Thoughts on the New England SCBWI 2015 Conference

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on April 29, 2015 in Conferences, Events, Writing |

First of all a big thank you to all the wonderful coordinators, volunteers, faculty, and attendees who made #NESCBWI15 (the New England SCBWI 2015 conference) unforgettable! A special thank you to my workshop attendees for spending an hour or two of your life with me. So many wonderful moments!

For those of you who took my “Something Borrowed, Something New: Mining Myths, Legends, and Fairy Tales to Write Fantasy” workshop, here is the Workshop Handout ready for download as a PDF. Anyone who didn’t take the workshop is welcome to check it out as well. It has a ton of great quotes from fantasy writers about their inspirations.

I’m still recovering from all the excitement. Unlike many writers, I’m not an introvert, but conferences are so mentally demanding, it still takes a lot out of me. It was my first big conference on faculty, and even though I only attended two of the three days, it was a whirlwind, and I’ve been exhausted ever since. And also chomping at the bit to get back into my WIP.

The thing about being a faculty member is that when people talk to you, they expect you to have intelligent, thoughtful things to say. It adds a whole new layer of responsibility, one I was happy to take up, but also a little (a lot!) nervous about. I had lots of wonderful writers come up to me after my workshops and thank me, so at least I can say I didn’t fall flat on my face. (Though really, who is going to come up to you and be like, “Your workshop sucked!) I’m sure I had plenty of not so intelligent words came out of my mouth as well, but overall I’d say it was a successful endeavor.

My biggest fish out of water moment came when I walked into the faculty dinner on Friday night, came up to a partially full table, and asked if there was an open seat. There was, and boy was I lucky for it! Turns out the table was full of agents and editors and one lowly author (me!). The conversations were varied (everything from the mundane topic of camping to the more scandalous one of incest books) and it was great fun to observe the more relaxed side of publishing professionals.

My favorite moments were definitely talking to other creative people. Whether we only had a moment or two to chat (which was the case with many people I talked to because my schedule was so jam-packed) or a more in depth conversation, I was just wowed by the sincerity and dedication of everyone I encountered. The weekend devoted solely to being immersed in the writerly world has done wonders for my own literary soul.

I have lots of great gems of wisdom from the conference (even a few of my own!) and some terrible pictures that I’ll be sharing next week. In the meantime, I’ll be catching up on sleep and writing, writing, writing.

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  • Vijaya says:

    Glad you had such a good time.

  • Jen Estes says:

    I didn’t take your workshop but I’m sure you knocked it out of the park! I was glad to have a couple of minutes to say hello. It was a terrific weekend on so many levels!

  • Meradeth says:

    Sounds like an awesome time! I’m glad you had fun (and got to sit at that table ;). I’m looking forward to hearing more!

    • It was an awesome time, Meradeth! There was so many inspirational moments. I did a little live tweeting and would have done more but was afraid I’d miss something while on my phone. Gotta be in the moment at those conferences.

  • Corvus says:

    How fulfilling this must have been. I look forward to seeing those “terrible” pictures!

    • It was fulfilling, Corvus! Really, the pictures are terrible because I was so busy being inspired (and didn’t really have super close seats for most of the keynotes) that I didn’t even want to bother with getting a good angle for a shot.

  • Mirka Breen says:

    Woo-Hoo, Katie! How much different it is to attend as faculty. So glad you had a good time.

    • So different in a sense, but I still came out of raring to go on my work, just like I always do after a conference (and exhausted…so exhausted!).

  • I didn’t get to attend the New England conference this year–sounds like it was a fantastic event, as always. I used to volunteer years ago and the Friday night dinner was always a good time. I’m glad your workshop went well.

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