Notes from a first time LA Conference attendee

Howdy All!

The SCBWI LA National Conference just wrapped up last week and I was there for all of it! Four full days of awesome conference and it was The Best! So here’s my super quick rundown of the highlights:


I went to the First Timers meet up in the morning which was fun — you could tell everyone was really excited. Then we all went to the Ballroom and BOY there were lots of people there! Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser made their introductions and then Meg Rosoff talked about children’s literature and imagination, it was amazing!!! There was an editors panel which was very helpful. Then Salina Yoon’s breakout session Writing Picture Books For Illustrators will be helpful for a revision I’ve had back burnered. Judy Schachner’s key note was truly mind blowingly good! Alexandra Pinfold’s How To Know When Your Submission Is Ready. And the very timely Diversity Panel. Then there was the Illustrator Social which was really fun!! I met lots of amazing illustrators, both new friends and old, and a lot of them I’ve only known through Twitter.


Okay, I just realized how crazy it is that I’m just running through my day so I’ll just talk about one or two highlights.

Saturday started off awesomely because Aaron Becker, author / illustrator of Journey, a Caldecott Honor book, had all the attendees in the big Ballroom sing backup to him singing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and it was AWESOME!! I really appreciated how he talked about his own journey in a non-preachy kind of way. It was the best! He’s all about being a really thoughtful story teller. :) This was a really busy day, and it was portfolio heavy. I went to Steve Malk’s Breakout session that was all about portfolios, Then I went to my portfolio critique with Marla Frazee (which went really well), and then there was the Portfolio Showcase! 180+ portfolios on display and I really tried to see them all. It was really inspiring. And then there was dancing!!! Just so you all know, I LOVE dancing!!

Notes from this day: be thoughtful and be true to who you are.


I’m gonna level with you all. I partied hard the night before (no drinking, just lots of dancing) so I slept in this morning. I was able to see Aaron Becker’s focused talk about his methods of story telling and revision. Then a big group of new friends and I went to the Skirball Museum and checked out the Ezra Jack Keats exhibit. It was truly amazing. So inspiring! We all left feeling elated and ready to make beautiful new work. The last keynotes made me starstruck: Tomie DaPaola and Judy Blume were just the best!


This day was the Intensives. I went to the Illustrator Intensive and it was super duper! We got to hear from knowledgable people and see really great demos by the pros. I cannot express how motivated I am after this intensive! 

All in all, this was THE BEST! I learned loads of new things and met lots of amazing new friends. Thank you SCBWI!


    One delightful comment!

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. I love that you got so much out of it.

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