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SCBWI Miami Conference Report – Day 1

January 16, 2009

Well, I’m off at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Regional Conference in Miami this weekend.  Drove down from Tampa with my friend and AltDeath.com co-author Sally Bosco.  The trip was, well, horrendous.  Tractor trailer overturned on I-75 and delayed us by about two hours, which meant we made it to the conference hotel with about 15 minutes to spare (instead of the 2 hours and 15 minutes to spare that we’d planned on having.)

The first panel featured authors who’d just recently published their first books including Marjetta Geerling, Debbie Reed Fischer, and Danette Haworth.  It’s always inspiring to hear about folks’ first sales.  My favorite phrase from the panel?  “I need to conclude my agent search.” (What the then-agentless Danette said when she received “the call” from an editor wanting her first book.)  Every author who courts agents and editors at the same time needs to keep that phrase in their back pocket.

That evening we were off to Books & Books for the author’s reception.  Amazing bookstore.  Let’s just say I could have camped out there all night.

After the reception, Sally and I invited ourselves to dinner with a group of ebullient women.   We charged through the streets of the Miracle Mile in search of food and ended up at an awesome Cuban restaurant called Las Vegas.  The sangria was to die for, and the roast pork was hands-down the best I’d ever had.  The best thing about the evening though was the conversation.  It was so nice to chat with folks who were just as passionate about working with and writing for children.  Definitely a delightful night.

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