First, to all my lovely readers in the UK who have finished reading Knife and Rebel and are now e-mailing me to ask when Arrow will be published and whether I can make it happen any sooner -- I am afraid that January 2011 is the very soonest the book can possibly come out, because I have still not finished writing it yet! But I am working on the story just as fast as I can. Believe me, I want to know what happens next, too!

***
City of Barrie

City of Barrie, Ontario  |  Image via Wikipedia


Second, I'm delighted to report that I will be one of the guest speakers at the SCBWI Canada East "Spring Thing" conference, to be held at the Kempenfelt Conference Center in Barrie, ON (1 hr. north of Toronto) from April 23-25, 2010.

Over the weekend I'll be giving a seminar on "Revision: The Magic Key to Successful Writing", as well as participating in a couple of panels and doing some manuscript critiques. I'm very excited about it, as I love SCBWI events and this is the first time I've been able to attend one as a speaker. If you're within driving distance and are interested in writing for children and teens, you might want to check this conference out...
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First, a little random Threadless love:

[livejournal.com profile] lizbee, I found you a new shirt.

Also, am I the only one who thinks this design is very New Who S1-ish? If the Eccleston-era fen aren't all over it yet, they should be.

***

And now, the report I promised on my trip to New York City a couple of weekends ago.

Erm... it was good?

More details, including flying frogs, the Queen of Narnia, and Claudia Gray )

Oh, and did I mention that my kids were horribly ill all weekend while I was gone, and well into the week when I came back? And that now two out of the three are feverish and queasy again? I feel like I'm just barely fighting off the same virus myself (thus my rather dismal Valentine's Day post -- I spent nearly that whole day drugged up on Gravol and lying in bed). I can only hope we all get better soon.
This week's House = best episode of the last two seasons. Also, my love for Kutner is so great it may explode my brain. SF geeks unite!

And now before I head off to NYC for the weekend, because nothing says love like a poll --

[Poll #1135153]

I am so excited about meeting [livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63 tonight in person! Not to mention my editor. And my agent. And a bunch of other folks. I just hope I don't end up getting the same thing that kept my five-year-old up all last night, retching pathetically into a margarine tub. That would be... not good. (He's better now, though, so at least I can content myself that it's short-lived.)
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

EVERYTHING IS GOING WRONG THIS WEEKEND.

First, I have a cold and feel kind of achy and tired and stuffy-headed and generally crappy. But wait! That is as NOTHING compared to what I have just found out.

The flight to New York I booked through Air Miles last week, with the nice helpful lady on the phone? The return flight is booked FOR THE WRONG DAY. Instead of returning on the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 10th as I requested, she has me returning on the MONDAY afternoon, the 11th. What's really scary is that I just assumed she had it right -- I wouldn't even have noticed the mistake if I hadn't been sorting out plans to meet my roommate and decided to look at my flight schedule.

MA TIKKET

I've put in a panicked e-mail to Air Miles, and will call them tomorrow, but I am woefully non-optimistic about the whole thing, what with my tickets being non-refundable and all. In which case, what on earth am I going to do? I can't afford to stay at the same hotel another night (it's expensive enough even with a roommate). And I don't know my way around New York AT ALL.

*meebles in a panicked fashion*

Then my husband brought in some very soggy mail from our overstuffed mailbox, and in the midst of it I found a note from the courier who had visited our house on Friday, bringing with him a large parcel CONTAINING MY REVISIONS, which I have been DYING to look at, but apparently this courier either didn't ring the doorbell or decided to ring my parents' bell (which doesn't work) instead of ours, so I never heard him and he went away again.

MA REVISIONS

I know, I know, I'm overreacting. At least with the package, I know they will try again tomorrow, and if I can get the notice to stick to our ice-covered front door, they will even leave the package without me signing for it. But still. Wah!

And now I will take my tired, overwrought, sickly self to bed.

ETA: I just got this response from the Air Miles folks:

"Thanks for your e-mail. A personalized reply will be on its way within 7-8 business days. Have a nice day!"

7-8 DAYS?!

Oh, I am SO calling them tomorrow.
I've signed up for the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York! I've even booked a hotel room at the conference location, double occupancy, for the Friday and Saturday night.

Now I'm wondering, how many of the good people on my f-list are planning to go, or at least seriously considering it? And does anybody want to go halves with me on the room?
For some reason, I feel completely brain-dead today. Tired, gloomy, unable to concentrate. I've done a few things, but they don't seem to add up to much. And, of course, this was going to be my Really Productive Day.

My big thrill of today will be when registration for the SCBWI Winter Conference opens at 5 p.m. Pacific Time. I'm looking forward to seeing what speakers and sessions will be offered this year (or at least, I hope they'll have that information up) and starting to think seriously about setting aside that weekend in February to go to New York. I have all these Air Miles sitting around, and I went to all the trouble of getting a passport -- might as well put them both to good use.

