1. I'll be blogging about the conference as part of SCBWI Team Blog, and you can follow along at the official conference blog here! We'll be led once again by Team Captain Alice Pope, and the rest of the team is Martha Brockenbrough, Jolie Stekley, Jaime Temairik, and Suzanne Young. They're all amazing, and I'm so honored to be included!
2. You can join in the tweets about the conference with the twitter hashtag #LA11SCBWI!
3. Once again I'll be moderating the conference's LGBTQ Poolside Chat - Friday August 5, 2011, from 12:45pm - 2:00pm. We've got a number of the conference faculty joining in, and it should be a great opportunity to talk about including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning characters and themes in our writing and illustrating for children and teens.
4. I'm going to charge up on INSPIRATION! There are so many Keynotes I can't wait to hear! Like the Friday Keynotes from Bruce Coville, Libba Bray and Emma Dryden! And the Saturday Keynotes from John Green, Jon Scieszka and Mary Pope Osborne! And Laurie Halse Anderson's Keynote on Sunday!
5. I'm going to learn some great focused tools and techniques of CRAFT! How am I ever going to figure out which Friday, Saturday, and Sunday workshops to attend? At least I have two writers intensives for Monday already figured out, with a morning session on writing fantasy taught by Bruce Coville, and an afternoon session on Writing Novels in Verse taught by Ellen Hopkins!
6. I'm going to deepen my understanding about the BUSINESS! From hearing what specific editors and agents are looking for (have you looked at the faculty lineup? Awesome!) to mock sales conferences and editor/author discussions!
7. I'm going to be open to being challenged - Jon Scieszka will be giving a workshop on experimenting with multi-platform storytelling, and I like how dangerous that feels.
8. I'll be co-hosting our Los Angeles Regional meeting (with RAs Sarah Laurenson and Edie Pagliasotti, and RA Emeritus Claudia Harrington) on Sunday Aug 7th from 7:45am-8:15am in the one of the two hospitality rooms (The Malibu or the Bel Air room on the California Level - they're just down the hall from each other and we'll have a sign at both directing you to which one we're in...)
9. Outside the conference (and open to anyone in the world of children's literature) I'm one of the planners of the Los Angeles Kid Lit Drink night - SCBWI Summer Conference Edition across the street from the hotel at Pink Taco on Sunday night after the day's conference events! Join Jill Corcoran, Greg Pincus, Rita Crayon Huang, Sara Wilson Etienne and me for tortilla chips, salsa (the dip, not the dance) and conversation!
10. I'm going to revel in being with my tribe - and knowing I belong - and enjoying the strong sense of COMMUNITY from the first moment I pull up to the conference hotel until it's all over on Monday night. Oh, and did I mention I'm MAKING my pajama pants for the Saturday Night 40 Winks Anniversary Poolside Gala? Yup. I'm learning to sew. And they're going to be sew cool! I love to dance, and this celebration is always such a great time - I can't wait!
And here's my best piece of conference advice:
Remember that so much of the magic of attending the conference happens outside the official sessions - so make a point of hanging out in the lobby in the evenings, and striking up conversations on the escalators... Consider that "networking" is just a fancy word for being friendly, which is easy to do when you're surrounded by others passionate about creating creative content for young people.
And if you see me, say "Hi!"
Here's to a wonderful conference experience for us all!