Alexis O'Neill Volunteer of the Year, Carol Heyer Mentorshihp, CenCal Writer's Day, Charlotte Wenger, Illustration awards, Karen Jameson, Kari Sutherland, Karol Ruth Silverstein, middle grade, Nikki Barthelmess, Rachael Stein
by Ann Rousseau Smith, SCBWI CenCal News Liaison
After numerous wildfires and road closure scares, we had a lovely, informative, and inspiring Writers’ Day on Saturday, October 12. Faculty included Kari Sutherland from the Bradford Literary Agency, Charlotte Wenger with Prospect Agency, and Rachael Stein, editor at Sterling Children’s Books. We also heard emotion-filled, inspiring speeches from three spotlight speakers: Nikki Barthelmess, Karen Jameson, and Karol Ruth Silverstein. After speeches, first page panels, and a writing contest, what’s the next step or steps a conference attendee might pursue?
1) If you received a written critique, take a day or two to absorb the comments. After letting the critique sink in, you can calmly decide which comments to follow and which to ignore, according to your vision for your manuscript.
2) Send out your finished manuscript as soon as possible to any appropriate visiting faculty, especially if the speaker asked to see your work. Be first in line and beat the rush. Demonstrate that you are prompt.
3) Sort through your notes. Update any list you have for books or articles to read. Putting notes from several different conferences into one place will help you locate important information when you need it.
4) Create an action plan—steps to take after the conference. These might include submitting a manuscript, revising a piece of writing, checking blogs or websites of speakers and publishing houses, and sending emails to people you met at the conference.
5) Take time to unwind. Don’t stress. Take what you can from the experience and move on.
Most Promising: Janet of the Apes, by Brenda Royce
Special Mention: Peshmerga, by Gwen Dandridge
Most Promising: Fenelon, Small and Mighty, by Anne Boydston
Special Mention: The Truth about Tracy, by Jane Meyer
Most Promising: Down the Hole, by Scott Slater
Special Mention: The Sparkling Gleam of Imagination: The Fantastical Fairy World of Arthur Rackham, by Eloise Freeman
Congratulations go to Anne Boydston for being chosen for the Carol Heyer Mentorship. Carol will be guiding Anne in developing an illustration portfolio and online presence. After losing her home and most of her artwork in recent fires, Anne is anxious to continue her creative work in both writing and illustration. (Anne also won Most Promising Middle Grade manuscript—go Anne!)
Congratulations to Charlie Perryess, our 2019 Alexis O’Neill Volunteer of the Year. He is the embodiment of the ceaseless volunteer—our regional schlepper (his words). Charlie is always calm in a crisis and brings a comforting can-do spirit to all things CenCal.
Join us next October for CenCal Writers’ Day 2020!
For information on SCBWI CenCal events (open to all SCBWI members!), go to http://cencal.scbwi.org
For more fantastic content, community, events, and other professional development opportunities, become a member today! Not sure if there is a chapter in your area? Check here.
Photos provided by Joan Bransfield Graham, SCBWI CenCal Historian/Photographer.