In which I explain just a little of the head-exploding awesomeness that is SCBWI

2014-header-web_no-text_740wideHello everyone.

As you know if you have been following along for a while, this past weekend I got to go to the ridiculously super cool amazing SCBWI conference in New York. I have SO MUCH to say about the conference, and about the people I met and things I learned. The Short Version is: OMG.

And then of course there’s the Long Version, which I hope to write about at much greater length later.

Right now, I just want to wallow. I want to sit here and look at the notebook I took (not too big, but not too small) and in which I filled every single page with notes from panels and keynotes and workshops. I want to think about the way I felt, for the first time in a long damn time, like I belonged somewhere.

Here are some of the highlights (or, I guess, the Medium Version):

1) The day-long Plot Intensive, in which a. I worked with Elizabeth Wein and a small group of other amazing writers and thinkers to talk about the synopsis for whatever we’re working on, and b. I listened to Elizabeth, Kate Messner, Jane Yolen, and other brilliant folk talk about their ideas on what plot it is and how to make it work in your book.

2) Keynotes by Jack Gantos, Kate Messner, Elizabeth Wein, and Nikki Grimes.

3) A break-out session with a kid’s book editor who was funny and smart and completely engaging.

4) The reminder that in NYC they have REAL bagels, which in my current city we do not so much.

5) A great panel called “Where Do We Stand on Book Banning?” presented by a group for whom the answer was obviously NOPE WE DO NOT LOVE IT NOT EVEN A LITTLE SO KEEP THAT BANNING OUT OF MY HOUSE.

6) Being around people who are all about supporting each other, celebrating each other, each of us at different points in our writing paths… I want to write more about that in particular, especially as it concerns me being trans, and most especially as it concerns my YA project, the book about Fenno. Because O, you marvelous people of SCBWI… You welcomed me, and you welcomed Fenno, and it will be a long time before I stop floating on that.

7) I met SO MANY great people. Like, SO FREAKING MANY. A lot of them were people like me, who are at the beginning of this road, and they were awesome, and I admired them and liked them, and would have happily spent days and days and days more with any or all of them.

8) The discovery that Grand Central Station, my new favorite place, is so incredible. How is it possible that I didn’t know how amazing it was before? I don’t understand. (Also, I now understand even less why people put up with Penn Station.)

Anyway. It is late right now and I am tired. And part of why I’m tired is because I loved the conference so much and actually interacted with a lot of people, and learned and learned and learned. It was glorious, and I can’t wait until next time I get to go.

So, yes, I’ll write about it soon. I just want to say, for the moment, that it was the best three days. Just the best.

Pax, everyone.

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