Hello gentle reader,
this week again I’m taking part in the Tursday’s Children meme hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez. It is “a weekly blog hop where writers come together to talk about whatever inspires them.”
Today I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned at the SCBWI Europolitan Conference I attended last week in Paris. In case you don’t know, SCBWI is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. As its name implies, it is an awesome way to network with other writers.
The Paris conference had an amazing faculty, with YA authors Amy Plum, Sara Grant and Lenore Appelhans, agents Jennifer Laughran and Jenny Savill, and editors Heather Alexander (US Penguin) and Elizabeth Law (ex-Egmont USA), among others.
Spending two days with these awesome people, you can understand I came home with a notebook FULL of writerly advice. Here are a few things I thought I could share in a few bullet points…
- Betsy Bird, the NYPL’s Youth Materials Specialist and blogger for School Library Journal, once said “Most publishers look for books that have either windows or mirrors.” It means a novel needs to open onto new worlds or to reflect the reader’s life.
- If you’re writing YA fiction, personal marketing is essential. Social networking with your readers is what will sell your books to teenagers, not a marketing plan devised by your publisher. (Amy Plum)
- Networking with other writers before publication is a great way to have support and to avoid stress. (Amy Plum)
- Forget about trends. Write a book as original as possible within its genre. The book will be published in 18 months at the earliest, who knows what the trend will be by then?
- Voice is what matters. (Jenny Savill)
- Do things in your own time. Don’t rush. Write a great book. Learn, Write, Revise. (It took Sara Grant 17 years to get published. Now she is a best-selling author).
- When revising, start with macro-revising (revising the story, the plot, the characters) then micro-editing (word doctoring). (Sara Grant)
- Before you query or self-publish your book, make sure you know: the book’s most appealing quality, who will read it and why, what the gist of the story is, what makes it stand out from similar books on the market. (Heather Alexander)
- A query or a blurb should answer the questions: Who, What, Where, Why do I care? (Jennifer Laughran)
I could go on, but we’d be here all day… 😉 Needless to say I returned from the conference really inspired and ready to write ALL THE THINGS.
Have you ever attended a writers’ conference? Did you find it helpful and inspiring? Feel free to leave me a comment below, and to visit the other Thursday’s Children posts here.