Friday, August 7, 2015


From my notes, here are my craft & conference highlights:

"The reader will feel a certain emotion because the author felt it first" - author Mem Fox

On diversity: "Are your systems of magic Anglo?" -Author westdateseast

Rather than 'write what you know,' Author Meg Wolitzer says "Write what obsesses you."

Meg Wolitzer aims to write the books the younger version of her wanted to read. Me, too!

"Your time will come" -Author/Illustrator Dan Santat

"If you have a rich reading life, you'll have a rich writing life." -Agent Alexandra Penfold

"I think it's really exciting how teen nonfiction is growing" -Editor Daniel Harmon

"Creativity can only happen in a safe space." -Author/Illustrator Molly Idle

"Find your allies." -Author Varian Johnson

After walking us through what she asks students in school assemblies, Girls can you wear blue? Can you wear pink? Can you wear pants? Can you wear dresses? Can you have long hair? Can you have short hair? And how the answers to it all are yes, she says:
"Girls, can you do basically whatever you want? Yes. Boys, who told you that you can only do half the stuff?" -Author Shannon Hale

"Boys feel totally justified in mocking girls' stuff. What kind of culture have we set up?" -Shannon Hale

"There is no greater honor for a writer than to have readers." -Author Deborah Wiles

"You need to believe in your work, which actually means you need to believe in yourself." - Author/Illustrator Dan Yaccarino

"You want your plot to ask the right questions of your character." -Jordan Brown

"We gotta have teammates people... we are all on the same team." -Author Kwame Alexander

"Every book teaches us to write it, but not the next one." -Eudora Welty, as quoted by Paul Fleischman

"Your dream is something you should prioritize." -Author Martha Brockenbrough

and a handful of photo moments:

Standing in the faculty line, waiting to deliver our "word." Smiling for the camera are my friends Editor Emma Dryden, Art Director and Author/Illustrator Laurent Linn, and Author Terri Farley

And there's my word, "Empower!" in illustrator Melinda Beavers' conference journal

This moment in Shannon Hale's amazing Keynote on gender and reading where she showed images from the campaign launched by Jon Scieszka to show that Guys Read –  that Guys (can and do and should) Read – books with 'Princess' in the title!

The SCBWI Success Story panel I moderated on the main stage. I'm standing and the panelists are, left to right, Martha Brockenbrough, Mike Curato, Stacey Lee, Lori Nichols and Anna Shinoda

Caldecott-winning Author/Illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky's view of the Success Story panel

Illustrator Susan Eaddy's notes from the Success Story panel
Me with (left to right) my agent Danielle Smith, Author/Illustrator Russ Cox and Author Kelly Klose

Golden Kite Winner Kristy Dempsey takes a moment to shine with me at the Gala

Catching up with Linda Sue Park at the book signing

and of course, there was this moment.

What a conference!

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