Wednesday, January 26, 2011

SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC

The SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC is only days away. Mere days! Like TWO. Day after tomorrow.

Thought I'd piggyback on my fellow Team Bloggers' posts. Martha Brockenbrough has a great post on Getting Ready for a Manuscript Intensive and Lee Wind has The 2011 SCBWI Winter Conference - The Top 7 Things You Need to Know. Check 'em out!

I thought I'd add my own piece of advice for the Writers Intensive and a Number 8 to Lee's Top 7. Plus, read on and I'll tell you what you really want to know!

First the Intensive: Lee Wind and Sara Easterly shared great advice on Martha's blog regarding the experience. Since I wasn't quick enough to contribute, I'll add my own here.

I've had the opportunity to participate in three NY Intensives and had great experiences. That said, it can be a bit overwhelming. Expect  a very large ballroom with more tables that you can count and a couple hundred people. That's a WOW. I know how it is, you're already nervous about reading your work in front an editor/agent and your peers. But my advice is this: you've done all the preparing, so let it be what it's going to be. Don't get so caught up in the nerves of reading your work that you miss all there is to learn from the experience. Really tune into each manuscript being read and to the feedback being offered. Then when it's your turn to receive feedback, listen, take notes, and offer a thank you. Plus, make connections with the other writers at the table. I've developed dear friendships from my experiences.

Now to add a Number 8 to add to Lee's Top 7:

Okay, maybe this is more like a 4.3 and 4.7 because I'm going to add a couple of thoughts to Lee's number 4. First to build on Lee's thoughts about having your thrity-second pitch ready. I'd suggest you also have a one sentence (25-ish words) pitch, too. It will be even easier to rattle off should the opportunity present itself. Depending on the situation, you'll know which pitch to pull out. Now for suggestion 4.7, adding to the talking-to-editors-and-agents advice. Be yourself! Have a conversation with an editor/agent. Don't think about pitching your manuscript. They're really people just like us, and if they have a nice conversation with you, they're likely to ask you what you're working on, and remember you (in a good way).

Okay, moving on. I mentioned earlier knowing what you really want to know (at least for most of you, especially if this is your first conference). You want to know...

What to wear! Yes?

Well, let's start with this. It's flipping freezing in NYC. So packing smart is important.

So, clothing for the actual conference. My advice? When it comes to clothes, be yourself and be professional. You don't need to dress to the nines, but treat it like a day in the office minus any stuffiness. Jeans are fine, just dress 'em up a bit. You will be doing a bit of walking, so wear sensible shoes or realize your feet might be barking. Wear layers. You know how ballrooms are: air on, air off. Shed a layer, pull on layer. But this is NYC in January so you need a whole other wardrobe for heading outside. Think about how you can add to the clothes you are bringing so you don't suffer when you step out into the freezing cold air. My own personal outerwear tip for the trip: wear it all on the plane, including your bulky boots (if there's no room in the suitcase). They don't charge you to schlep warm things on the plane. So bring lots (warm coat, gloves, hat or earmuff, and a scarf). Okay, now I will stop talking to you like I'm your mother (but I just want you to be warm).

Can't wait to see many of you there. And for those of you who won't be there, I hope you'll be with us on the OFFICIAL SCBWI BLOG. TEAM BLOG will be providing LIVE blogging straight from the ballroom floor, and the breakout session. We'll also be tweeting with the official conference hashtag #NY11SCBWI.

Here's the crew (blogs and Twitter IDs):

and ME - @cuppajolie
and @scbwi.


Kenda Turner said...

Since I can't be there, I plan to soak up everything you and the team will be sharing! Thanks so much...

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

OH - Jolie, nice! I like your 4.3 and 4.7 additions! And great advice about wearing the heavy shoes on the plane... Most of all, can't wait to see you!
New York, here we come...
Namaste and a Hug,