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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Top Ten Cool Things about the SCBWI Conference

I know I'm way late on this bandwagon (just check out the posts from Alice Pope, Tina Ferraro, Paula Yoo, the Disco Mermaids, and dozens more), but hey. I had a dude ranch family reunion to go to, people! And it was cool. Anyways...here are my top ten cool things about the SCBWI Conference:

1. Rooming with the hilarious and wonderful Martha Brockenbrough: YA writer, humorist, founder of SPOGG (Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar), GLOP (Gorgeous Ladies of Publishing), MSN cinemama, and brave, brave author of the recent MSN article, Does 'Twilight' Suck the Brains Out of Teens?, arguing for and against the Twilight Series (brave, because she took the against position so readergirlz could shine), and silent sleeper. She got hundreds of hate mail letters on her Blackberry while in LA ("You hate Edward? You stink!"), which she handled with impressive aplomb. She even replied to one articulate, passionate author and suggested she channel that into a wrting career. Nice, Martha!

Here she is in Lisa Yee's revision workshop. Lisa asked for a volunteer to hold the infamous Peepy, and Martha said, "Should I cross my legs while I hold your Peepy?" and then proceeded to turn around while changing Peepy's clothes to "give Peepy some privacy." She had the whole room rolling.

2. Meeting the amazingly adorable, sweet, enthusiastic Little Willow - book reviewer extraordinaire, interviewer, actress, writer, bookseller, and postergirl for readergirlz - while filming material with Justina Chen Headley for the newly launched rgz TV! Watch Little Willow interview Rachel Cohn:

Which brings me to #3...

3. Meeting Rachel Cohn!!! Who is infinitely cool, despite her protests, and humble, and funny, and very, very kind. J's flip camera ran out of juice just as Rachel started to read from Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, so I caught this gem on my phone:

4. Then there was getting to meet Jay Asher, who was one of the first people to virtually high-five me after the WIP and to personally encourage me in many ways. I got to interview him for rgz TV, so stay tuned. He did a workshop on injecting suspense into any novel - and seriously, I could barely tether myself to anything solid during the entire conference, but I took a ton of notes. Best takeaway...anticipation. It's coming...it's coming...it's...aaaaaaaagh! And lots of other stuff. Nicely done, Jay.

5. Hanging out with the fabulous WWA girls - and one guy, Kevan Atteberry - from our home region: Jolie Stekly (co-RA), Jaime Temairik (asst RA), Laurie Thompson (future co-RA), Kim Baker (future asst RA), and Kevan (not an RA). Sara Easterly ("bursting with baby"), we missed you! Waiting for that call (as of 4pm when I talked with her, she's still waiting...)

Stay tuned, will post the next five tomorrow!


  1. Thank you! I'm flattered.

    I love Jolie's red-and-white knee-highs (in the next post) and your sassy sari!

  2. Actually, Holly, *I* had the best roommate at the conference.

    She'd just received word of a two-book deal, and it made everything that happened afterward look shiny and wonderful.