Lin Oliver welcomed 1,133 people from 47 states and countries around the world.
The first keynote was Anthony Horowitz, who spoke at light speed, inspiring and entertaining the audience with his quick wit and humor.
"It's not about the money. Setting the world on fire is the natural default for every good writer."
"Writing is about story. It's about what excites you, what you believe in."
"For many reasons, today's children only experience adventure through literature."
"The only difference between a successful writer and an unsuccessful writer is that the unsuccessful writer gives up."
Next was a publishing panel with Justin Chanda, Beverly Horowitz, Laura Godwin, and Stephanie Owens Laurie.
"Things in the children's industry are doing very, very well." - Justin Chandler
We write and publish good books and let everyone else - especially the media - take care of themselves." - Justin Chandler
"Write a great book and people will talk about it." - Beverly Horowitz
"Social media: allows our mouths to reach more people and authors to advocate for each other." - Laura Godwin.
"There is a direct correlation between your twitter presence and the success of your book." - Stephanie Owens Laurie.
"I don't care about your social media right now, I care about your writing." - Justin Chandler
After the publishing panel, attendees separated for workshops and lunch. I spent my time learning about writing leveled readers with Bonnie Bader and finding more about middle grade fiction from Aimee Friedman. It was also a great time to touch base with my tribe sitting in a large circle on the lobby floor. Plus, I found out that the Hyatt shop makes a really amazing chocolate chip cookie.
After workshops and lunch it was time to head back into the ballroom for an unusual keynote by Herve Tullet who had the room making odd noises as he turned the pages of some of his books.
"My favorite word is, 'Ahhh!' If I can elicit that word from children I am very happy."
"I want to do books for babies because they know everything."
Then Kami Garcia delighted us with the history of Beautiful Creatures, how a story written as a dare from teenagers turned them into authors.
"Beautiful Creatures was a 601 word lullaby for teens."
"Finding the right book at the right time can change your life."
"Worrying about getting published and selling books can hold writers back from developing their true stories."
Then it was off to the bookstore to help Kami Garcia with her signing.
The night ended with more tribe time, first at the Gala helping New England members feel welcome and find critique groups, then spending time with my New England friends, the PA crew, and the Lobby Rats. I was too busy socializing to take pictures, but above is the largest pretzel I have ever eaten (they needed to bring over a separate table)
who both wrote posts about the event. Fortunately Kim grabbed one shot of me before heading up to bed, so here we are at the end of the night.
Day 2 highlights coming soon!