Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Conference

Attending the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (scbwi) winter conference last weekend, Jan. 28 – 29, 2012, was a real treat, definitely a rewarding experience.  Of course can one have a bad time spending a weekend in Manhattan?

The keynote speakers addressed an easily amused audience that laughed  at every other line.  The most intriguing aspect of the conference (for me) was a feeling of goodness and brotherhood that emanated from the audience of over 1,300.  Obviously, we were there to learn how best to interface our creations into the publishing world but there seemed a curious air of kindness that floated throughout the room.  Perhaps the friendships made there would be more that momentary.

The informative breakout sessions were quite amazing.  Cheryl Kline, Executive Editor, Arthur A Levine Books, (Scholastic) intense workshop, based in part on her book, Second Sight:  An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults, touched on the process revision.  It was so intense and informative that I would have expected a weekend seminar necessary to gather the wealth of information she presented.

Ari Lewin, an executive editor at G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, talked about Fantasy Fiction.  I found her to be one of the most gifted presenters/teachers that I’ve encountered.  Instead of simply lecturing on the possibilities of Young Adult (YA) and middle reader’s approaches to fantasy she lead a hands on approach deciphering YA passages thereby discovering professional writing techniques. Very cool!


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