Oh, What a Wonderful (wik) Conference!

I do so love my SCBWI Southern Breeze conferences, but the wik 2010 conference was extra-wonderful!

How wonderful? Let me count the ways…

*The keynote speaker, Darcy Pattison, was inspiring in her words and generous with her words! She gave every participant a take home CD, Fiction Notes Bookshelf. Wheee!

*The faculty presenters were, as always, informative and entertaining. Though I didn’t attend every session, I can say with certainty that thanks to editor Kate Sullivan, I have a little plot-tweaking and novel-revising to do before I send off my manuscript. And thanks to agent Jamie Weiss Chilton, I completely understand how important that whole character development thing is to the plot!

*I’d read Irene Latham’s lovely novel, Leaving Gee’s Bend, but it was quite the education to hear the story from behind the scenes, along with comments from her editor, Stacy Barney. I took very careful notes about what Irene learned after the contract. My recommendation? If you ever have the opportunity to attend a session like that, run grab a seat!

*The number one tip I’d give to anyone planning on attending a SCBWI conference is to read current best-selling children’s literature. During every session, The Hunger Games came up. Every. Single. Session. Fortunately, I’d read (and loved) The Hunger Games. But if you hadn’t read it? Um, those examples wouldn’t make much sense.

*And guess who won a totally awesome award for her YA novel manuscript, Pen Pal? Come on. I’ll bet you had a feeling it was me. It doesn’t get more wonderful than that! (Thanks, Southern Breeze and all those volunteers, for the best conference ever!)