Go Day 2 – #LA15SCBWI

Yes it is day two and this is one full-on complete totally time absorbing, word consuming inspirational day.

So far this year I have been to conferences where the stupendous and fantastical Dan Santat and amazing and exhilarating Kwame Alexander have both starred – in New York at the winter conference and again in New England at the spring retreat … so it’s not to hard to guess who is also here at the summer conference. Caldecott winning Dan started this morning talking about taste and improving craft and telling his story of coming to his first SCBWI summer conference – not that long ago – and getting noticed by Arthur Levine who soon has his signature on contract. Some of Dan’s words: it’s not a race to the mountain top; everyone finds their time if they put in the work and improve their taste; review critically and do what you love, think about the craft of what you are doing. Grand!

The agent panel was up next discussing all things agenting talking about current trends, what they look for in clients, how they work, and oodles more. Again more workshops in the morning and afternoon with sessions on chapter books, to breaking the rules of non-fiction to the art and business of translation, unforgettable picture book characters to Mem and her publisher Allyn chatting about picture books.

Lunch, more keynotes, more workshops and finally a panel discussing diversity in children’s books before the end of the day session – and then comes the Portfolio showcase – a huge highlight of all Summer Conferences. Each year I marvel at the brilliant work on display in the showcases and I can’t imagine how hard the judges work to sort this lot out into the winner and finalists. And as for those illustrators – such talent!

And then the ball. This year it was the sparkle and shine party with folks decked out in amazing sparkling costumes and paraphernalia although I pity the house keeping staff trying to clean the rooms the following morning – there was more glitter here than in a glitter factory!

Tonight … I am all sparkled out!

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