Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Magic of #SCBWIMidsouth2018 Conference

"Always be yourself...unless
you can be an octopus.
Then be an octopus."
My home region of SCBWI is Southern Breeze, which includes Alabama, Georgia, and north Florida. For a long while, we had two conferences a year: October in Alabama, and March in Georgia. 

But no more: now we have a spring conference only, and it moves from Alabama to Georgia and back again.

Which means... MidSouth gets to be my fall conference! And it is such a well-run conference. Kudos to all the volunteers who made it happen.

This was also my first event to share LOVE, AGNES: POSTCARDS FROM AN OCTOPUS. (!)

Agnes was not the only octopus in the room, which made it super-fun. :) Also, I learned so much from the keynotes and sessions... and from other attendees! I came home so very inspired. (You can read tweets from the conference at #scbwimidsouth2018.) I gotta say: Cheryl Klein rocked my world, as she always does!
 AND... I loved sitting next to Andrea Loney, author of BUNNY BEAR, which is about being yourself, and TAKE A PICTURE OF ME, JAMES VANDERZEE!, one of the Harlem Renaissance artists I wrote poems about during 2018 ArtSpeak! In her later keynote Andrea told us about how working at the circus and Disney (and improv comedy!) impacted her life and writing. Fun!

One of the things I love about attending SCBWI conferences is the illustrator displays. I was especially excited when I saw this one by Lisa C Brown featuring an octopus as an octo-bus!

 I also loved seeing dear author-friends, like Rae Ann Parker, who is not only a fabulous writer and person, she also sells books for Parnassus Books. So much fun to catch up!

Finally I want to share some goodness I learned in the nonfiction session with Heather L. Montgomery and Charlesbridge editor Alyssa Mito Pusey.

Funny thing: I kind of feel like I learn about writing backwards. I heard so many things in that session that made perfect sense to me... for instance, "nonfiction books start with cognitive dissonance" -- two ideas that don't make sense. Like, say, an octopus writing postcards! :)

But I never could have told you that before this session.

Plus Heather is such an passionate presenter. What fun to learn from her! I am very excited about her forthcoming book about roadkill SOMETHING ROTTEN.

1 comment:

  1. Irene, that cognitive dissonance thing just comes naturally to you. You must have a nonfiction writing gene in you!


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