Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Austin SCBWI conference

Last weekend Cyn and I had the pleasure of attending the Austin SCBWI conference with about 200 other writers and illustrators and a star-studded collection of speakers.

Friday night, we hosted a reception for the speakers, conference committee members, and certain conference attendees. Catering was provided by Central Market, with additional foodstuffs provided by authors Anne Bustard and Carmen Oliver.

Above, I am artfully directing people toward the food and drink, while Brian Anderson contemplates his name tag.

Saturday morning we were up early for the conference itself. I didn't get to hear everything, but here are some highlights:

Mark McVeigh (the agent, not the Aussie rules football player) kicked things off with a speech about the book business and the current economic climate. He'd spoken at Austin SCBWI a couple years ago when he was an editor and it was interesting to hear his take on things now (he was the editor of SANTA KNOWS). Sadly, he did not wear his liquid suit...

Above, Erik Kuntz, Mark, Frances Hill Yansky, Christy Stallop, Don Tate, and Gene Brenek.

Unfortunately, I missed editor Cheryl Klein's solo presentation and her discussion with her author Sara Lewis Holmes...

Kirby Larson discussed the family inspiration and background behind the Newbery Honor Book, HATTIE, BIG SKY. She is a lovely person and her book is terrific, too.

Marla Frazee talked about what illustrators bring to story in picture books, and then she and author Liz Garton Scanlon talked about how the magnificent Caldecott Honor Book ALL THE WORLD evolved.

Above, Marla, Liz, and Chris Barton, author of the Sibert Honor Book, The Day-Glo Brothers.

Agents Andrea Cascardi and Nathan Bransford talked about searching for, finding, and working with, the right agent. It was a pleasure to meet and hear both of them speak: Andrea represents our friend and Austin author Shana Burg, and Nathan used to be an assistant to Cyn's and my agent, the brilliant Ginger Knowlton.

Above, Nathan and Stacy discuss important matters.

Editor Stacy Cantor discussed what she looks for in a manuscript and the American presence of Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury.

Former editor Lisa Graff had a hilarious presentation and talked about how one looks at a book as a writer versus looking at the same book as an editor.

Finally, a panel of Austin authors (including: Jessica Lee Anderson, Chris Barton, Patrice Barton, Shana Burg, P.J. Hoover, Jacqueline Kelly, Liz Garton Scanlon, Philip Yates, and Jennifer Ziegler) took questions from author Julie Lake.

Exhausted, we headed out for some much-needed barbecue and good cheer at the home of author Meredith Davis.

Thanks, everyone, for an great conference!

Here's some blog coverage:

Texas Sweethearts (Jo Whittemore, Jessica Lee Anderson, and P.J. Hoover): Texas Sweethearts Love Austin SCBWI!
Kirby Larson: Awesome Austin!
Carmen Oliver: Three Words: Wow! Wow! Wow!
Don Tate: SCBWI Destination Puiblication 2010 Conference.
P.J. Hoover: Take that, New York!


Jessica Lee Anderson said...

Such a good wrap-up, Greg! You and Cyn put on one heck of a reception. Thank you both so very much for the great food and hospitality!

PJ Hoover said...

Thank you for being such an awesome host, Greg! Everything was perfect!

shanmugam said...

Food is really a good medicine. Perfect posting for the better choice.....

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