Conference unpacking

Wow, what a weekend!

I just got back from NYC, and it’s official: I heart NY. What an amazing place. So let me unpack a bit.

The RPB Conference was wonderful. A fantastic group of about 25 people met and discussed picture books and the intricacies of rhyme, meter, and publication. Yep, I was in heaven.

Huge thanks to Angie Karcher, the maestro of this event as well as of RhyPiBoMo, a monthlong challenge to come up with rhyming picture book ideas. Her team was so welcoming and helpful, and I felt like I made some friends. Now I need to work to keep in touch with everyone!

I also had the pleasure of chatting over lunch with Julie Gribble of KidLitTV, the host of the conference. Not only was it a warm and welcoming space, but KidLitTV is an amazing organization that produces videos and podcasts that support and enhance children’s literature. Incredible what they’re doing.

The Poetry Postcard Schmooze was a lot of fun, even if I felt a little self-conscious and out of my element–only because cocktail parties and chit-chat are not where I’m most comfortable. (Put me in a wig and a tutu and it’s a different story.) But I don’t think I managed to offend anyone, and I collected a bunch of cool postcards and business cards, and hopefully some contacts in the biz that will develop into friends/mentors/colleagues.

I particularly hit it off with Kendra Marcus, an agent who liked one of my ideas. Chatting with her has lit a fire under me to flesh out this particular idea into something really good. She seems like someone I’d be happy to work with, and she offered great, straightforward advice. (She also emphasized the same mantra I find myself using when I’m editing and reviewing: Where is the story? Right away I knew I liked her!)

So I am home, and my butt is in my chair, and I am writing. What better result from a literary conference?

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