This past weekend, I attended my regional SCBWI conference. If you are a member, you should go. If not, you should think about joining so you can attend next year. There were agent and editor panels, break out sessions for illustrators, and a chance to do a one on one critique with conference faculty. The crowd went crazy when local author Kathryn Erskine stepped up to the stage to receive the Crystal Kite Member Choice Award, and Han Nolan gave a very inspiring speech about taking risks. All and all it was a great day.
At risk of death (being barred from all SBCWI conferences) I’m not allowed to blog extensively about any of the sessions, but I’ll give you some highlights. The following points seemed to come up again and again:
1. If you’ve got a dystopian, you better have a fresh angle because the competition is tremendous.
2. Social media is a must now for an author. The authors on the panel had varying opinions about it, but all were engaging in it in some way.
3. Funny is good. Bad first pages are bad. Unique (as in not done before) is good. Unique (as in only a small segment of the population will buy it) is not.
All of the sessions I went to were informative, and everyone I met was friendly and excited about writing. I left the conference with a lot of great new information, a handful of business cards, and bunch of new friends. I definitely plan to go again next year!
How about you: Have you been to any conferences lately? Are there any that you recommend?