I may be more like the cattle on my farm than I dare to admit. It’s taken me a couple of weeks to ruminate and digest all that I took in at the 2010 SCBWI Confernce in Los Angeles. I’m at a disadvantage to my bovine friends, as I possess only one stomach. And, unfortunately, one brain to store everything. Thank goodness for photographs! Here are some moments from LA which are unforgettable.
Gordon Korman questions why most middle grade novels involve the tragic and untimely death of the dog. Think about it. Sounder, Old Yeller, and the double whammy doggy death in Where the Red Fern Grows. No more dead dogs, Gordon pleads his fellow authors. Save the pooch!
Lisa Yee wows the crowd with her heartfelt tribute to the incomparable Sid Fleischman, who passed away earlier this year.
Paul Fleischman, an award-winning author himself, stood to present the Sid Fleischman award for humor in children’s literature ….
to Allen Zadoff for his YA novel Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have
During the week, I made new friends. This is author Ann Dixon, whose most recent picture book, When Posey Peeked at Christmas, was illustrated by my friend Anne Kennedy. We figured this out two days after we met!
And my new buddy, Leah Odze Epstein, whom I met the very first morning of the conference when we shared stories of the kiddos we left at home.
Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was FINALLY meeting an old friend, Claudia Gabel, who edited THE BEEF PRINCESS OF PRACTICAL COUNTY, with whom I’ve had endless telephone and email conversations, but had never met until this moment. She’s every bit as sweet in person as she is on the computer!
I’ll admit it. Walking around the conference and just bumping into some of the STARS of children’s literature was cool. I know, it’s LA, but who needs Rodeo Drive? I was starstruck enough in the hotel ballroom. Here’s David Diaz.
And the incredible Ashley Bryan, who showed us the many faces of poetry performed like only Ashley Bryan can perform.
And, then I got to speak to the gentleman himself….
I did manage, thanks to friend Linda, to get a quick glimpse of this
before it was time to see this.
Funny, but I wasn’t even planning to attend the SCBWI Conference in LA. A trip across the county just wasn’t in the budget this summer, so I submitted a letter to the SCBWI Martha Weston Grant Committee way back in May. Well, David Deen won the Grant to attend the conference. Congrats to David! But just a few weeks before the conference, I got an email from a member of the selection committee. My letter caught their attention and, although they do not usually select a Runner-Up, they did this year and provided me with a generous partial grant.
So, thank you, to the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators for your support, encouragement, and for putting together a conference that many will find themselves ruminating on for a long time to come.