SCBWI Agent Day: The Quick Take-Away

I just spent the day in Newport Beach, at the Orange Country SCBWI Agent’s Day. This great event included presentations by four fantastic kidlit agents including Mary Kole of the Andrea Brown Agency, Kevan Lyon of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, Rebecca Sherman of Writers House, and Brenda Bowen from Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Each presentation was filled with gems and insight, inspiration and the cold hard facts. I will be blogging shortly with notes from each speaker, but in the meantime I thought I’d give you a few fun quotes, thoughts to think about, and the quick take-aways from the event (as pointed out by Ms. Bowen herself):

What I learned at Agent Day:

  • It takes a village to make a book.
  • Show don’t tell.
  • Agents are looking for that “swept away” feeling when they read your submission.
  • Beware of conference polish – this is when the first ten pages are amazing, but on page eleven… everything goes south.
  • Don’t be too weird, just be weird enough.
  • We are writing good books for bad children – don’t moralize your stories for kids.
  • Make sure your query letter sounds like you.
  • Be profitable to your publisher.
  • Publishers Marketplace is a great resource. It tells the truth, but it doesn’t always tell the whole story (more on this soon).
  • Don’t take it personally if someone passes on your book.
  • Don’t take it personally if it takes six weeks to read your submission.
  • Queries are like shopping. You may like what you see on the hanger but you don’t know if you’ll really like it until you try it on.
  • When you feel like putting your pen in your eye balls, you know your book is done.
  • E-rights are a hot topic, and the terms change every day.
  • iPads are good!

Please be sure to stop back soon when I cover each session individually, including sizzling topics like:

1) Mock Agent and Editor Negotiations by Brenda Bowen and Rebecca Sherman.

2) Rebecca Sherman Debunks Common Myths about Agents.

3) Mary Kole Breaks Down the Market and How to Make Your Submission Sing.

4) Kevan Lyon Reveals the Inner-workings of the Client-Agent Relationship.

5) Insights on What Each Agent is Looking for Right Now!

2010 SCBWI Summer Conference Registration Opens

Yes! It’s finally here! It’s time to register for the SCBWI Summer Conference!

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators annual summer conference in Los Angeles will be open for registration starting Wednesday, April 21st (that’s tomorrow!!). This is a must-see event for anyone who is serious about a career in children’s literature. This years event will include editors and agents from leading publishers in kidlit, as well as the insights of great authors and illustrators like: M.T. Anderson, Carolyn Mackler, Rachel Vail, Gail Carson Levine, Ashley Bryan, and many more!

For full information on speakers, workshops, special events, portfolio and manuscript submissions, and registration please visit: 2010 SCBWI Summer Conference Webpage

Sneek Peek At SCBWI Summer Line-up

Yesterday, I was at the SCBWI Southern California writers day, a day packed with great speakers and inspiration. But at the end of the day we got a sneak peek at who will be attending the SCBWI LA Summer Conference. To wet your appetite here’s some of the powerhouse authors and illustrators that will be in attendance:

  • M.T. Anderson
  • Marion Dan Bauer
  • Ashley Bryan
  • Gennifer Choldenko
  • Gordon Korman
  • Gail Carson Levine
  • E.B. Lewis
  • Loren Long
  • Carolyn Mackler
  • Rubin Pfeffer
  • Jon Scieszka
  • Rachel Vail

Other exciting opportunities will also include premium workshops on: Digital picture book illustration, young adult masterclass, pro-track, creating a picture book, and graphic novels masterclass. Also manuscript consultations and portfolio reviews will be available as well!

And so much more! Take a more in-depth sneak peek at: SCBWI 2010 Summer Conference Flier