|Site of the conference--the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza|
For me the week included meetings, dinners, gatherings, even running with regional advisors (RAs) from the many SCBWI chapters in North America and around the world. First was the RA garden party on Wednesday. Just before traveling to LA I learned that I was the recipient of a Regional Advisor Marketing (RAM) grant to be used for marketing my novel The Language Inside, and I was thrilled to celebrate this with RAs who'd received Work of Outstanding Promise (WOOP) grants at the garden party.
|with WOOP grant winners Quinette Cook and Genetta Adair; RAM grant winner Kristi Valiant was missing|
|Authors Gary Schmidt and Karen Cushman|
|A gathering of international attendees|
Saturday I received a critique of one of my picture book manuscripts by an editor. Waiting to be called up, another attendee took note of me and said, "You mean even published writers do this?" "Definitely!" I said--I love opportunities for one-to-one feedback on my stories. I also had a chance to meet with my agent Jamie Weiss Chilton, based in LA and on the faculty at the conference.
Saturday evening featured the portfolio showcase, with over 160 submitted portfolios set out for viewing.
|One of many rows of illustrator portfolios on display|
and here we are trying to have a serious breakfast meeting the following morning at 7:30 a.m.
|Frances Plumpton--New Zealand; Christopher Cheng--Australia; Kirsten Carlson--Germany and Austria; me--Japan; Judy Goldman--Mexico; and Kathleen Ahrens--IRAC based in Hong Kong|
But there's more. On Monday I attended optional writers intensives. In the morning I was a lucky participant in Sonya Sones' intensive on writing novels in verse and in the afternoon Gary Schmidt's intensive on narrators and point of view. And gracious Sonya even suggested we trade books : )
|Trading books with Sonya Sones|
|with Tomo contributor Debbie Ridpath Ohi|
|with Lisa Yee and the infamous BatPeep|