After three visits to the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York, I tried the summer version in L.A. The summer. conference is a bigger production, which is odd because New York is the center of the children’s book industry. I saw many of the same faces I see in New York, and heard similar content.
Three people – members of what the conference called the faculty – made a strong impression on me.
The first keynote speaker was Drew Daywalt. His talk was funny and inspiring. Wow, someone at the SCBWI who knows what Creepy and Eerie magazine are! I went to one of his breakout sessions and enjoyed it. I had also signed up for Drew’s workshop intensive, but a back injury put him in the hospital and he couldn’t make it. Bummer.
My other workshop intensive was speed pitching with literary agent, Ginger Clark. I saw her speak in New York years ago and I never forgot her. I appreciate that she speaks bluntly and directly. She also sent everyone who attended a thank you email. See, she’s tough and caring.
Another speaker who made an impression was author/illustrator Jon Klassen. His keynote talk included some subjects and concepts I haven’t heard before at an SCBWI conference. I also went to his breakout session where he reminded me of some of my teachers at Art Center.
I don’t think I’ll go back to the summer conference unless I have another reason for visiting L.A., but this one time was worth it.