Monday, August 5, 2013


Today is the last day of the 42 Annual SCBWI Summer Conference, of which I did not attend. Why, you may ask, that a budding author like myself did not attend the writing event of the year when it's held in my own backyard? Because I didn't have an extra $1,000.00 in my budget for this event: $500.00-registration, $56.00 -parking, $100.00 -food, $100.00 -manuscript consultation*, $220.00 -Post conference intensives*, and an untold amount of cash for all the books I would want to buy and have autographed by all the talented people at the conference. (Note: the cost  goes up another $1,000 if I want to stay at the hotel and not commute back and forth.) So, I did the next best thing, I followed the event through social media. It wasn't the same as being there, but it was a perfect fit for my budget.

*This is optional but if you're going to go, why not go all in, right?

I have attended this event in the past, on a part-time basis, and found it electrifying! Sadly, part-time attendance is no longer an option, due to the event selling out each year.  But, as I said above, I did follow through social media and was able to glean some tips I found worthy of sharing:

Great quotes:

  • Nobody but a reader ever became a writer. --Richard Peck 
  • A good writer leaves a question unanswered (at the end) without undoing the story.--Krista Marino
  • One thing I learned from sports: it's all about how hard you work when no one's watching you. --Matt de la Pena
  • We start in the story, not at the beginning.--Richard Peck 
  • Often it is not what you say, but how you say it. --Andrea Pinkney, executive editor at Scholastic.
  • Don't put kids to sleep; wake them up! --Jon Scieszks
  • -Your first chapter is your last chapter in disguise. -- Richard Peck 
  • I would love my clients to think of themselves as brands because this is a for-profit business. Thinking of yourself as a brand ... you're going to see more success earlier on. --Ginger Clark literary agent with Curtis Brown, LTD.
  • You can't write for the trends.  As long as it's strong and fresh, agents are open to it.  --Deborah Halverson 
  • If you will it, it is not a dream. If you want it, you can have it. It's up to you. --Henry Winkler
A few favorite posts from the conference blog:


This is only a sample of the great tips and quotes I found on social media. To see more check out the official blog,  #LA13SCBWI, and Facebook. If you're thinking about going next year, you can also check out the events schedule from this year to see what you missed. For actual photos take a peek at the highlights from the 2012 summer conference because the photos for the 2013 aren't up yet.
I hope to attend the 2014 summer conference, but only time, and Mr. Budget, will tell whether that will become a reality.

Did you attend this year's conference? Are you going to the International SCBWI Conference Winter Conference in New York? Do you wonder why the summer conference is in L.A. and the winter conference is in New York, too?


10 comments:

Melissa said...

Great post! Thanks for the links.

Sorry you weren't able to go, but it sounds like you got some good stuff out of it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is expensive! Sounds like you got a lot out of it for free following it online.

Julie Flanders said...

Love the quotes! Sounds like a great event, I hope you will be able to attend next year.

Samantha May said...

Wow that's expensive! I'm just trying to pay for college :D

Thanks for sharing everything. I feel like I was there too.

S.P. Bowers said...

My budget is with you. I've never attended a conference but hope to someday in the future. Thanks for the helpful thoughts and links.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Thanks, Melissa. I was able to glean a lot from social media. I hope the links help you, too.

Alex, online was almost as good as being there. It also inspired me to start saving now for next year.

Thanks, Julie. I do, too.

You are welcome, Samantha. First college, then conferences.

S.P.,it is worth saving up for. Mr. Budget is okay with the one day events, so I attend those instead.

Angela Verges said...

Thanks for sharing the information you found. I would like to go to the summer conference one year. I went to the one in New York in 2010 it was a great experience.
As you indicated, I too will have to save...a lot!

Jo said...

Phew, lot of money. Glad you were able to get a lot out of following on line.

Cynthia said...

Hey Jenn! Yes, I attended the SCBWI conference. Indeed, the event requires an investment, and I had to really think about it before I decided to come this year. Perhaps you can check and see if SCBWI offers scholarships or grants for their conferences.

I think it's great that you were able to get some information online.

T. Drecker said...

Ug! That costs a lot! Good thing you could follow online, and thanks for posting those links. I'm definitely going to check into a few of them :)

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