Monday, May 16, 2011

Silver-Spangled Thank You

Well of course there were no Sunday Hikes in the wilds of Rhode Island this week, as I was carving up the dance-floor in a pair of silver boots. Yes, that was me! Why did Wordy Bird make this dubious fashion choice* (apart from the fact that it made me feel like a superhero)? Because I was at NESCBWI’s Silver Anniversary regional conference!

And what a conference it was. Where else could it be confirmed that Jane Yolen is, indeed, a goddess (did we ever doubt it?), that Harold Underdown has a three-way split personality (each of them as insightful and witty as the next), and that Tomie dePaola has an unusual thing for black velvet? Thoughtful, heart-ful, soulful keynotes by Steve Mooser and Lin Oliver who created SCBWI forty years ago? What else can I say but “WOW!”

Edward J. Delaney and Steven Withrow’s Library of the Early Mind, which screened on Saturday night, is a must-see—not just for creators of kids’ books but for anyone who cares about children. Steven, when will we be able to purchase a DVD???

I was thrilled to see several of my writing students at RISD receive awards: Caroline Gray, Lin Norman-Lyman, and special congrats to Jeannette Bradley for winning the R. Michelson Galleries’ award. So proud of you all. And super-congrats to my friend Besty Devany for winning the 2011 Ruth Glass Scholarship (not to mention another award earlier last week)!

And of course, I attended great workshops and learned so much. I have to give a particular shout out to Janet Fox whose two sessions I attended: “Plot Don’t Plod, Pace Don’t Race” and “Elision.” Janet, not sure if you’re on the listserv or if you’ll ever read this, but I can only partially express the impact of your two talks on me. After being so devastatingly blocked for so long with the novel that tugs my heart and soul more than anything I’ve ever written, I feel as if I experienced a sudden turning on of my lights in both of your sessions. It feels as if the rest of my novel is now waiting to burst forth from me. Can’t wait to read your books. If any of you ever have the chance to hear Janet speak, I encourage you to jump at the opportunity.  

To Greg Fishbone, Kathryn Gargolinksi, Marilyn Salerno, Sally Riley, keynote speakers, critique-ers, faculty, and all the volunteers and helpers who worked so hard to make it all possible for use to attend - thank you.

To all my RISD students who weren’t there this year… hie thee hence to NESCBWI 2012! 

*Now safely ensconced in daughter's dress-up box.


  1. I had a great time at the conference, as well, and I agree that Janet is a wonderful speaker! It was nice to meet you.

    --Pam Watts (AKA: the graphic novels girl.)

  2. Thanks for a great conference summary! It was a whirlwind weekend and lots of fun.

  3. Wow. I'm truly humbled and honored by your words. And I LOVE it that I inspired your writing. Please keep in touch and let me know how it goes!! Big hugs - Janet