Sunday, April 13, 2008

Any suggestions for the SCBWI talk in Austin?

My next trip (I wrote about my last one here) is to Austin for their SCBWI Conference on April 26. I've been thinking about what I'd like to talk about--I was asked to talk about something that both published and unpublished writers could benefit from.

Here are a few of the topics I was tossing around:

1) I was considering recycling (and refreshing)
the talk I gave at the Oregon SCBWI conference last year. I titled it We Are All Diverse: My path to publishing, your path to publication. To be honest, it was kind of a hodgepodge speech, with some "you can do it!" encouragement to the unpublished, advice on goal setting, and also a discussion about diversity and the importance of it in publishing. I think even the published got some good stuff out of it, and since only the 60 people at the conference heard it, part of me would love to share it with a larger group. (Plus, I get to share my parents' love story as part of it.) Perhaps if there's anyone reading this who was in attendance, they could weigh in.

2) I was talking about this with Sara during our trip to Florence, and a suggestion she had was to discuss the different types of publishing experiences a writer can have--for example, a huge auction and the advantages and disadvantage that holds, versus a small advance, publishing at a big house versus a small house, etc. Perhaps I could combine this with a discussion on the "pitfalls of publishing"--issues and situations that authors may not normally think about.

3) One of my authors had suggested a while back that I talk about what makes me want to acquire a project, what are the things I think about when evaluating a manuscript, what comes into play. I'm not sure if there would be enough here to fill a whole speech (I think I have 45 minutes to an hour), but I could certainly throw this into whatever topic I decide to go with.

Any thoughts on any of these? Any suggestions? I'd like to pin down a topic by the end of this week so that I can prepare the speech this weekend. I'd appreciate any feedback.

And I've never been to Austin; I'm excited!


Dana Strotheide said...

Holy Cow! The first to comment! How exciting. : ) I was just at the RMC-SCBWI conference here in Denver, and I really like the ideas of options one and two. As someone new to the world of writing and publishing, it was really helpful to get some encouragement from established authors and illustrators, especially in the form of, "all our paths will be different." I mean, we all know the story of Rowling being rejected a ton, but it's nice to hear it straight from someone's mouth, especially someone we respect. And, I LOVE love stories! So I would be totally enraptured with your first speech. :) Good Luck! Austin is a great town!

Anna Alter said...

My vote is for number 2, though I'm sure number 1 is great too. The reason I say this is I think all of the things listed in number 2 are equally interesting to the published and the unpublished, and are great topics of discussion because every other will have a different viewpoint on these things.

ps You know I LOVE Austin, I'm so jealous you get to go! If you can go to gospel brunch at Stubb's, or hit one of the gay two-step bars both are a lot of fun.

Brian Floca said...

It was hard enough to read that you've just been to Florence, and now you're going to Austin. My suggestion is to eat South Congress Avenue: coffee at Jo's, breakfast at Guero's, lunch at El Sol Y La Luna, dinner at the restaurant of your choice, ice cream at Amy's, and a drink outdoors at Hotel San Jose. Damn, this is making me hungry.

Kimbra Kasch said...

I was at the Oregon SCBWI retreat. I really enjoyed hearing your side of the story and it was very touching to hear the impact your mother had, “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.” And, I always enjoy a good love story – who doesn’t?

As wanna be writers, we are bound to get a “no” here or there, that’s why it’s so important to see the other side of the story. I enjoyed your presentation so much I still visit The Blue Rose Girls blogsite to pick up some tidbits of writing wisdom.

Anonymous said...

I thought the presentation you did in Oregon was great, helpful to both new and established writers. I particularly appreciated your willingness to discuss the issues involved in writing diverse characters. If you go with option 2, please include your thoughts on diverse characters because I think many authors have questions about that.

Austin is a beautiful town and April is the perfect time to visit Texas. Have a lovely trip.


Christine Tripp said...

I'll go with number 2 as well. I think addressing issues that an author would have no other way to learn about and that have much to do with the business of writing, would go over very well (I'm going by what I would want to hear about as an illustrator so hopefully writers are as interested)
I don't know if you will be addressing only writers (often, due to limited funds) the SCBWI conferences lump authors/illustrator sessions together) but I can tell the illustration process is dear to your Editor heart as well as the writing, so you will serve both arts in the audience very well if that is the case!
I almost cried (happy tears) reading your parents love story. So simple but so wonderful. It was a "When Harry Met Sally" moment:)
Food? The Hula Hut, Austin blvd, on the lake (mexican,polonisian = "Mexanisian":)
A must see? the bats under the congress st(?) bridge, though I don't know if it's a seasonal thing or not.