Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Lots of emails are popping up from the organizers of the N.J. SCBWI NJ June conference.It's going to be an exciting time in the Garden State in June when hundreds of New Jersey writers gather to participate in the annual meeting and learn from the faculty of editors, agents and published authors about the craft of writing for children. There are many intensives, workshops, presentations and sessions such as "The First Page"

Just this week we heard from Kathy Temean, NJ SCBWI leader, about our manuscripts for critique. Her staff of volunteers will accept the manuscripts and send them on to the appropriate editor or agent for review. Mine is just about ready!

Most of us tremble a bit when we go into the sessions for our critique or wait breathlessly when an editor on the First Page panel starts to read OUR first line! Palpitations!

But what an opportunity -- to have many New York editors and agents, and numerous published writers, giving their time to help writers. I gather new suggestions from the workshops and get a drive of enthusiasm to go home and write, hoping that with the steam of the conference that publishing my new story is just around the corner.

At the Florida conference I attended in January, speakers addressed current conditions in publishing, including publishers and the e-book situation and the unknown future. Perhaps in June we will hear more about e-publishing and also apps for the children's market such as Gale wrote about several weeks ago when she celebrated her sale of her first children's app book. Market condition discussions will certainly help us all focus on what's happening in our world of children's writing. What conferences have you felt provided good support in the craft of writing and the savvy on the market?


  1. I attended the Southern Breeze conference in Atlanta in February and there were a lot of awesome break out sessions - my favorite was given by Sarah Davies, founder of The Greenhouse Literary Agency. It focused on craft - not selling, or the future outlook of publishing - and I left feeling inpsired - not defeated as I sometimes do when they might as well say "You've got a snowball's chance in hell to get published people".

    While I know it's important to learn about the business end - and let's face it, that's what most of us attend these for, to make that contact that might take us to that next level - I think sessions on craft are often overlooked. I found it refreshing.

    But you know...I'm the one who wants to go on some hedonistic writer's retreat to write, drink wine and talk about books...when can we start THAT conference... :)

    The NJ conference line up looks AWESOME! Wish I could attend.

  2. First pages. Oh, how I remember a first page of a poetry collection I submitted at a conference and when it was read, the reader made a critical error and misread perhaps the most important word in one of the poems. I wanted to shout, "No, it's . . ." but I couldn't, and I had to listen to the editors express their confusion about the poem.

    Gruesome experience!