I am back from a weekend in NYC at the SCBWI conference. It still seems like we were ARRIVING yesterday. Now it's already over and I'm back home.
As you all know I attended with my fabulous writing group, (Left to right: Me, Natalie Bahm, Megan Rebekah, and Marie Devers.) Megan and I had met once before (since we're both from FL) but this was the first time the rest of us had met in person. We all shared a hotel room and made a girls weekend of it. We had a blast. Ever since I attended the Pikes Peak Writers conference last April, I have been a firm believer in conferences. I am also a firm believer in finding a really GREAT and supportive writing group. I had the best of both worlds over the weekend.
I'm not going to post about what the keynote speakers or workshop leaders discussed because SCBWI has a whole blog dedicated to the conference and you can easily go there to find MANY informative posts about anything and everything that went on during the conference. Click here to go to their blog.
I only had a cell phone camera so my photos are blurry but Natalie took some great ones, so once she sends them over I will be sure to post one or two. (We all will.) In the meantime, here are a few poor quality ones...Agent panel. (George Nicholson- Sterling and Lord Literistic, Rosemary Stimola- Stimola Literary Studio, and Tina Wexler- ICM)
Jim Benton (creator of MANY amazing animated characters including Happy Bunny)
Libba Bray (author) on Writing as an Extreme Sport.
Jane Yolen (author) discussing 20 great rules of writing.
I learned a lot over the two lightning-fast days of speakers and workshops, but here's what I think it all boils down to:
1.) WRITE. -That's the big secret. Write a damn good story. Start with that or there's no point in learning the rest of it. Write because you love it. (If you hate it, stop doing it.) Write so that your craft improves. Write to expand your imagination. Write. Period.
2.) A GREAT WRITING GROUP. -I don't know what the secret is to finding a great one. Maybe I just got really lucky. But finding/having a group of people you connect with, trust, share with, and learn from, is VITAL. (Becoming great friends is an added bonus.)
I think those are the two most important factors in this crazy, wonderful, seemingly impossible, lovely, frustrating, heart-wrenching, roller coast ride, of a writer's life. Just make sure to do #1 and have #2, and I'm pretty sure the rest will follow.
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