NESCBWI Conference Highlights

Chatting with Annie Sibley O'Brien (author/illustrator of The Legend of Hong Kil Dong, a gorgeous graphic novel coming this fall from Charlesbridge) who introduced me to her buddy Jamie Hogan (illustrator of my forthcoming Charlesbridge book Rickshaw Girl) ... listening to Newbery-award winning author Linda Sue Park's motivational keynote about the "3 best gifts for a writer" (an internal editor developed by reading widely and voraciously, the habit of writing every day, and the ability to play when it comes to revision and just "try it") ... attending my friend Karen Day's workshop on revision where she recounted the arduous process she endured before landing a 2-book contract with Wendy Lamb of Random House ... eating lunch with my wonderful writer's group (3 of us presented workshops, Karen, John Bell, and myself) ... receiving the gift-wrapped journal sent as a thank-you from the conference organizers to my hotel room ... listening to editorial director Yolanda LeRoy of Charlesbridge and the multi-talented Grace Lin describe how they worked together on Our Seasons ... surviving and even enjoying my own workshop as people interacted with each other and connected with the content (Jamie Hogan spontaneously sketched me while I talked and told me she'd send me the sketch, so you might see it here) ... and finally, as ever, wishing there was more diversity of skin color, accent, and gender at the conference, but thankful for the progress SCBWI has made in the 15 years I've been a member. Overall, I felt the weekend was a superb showcase of the excellence and professionalism in our region. Thank you, NESCBWI!