April 17, 2006

Odds and Ends on a Sunny Monday

Carpe Diem, Memento Mori: Muriel Sparks, born 2.1.1906, and best known for her novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, died April 15th. Not at all a YA novel, Brodie still captured in essence the cutthroat competitiveness, petty triumphs and mobster-style clannishness of high school girls. I best loved Sparks' book Memento Mori despite Brodie being more remembered for its cinematic adaptation of sinister plotting in a girl's school. I preferred Memento because of its unusual villains; I rather like the idea of sinister plotting amongst the elderly; the disembodied phone calls and shadowy voices were hysterical, as were her descriptions of the foibles and fetishes of certain portions of our population (and now you know what happens to dirty young men - they just get old). Now I shall go onto the porch and open my happy tale of death in the geriatric years as a salute to the grand old dame of sinister. Goodbye, Ms. Muriel. Memento mori, on this sunny day: remember that you must die.


This summer, if you're not up to the spendy trip to L.A. for the SCBWI conference, if you want something more specifically geared to writers of literature for older children, or you just want somewhere new to go, here's a conference that's a little closer to the Coast, and a bit smaller:


A Team-Taught Seminar for Middle Grade & Young Adult Novelists
Specializing in Character-Driven, Realistic Fiction

August 11-13, 2006 * Theme: Crafting Savory Scenes
At the Best Western Seacliff Inn * Aptos, CA (near central coast Santa Cruz)

* Joy Neaves: Senior Editor, Front Street Books * Deborah Noyes Wayshak: Senior Editor;
Candlewick Press.(Deborah is also a fiction and nonfiction author of adults and kids books.)
* Jennifer Jaeger: Associate Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency
* Martha Alderson: Author of Blockbuster Plots, Pure and Simple

THREE FOCUS SESSIONS: How to Craft Scenes Integrating Character, Plot, and Theme

PRE-WORKSHOP APPETIZERS: Personalized exercises, peer-manuscript critiques, readings

*Basic (Fri.-Sat.): Friday: Dinner with editors; Martha Alderson's hands-on session tailored to our group. Saturday: 9.5 hours of master-class clinics, keynotes, Q-A; gourmet lunch. Manuscript critiques (written or in-person) by 1-2 editors; Query/Synopsis & First Pages critiques. $149-339.

* Add-on (Sun.): Garden-patio champagne brunch with faculty. Jennifer Jaeger and Martha Alderson will each do a focus session. Brunch/talks: $39. Also, for added fee: morning critique or consultation with Jennifer/Martha (choose private or semi-private; 15-55 minute sessions).

There are only 40 spots for this conference, so if you're interested, get cracking! Email conference director Nancy Sondel * go to www.childrenswritersworkshop.com * or call 831- 684-2042

1 comment:

Disco Mermaids said...

I've had my eye on this conference for a while. Beautiful location. Great faculty.

Very tempting.

- Jay