conference, and man, was it a blast!

My fellow critique partners and friends from home, Cherie and Jen (roomies!) and I arrived early Thursday to take advantage of the LA weather and get some relaxation in before the really grueling (but exciting!) agenda arrived the following day. (And of course, we couldn't forget to include Kym!)

Cherie, Kym and Me on the plane to LA!

To welcome ourselves to the west coast, we treated ourselves to a delicious late lunch at Pink Taco. Yum!

Thankfully, when it comes to the LA conference, time flies and before you know it, you are back in the hotel basement, laptop opened, ears attuned. With a Starbucks in hand, I was home. Friday morning, the conference kicked off at 8:30am with the usual (and sometimes humorous) introductions and warm welcomes.

One of the most exciting features of the conference was debut author Cherie Colyer's first-time signing at the PAL book sale, or as I have dubbed it, The Wine & Cheese Party. It's one of my favorite events of the conference, and I was thrilled to be a part of Cherie's wonderful experience. Congrats Cherie!

Embrace by Cherie Colyer -- Read it!!

Friday through Monday consisted of some excellent, gut-wrenchingly funny, and sometimes tear-inducing keynotes. Among my favorite were Arthur Levine, Gary Schmidt, Dan Gutman and Tony Diterlizzi. The Golden Kite and Sid Fleischman Award winners also gave spectacular speeches and truly deserved the honors awarded to them. (Quotes to come later!)

Many of the break-out sessions really hit home as well including presenters author Jay Asher (13 Reasons Why), agent Jill Corcoran (won a book at the raffle!) and Tim Ditlow from Amazon Publishing, as well as the agent/editor panel on finding your unique voice.

And then, it was time to get ready for....

Cherie, Matt, Me and Jen
Cherie, author Michael Reisman, Jen and Me

Meg and Me

                              The Hippie Hop Gala!!
Excitingly enough, we even had the chance to steal the spotlight from one of the hotel's events that night and walk the red carpet.  Check out our glamorous ten minutes of fame photos:

So even though we close the chapter on #LA12SCBWI and another conference comes to an end, the inspiration continues. I'm excited to have met several more wonderful friends, made invaluable connections, workshopped my writing, as well as gained insightful knowledge and tips that will carry me into next year's conference.

    As they said in the 60s, peace out!


  1. Great recap! (And I'd say that even if you didn't tell people to check out Embrace.) It was an amazing conference!

  2. Hi Katie - This was such a fabulous conference. I loved reading your post about it. This year was my second time attending. It was a transformative, inspiring experience for me. I am already looking forward to next year.

    I gave you an award at my blog. If you have a chance, please check it out. The Sunflower Scribe - The Liebster Award