NESCBWI Springfield May 2019. It all started with a children’s book writing class at my local high school community ed taught by Margo Lemieux.
This has let to my first SCBWI conference … as a presenter!
Here are some highlights of an amazing weekend:
Lisa Yee’s revision workshop was a master class on revising AND a hands-on gentle nudging that both taught and demonstrated how to revise a book. I highly recommend if you get a chance to take it!
Nancy Castaldo’s nonfiction workshop not only taught how to write nonfiction but modeled a fun and effective classroom school visit by wrapping her information around the theme of baking a cake.
I always found “show don’t tell” to be confusing until Erin Dionne explained it in her excellent and thorough workshop that will make you a better writer.
The keynotes from Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Ekua Holmes tugged at heartstrings with their deeply personal and generous sharing of their journey from childhood to now.
I only caught the first half of The Query Letter by Jennifer Laughran, Senior Agent at Andrea Brown and Kristine Asselin before having to leave to prepare for my own presentation. It was very helpful though! I need to work on my Hook + Book + Cook but I appreciate the samples that they shared!
In leaving to prepare for my presentation, I sat down on a bench in the atrium and ended up chatting with Lisa Papademetriou who has created a cloud-based tool for writers called BookFlow. She knows exactly what writers need and want since she is an author herself, teaches creative writing, and was an editor at Scholastic! I’m looking forward to brainstorming marketing ideas with her as well as trying out BookFlow.
I also had the pleasure of sitting next to author Ellen Wittlinger during the book signing portion. I learned that she is transitioning to her first love, playwright! I immediately thought of the A.R.T. in Cambridge and pitched to them the idea of Ellen presenting one of her 10 minutes plays as a “warm-up act.” I think Ellen would draw in a new and younger audience since she has a huge fan base of readers who have aged from teens to adults over her career. Many live in the Boston area and I think they would be thrilled to be part of this new chapter in Ellen’s professional career!
It was also through the book signing — it was alphabetical by last name — that I learned that Padma Venkatraman has exciting news! Her middle-grade book, The Bridge Home, was being reviewed in the New York Times! We had to celebrate this milestone so we grabbed appetizers and a drink before her panel!
It’s sometimes the unexpected moments in a conference that can lead to meeting new people! It’s part of the beauty of being able to meet people face-to-face!
My presentation was on Thinking Like An Entrepreneur For Writers and I share my professional journey from dorm room entrepreneur to author.
I’ll be back next year. Jeanette Bradley invited me to join the NESCBWI new diversity board!
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.