BEST CONFERENCE EVER! New Jersey SCBWI Annual Conference 2017

NJSCBWI_Email_reg_copy_1.png

I say this every year, but cross my heart it’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The New Jersey SCBWI Annual Conference is the BEST conference ever!

What makes it great? I’m so glad you asked. Here goes my laundry list:

Critiques, first pages, workshops covering every imaginable kidlit topic from picture books to YA, pitches, connecting with editors and agents, and more editors and more agents, getting solid feedback on your stories and illustrations (the good, the bad, and the sad ugly truth), inspiration galore, and lifelong friendships. Shall I go on?

Here are a few photographic highlights:

Behind the scenes the day before the conference.

Opening Keynote with Stephen Savage

IMG_4322

Blake Hamilton and Matthew Winner

IMG_4309.JPG

Sheela Chari and Leslie Zampetti

IMG_6305.JPG

Me with Detectives Wilcox and Griswold on the job

IMG_4354.JPG

Anita Arakelian and me (Mawrters in the house – Anassa kata ’89)

IMG_4372.JPG

Virginia Law Manning, me, Leslie Zampetti

IMG_4369.JPG

Leslie Santamaria

IMG_4367.JPG

The Liza Royce Crew!

(Left to right: Me, Laurie Wallmark, Darlene Beck-Jacobson, Liza Fleissig, Leslie Santamaria, Yvonne Ventresca)

IMG_4363.JPG

Me and David Lubar

IMG_4359.JPG

(Top row, left to right: Kathy Temean, Darlene Beck-Jacobson, me)

(Bottom row, left to right: Katey Howes, Jody Staton, Colleen Rowan Kosinski)

IMG_4376.JPG

Me and Hallee Adelman

IMG_4380.JPG

Cathleen Thole Daniels and Rosanne Kurstedt

IMG_4393.JPG

Anita Arakelian

 

 

IMG_4445.JPG

Heather Montgomery

IMG_4454.JPG

Stephen Savage, Mike Ciccotello, Annie Silvestro

IMG_4455.JPG

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

IMG_4477.JPG

Cathleen Thole Daniels, Kirstine Erekson Call, me

IMG_4480.JPG

Closing keynote with David Lubar

I’d like to shout out a HUGE THANK YOU to the amazing, incredible, you-take-my-breath-away NJ SCBWI team, including but certainly not limited to, Cathleen Thole Daniels, Rosanne Kurstedt, Karen Romagna, Annie Silvestro, Kelly Calabrese, Charlotte Bennardo, Guy Olivieri, Mike Ciccotello, Linda Bozzo, Tami Charles, and to all the incredible volunteers.

And do you want to know a little secret? If you close your eyes, take a deep breath, and cross your fingers and toes and hope the publishing gods are on your side, you’ll notice the hint of publishing contracts in the air. How could any conference ever get better than this?

Happy Birthday, KidLit TV!

FirstBirthday

It was a wonderful year of firsts for KidLit TV. Founded by Julie Gribble, KidLit TV is the first multimedia website created to aid parents and educators explore the world of children’s literature. It received its first big award, the Parents’ Choice Gold Award, and it is currently in the process of launching KidLit RADIO.

“KidLit TV is an exciting and informative destination for authors, illustrators, teachers, publishers, and anyone with a passion for children’s literature.” — Children’s Book Council

“Visitors are almost guaranteed to find something interesting and useful, whether they are consumers, producers, or curators of children’s literature.” — Parents’ Choice on KidLit TV

Authors, illustrators and fans of all ages came out in droves to celebrate KidLit TV’s BIG ONE.

Here are some photographic highlights:

IMG_0144

Julie Gribble and Katya Szewczuk

IMG_0143

Adam Lehrhaupt and Ame Dyckman 

IMG_0170

Roxie Munro and spouse

IMG_0182

Kelly Light and Kat Yeh

IMG_0194

Nick Bruel and me 

IMG_0175

Beth Ferry, Annie Silvestro, me and Kelly Calabrese

12247177_1518088331838400_7604690162185614931_n

Annie Silvestro, me, Katya Szewczuk, Beth Ferry and Ame Dyckman 

12278643_1518088408505059_1341909832414588913_n

Katya Szewczuk, Dan Yaccarino and Julie Gribble 

11249552_1518088355171731_5290597657246105559_n

Katya Szewczuk, Julie Gribble and Nick Bruel 

IMG_0188

Katya Szewczuk, Julie Gribble, Rocco Staino and Tad Hills

Rocco Staino and Kelly Light

IMG_0211

Paul Zelinsky, Adam Lehrhaupt and Katya Szewczuk

And as part of this jubiliant celebration, KidLit TV teamed up with Tad Hills and ArtWorks for Youth (AWFY). AWFY provides free visual art instruction, academic support, and mentoring to students in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. To learn more about this wonderful program, please visit: http://artworksforyouth.co.za 

Happy Birthday, KidLit TV! I suspect that the BIG TWO is going to be even bigger and better.

For more information about KidLit TV, please visit: http://kidlit.tv