Saturday, May 9, 2015

7th Annual Idaho Conference on Youth and Childrens Literature and Writing

Two weeks ago, I attended my first SCBWI conference, and I can’t even begin to say how much I enjoyed it. Learning from professionals in the industry was amazing. Mingling with other writers was fun. And getting to spend the entire day focused on nothing but writing was perfect. I loved the entire day. I couldn’t write fast enough in my notebook. I wanted to capture every moment. I wanted to remember it all. It was a wonderful experience.

I learned many things from the different authors who presented, and from literary agent, Sean McCarthy. They each gave wonderful speeches and presentations that helped me to learn more about the craft of writing for children. I also had a critique with Sean that I found very informative and helpful. He was kind, thoughtful, and he gave me comments and suggestions on my manuscript that have been beneficial towards my revisions.

Some of the main things I learned from attending this conference were:

• Readers need to feel at home in a book.
• Readers need to see themselves in literature.
• How will children interact with your text?
• What will your characters do that will be visually stimulating?
• We need to care about the characters.
• The transformation of characters is what readers keep going back for.
• Just because it is well-written, doesn’t mean it will sell.
• Clearly see how a character is different from beginning to end.
• Fresh, original concept
• No one can do character like you can.

These are just some of the many things I wrote down during the conference. There are so many more.
I am so glad that I attended the conference. It was a fantastic experience, and I would tell anyone who has the chance to attend an SCBWI conference, to do it. It is worth the money and sacrifice. I will definitely be attending next year.

I want to end this post by quoting author, Matt de la Pena. “If you’re good, and do the work, you can do anything.”

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