SCBWI 40th Anniversary Summer Conference

Hi all,
If the SCBWI 40th Anniversary International L.A. Conference can’t revive this lapsed blog, then nothing can! I will now attempt to distill my 20 odd pages of notes, recap some highlights and share some pithy quotes – all from my individual perspective. I may ramble but I hope I will not bore…actually, it’s hard to know where to start, the whole thing was so INCREDIBLE AND MIND-BOGGLING! I highly recommend it to anyone who did not attend this year.
Lin Oliver and Steven Mooser introduced, moderated and shared the history of the organization through historic slides at the luncheon on Sunday. They started SCBW with picnics on the grass in Santa Monica in 1971! I probably passed them on my bike since my family moved to Santa Monica in 1975 and we rode down to the beach every weekend. (In those days, the bike path only started at the Pier and went South to Venice, so we road on the street by Palisades Park down to the Pier.)
The “I” in SCBWI was added later at the insistence of the illustrators – finally a vowel! And all the elements of children’s books in one place.
I also attended a hilarious, gut-splitting and totally enlightening workshop with Lin Oliver and Henry Winkler talking about their middle-grade series. To be honest when I first saw Henry’s name on a book, I thought he was just doing it the way some celebrities publish kids books, as a fluke, but he definitely takes it seriously! He stressed that each character needs a unique sound, posture and manner of speech. He became the FONZ again. I grew up with this show and had tears streaming down my face. It was also fascinating to learn about Lin and Henry’s joint writing process. Bruce Coville’s advice was set out in ten clear points. Mixed with stories of how he got into writing and how he and a writing friend help each other get through writer's block.


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