I went to a local SCBWI conference in a suburb outside of Chicago this past Saturday. It was really fun and informative. I got a chance to meet a fellow blogger, Tabitha, who has a great blog.
Cheryl Klein from Arthur Levine Books. She was great and talked a lot about Plot. Really informative stuff.
Caroline Mackler from Wendy Lamb Books--also fantastic. She spoke about Voice.
Martha Mihalick from Greenwillow Books for Children. Her topic was, gee, I don't remember because I don't have my notes in front of me. At work now. Well, whatever it was was great!
One agent, Jennifer Rofe from Andrea Brown. Really fun and blunt in her comments on publishing.
Also Harold Underdown, a former agent and editor who now has his own consulting business.
It was all really helpful. The cool thing is that we have stickers with the name of the conference on it and the editor or agent's name which might help us get out of the slush pile. (I never considered sending directly to editors but I definitely will because of this. You never know, right?)
They all talked a lot about acquisitions and how a book is sold. They were all really passionate.
One thing that I took away from this conference is that if you have something good, editors (at least the three that spoke) will help you with it and make it better. They want to see good books succeed. They talked a lot about the revision process, too. Especially Jennifer Rofe, who showed the editorial notes she sent to her client, Cynthea Liu, who was also there. Her new book looks great.
I came away feeling psyched and with the realization that if I work hard enough, I believe I can sell my work-in-progress. Only time will tell.
Now I have the big SCBWI in NY in January, so that should be cool. Overall, good times.