Writing quote

Sure, it's simple writing for kids...Just as simple as raising them.
— Ursula K. LeGuin

Sunday, August 7, 2011


   Ahh...my last day of the conference. How time flies! I got to the hotel early today so I could have a decent breakfast at the restaurant before the day got underway.
Literary agent panel: Shown
from L: Tina Wexler, Marcia
Wernick, and Tracey Adams.
   The workshop began with a panel of 4 agents: Tracey Adams, Barry Goldblatt (who's also Libba Bray's husband), Marcia Wernick, and Tina Wexler, discussing the state of children's books, and what they'd like to see come across their desks (great writing with unique voices—no surprise there!) Gary Paulsen's keynote speech was amazing! This guy has competed in the Iditarod (he told a very funny story about his 1st Iditarod, his maniacal lead dog, and getting lost in downtown Anchorage), trapped animals in the wilderness, and been attacked by moose. When does this guy have time to write? But he is so darn prolific! 
Gary Paulsen
   I attended Beverly Horowitz's (Publisher of Delacorte Press) workshop on acquisitions and revisions. She suggested that authors do their research, and find a specific editor to send their manuscript to, and question why each scene is in the book, not just because we think it's cool or that teens might want to read it. Kids can spot a fake a mile away, so be honest with your stories. Most importantly, she says, give them a sense of hope.
Me and my agent, Karen Grencik
of Red Fox Literary Agency
   My agent, Karen Grencik, and I met up for the Golden Kite Award luncheon. It was fun to see our peers go up for their awards, and the 40th year anniversary chocolate dessert was yummy! 
   The afternoon workshop was Krista Marino's (Delacorte Press) on Finding Your YA Voice. Marino talked about the several components of the narrative voice: diction, perspective, characterization, and dialogue, which is different from your authorial voice. YA is a teen experience. Once your adult voice takes over, it's no longer a YA. A longer discussion on her workshop and crafting Voice will appear in the September issue of the SCBWI California North/Central online newsletter, The Acorn. It won't be posted until the end of the month, but click on the link to check out the next issue and previous issues.
   All in all, the SCBWI Summer Conference was exhausting, but truly inspiring! Thank you SCBWI for all you do for writers and illustrators of children's books, and Happy 40th anniversary!


  1. From all I've read about the conference through the blog and the tweets, I really feel like I was there. And I love that picture of you and Karen! She's my agent, too, and is such a pleasure to work with.

  2. Yes, she's great, isn't she? Wished we had more time to talk, but they sure keep you busy at SCBWI!