Familiar Faces and Surprises Lurk at the L.A. SCBWI Writer's Day!
What a blast catching up with so many great SCBWI pals, like Jay Asher (the fine writer of the hugely praised Thirteen Reasons Why), Sarah Laurenson (who won a so-much-deserved service award for her tireless work on the SCBWI-SoCal website), or Greg Pincus with his wit, love of poetry, and fun t-shirts! I finally got the joy to chat with Cecil Castellucci (The PLAIN Janes) -- which we had never got to do at the last Los Angeles Summer Conference -- and to listen to inspirational stories, such as Caroline Hatton's behind the scene chronicles of the scientists who test the world's best athletes during the Olympics, and Philomel's Editorial Director, Patricia Gauch on writing one's passion ("You cannot FLINCH!"). Erica Silverman's tips on writing early readers came at a perfect time for my present graphic novel manuscript... which, by the great Maui, took 1st place in the "picture book" contest of this year's SCWBI-SoCal Writer's Day! What a thrill! And huge kudos to my friends, Kathryn Fitzmaurice and Christina Forshay, who received honorary mentions! Yeah! To all the organizers (Edie & Claudia, & your crew) and judges, heart-felt thank yous!!!