Monday, January 30, 2012

some highlights from the SCBWI conference in NYC

Writers Roundtable Intensive

I did a lot of humming and hawing about whether or not to go to this conference. Ultimately, the thing that pushed me to a yes was when I saw that Arianne Lewin was giving a workshop on fantasy. I've read books she's worked on in the past, have been anticipating some that aren't yet published, and really wanted to meet her. So. You can imagine my great delight when I found out I was at her critique table. (I think my initial reaction was something like... pfthft?!?!?!) Let me tell you, she is lovely. So much so. Plus she loves all the same books as I do (and it's always a little bit magical when you find someone who loves the same books as you).

The Book Maker's Dozen on rejection 

Your success is directly proportionate to your ability to take rejection. - David Gordon (The Three Little Rigs)

What do you do? What does anybody do? You cry a little for a few days, and then you try to get the project rejected by the next person. - Sergio Ruzzier (Tweak Tweak)

I appreciate it so much when really successful artists talk about their rejections. It's a reminder that rejection is an inherent part of this business, and necessary in order to improve. And, I think, the "fact of rejection" is a kind of invisible thread that ties us to each other, giving us one more thing we have in common and letting us know we're not alone. 

Visit The Book Maker's Dozen here

LGBTQ&A Discussion

Alvina Ling (senior editor at Little Brown) and Jennifer Laughran (agent with Andrew Brown Literary Agency) said that only 1% - 5% of submissions to editors and agents feature LGBTQ characters (the same is true of POC characters) and talked about how disappointing this is, and how much they're dying for more diversity in submissions.

Ellen Hopkins spoke about writing bravely, and said, rather emphatically, "to hell with the censors!" Lee Wind added that And Tango Makes Three is so banned, so often, that this is partially what makes it such a bestseller.

At the end of the day, "The heart wants what the heart wants."

Last of all

Before leaving Manhattan, I wanted exactly one souvenir: a sky umbrella by Tibor Kalman, from MoMa. And now that I have one, I cannot wait for Spring...

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