NESCBWI Conference

Over the past weekend I attended the New England SCBWI (that’s Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Conference, and while I learned a lot and met many fascinating people, I’ll be honest: I was really just in it for the cake:


I kid, of course. The cake was nice, but it was only the cherry on top of a rich, flavorful sundae of booky goodness. Sara Zarr and Kate Messner both gave wonderful keynote speeches, Harry Bliss showed us slides of his hilarious New Yorker cartoons (some of which featured Grim Reapers–Harry, let’s do lunch!) and the panels I attended were all pretty fascinating. Especially the one about book design – Carol Goldenberg showed how a picture book goes from inspiration to a finished product, and I was RIVETED. She was funny, too: “If you can have a goat eat your barcode, that’s the best.” Which will now be my motto for life.

Of course, none of the workshops got anywhere near the sheer star power of the one I was in, titled What to Expect When You’re Expecting: A Panel Discussion About Seeing Your First Book Into The World. From left: Hilary Graham, me, Diana Renn, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Gina Rosati, and AC Gaughen.

No explanation for why I look like a tagalong five-year-old.

The panel went great, we got some excellent questions, and it was fun to just be able to blab all about our experiences and what sort of things might pop up and surprise a first-time author along the way. And when it was over, I inexplicably made this face:

“I will stab you with this Sharpie, don’t think I won’t.”

So there you have it. Before I go, a small public service announcement: the YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes is back! That’s a weeklong blog hop featuring over 50 debut YA authors and a giant pile of prizes. When we did this back in January it was a rousing success, so be sure to stop by the Apocalypsies website starting next Wednesday, May 2 to find out how to get in on the race. And I’ll be holding an extra bonus giveaway here on the ole blog for an extra chance to win a copy of Croak. I’m not saying you’ll be shivved with a Sharpie if you don’t join in, but…okay, that’s exactly what I’m saying.



    • Your speech was AMAZING. Though I was getting heart palpitations just thinking about giving a TED talk. The word ‘coatrack’ kind of terrifies me now.

      Suggestion: maybe we should organize a convention based solely around cake?

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