I’ve been meaning to write a recap of the New England SCBWI (NESCBWI) conference all week, but time has gotten away from me. Here it is at last!
This was my first time attending a conference alone–I usually go to conferences/writing events with at least one friend. The introvert in me was initially nervous about this solo adventure, but that worry was totally unnecessary. The kid lit writing community is so warm and welcoming. Seriously, everyone–from the women I met on the short walk from the train station to the hotel, to the volunteers and faculty members, to the attendees–they were all so nice. I ended up sharing a hotel room with MarcyKate Connolly, who I hadn’t met before but followed on Twitter. We hit it off right away and I was glad to have her to hang out with all weekend. Not only is she super sweet, but she’s talented, too. Her debut middle-grade novel, Monstrous (<–click to add to Goodreads!), is coming out next year from Harper Collins. The premise sounds amazing and I can’t wait to read it!
The two of us also hung out with other writers–some I knew from Twitter and was excited to meet in person, and others I met for the first time. We all had a blast, and I can say that getting to know these ladies was one of the biggest highlights of the conference.
Clockwise from top left: Jennifer M., MarcyKate, Jennifer E., Monica R., Dee, Taryn, Kip, Me, and Ronni.
I also met a few other writers not pictured, including Monica T., Annie., and Alicia.
Click the links to follow everyone on Twitter!
What were some of the other highlights?
*The quality of the breakout sessions–I enjoyed each of the ones I attended, but my favorites were Kate Messner‘s session on revision, Erin Dionne‘s session on crafting realistic dialog, Natalie Dias Lorenzi‘s session on writing multicultural stories (no matter what culture you’re from), and the Q&A with the hilarious and wicked smart agent Jennifer Laughran.
*Tagging along with 20 other writers to a Verla Kay blue boards-organized dinner at a local Italian restaurant.
*Late-night hotel room shenanigans, which included lots of laughing, a champagne toast, and bed jumping. (Here’s proof!)
*Getting 17 and Gone signed by Nova Ren Suma, an author I admire. (She has a fantastic blog!) I’d also signed up for her Sunday workshop–about place as character–but unfortunately she came down with laryngitis. There was mention of a rescheduled webinar once she’s better so fingers crossed…
By the time I got back on the train to return home to CT, I was so happy I’d broken out of my comfort zone to attend a conference without knowing anyone beforehand. Because by the end, I’d gained a handful of new friends, some inspiration to get me through my revision, and a bunch of happy memories. Win, win, and WIN. I can’t wait until NESCBWI 2014!