Glimmers, shards, and rays

I know I posted just a few days ago, but last week I bought a ticket to my first writing conference and I’m really excited about it!! It’s called the SCBWI summer conference (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and it goes from August 5-7 (http://www.scbwi.org). This is a huge investment for me–I’m paying $500, which isn’t even including the hotel room. That’s typical, though. But it means I had to save up for a really long time and choose which conference to go to VERY carefully.

I’m really looking forward to hanging out with other writers of children’s books at a fancy shmancy hotel and maybe meeting some editors and agents too. Oh, and also, the lineup of speakers is AMAZING! I will finally get to see John Green in person, who is not only an amazing young adult novelist, but I have watched him and his brother for years on youtube–go Nerdfighters! But wait, it gets better. Laurie Halse Anderson, Bruce Coville, Libba Bray, Mary Pope Osborne, and Paul Zelinsky (an illustrator) will all be there, plus many more! My goal this summer is to read at least one book by every author lined up to speak. Here’s a rundown on those I already am familiar with:

1. John Green = Humorous contemporary coming-of-age novels, usually with an intellectual twist (for example, in An Abundance of Katherines, the main character comes up with a mathematical formula to predict the outcome of relationships).

2. Laurie Halse Anderson = Riveting coming-of-age novels, often with darker themes such as teen anorexia and rape. Both Speak and Wintergirls are highly psychological and definite page turners.

3. Bruce Coville = Middle grade fantasy novelist from my hometown of Syracuse, NY! I loved his unicorn chronicles when I was younger and it’ll be great to hear from someone who writes in that genre.

4. Mary Pope Osborne = Oh, come on, we’ve all read The Magic Treehouse series, right? I devoured those books as a kid and they fueled my love of history and stories about time travel.

5. Paul Zelinsky = I fell in love with his work during my children’s lit class this year and even before I knew he was going to be at the conference, I had bought myself a personal copy of his version of Rapunzel. His fairy tale picture books are breathtakingly beautiful and reminiscent of the famous Renaissance painters.

6. Libba Bray = (most famous for A Great and Terrible Beauty). I have heard so many good things about her and she hangs out all the time with Shannon Hale (probably my #1 favorite author at the moment), so I am looking forward to reading her books!

So that’s what I’m looking forward to this summer! If by any chance someone reads this who is going to be at SCBWI, please comment and say “hi”! I’m excited, but nervous because it’s weird to be doing something like this all by myself. I’m hoping to make some connections, learn a bunch, and get some practice pitching my novel.

Alright, I have a paper to write (on Winnie the Pooh!!!!) so time to stop procrastinating 🙂

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