Yesterday’s SCBWI California: North/Central Spring Spirit conference was wonderful. All the sessions I sat in on were very good, and I got the best manuscript critique I’ve ever gotten from a publishing professional. Best in two ways–the agent gave me excellent, concrete, and clear suggestions, and he also gave me some seriously positive and complimentary comments about the story and my writing of it.
The critique made me feel like I’m at least not wrong about getting somewhere with my picture-book writing. The whole day was inspiring, and I came away with new ideas and possibilities. I can’t even tell you where they came from, but this happens just about every time I go to a conference–must be the energy sparkling in the air.
My to-do list from this conference is:
- Revise the manuscript I submitted, based on the agent’s critique.
- Revise an older picture book that I’ve been meaning to go back to, with the idea for a new (and hopefully better) ending that came to me while I was in one of Mark Teague’s sessions.
- Revise one more picture book that is currently out with my editor (editing editor, not publishing editor).
- Start querying one of my picture books, starting with editors and agents who were at the conference.
- Remember–when I get back to my middle-grade novel–that it’s smartest, at the stage I’m at with this book–to revise one element or strand at a time, rather than trying to fix the whole, tangled mess in one pass. (Oh, yeah, I knew that once!) Got this excellent reminder from a session of Alex Ulyett, from Viking Children’s Books.
- Sign up again for the local rec drawing class. I signed up in the winter, but the class was cancelled for lack of enrollment. I was waffling, but I really would like to have more fun with whatever sketching I do, even if it’s just for me. So I’ll try again for Spring.
Lots to do and looking forward to all of it!