Friday, October 2, 2009

Let's Review the Westside Writers Schmooze Review of the SCBWI Summer Conference

We were Tanned.

We were Rested.

We were happy kids were back in school!

29 of us writers and creative types gathered at the Schmooze in September. We told stories of our summers spent writing and being creative, shared good news, and recapped our favorite moments from this year's SCBWI Summer Conference.

Schmooze attendees brought their Summer Conference notes, and as we discussed our three categories of
Craft, Business, and Inspiration
Everyone shared their favorite gems and takeaways--like this one from author Frank Portman:
"It's amazing how much you can cut and still have it."

Or this idea from the master class with Linda Sue Park:
The only way we can ever know get to know people in real life - what they're feeling, who they are - is through their words and actions.

We talked up the Conference Schmooze Blog, where you can find an amazing wealth of Conference information, and the Conference photos, where you can see what the experience was like and (if you were there) find photos of yourself.

We even did exercises, like this one about brainstorming new kinds of conflict, given by Ingrid Law at her breakout session at the conference.

And we shared tips, like this final take-home exercise (inspired by a Kathleen Duey suggestion), which was to look over your notes from the conference, from the conference blog, and even from the schmooze. Take the one piece of advice or quote that most resonates for you, and put it up by your work area.

We ended the evening with two of the most inspiring talks of the Summer Conference: the opening keynote by Sherman Alexie and the closing keynote by Kathleen Duey. Here are two of our favorite gems:

Sherman Alexie:
You write for that 1% for whom your book will be their new bible, and you're going to be their prophet. . . . No matter who you write for, you're going to save at least one person. What more could you ask for?

Kathleen Duey:
Stories don't just teach; they shield. If Captain Underpants can keep a child from hearing her parents fight, "it's literature to me."

So put up that quote, go forth, and conquer!

Rita Crayon Huang and Lee Wind

* * *

Please join us for our next Westside Schmooze on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 7 pm when we meet to discuss "The Horrors of Rejection" . . . and some happy endings! RSVPs to are requested but not required. Come one, come all!

(See details for how to find us, here.)

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