Sunday, February 19, 2012

Austin SCBWI Regional Conference

Many thanks to the Austin SCBWI for presenting Cyn and me with the above award naming us as Ambassadors for the Austin Kid-Lit Community at the Regional Conference yesterday.  We're deeply honored.

Kudos to RA Debbie Gonzales, ARA Carmen Oliver, Illustration Chair Mark G. Mitchell, and the faculty, volunteers, and attendees at yesterday's Austin SCBWI Regional Conference, "Something for Everybody," at St. Edward's University!

Airplane hanging in Ragsdale Center

Faculty included authors Lisa Yee, Donna Jo Napoli, Anastasia Suen, and Chris Barton; attorney Barry Furrow; editor Bonnie Bader of Penguin Young Readers Group (Grosset and Dunlap and Price Stern Sloan); editorial director Diane Muldrow of Golden Books/Random House; senior art director Patti Ann Harris of Little, Brown; publicist Kirsten Cappy of Curious City; agent Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary Agency; agent Jill Corcoran of Herman Agency as well as Erin Murphy and Ammi-Joan Paquette (who's also a children's author) of Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Julie Lake, Mark Mitchell, Jennifer Ziegler
Erin Murphy, with Lindsey Scheibe pretending to be a theropod dinosaur.
 Critique faculty included: April Lurie, Brian Yansky, Bethany Hegedus, P.J. Hoover, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, Jennifer Ziegler, Jessica Lee Anderson, Margo Rabb, Mari Mancusi, Nikki Loftin and Varian Johnson.

The auction items (l) and illustrator portfolios (r)
For Cyn and I, the event began at the Friday night reception at the Ragsdale Center at St. Ed's.  We had a nice chance to catch up with friends and meet those of the faculty who were new to us.  Readings by Chris Barton, Diane Muldrow, Ammi-Joan Paquette, Anastasia Suen, and Donna Jo Napoli wowed the crowd.  Afterwards, a group of us headed out to Frank & Angie's for pizza and conviviality.

Saturday, we were up early for Lisa Yee's terrific keynote and manuscript critiques, followed by an entertaining session with Anastasia Suen and her agent Jill Corcoran.  After lunch, we heard Donna Jo Napoli talk about why she writes "difficult" books; listened in as Jill Corcoran gave advice on how to write a query letter; attended the Agent-Editor Q&A; and the after-party.

And then we passed out.

Here's Cyn's recap.

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