I spent this weekend at the New England SCBWI Conference, which is always an amazing opportunity to talk writing and learn about craft as well as a chance to see so many friends. This was the first regional SCBWI Conference I attended back in 2007, and I so remember working up the courage to say hello to Jo Knowles and Loree Griffin Burns, both of whom I recognized from their blogs. Now, I’m lucky enough to count both as friends, along with so many other amazing writers whose company I enjoyed this weekend. If you’ve never been to a writing conference but want to give one a try, I highly recommend this one.
A highlight this year was getting to clap for Jo when she accepted her 2012 Crystal Kite Award for PEARL. I was sitting in the back, so Jo is tiny in this photo, but I promise you, she’s there, and she’s smiling.
I presented two workshops at this year’s conference – one on revision and one on mystery writing. Here are the fantastic writers who attended my revision workshop, hard at work…
And here are a couple of them in a more active writing activity, an emotional role-play that we used to replace cliched body language.
We talked about using maps, timelines, and charts as revision tools. After the session, Michelle Cusolito came by my signing table to show me the timeline she was using to keep track of events in her novel-in-progress. Michelle and I share a deep and abiding love for really big paper…
I had a few people waiting with books when I arrived for the author signing, so I dug out my pens and got right to work. I kept wanting to say hello to Dawn Metcalf and Hazel Mitchell and see what they were doodling on their tablecloth at the next table over. But every time I started to get up, someone else came with a book. Finally, I got to see their masterpiece — a fantastical interpretation of…my signing line, complete with a wild array of characters holding books!
Above: Hazel & Dawn with their masterpiece!
I promised to share my workshop slideshows here so attendees could reference them later on. (If you weren’t at my sessions but want to check these out, feel free. You’ll just have to make up my words and imagine me next to the screen, talking and waving my hands around enthusiastically.) Here’s REAL REVISION, and here’s WHODUNNIT…AND HOW TO DO IT WHEN IT COMES TO WRITING MYSTERIES FOR KIDS.
Many thanks to the organizers of this year’s amazing conference and to everyone who came to my workshops or took the time to say hello in the lobby or a busy hallway. Being part of this community of writers is truly one of the great gifts of writing for kids!