SCBWI Summer Conference Recap, Part 5

If you’ve been reading my SCBWI Summer Conference recap posts, thank you. If you haven’t, here’s the fine print: out of respect for the SCBWI, I’m only sharing the highlights from my notes. You can read the previous recap posts here.

From “4 Agents View the Current State of Children’s Books”:

Tracey Adams, Barry Goldblatt, Marcia Wernick and Tina Wexler gave the agents’ perspective on the industry to a group of groggy writers who’d been partying into the wee hours Saturday night. Somehow I managed to take some decent notes.

  • Sometimes they love a book but have to put it on the back burner and sell something else first
  • Don’t be focused on one project; when you finish one, get busy on the next
  • Think long-term
  • You should be getting better with every book
  • To get to the next level, write at the next level
  • Don’t compete with anyone but yourself

From Gary Paulsen’s “A Writer’s Upside-Down Life”:

When Gary Paulsen started giving his keynote address, I thought what he was telling us was too incredible to be true. But as I listened, I realized what he was telling us was too incredible not to be true. And many times while hearing him speak, I wanted nothing more than to give him a hug. The man has had an unbelievable life. And it was a privilege to hear him speak.

My favorite quote from his talk was this, in regard to moose:

“They’re just mean. They’re the Charles Manson of the animal family.”

Mr. Paulsen has had not one, but two teeth kicked out by moose. Unbelievable.

Toward the end of his talk, he gave rapid-fire advice for writing and for life in general. Here’s what he said:

  • Do your best ideas
  • Don’t write down to your audience
  • Kill your television
  • Read like a wolf eats
  • Read what they tell you not to read
  • Read all of the time
  • There’s a need for more stories, especially for kids

Read like the wolf eats. I love that.

Final recap post on Friday. Thanks for reading.