I finished up classes for the semester on Thursday evening and rolled right on into the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference in Springfield, MA. I always think “oh, I’ll have time to blog during the conference,” but then I talk to people and do things and can’t squeeze it in the way I want.
So, while I am about to run downstairs for breakfast before the day’s activities begin, I’ll satisfy myself by leaving you with a thirty-second snapshot of yesterday:
- First workshop session, on using setting to structure fiction with Jeannine Atkins: Did a lot of writing exercises on setting and discovered some really nice details to use in the revisions of the opening of The Spy Novel that I am currently struggling with. Tip: look for little details you can mirror or echo on the first page and the last page of your story.
- Second workshop session, guided sensory writing with Dawn Metcalf: spent the time sniffing mystery scents and then writing using the scent as a prompt. I wrote about driving through Hershey, Pennsylvania; being sick; a friend who wears nail polish in colors that change every day; and so on. Tip: If you’re stuck, try smelling things to get your sensory memory working.
- Edgy YA Panel with Scott Blagden, Adah Nuchi, Carter Hasegawa, and Rubin Pfeffer: fascinating discussion about whether kids “self-curate” and read what they’re ready for without censorship. I’ll plan another blog post on that for another day, because what they had to say was interesting. Tip: Write what you’re comfortable writing, let the voice shine through, and someone will find a home for your work.
That’s all for now, folks! Now…must…have…coffee…