Monday, March 7, 2016

SCBWI Winter Conference 2016

Where does the children  Publishing industry stand? Are their any trends? Can my manuscript fit in somewhere? What steps should I take to get published? Are Agents an important to have? How can I grow as an author or illustrator? How can I have good endings and beginnings? Has technology made the paper book old fashioned? Will the future of  children publishing market grow or slow? All these questions were answered in the conference and many others. The conference started on Friday February 12, I woke up early with an open mind and excitement in  my heart.

Day 1

Morning February 12

Writer's roundtable

Empty Room

I found myself in an empty room, Set up with 24 round tables. That moment of silence was the quiet before the storm. Then the people started coming in, that moment of silence was broken and the excitement and anxiety started taking place.   

One side of the room

As I found my table way in front the program started with a panel. My heart was going fast, as the conversation and discussion  went on. Things that were discussed are: How important it is to research both your books and the people you send your work too. They also talked about how short is good, how important the voice is and that they are looking for books that are fresh and different. That each book you write is a journey. They talked about finding your critique group and expanding your writing to different age groups. Finally, the importance of writing daily, it should be treated like a job. Here I was listening and shaking because the critique was just about to begin. The time went so slow but finally the moment of truth was about to start. The panel went to their tables and cheers filled the room. I am not sure if it was because the panel was finally over or because children  authors were so kind. In that discussion the best news that  we got from it was that the children book publishing industry was very strong last year.      
How the room felt just before the critique.

We finally got to business, I was at table three with six other authors and an agent. The critique has finally started. Each one of us got just a 13 min critique. The 500 words I choose came from my a middle grade novel I am working on called "The Gifted" As I waited my heart, and pulse moved faster and finally my turn came. I read my words in my broken English sat back in my chair, took a few deep breaths and listened. I could not believe how fast my turn came. Bang I was hit with tons of questions and suggestions. They came in waves bang, bang and bang. After everyone was done I took another deep breath and Syed. It was wonderful comments and I learned later that the more questions an editor or agent asks is actually good news for the writer, because they were interested, right now I am waiting for a response from this agent, who may be interested in making me a possible client. As the first critique settled down the pressure of the moment was better and off to lunch I went. 

Afternoon February 12           





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