2011 SCBWI Annual Summer Conference

Earlier this month I went to the annual summer conference of the SCBWI, and I had a wonderful time. It’s always great to catch up with old friends, some of whom I only see once a year at the conference. Lin Oliver and Steve Mooser pulled out all the stops this year in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the SCBWI. The weekend was packed with talks and presentations by such luminaries as Richard Peck, Gary Paulsen, Judy Blume, Norton Juster, David Small, and many, many others. In years past, I’ve always left the conference on a bit of overload, but this year, with the compressed 3-day schedule, it was like mainlining Wisdom and Inspiration. Some of my favorite nuggets below, though perhaps not exact quotes (I’m not the best note-taker).

From Libba Bray:

Sometimes you have to write something wrong to get it right.

Stories need time and patience to find out who they are.

From Laurie Halse Anderson:

You have more control over how you spend your time and energy than you want to admit. You can spend time on things that may make you happy, but also may not make you a writer.

Don’t be a writer. Be writing.

And quoting T.S. Eliot:

Do I dare disturb the universe?

From Richard Peck:

Write not what you know, but what you can find out. Write from observation, not experience.

Unless you find yourself on the page early in life, you will go looking for yourself in all the wrong places.

There was so much more, but like I said, I’m not the best at getting it all down. Judy Blume was very funny. David Small was poignant. Norton Juster, very clever. And Gary Paulsen could be a professional storyteller. Wait, I think he is.

Publishers Weekly has a write-up on the event here.


A few early reviews of Icefall have popped up, and you can check them out if you want by following the links below:

Kate Coursey

Hopping Fun Creations

Rogue Librarian

The Freebie Fairy

And I think I mentioned this, but just as reminder, Icefall is available for pre-order: Indiebound|B&N|Amazon

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