This is the blog of children's book author and elementary school teacher, Stacy Barnett Mozer. I blog about my own writing journey, the journey of other kidlit authors, my classroom, and talk about books. Thanks for stopping by. Your thoughts are always welcome (and encouraged).

Sunday, February 15, 2015

SCBWI NY 15: Highlights Day 1

It's hard to believe that a week has past since SCBWI NY. Here are some highlights from the first day.

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)

And the mascot of the Lobby Rats, a group held together by Kimberly Sabitini and Jodi Moore
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!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Getting Ready for SCBWI 2015!

It is less than one week until a thousand children's' book writers, published and aspiring, descend on NYC. Here are some of the things I am looking forward to this year:

1. Hanging with my tribe
Children's book writers are some of the most amazing people in the world, and I've been very fortunate to meet a wonderful group at the NY conference. If you are coming for the first time, make sure to put yourself out there. You may end up meeting some great friends.

2. Match making critique groups
On Saturday night SCBWI invites attendees to a Gala organized by region. This is a great time to meet local writers and find out about critique group opportunities. If you are a New Englander, I help you make those connections, directing you to our online blog or to others in the room. I love hearing later that these groups are still going strong after this first meeting. Make sure to bring your business cards, your smart phone, or a piece of paper and a pen to keep track of these connections.

3. Getting inspired
Something about being among writers always gets me motivated to write. And often it's not the keynote authors or the workshop presenters, but the people that I meet that move my work forward. It's not a bad idea to bring a laptop. There have been times I've found myself sitting in the hallway writing because I just had to get the words out of my head.

Are you going? What are you looking forward to?