How can it be that the SCBWI summer conference is only a few short weeks away? Is it that the weather has been so cold it doesn’t seem possible that the end up July could be that close? Okay, I suppose that only goes for those of us in the Pacific Northwest. But still! How excited are you to be there? Or…OR are you still deciding? There’s still time. You don’t want to miss the many fab agents attending and critiquing, like Ginger Clark.
Mawr College and a member of the Contracts Committee of the AAR. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.
You can follow Ginger on Twitter HERE.
Jolie: Is this your first time on faculty at the SCBWI summer conference?
Ginger: Yes, first time on the faculty for the LA conference. I'm incredibly excited to be on it. What an amazing group of writers and professionals! I'm honored to be going. This will also be my first trip to California--I know, very late in my life to have never visited our most populous state.
Jolie: Well, we might just have to come up with some sort of Cali initiation for you!
It’s quite different from the New York conference. What are you most looking forward to? And, have you heard all about the poolside gala?
Ginger: I am looking forward to the critique sessions I'm doing with authors--because I've never done this before at a writers conference. I've never come with extensive comments ahead of time for writers, and I like doing something new. I'm also looking forward to having my own private "lanai" outside my hotel room, because the Golden Girls had a lanai, and I've always wanted one. And I know there's a poolside gala, but I don't know w hat to expect--will there be tiki torches? A swim up bar? Will someone get drunk and fall in the pool? Will there be synchronized swimming? Do tell.
Jolie: I hope your lanai overlooks the pool. As far as the poolside gala, just about anything could happen. AND, there has been synchronized swimming. I have pictures to prove it. I can guarantee there will be costumes galore, fun food and drinks, and a whole lot of dancing (so bring your dancing shoes).
Attendees will have several opportunities to hear from you during the conference. One of your sessions is titled How to Approach Agents Without Scaring Them Off (LOVE THAT!). Can you tell us a little bit about it without giving too much away? Perhaps a common offense.
Ginger: A common offense would be probably approaching agents and editors at writers conferences at inappropriate times. Examples that have happened to me and people I know would be approaching an agent while they are on the treadmill in the fitness room; while they are in the pool; while they are soaking wet having come from the pool and wearing sweatpants (that's from my own experience); while they are washing their hands having used the ladies room (also my own experience); and my favorite, the famous "the editor found a query letter waiting on her hotel pillow when she checked into her room" story. That's how you scare an agent off--approach at times we consider "private."
Jolie: Okay, I’ve never heard the query-on-the-pillow story.
This one’s a two-parter: What’s one piece of advice you have for writers who are having consultations? And, have you ever discovered a client at an SCBWI conference?
Ginger: Switch your brain into "business" mode and pretend you are talking about a book that isn't yours. You'll find it a little easier to absorb criticism and commentary. And no, I don't think I have, but I very, very much hope to.
Jolie: Great advice, Ginger. Thank you so much for sharing with us. We can’t wait to see you in LA!