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Remembering When I Used to Attend Conferences

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on August 1, 2014 in Conferences, Dreams, Guest, Writing |

The kidlit writing world is abuzz with the goings on at the annual SCBWI conference in L.A. this weekend, and alas I’m once again not there. Instead of having sour grapes about it, I’m remembering the last time I went to the L.A. conference and all the great wisdom I gained while there. So I went into my archives and found a post from way back in 2010, which I’m reposting now.

Enjoy these great nuggets from some great writers!

M.T. Anderson:

  • Books take us away from home, so we can actually see our home.
  • Literature restores a sense of unknown to what we already know.
  • Understanding the past is just as much about forging ahead to the future.

Gordon Korman:

  • What do you use more as an adult? Your sense of humor or your ability to recognize foreshadowing.
  • Kids are more subtle than you think they are. It’s not that stuff is going over their heads; it’s just the stuff we think is important, they don’t care about.
  • Kids are not an exotic subspecies. When we are writing for kids, we are writing for ourselves.

E.B. Lewis:

  • We spend so much time scratching to get some wealth that we miss out true wealth: our children.
  • Sometimes we don’t scratch deep enough to find the true value of our kids. It’s more valuable than gold. We scratch them too deep sometimes and destroy our children.
  • As artists, we need to fill ourselves up to flowing and give it all back.

Rachel Vail:

  • Trick to being a good listener is to actually listen.
  • Spying is key to being a writer. Put on your headphones in a public place, but don’t really listen to music.
  • How can two people in same conversation have such different experiences of what happens?
  • When I get stuck, I make some tea and force myself to remember.

Gail Carson Levine:

  • When you make a list, no idea is stupid.
  • The magic and joy of being a writer is learning about yourself in your writing.

Carolyn Mackler:

  • By standing out, you put yourself out there for a fall.
  • Be proud of what you wish for and stand by it, even if it’s harder than you expected.

Gennifer Choldenko:

  • Human beings need stories; we always have and we always will.
  • Harness the energy of your dreams.
  • Give yourself the right to take risks; you’re not making real risks if you haven’t risked and failed.

Paul Fleischman:

  • Research should be like slip; it should be there but never show.
  • Laughter gives you a sense of control.
  • There’s now way around but through–that’s the writing life.
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