- You can't pick up everything at a conference or speak to every person - no matter how much you prepare.
- Grow every single plot seed that you sow.
- When pitching to an agent or editor, pretend that you're bigging up someone else's book to increase your confidence.
- Don't worry about whether you're a planner or a pantser. Great writers do both and still achieve amazing results (Marcus Sedgwick and Ellen Renner have completely different approaches).
- Vampires are still big in the UK. Angels and dystopian fantasy are hot property right now. Crime and sci-fi are increasing in popularity, but publishers will acquire any genre if the book blows their socks off (views from a panel that included Rebecca Hill - Usborne, Bella Pearson - David Fickling Books, Sarah Lilly - Orchard, Brenda Gardner - Piccadilly Press).
- You can make a free website at Jimdo.
- Make sure that every character, however minor, is considered with precision - make their presence count.
- SCBWI BI has 400 members.
- If you're going on your own, you will make friends. It's impossible not to!
- You will leave with a sense that your writing world has expanded exponentially, just perhaps not in a way that you predicted.
Monday, 15 November 2010
10 Things I Learned at the SCBWI Conference
I've just returned from the SCBWI BI Conference and I'm still buzzing. The experience was exciting, scary, inspirational and exhausting - everything I'd hoped for and a little bit more. I met some wonderful people and learned some important skills. My only regret was that my camera packed up after the very first session so I didn't manage to take any photos. It's nigh on impossible to sum up everything in ten points here because I had a hell of a lot to learn, but I'll do my best! So here goes - in no particular order...