Tuesday, May 1, 2012

SCBWI Poconos Retreat 2012

I had the pleasure of attending the Eastern PA SCBWI Poconos Conference again this year. With The Boy only being 8 months old and nursing, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to go, but the hubby stepped up and watched the little guy at the inn all weekend while I ran off and cavorted with the finest the kidlit community has to offer.

How awesome was the conference this year? Three words: Laurie Halse Anderson! Aside from giving what was probably the best keynote speech I've ever heard, she was just so accessible to the conference attendees. She shared stories with us, offered us advice on our own personal projects, and was honest, thoughtful, and tough about encouraging us to make writing an imperative part of our lives (and she gushed about how cute The Boy is).

So as is my tradition, here's some nuggets of wisdom from the conference that I think have some universal appeal (feel free to substitute the word "writing" for the endeavor of your choice):

  • Word of mouth is a great way to find any professional from an agent to a plumber. (Steven Chudney—How to Find and Work with an Agent)
  • Whether a thing is a mountain or a molehill depends on how we see ourselves. (Amy June Bates—Keynote)
  • Take the time and make the space for your writing dreams. (Laurie Halse Anderson—Keynote)
  • When you create writing time that creates a commitment of the soul. (Laurie Halse Anderson—Keynote)
  • Dare to get excited, even when you might get let down. We could all get hit by a marshmallow truck tomorrow. (Laurie Halse Anderson—Keynote)
  • A vital aspect to nurturing talent is to accept and validate your need to create. Honor, cherish, and celebrate it. (Laurie Halse Anderson—Keynote)
  • You can always make it better. Do not ask, "Is this any good?" Ask, "How can I make this better?" (Laurie Halse Anderson—Digging Deeper to See Farther: Revision Secrets)
  • Facing your fears and not giving up, that’s what the Teeny Tiny Ghost books are about. (Kay Winters—Keynote)
  • Being brave is not being scared; it’s being scared and doing it anyway. (Deb Heiligman—Keynote)
  • The trick about a to-do list is to make it doable. (Deb Heiligman—Keynote)
Stay tuned because the rest of May is all about e-books. And I'll have another big announcement at the end of the month!