Sunday, October 22, 2006

Austin SCBWI Conference

Well, we just completed an exhilarating weekend of conferencing. Our SCBWI chapter just had its annual Fall Conference. Speakers included author Bruce Coville, agent Sarah Crowe, editor Lynne Polvino, author Esther Hershenhorn, illustrator Tony Sansevero, illustrator Don Tate, and licensing agent Suzanne Cruise.

Friday night, Cyn and I hosted a cocktail party featuring Texas wine and Central Market catering for out-of-town speakers and those folks who lent a hand at the conference and for the chapter during the year. I didn't get a chance to speak with everyone, but managed to talk with Bruce Coville (once I dragged him away from signing stock) about fantasy, humor, old houses, school visits, our mutual friend David Lubar, and our respective levels of geek-dom. Cynthia has more here,
and Jo Whittemore has some pictures and gracious words here.

On Saturday, Bruce spoke about the need for fantasy and humor (during one of the best conference speeches I've ever heard), and also managed to work in some craft pointers. Tony, who's illustrated some of Bruce's novels, showed some of his new work, including the artwork for Jerry Wermund's new picture book, and also provided fascinating insights into how illustrators should "market" their portfolios. Esther gave a great speech about resources for writers and all that you need to learn if you want to be part of the business. Sara demonstrated what a good query letter should look like, and Lynne told everyone how to get out of the slush pile. (I missed Don's talk, but am positive it was intriguing and useful :-)).

On the whole, the conference was fun and exhausting. Congratulations to outgoing RA Julie Lake, and welcome to incoming RA Tim Crow.

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