Childish Nonsense

Exploring Children's Literature

MD/DE/WV Region’s Lucky 13 Conference a Success

on October 5, 2013
Claggett MonocacyHall

Bishop Claggett Monocacy Hall

Two weeks ago saw the first two-day conference which I organized together with my wonderful Co-Regional Advisor, Sue Peters. Even the weather cooperated. (Saturday was a little wet, but Sunday was gorgeous.) I got through the entire weekend without a headache, though I was beginning to feel a little like a firefighter.

The faculty for the first big event for the Two Sues region came together as strangers but parted as friends. I’ve never seen such an instant bond within a group.

Two themes emerged – no censorship and social media. I know I learned a thing or two.

Keynote speakers Chris Crutcher and Floyd Cooper could not have been more open and personable. Chris had them laughing and crying at the same time. When we lost a speaker in the last week, he stepped up to help us fill her time slot with an off-the-cuff talk about censorship. (He’s against it.) He also did a breakout.  Floyd can only be described as amazing. One comment came back that Floyd asked if he could join their table at lunch. Was there ever any doubt?

Audrey Couloumbis was wonderful, in spite of her nerves.

Local writers and artists included former RAs Edie Hemingway  and Mary Bowman-Kruhm. Both were well-received. Rebecca Evans, Susan Stockdale, and Tim Young  also conducted breakout sessions. All three were great.

Agents Cheryl Pientka (Jill Grinberg Literary Management) and Marie Lamba (Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency); editors Jenne Abramowitz (Scholastic), Jessica Garrison (Dial Books for Young Readers),  and Laura Whitaker (Bloomsbury Children’s Books); and creative director Martha Rago (HarperCollins Children’s Books) not only gave good breakout sessions, but were tireless in providing critiques and portfolio reviews.

Of course, as usual, a lot of the success was due to our devoted committee and generous volunteers. RAE Lois Szymanski was a huge help with speakers. Plus Lois and Edie left us with that great committee.

Loretta Carlson was tireless in providing a well thought out schedule for the critiques. None better. In her first effort at the post, Linda Jeffries-Summers was a great registrar. Working with a convoluted system, she had fewer problems than I expected. Our blog ladies, Laura Bowers and Susan Mannix, did a great job on the social media panel and in presenting recognition to conference prep challenge participants. Tracy Gold organized our social media panel quickly and efficiently. Shelley Koon convinced many unsuspecting attendees that they need critique groups. She’s right, by the way. We all need a little constructive criticism. Rebecca Evans and Susan Detwiler were everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. Baltimore to Braddock Heights to Buckeystown. There were several other volunteers who stepped up to do special jobs.

I was a fun and exhausting two days.

2 responses to “MD/DE/WV Region’s Lucky 13 Conference a Success

  1. ediehemingway says:

    Hi Sue,

    This is a nice post! I think you meant to say Laura Bowers, Instead of Laura Whitaker, when you were talking about our two bloggers.

    Talk to you soon, Edie

    Edith M. Hemingway Faculty, Spalding University MFA program Author of Road to Tater Hill Delacorte Press hardcover & Yearling paperback

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