#SCBWICon19: Tips for Newbies #Writing #Illustrating #Conference #Agents

I had a wonderful weekend at the SCBWI conference in Winchester and thought I’d share my experience with you.

It was a first time for me and I have to say it was such an amazing conference.

For newbies there is a wealth of support, including a SCBWI Newbies & Lone Rangers Facebook group which I joined a bit late, so here’s the link: Newbies & Lone Rangers SCBWI group

On the first day of the conference, Friday 1st of November, there were arrangements to meet up and gather newbies together to help them out. Unfortunately, I missed the earlier part of these, as I struggled to find my airbnb which was a little out of the centre of Winchester but I did catch up with the newbie crowd later at 5pm.

TIP: book your accommodation early and try to find a hotel, or airbnb in the centre of Winchester.

It’s a full-on conference with so many seminars and talks plus the invaluable one-to-ones with agents too.

TIP: keep an eye on your one-to-one times. If like me you get really engrossed listening to a speaker talking about i.e. your first page of your manuscript you might just miss your all important one-to-one like I did! That was so embarrassing! But, the lovely conference organisers managed to reschedule my one-to-one with agent Catherine Pellegrino who (was lovely.) We chatted after I’d sneaked away for a much needed calming down/don’t panic lunch. And wonder of wonders Catherine said that she liked my writing style and my characters, so I am submitting the first few chapters of my first novel and synopsis to her soon. Wish me luck!

All the conference goers, helpers, etc… are so friendly that it is easy to make new friends wherever you go and you might even find yourself dining with fellow authors you’ve never met before as I did prior to the fancy dress party on Saturday night. That was such fun! I love dressing up… I went as the black cat Shadow in my book.

TIP: talk to everyone!

Highlights for me were:

  • The Hook which was judged by the following agents: Amber Caraveo (Skylark,) Megan Carroll (Watson Little,) Gemma Cooper (The Bent Agency,) and Clare Wallace, (Darley Anderson.) They are looking for submissions particularly in the YA romance category.

All four hook contestants were amazing but my two favourites were YA authors: Helen MacKenzie SCBWI Scotland who was in my Friday night critique group (and she won first prize,) and Ellie Rose McKee.

Here’s a Twitter announcement from Ellie’s feed:

Ellie had a terrible cold throughout the conference. I had huge respect for her that she managed to get on stage and deliver a pitch whilst feeling so poorly.

TIP: bring drugs/sweets/comforting elixirs to combat viruses, warm clothes, etc. Just in case you or someone else needs them.

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More Highlights…

  • The Friday Night Critique with Matt Killeen, Helen MacKenzie, and Angela Murray which I found really helpful.
  • Geraldine McCaughrean’s Keynote Speech.
  • The one-to-one that I had with agent Catherine Pellegrino.
  • The ruthless revision workshop with Sara Grant – which I found very useful as I am in the editing phase with the second book in my series The Curse of Time.

 

There are many awesome videos of the conference on the Facebook KidLit TV page which are well worth perusing. The link is here: https://www.facebook.com/KidLitTV/

I have come away with lots of positive vibes about the conference and the experience in general. Oh, and Winchester itself was a lovely place to visit, but the weather could have been better! Here I am looking particularly windswept and wet waiting for a bus…

Wait a minute… across from the bus stop I spotted this tree with its lovely heart.

So that’s why I walked in the rain!

I’ve found my tribe… I have two now! The Bloggers Bash Tribe who I meet up with every year in London at the Bloggers bash https://twitter.com/BloggersBash and now I have the SCBWI tribe too: https://www.scbwi.org/

Other posts about the conference:

Words and Pictures SCBWI Conference

Helen Murzin SCBWI-BI Conference 2019 — Curiouser and curiouser

Finding your Tribe: http://www.bbtaylor-books.com/finding-your-tribe/

Preparing for a writers conference: https://catherinerosevear.wordpress.com/2019/10/25/preparing-for-a-writers-conference/

Are you intending on coming to a SCBWI conference?

Or were you at this year’s conference? Do let me know in the comments below.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Curse-Time-Book-Bloo…/…/1999822439/

My social media links:

Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time

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Facebook

July 12: Flash Fiction Challenge – Carrot Ranch

 

 

My idea for this particular piece of flash came from Benjamin Scott’s SCBWI – Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators workshop I attended today on writing a pitch for my novel. I’m not saying that I am now cured from my fear of pitching, but I am a step closer to that fence tumbling down!

So, here is my flash:

The stony-faced agents sat together in neat chairs, tables locked, faces fixed with false smiles. 

As I approached I imagined an insurmountable stone fence, groaning under the weight of their nervousness and my self-doubt. 

My eyes locked on my chosen agent. She gestured to me to come over. I feared nothing could save me but as I spoke the stones tumbled down leaving me with an open gateway, an opportunity to shine.

I grabbed my pitch and went for it, galloping over my doubts. The fence of agents lay in tatters but my idea was met with cheers. 

 

 

July 12, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a broken fence. You can mend it, leave it, or explain its place in a story. Go where the prompt leads.
Respond by July 17, 2018. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments.

https://carrotranch.com/2018/07/12/july-12-flash-fiction-challenge/

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Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime
Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’
“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)

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