Howdy and Happy Friday! Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Northern Ohio SCBWI 13th conference, aptly titled "The Magic of 13." My home SCBWI is Central/Southern Ohio, but the literary line-up/sessions drew me to Cleveland: Denise Fleming, Miranda Paul, Shutta Crum, and Nikki Garcia, Loraine Joyner, Kendra Levin and MORE.
First Pages Panel: Michele Houts, Liz Coley, Marie Lamba, Nikki Garcia
Round-up of Rootin-Tootin' Advice and Info
Mary Kay Carson, author: No Fake Stuff! Researching, Writing, and Publishing Today's Nonfiction intensive:
- What can a book do that the internet can not? Re-examine the format of a traditional book and how that can affect your story, your format.
- Ages 8-12 is too big of a spread when pitching. Instead indicate grade range this way: "upper elementary, lower elementary, middle-grade audience."
- "The Nonfiction Family Tree" is a new way of breaking down sub-genres within nonfiction created by Melissa Stewart & the Uncommon Core
- Time and effort are important in a writer's life. If you do nothing ELSE but write, it will take 5 years to have the 10,000 hours you need to learn your craft.
- Think of the publishing business as a for-profit endeavor and a collaborative effort.
Jodell Sadler, Agent (mine!) & Founder, KidLit College:
- Lucky me, again! My agent & roommate for the weekend connected, too. If you can spend a chunk of time with your agent, it is a true gift.
- Jodell, pacing queen, put Ohio writers through their own paces. We examined first pages, how the story looks on the page, poetry, prosody, and pauses. I always learn something new when Jodell speaks.
- And, super lucky folks can get connected with Nikki Garcia, assistant editor at little Brown Books for Young Readers, even if you weren't in Ohio. Check out KidLit College class "Begin with a Bang," October 24 @ 3 PM CST. Nikki will be doing editorial critiques.
Kendra Levi, Senior Editor, Viking's Children's Books:
- "The Heroe's Journey" is the writer's journey. She recommend's Christopher Vogler's book, THE WRITER'S JOURNEY.
- Kendra has a great guide imagery exercise for writers here. It does cost a mere $6.99. In her character motivation session, attendees were wowed by the wealth of information they could get about the main character from this exercise.
- In a second exercise we wrote a letter FROM our main character to us in which the MC revealed a secret. Again, "wowsers." I had no idea my character wanted me to do a certain something!
Miranda signs stacks of books at Indian Trail Elementary Author Visit pre-conference
Miranda Paul, Author
- We all know about revision, but Miranda espouses "The Pre-Revision Equation" for writers to ascertain if a manuscript has legs as a full-blown story. Here are a few of her steps.
- Is this a story I am passionate about and am I qualified to write it?
- Have you received positive feedback on this ms? Have others expressed interest in it or asked you, "Hey, what ever happened to ________?"(insert ms name.)
- Can you think of other comp titles that are similar in style and/or subject, but not too similar or dissimilar for a publishing house you target?
The Magic of 13, SCBWI Northern Ohio Conference was indeed magical and I hope you lived vicariously through my rocking round-up, pardoners. Yee-haw!
Thank you for generously sharing what you learned, Kathy! I love conference round-ups (and conferences, when I can get to them)!ReplyDelete
Rebecca, you are welcome. We can't all get to conferences, so it is important for us to share what we can w/out co-opting intellectual property. A fine line to walk w/conference talk. Ty for stopping by.Delete
Kathy, I like the way you managed to boil the conference down to these fundamentals. It's great to hear the advice and wisdom of these fabulous writers and editors. Thank you for sharing these pointers!ReplyDelete
Christy, you are wonderfully supportive. Ty for reading. This was such good conference and I was thrilled it was only a 2.5 hour drive!Delete
Thank you Kathy for posting this. I'm almost finished on my Smart Dummy Challenge, and these tips are welcome. Glad you shared.ReplyDelete
Good luck on that dummy. Glad you stopped by, Virginia.Delete
Thank you for sharing the adventure at SCBWI in Ohio, Kathy. What a lineup and what great tips :)ReplyDelete
Glad to see you here, Charlotte. Glad that Goober is better, too.ReplyDelete
Excellent summaries, advice, and opportunities. Thank you, Kathy.ReplyDelete
Thank you for reading this. Hope you picked up a tidbit you can use.Delete
Thanks for the round-up, Kathy! Wish I had been there. Bet you had a great time with Jodell!ReplyDelete
We did have fun. Found out we have similar habits and taste. Funny how when folks connect there are many reasons!Delete
Thank you for sharing your expereince of "The Magic of 13," North Ohio SCBWI Conference with us, Kathy. What an excellent opportunity for you to participate.ReplyDelete
It was a wonderful line-up of folks, Suzy. TY.Delete
Kathy, Thanks for sharing so much of your conference! It was like I was right there with you!ReplyDelete
Hey, Mona, so look like the computer is back at it. Yay. Thanks for reading this.Delete
It was so much fun. And so nice to meet you in person Kathy. Hope to see you soon!ReplyDelete
Keila, you r post was fab, too. We will be together again in Cincy area, soon.Delete
Great summary! How neat you met Mary Kay C. I'm in a critique group with her.ReplyDelete
Tina, it is a small, small world in kid lit. Mary Kay C. is so knowledgeable.Delete
Yee-haw, indeed, Kathy! Sounds like a great conference. So happy you found your writing tribe in Ohio.ReplyDelete
Appreciations for leading us thru the high points of this nourishing conference, Kathy.ReplyDelete
Glad you got so much time with new writers, old pals & your agent.
Do you mind sharing a URL or other deertales about the Oct. 25 Kid Lit College event.
Would be intersted in knowing more - tnx!