I’m coming down from a cloud called the Book Passage Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference. It took some doing to get there, some wrangling of schedules and such. I want to thank my “Team,” as the big Hollywood stars do when accepting their Golden Globe statuettes.
To my husband Paul for having to cut out of work early to pick up the kids from camp.
To Paul’s boss Jim for letting him do it.
To my mom, for hosting my daughter for a sleepover, then shuttling her to the first day of a summer reading program (and for having to be the one to receive my daughter’s shocked accusation, “This is SUMMER SCHOOL! This isn’t FUN!!”).
To my in-laws for not only letting me spend the night so that Paul could have our one car at his disposal, but for also taking me out to a delicious dinner, AND picking me up and dropping me off at the conference.
See what I mean by Team? It takes a village to raise a writer.
I won’t go over everything I learned at the conference. I’m still grasping at the wisps of that cloud, and my brain is full of swirls. Here are some highlights:
- Some literary agents think the new New Adult genre is a passing fad, while others take it seriously. For more on New Adult, see this primer at NA Alley.
- If you want to know the differences between Middle Grade novels and Young Adult novels, take a look at the Harry Potter series, which moves from one to the other (the transition happens in Book #4, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). Thank you, Shirin Bridges of Goosebottom Books for that.
- Show, Don’t Tell. That’s what writers are taught from day one. Not so fast! Author Lewis Buzbee says sometimes it’s OK to do a little telling (I agree with this). But don’t go overboard, especially if you’re a newer writer.
- It’s OK to skip some of the seminars, especially if you’re a bit fried. Plus, you might make a new writing friend, get stunningly helpful advice from an editor who offers to look at your manuscript over yogurt and granola (thank you, Susan McCombs), or simply zone out over a bottomless glass of iced tea.
- No doubt, Mac Barnett is as hilarious in person as he is on the page. And I love that he’s also a former camp counselor. Totally makes sense.
- Children’s publishing is probably the friendliest of the publishing realms.
That’s it for now. The dates for next year’s conference are set if you’re interested, June 18 to 21, 2015.
Until next time, beautiful cloud!