Patricia MacLachlan was inspiring, witty, amazing. If you ever have a chance to see her in person you won’t want to miss her. She’s personable and charming in addition to being a great writer and very generous with her insights into writing – I guess you could say the perfect keynote speaker. In fact, I haven’t gone to a workshop or heard a speaker that wasn’t well worth the trip to Gettysburg. John Rudolph, well let’s just say that I didn’t like him and leave it at that. As usual though, I always get ideas when I’m around writers so I know where to begin on my middle grade/YA novel when I start revisions after Nanowrimo.
Let’s not forget Jim Murphy, the Rodney Dangerfield of writing who was the keynote speaker on Saturday. People are still talking about his story about when he took a bunch of book manuscripts out to the garbage truck and had no other copies. Everybody loved him.
First pages and first looks with a panel of illustrator/editors reviewing first pages and illustrations. That is one of best looks at how first pages/first impressions that I’ve ever heard and an especially great help in understanding how my own book should start. Let’s not forget Sarah Davies an agent from the D.C. area who obviously knows a lot about the craft of writing and I think my favorite, Marcia Wernick who also spent a lot of time on beginnings in her workshop session although Lin Oliver is up this morning and she may win out over Marcia. She definitely did win out over some pretty amazing authors last winter when I attended the national SCBWI meeting in New York.
All in all – except for the strange session with John Rudolph – extremely helpful and fun conference. I love all the SCBWI organizers – they go to great lengths to make everyone at home and I especially love meeting new writing friends.