As a follow-up to TadMack's excellent post about What We Said at the SCBWI conference, I also wanted to add a few notes on our other activities besides the panel—including attending a bloggers' get-together and a silvery Saturday-night spectacle.
Thursday evening I ended up being our panel's unofficial representative at the faculty kick-off dinner, which was an interesting experience—as probably the only person present who was not either a published author or illustrator, an about-to-be-published author or illustrator (unless you count that still-forthcoming, date TBA short story), or someone in the publishing industry, I felt a bit out of place, but excited to be part of things.
I was assigned to the same dinner table as non-fiction author Carla McClafferty, Smartwriters.com's Roxyanne Young, graphic novel expert Mac McCool (not his real name), art director (for Henry Holt) Laurent Linn, and Cecil Castellucci, plus a handful of others whose names I didn't quite catch (and if you're reading this, sorry! I'm horrible with names!!). And before the actual dinner, I got to meet four representatives of the Class of 2k7—Disco Mermaid Jay Asher, sweet and funny Carrie Jones, and two Gregs (Neri and Fishbone). I especially owe Carrie, Greg, and Greg for making me feel a whole lot less nervous—and less alone in my remaining nervousness. Other than my having to scuttle, embarrassed, to the bathroom in the middle of Lin Oliver's announcements to the group, it was a fitting start to the weekend.
Much better than the following morning, for which I showed up tardy after being caught in traffic…but then I found myself running late into the building with Cecil Castellucci, who'd also been delayed, so that was an interesting start to the day. Though, as TadMack and Little Willow noted, we had to forgo the first couple of keynote speeches on Friday in favor of…erm…preparing our presentation, we were able to see an excellent breakout session from the inimitable Tamora Pierce, as well as some interesting comments about professional criticism from an array of editors. As it turns out, Arthur Levine (he of the eponymous imprint) is quite a character. An amusing character.
Then, that night, there was a kidlit bloggers' drink night out on the patio, which brought up the VERY interesting problem that nobody knew how to recognize each other in person. Plus, there were non-bloggers there, and it was difficult to tell who was a blogger and who wasn't. We should have all agreed to wear some kind of special symbol or sticker or name tags declaring our blogging identities. So I only ended up talking to a special few folks—Greg of Gotta Book, Kelly F. of Writing and Ruminating, fellow panelist Kelly H. of Big A little a and TEOTF, Sara of Read. Write. Believe., Jay Asher of Disco Mermaids, and relatively new blogger Melissa (sorry, can't find your blog at the moment!!). Still, it was great seeing how many people turned out for the get-together, even if not everyone was a blogger.
Tune in later for the second half of What We Did (and Who We Saw)!