"Whatever you do, don't show your work to anyone!"The novel was buried under an avalanche of rejections of course. Two years of not showing my work to anyone! What a big waste of time! Realizing that I had much to learn, I joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and attended my first conference.
That was 2003. Six years later, here I am at the conference but there's a difference. It's not just that I've finally, extraordinarily got a book deal ... but this has been a bumper year for SCBWI with so many of its loyal members finally scoring publication deals. There is joy and a whole lotta hope as you can see from these highlights:
I have to start with a video, just because author Sue Eves' (The Quiety Woman and the Noisy Dog) school visit demonstration was such a delight (and oh, god, what a hard act to follow!). Note to self: enrol in clown school to prepare for new world of School Visits ...
If you can't see the video go straight to YouTube to view it.
This was part of a lively talk about Getting Your Work Out There - with Fiona Dunbar (who also gave a talk about writing trilogies) and Cliff McNish (who gave a talk on how there were only five plots in the world of story). Here are all three looking very demure just after their talk:
Faster, Lee! Faaaster!
Part of the nefarious traffic control scheme (concocted by organizer Margaret Carey), included a Lucky Dip, in which our Lucky Dip was Oxford University Press commissioning editor Jasmine Richards (I am pictured schmoozing Jasmine below). Dippers got a chance to pitch to Jasmine who said yes, send it, or no thank you. I hear that some people got very Lucky indeed.
Steve Hartley's talk about designing characters following a Jungian model. Apparently, you can divide personalities into four - Analyticals, Drivers, Expressives, and Amiables. It's the kind of talk improved by doing impressions - and yes, Steve, despite denying it, I think you can do a Billy Connolly impression. Here's Steve demonstrating what an Expressive looks like:
It was a fab conference and there's so much to write but I'll leave it there for now - haven't even mentioned Meg Rosoff's hilarious speech and Gillian McClure's wonderful pictures!
If you want a more sensible report of the conference, do visit Sue Hyam's blog.
But I promise I shall be back with more!