by Christine Van Zandt
On March 12, 2016, writers from all walks of life attended this year’s daylong SCBWI-Los Angeles Writer’s Day at the beautiful Skirball Cultural Center. The comfortable seating was an ideal place to take in presentations by the four keynote speakers: Stephanie Stein, Brenda Bowen, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, and Robin LaFevers. As with other SCBWI events, Writer’s Day provided opportunity for education, motivation, and networking.
The morning opened with Stephanie Stein’s inspirational presentation, “Writing Your Book (Not Someone Else’s). Stein is an editor at HarperCollins.
Next up, Brenda Bowen, an agent at Greenburger Associates, shared with us her knowledge of the industry with, “Bunny Eat Bunny: Thirty Years of Kids’ Book Publishing—Brought to You in 60 Minutes.”
After a delicious lunch in the sunny outdoor patio, we were encouraged to overcome our shyness by author and illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s presentation, “Introverts, Rejections, and Lightning Rods.”
The day of speakers was concluded with author Robin LaFevers’s advice on “Digging Deep, Letting Go, and Breaking Out: Some Thoughts On Building a Sustainable Creative Life While Pursuing Your Publishing Goals.”
Throughout the day, attendees received smaller-group instruction in breakout sessions with one of the four speakers. Because of limited class size, these sessions were both educational and personal.
Attendees also had the opportunity to schedule ahead for face-to-face critique.
Karen Vreeland from Once Upon a Time in Montrose provided the conference bookstore.
Congratulations to the Writer’s Day contest winners:
First place Puggy and the Baby by Wakako M. Rollinger
First runner-up When Mice Move In by Sue Welfringer
Second runner-up The Orchestra Train by Alison Bonn
Other (included nonfiction and poetry submissions)
First place Art on Wheels: Pakistan’s Decorated Trucks by Colleen Paeff
First runner-up The Kids’ Guide to Writing Fiction by Laurisa White Reyes
First place The Last Crane by Cheryl Manning
First runner-up Warling by Nancy Whitesides
First place Blanca and the Ruins by Andrea Ellickson
First runner-up Across the Silver River by Mort Bernstein
Second runner-up Stricken by Abi Estrin Cunningham
We hope to see you at Writer’s Day next year!