Ten years ago, I sat in an elementary school cafeteria and listened to Barbara Bottner, Joyce Sweeney, Sue Corbett and others teach the craft of writing. I also ate lots of food and met new friends . . . all for the grand total of $35.
I went to that same conference nearly every January in Miami ever since.
The price has gone up a wee bit, but the conference still provides words of wisdom on craft and marketing, good food and the opportunity to make and reconnect with friends and industry professionals.
I had the great pleasure of being on the faculty of the 10th annual Florida SCBWI Conference in Miami this year. Linda Bernfeld is the mastermind behind this amazing conference. A lot of incredibly dedicated people help create the magic every year. A big thank you to each of them!
Here's Linda, surrounded by her family (and her fairy wings) at the Saturday evening ball:
There was a bevy of exceptional speakers -- authors, editors, agents, etc. You can read the faculty list here.
Here's a fun photo of Bruce Hale, dancing. (During his keynote, he was also singing.)
There was so much fun, friendship, information, inspiration and joy throughout the weekend. It's always terrific to reconnect with my tribe of lovely folks, who are dedicated to creating high quality books for children.
I loved giving my Quirky Characters workshop Sunday morning. Here are some of the fine folks who were kind enough to laugh at my bad jokes . . .
I was delighted to meet Audrey Vernick and her agent, Erin Murphy. Audrey has some great books out, like this one and this one and this one, too. And FIVE more books in the pipeline (so far).
Stay tuned, loyal blog reader, because I will be giving away an autographed copy of this book soon . . .
Here's a photo of Audrey and I holding each other's books:
I can't say enough good things about this conference. It was an honor to be part of the magic.
As much as I enjoyed the conference, it was nice to get home to my guys, both tall and furry. (Even the dog gave me a hug. And oldest son actually came out and dragged my suitcase into the house.)
Then reality set in as the washing machine overflowed. But the teens saved the day by unplugging the thing, moving furniture and grabbing armloads of towels to sop up the mess until I could fix the blasted thing.
Now? It's back to work with renewed vim and vigor!