The SCBWI Conference

The SCBWI conference I told you about a couple weeks ago turned out great. We had an incredible lineup of speakers and about 175 writers and illustrators, all gathered together in one place.

The conference center was big and bright:

and the sessions were informative and energizing.

New York Times bestselling picture book author Judy Sierra started the main session off with a keynote speech on writing children’s books. Listening to her and how she got started writing, as well as the way she comes up with her book ideas, reminded me to keep my eyes open for story possibilities and to keep enjoying the journey along the way. (I liked the title of her speech… How I Almost Didn’t Become a Children’s Author: Don’t Let it Happen to You!)

I loved meeting Laura Kvasnosky, author and illustrator of many books, including the popular Zelda and Ivy series. Her session on writing picture books inspired me to dig out some of my old manuscripts and re-work them. It’s been fun looking at them from a more visual perspective and making sure the problem is introduced early, that there’s a constant flow of tension and resolution, and that the story ends with an ahhh feeling.

I also loved talking with author of the City of Ember series, Jeanne DuPrau, who taught a standing-room-only session on revision. When she and I spoke earlier in the day, I was reminded that so much of the writing process is revision. And time and patience, too. :)

As always, we had a fabulous team of volunteers at the conference (made up of local authors/illustrators). Here are just some of them:

(From left to right, Erin Dealey, Jerri Chase Ferris, Nikki Smith, Kris Aro McLeod, me, Connie Goldsmith, Catherine Felt, Linda Joy Singleton, Cheri Williams, Patti Newman, Nancy Barnet, Shirley Parenteau. If you have a minute, stop by their sites and check out their books!)
I had a great time working alongside Co-Regional Advisors Patricia Newman and Erin Dealey:
Patti and Erin are both picture book authors with several wonderful books under their belts. Be sure to pop by their sites and check them out, or follow them on twitter. (Patti: and Erin:
Our region’s critique group coordinator, Pam Wilkinson, was there as well, doing a wonderful job helping people get dialed into critique groups.
If you’re a writer and aren’t in a critique group, I recommend getting into one. Having someone else review your work is invaluable.

My Nuts and Bolts session started bright and early at 8:00 am, but we had plenty of good coffee and a lot of fun. I loved being able to share some of my own writing journey and tips, as well as connect with many others who are starting out along the same path.

It was a day filled with information, inspiration, and camaraderie. I’m already looking forward the next conference. :)
What about you? Have you ever been to a writing conference or another type of conference? What was your experience?
Thanks for stopping by for Talkin’ About Thursdays. Today’s topic is: anything. Simply add a link to any post on your blog to the link list here, then stop by each other’s other’s sites and see what everyone is talking about! 
<center><a href=””><img src=””/></a></center></td>

I look forward to reading your posts!


  1. I enjoyed this post very much about the SCBWI Conference. Neat to learn some of what went on, and so cool that you did a Nuts 'n Bolts session! Conferences are awesome. I'm not a writer, but I've attended business seminars with Dani Johnson. Just the chance to learn so much and meet so many great people is precious. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  2. I haven't yet gone to a writing conference, but I went to the National Association of Pastoral Musicians' convention last year for the first time since parenthood. It was unbelievably energizing, and inspiring. Do you find that when you go to conference, you come out with ideas for new work? That's my favorite thing about conferences, and I can't wait to start going to writing events.

  3. Great post!! Thanks for the photos! I really loved the group shot of all volunteers. I had a great time and look forward to more NoCal conferences!Linda

  4. Thanks for sharing. I always wondered what would go on at such a conference!I went to a MOPS convention a few years back and it was very energizing. When I lived in Minnesota all of the other Pastor's wives would get together once a year which was great. We don't have such a get together her in North Dakota, but I just may start one.

Comments are closed.