Conference time

It’s here! JambaLAya Kidlit Conference 2019, right here in New Orleans.

Art by Sarah Gramelspacher

Our regional branch of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI LA/MS) hosts this annual three-day conference, full of Master Classes, keynote speakers, written and in-person critiques, breakout sessions, casual meet-ups, dinners, and even a breakfast session for published authors & illustrators. It’s going to be awesome!

Today I am super excited to attend a Writing Master Class with senior editor Grace Kendall of FSG Books for Young Readers/Macmillan. The subject will be Character Building through Community, a craft-centered workshop that will focus on interpersonal relationships and dialogue between characters. This is going to be so helpful as I prepare to dive into the third draft of my novel.

Tomorrow is going to be a full day, with an opening address from 2017 Louisiana Writer of the Year Johnette Downing; workshops with Editor Grace Kendall, Agent Jennifer Laughran, Art Director Laurent Linn, and award-winning author and scholar Freddi Williams Evans; a First Pages Session with Grace Kendall, Jennifer Laughran and Laurent Linn; and a Portfolio Showcase and Contest judged by Laurent Linn. Then drinks and dinner at Superior Seafood (which offers a good vegetarian paella!).

I haven’t signed up for critiques with the amazing array of editors, agents, and writers who offer them because I was in the middle of revisions on my main project (and my newer project isn’t ready yet). Instead, I’ll be engaged with learning as much as I can through osmosis. And copious note-taking. I am looking forward to coming away energized and inspired, and a little bit pleasantly exhausted, as I do every year!

If you’re interested, a few tickets are still available for the Saturday sessions!