SCBWI Canada East Niagara Falls retreat! Tons of talent, talk, and inspiration. Here's a bit of what it was like:
"Story matters most." Emma D. Dryden, drydenbks, talking about all the many technological devices and platforms there are.
"Bring your props out before you need them." Kathleen Duey, talking about introducing physical elements or setting details to your reader when they're just insignificant details so you can bring them up again later when they become pivotal plot points.
"Think of voice as personality; the thing that stays with you." Nancy Conescu, executive editor, Dial Books for Young Readers, telling us she needs to see this in manuscript submissions she would consider acquiring or working on further.
"No more missing sock stories!" Tracey Adams, agent, Adams Literary, when asked what she does not want to see...but she did go on to say that anything can work if it works.
Most Memorable Moments
* Walking to dinner and coming across a bride and groom's photo shoot backdropped by the falls. But the wind was whipping the bride's hair and dress all up and around. Immediately, Kathleen Duey stepped up and suggested the bridal party, a group of mostly men standing idly by, form a windbreak by positioning themselves in front of the bridge and groom but out of the photo. They did and it effectively blocked the worst of the wind. Situation saved!
* Waiting to deliver Lesley Livingston to the group tour and snapping this photo as a seagull soared right towards me. Check it out:
* And downloading my photos to find some seagull snuck into my snapshot of Janis and Lesley. Scene stealer! Look at it there between their heads, bold as all get out!
Seagulls aside, in summary Jackie Garlick-Pynaert did an outstanding job of gathering the talent (which also included Patti Ann Harris, art director of Little Brown; author Kristin Clark Venuti; editor and author Lorin Oberweger; director and writer Roman White) and coordinating the conference.
I look forward to enjoying the new connections made at this conference for a long time.