Sunday, July 31, 2016
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Unofficial SCBWI Scavenger Hunt!
How would you like to show up to LA16SCBWI and and win cocktails, conversation, and a critique with Chronicle editor Melissa Manlove? In 2011, I attend the SCBWI summer conference in Los Angeles and noticed an underground scavenger hunt in the works—it was to take place during the Saturday night gala. I quickly formed a team made up of strangers (which ended up being a fast and fun way to make friends). We had a blast working the scavenger hunt, but the best part was winning—we earned a private cocktail party and pitch session with Chronicle Books editor Melissa Manlove. In that hour and a half of sipping lemon drop martinis, Melissa generously shared her knowledge and offered constructive feedback. I learned more about my story and writing than I'd ever understood before. Now I can proudly announce I have two picture book deals with Melissa and Chronicle Books and also...oh, I can't tell you the "also" right now, but here's what you need to know—I am certain that the scavenger hunt was the spark that ignited my writing career.
It is with great enthusiasm that I say YOU can have the exact same opportunity if you are attending this year’s SCBWI sold-out conference taking place this month in Los Angeles, July 2016.
Unofficial SCBWI Scavenger Hunt! #SCBWIscavenger (tweet with hashtag #SCBWIscavenger) and/or #LA16SCBWI
On Saturday by 4:30pm, the following will be hidden around the hotel:
a. small plastic eggs containing scrabble titles
b. a selection of unusual objects
c. the indubitable Martha Flynn, who will be the keeper of four blank scrabble tiles (first four teams to find Martha secure a coveted blank tile!)
Please see Melissa Manlove’s Instagram account for photos of the unusual objects and Martha Flynn—the photos will all be posted at 4:30 pm on Saturday. Between that time and 12:00 noon on Sunday, teams will find all they can, and then spell the best word or phrase possible with the scrabble tiles they’ve collected. Post a photo of your team’s word plus any of the unusual objects you find to Instagram and tag Melissa Manlove—you must post your photo to Instagram by 12:00 noon on Sunday and remember to tag to Melissa Manlove!
Important Note: The eggs and objects will be hidden in plain sight, in public areas of the hotel. It will not be necessary to move hotel furniture or decorations to find them, or to step into areas not meant for foot traffic. Please stay respectful of the hotel’s property and tidiness while searching for them.
Anyone attending SCBWI LA16. You may form teams with a group size of 6 or fewer people.
The Biltmore Hotel—particularly (but not limited to) the Red Carpet Ball
4:30 pm Saturday July 30th – 12:00 noon Sunday July 31st
Melissa will post the results on instagram.
"The winner will be determined by an utterly subjective and seat-of-my-pants assessment of the team submissions. Having collected objects will likely tip the scales if I am torn between two words/phrases, but the words/phrases themselves, as exhibiting the team’s creativity, will be the primary point of judgement."
Winners will meet in the bar on Sunday at 4:30 pm for cocktails with Chronicle editor Melissa Manlove (!!!!!!). The winning team has the option to make the cocktail hour into an impromptu critique group with feedback from Melissa—if your team chooses this, each team member should bring up to 5 pages of a work, and enough copies for everyone.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Top Five Reasons Reading Prepares you for a Rich Conference Experience
by Kim Tomsic
If you’re planning to attend a local event, regional gathering, or even the yearly international conference, I strongly urge you to READ! If you read the faculty members’ books prior to the event, I PROMISE—you’ll get more bang for your buck!
Reading books in advance is a great way to connect with keynote speeches, breakout sessions and fellow attendees. Read as much as possible—this means the books you read shouldn’t be limited to those written by the authors on the faculty—you should read agent-client books, too. These are books written by authors who are represented by agents at the conference. This is a great vetting practice, especially if you think you would like that agent to represent you. Furthermore, read books the editors on the faculty have worked on; then when you land in an elevator or at the cocktail party with said editor, you have an authentic conversation opener.
I’ve been to three regional conferences, two Big Sur events, and five international conferences. Every year, I’m thankful I did my self-imposed homework—it's worth the effort.
Here are the top five reasons reading books written/edited/or agented by conference faculty will give you a RICHER, MORE TEXTURED conference experience:
|Mem Fox reading to the audience!|
1. You enjoy keynotes on a deeper level, because you’ve already crawled inside the author’shead. Instead of looking at a stranger at the podium, you’ll feel like you’re listening to a friend. When a speaker refers to their book in a keynote or break-out session, you’ll be connected and understand the “inside” jokes and references. Do you have to read books before coming—No. Do the speeches feel more engaging and meaningful if you do—Absolutely, Yes!
2. You have conversation starters and a better opportunity to connect with the faculty, not to mention connecting with fellow attendees. I can't tell you how many times I've turned a stranger into a friend, sharing the mutual excitement of discussing who’s speaking next and his/her amazing book or illustrations.
|Reading your way to lasting friendships!|
3. You look like a professional. Reading the work of relevant speakers shows that you care about what’s happening in the publishing industry. Furthermore, it’s a great way to vet which publishing professionals are a good fit for you.
4. You get exposed to books and genres you may not have considered—this helps rev-up the creative juices, and perhaps your own work will benefit.
5. And finally, great writers are readers first!
|Kim with her agent Jen Rofe|
Kim Tomsic is a reader and writer of children’s literature. She practices what she preaches—prior to querying Jen Rofé of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Kim first read books by Jen’s clients: Crystal Allen, Kathryn Fitzmaurice and Meg Medina to name a few. Kim’s debut book THE ELEPHANTS CAME comes out with Chronicle Books (editor Melissa Manlove) in 2018. Her next book GUITAR HERO (Chronicle Books) releases in spring 2019.landing her fabulous agent,
***Bonus update: Would you like to sit down for cocktails, conversation and a critique with Chronicle Books editor, Melissa Manlove at this year's LA16SCBWI? Following this link to learn how: Click Here
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