It was very fattening.
Anita Loughrey preparing to gorge during the retreat.
But ultimately inspiring. Don't we all look inspired?
Well-fed retreat attendees just before yet another meal. Click on the image to find out who was photoshopped into the picture (that's what you get when you leave early).
We also saw this goose:
Goose with grass on its beak
What did I learn?
Well Julia Golding (The Diamond of Drury Lane) assured us that it was entirely possible to write 10 novels in two years even if you have three children (and be slim and beautiful and composed but I'm not going to go there).
Julia Golding - and she visits schools and conducts seminars and ...
The charming Shoo Rayner demonstrated how easy it was to get published. All you have to do is write books, illustrate, know html code, learn flash, sing songs, play the guitar, create your own cartoons, design ebooks, have a wonderful, manly speaking voice, speak Norwegian ...
I was so transfixed by Shoo that I forgot to take his picture. Here's a picture of Brad Pitt instead:
Shoo Rayner is a polymath. But Brad Pitt isn't. Or maybe he is. He should get in touch and let me know.
On the last day, the ethereal Tessa Strickland of Barefoot Books came to explain how to solve all your childcare problems by starting up a publishing business. Barefoot Books' business plan combines a conscience with a real love for books and by the time Tessa finished speaking, we had all become Barefoot Book authors ... if only she would have us.
We fell in love with Barefoot Books and Tessa Strickland
The word I would use to describe the SCBWI retreat is 'transformational'.
I came away with a fresh perspective, new avenues into writing, and a sense of confirmation that this thing I am into ... writing for children ... is a really good thing!
Thank you to Sue Hyams for organising the retreat!
Shameless Advert: if any of you are at Hay-on-Wye for the Guardian Book Festival, please, please attend my friend Elizabeth Pisani's talk on Sunday. She drew the graveyard shift ... well, it's at 9 in the morning. As an incentive, she is giving away chocolate and durian flavoured condoms.