Meanwhile, I have a Very Thinky Post on my laptop about the age of protagonists in MG and YA literature, but it's taking me a remarkably long time to distill it into a form that makes any sense. Still, I hope to get it up within the next few days.

Wow, that was a pointless post, wasn't it?

*skulks away*
I'm back from the SCBWI-MI Fall Conference and it was so. much. fun. Simon Rose is hilarious ("What was I talking about again?"). [livejournal.com profile] halseanderson is a total sweetheart (she hugged me! Twice!) and a fantastic inspirational speaker (although her "Guaranteed Formula for Writing Success" ratio of 1 hour of Internet/TV time to every 5 hours of reading time and 10 hours of writing time made me hyperventilate -- not that I have any real doubt she's right, but wah, I love my Internets!). And the organizational committee did a terrific job of scheduling and keeping the whole thing running smoothly.

At meals and break times, I met a lot of nifty people at various stages of their writing careers. I was able to encourage some of them from my own experience, and commisserate about rejection and disappointment and uncertainty while at the same time urging them to keep working and trying and not give up. Some are just beginners still learning how the craft and the business of writing works, but a lot of them are truly talented and well-informed people and I'm sure that at least some will be getting agents and/or publishing contracts within the next year.

The drive both ways went smoothly and pleasantly -- even the border crossing, to my great relief -- and when I came home just now after two days' absence, the house was clean. I could have wept with happiness. My husband is SO not going to regret doing that, I can tell you.

I took tons of notes at the conference and will try to share some of the great insights from the sessions I attended as time and opportunity permit. But right now I am just happy to be home safe and sound, and to have enjoyed this opportunity to relax and renew my creative energy with people who love children's literature as much as I do.
I'm off to SCBWI-MI for the weekend, to listen to [livejournal.com profile] halseanderson speak (ha ha!*) and hang out with fellow children's lit crazies. Have a good one, everybody! And I'll try to write up a full report when I get back.

--
* A little joke for my fellow YA geeks.
I attended SCBWI-Michigan's Fall Conference last year and loved it. The location (Gull Lake, near Kalamazoo) was gorgeous, it was worth every penny of the registration fee and every minute of the five-hour drive, and now that the information for this year's conference is up I can't wait to go again. Even though I'm no longer searching for an agent (or a publisher, even) I know that there will be many interesting and useful seminars by professionals (Laurie Halse Anderson, people!), plus some great networking and friendship opportunities.

What I'm wondering, though, is whether there are any other Ontario-based writers who might be interested in coming to the conference as well -- and whether there'd be any chance of carpooling. I'm two hours west of Toronto, pretty much on the way to the conference, and while I've no objection to driving solo, it would be nice to have company on the trip.

The conference will be held from Friday, Oct. 12th to Sunday, Oct. 14th; the cost is $300 US which includes all meals and accommodation; and deadlines are Sept. 1st for those signing up for critiques and Sept. 24th for general registration. You can find all the relevant info on the conference at the SCBWI Michigan Page under "Events".

So, are any of my fellow Canucks planning to go? Or if you know someone on your f-list who might be interested, would you be so good as to point them here? Thanks!
Last weekend I attended the SCBWI Canada East conference, a one-day event featuring agent Stephen Barbara of the Donald Maass Literary Agency and authors Alma Fullerton and Jo Ellen Bogart. Unfortunately my pen died early in the afternoon, so Jo Ellen's talk has been lost to posterity. But I took detailed notes in the morning sessions, and got the speakers' permission to post them.

Stephen was up first, so here's a recap in my own words of what he had to say:

What to do BEFORE you look for an agent )

Four Habits of Highly Successful Writers )

In Part Two, which I hope to post soon, Stephen discusses what a good agent can do for an author. Part Three will cover the Q&A session that followed his talk.

Bleargh.

Jun. 25th, 2007 03:18 pm
rj_anderson: (Books - Writing)
After spending six and a half hours on the road Saturday, I have a new rule of thumb when it comes to writing conferences: if the time it takes to drive there and back is equal to or longer than the time you will spend at the actual conference, don't bother.

That being said, I took crazy detailed notes of the first two talks at the SCBWI conference and got permission from the speakers to share them, so I hope to type them up for the benefit of my fellow writers soon.
SCBWI CANADA EAST SPRING CONFERENCE

Location:
Saturday June 23, Barrie, Ontario, Kempenfelt Conference Centre
Just 10 minutes from downtown Barrie or 40 minutes north of the Hwy
400/401 intersection

Featuring:
* Agent Stephen Barbara from the Donald Maass Agency, NY talking about what an agent does, do you need an agent, how to get one. He acquires YA and middle-grade novels plus adult literary fiction and nonfiction. [Yes, he does fantasy/SF -- Ed.]

More Details )

*** If you'd seriously plan on coming please drop Lizann a note at lflatt@muskoka.com or ra@scbwicanada.org as soon as possible. We need to judge attendance numbers because we will have to cancel if it doesn't look like we can cover our costs. ***

Anyone else interested in this? James and Erin? *dangles shiny new agent*

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