Sunday, August 14, 2011


Conference headquarters
Richard Peck. Lisa Yee, Judy Blume
As some of you know, I was just recently at the annual SCBWI summer conference in Los Angeles. For the uninitiated, SCBWI stands for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. I'm pretty darned sure it's the largest organization of its kind. There were over 1,300 in attendance this year! And because it was the 40th anniversary of SCBWI, the stars were out! It seemed like all the living luminaries in children's literature were there giving keynote addresses: Richard Peck, Gary Paulsen, Norton Juster, Libba Bray, Donna Jo Napoli, David Small, Laurie Halse Anderson, and (gasp) Judy Blume! And those were only the ones I heard--there were even more. It rocked my librarian heart! There were also plenty of workshops and breakout sessions. The best one I attended was on giving dynamic presentations by Bruce Hale (and FYI: look for him in a future Fido and Friend spotlight!).
Me and Arthur's Pack!
Utah pajama girlz!

I warned you!
Saturday I was delighted to have lunch with my new editor, Arthur A. Levine and some of the other authors in his "pack". I felt like such a pup! That night, all the authors, illustrators, and faculty let their hair down at the poolside pajama party. I was SO out of my element, but yes, I DID indeed dance! It was not a pretty sight, but everyone was pretty forgiving. And drunk.
My Newbery dress

All in all, it was a great time!

Here are some of my favorite quotes from a few of the keynote speakers:

  • "Readers are not trends, they are readers." Libba Bray
  • "If you need to write it, there's someone out there who needs to read it." Donna Jo Napoli
  • "Reading became breathing for me." Gary Paulsen, in talking about his horrific childhood.
  • "What I'm interested in is the difference between what the character's saying and what the character is thinking." Judy Blume

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