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The 2014 NJ SCBWI Conference

I spent this weekend in Plainsboro, New Jersey, at the 2014 New Jersey SCBWI Conference. What a complete and total pleasure!

I was extremely happy to be part of the faculty for this year's conference, where I did two separate presentations: one on using poetic devices and techniques in your writing whether or not you write poetry, and another on working with poetic forms. I was thrilled to have an active audience for both sessions, and to meet other poets and authors. I got a lovely email from one of the people in my poetic forms workshop that said "your love for the art form came across . . . lovely". Really, that makes me terribly happy. (She liked the actual content, too.)

In addition to my presentations, I got to meet a tremendous number of authors, agents, and editors, which is always fun, even if it does make my head start to swim after a while. We writing introverts spend so much time alone, and then to find an entire tribe at once! Well, it's exhilarating and exhausting, both, isn't it? I thoroughly enjoyed every conversation I had, and missed out on conversing with some folks I'd have liked to spend more time with, but that is somehow always the way of conferences.

The folks in charge of the NJ SCBWI (Leeza Hernandez, Sheri Perl OShins, and Karen Romagna) cannot be praised highly enough for their organization and professionalism. Seriously. The pacing of the day was just right, there was plenty of assistance available if necessary, the program ran smoothly and on time. And they sure picked a terrific facility, as well - easy to navigate, lots of areas to meet up and hang out with other people, great food (non-stop, it seemed, as there were always snacks available), and extremely efficiently run by the staff there.

And, of course, I attended other sessions, from which I learned lots of things to help my own writing. I learned about narrative nonfiction from Carter Hasagawa and attended several different picture book-related sessions. I especially adored Audrey Vernick's session on picture book revisions, from which I gained a few new tools for my writer's toolbox, which I intend to put to use in a day or two, once I get caught up on things.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 30th, 2014 04:40 pm (UTC)
Sounds like an awesome time. Very cool!

And the "somewhat overwhelming" bit comes through very clear in your description of it.

Now, I'm tired (but awed)!

Jul. 2nd, 2014 11:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm still getting over the conference thing. But it was a really great weekend!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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