Childish Nonsense

Exploring Children's Literature

Creating Sparks Conference

on July 17, 2012

July 14-15, 2012 marked the summer conference for the MD/DE/WV SCBWI. It also marked one of the best faculties ever assembled for a local conference.

With award-winning authors, accommodating editors, and attentive agents, it’s hard to go wrong. Over 150 attendees absorbed as much as they could of the knowledge and inspiration in the air. Over 70 of the participants took the opportunity to get one-on-one feedback from the editors, agents, and published authors present.

We were covered by the local paper.

As the registrar for the event, I did miss some of the speeches but I never missed the camaraderie, and I caught as much as I could. I even won a bagful of great books and supplies from the pre-conference challenges. Can’t beat that.

Most impressive: Big surprise (not)! Richard Peck. Technically, he only gave one keynote. Since nearly everyone went to his breakout session, he really gave two keynotes. In his first session on Saturday, he talked about there being no app for eye contact. In other words, a good writer will always connect with his reader. He mentioned Maurice Sendak and Ray Bradbury and how well they connected to their audiences. Then he talked about looking for ways to connect and doing your research. Observation, not experience. Research, not recollection.”

His other session was about grabbing the reader. Since the art department will mess up your message, make sure your first line is a grabber. We had so much fun listening to him share some of his favorites.

Most inspirational: Deborah Wiles. What can you imagine? Need I say more?

Most informative: Well, now, that’s a tough question. Christine Peterson, managing editor at Capstone? Sally M. Walker, author of many award-winning nonfiction titles? Author Bobbie Pyron? All of the above, I think.

Most dedicated: Molly Jaffa of Folio Agency. She completely lost her voice and kept right on working. Unbelievable. When I get sick, I still want my mommy.

I heard good things about everyone on the faculty. Everyone was friendly, accessible, and gracious.

I introduced myself to Richard Peck.

He shook my hand and said, “Hello. I’m Richard Peck.”

Well, yeah.

2 responses to “Creating Sparks Conference

  1. I second Sue’s comments and just wished I could be at all places at all times. Sunning outside during breaks was a plus. Sarah Maury Swan

  2. karadhya says:

    Hi, Sue. It was a great conference, wasn’t it? And thanks for the link to the newspaper article. I enjoyed reading it…and am glad the region got some press! See you next time!

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