I’m not sure timing is everything. Research might be everything. Or sense of humour. Or chocolate.

Registration is open for the SCBWI-Western Washington 2010 conference: that means it is time to research the faculty. The descriptions of the sessions helped me choose among the many options, but I wanted to know more about the people involved: what, where, and how they work, their titles and preferences, if they blog, etc.

I am wildly lucky this year: I get to go to the SCBWI International Winter conference in New York (*squee*) and to the Washington conference in April.  Tomorrow is the last day to change sessions for New York, so I checked to be sure I still want the same sessions: my needs/goals have developed since I registered in October, and I want to strike a balance with the folks I will see in April.

Naturally, that meant more research into New York faculty (with fewer session options to choose from, my initial choices were based on session topics).

Research. That’s how I roll.

I tell myself it gives weight, substance, and authenticity to my fiction.  It adds colour and texture to my non-fiction with surprising details.  It gives me the opportunity to make informed decisions.

Sometimes it just gives me a headache.

But not today.  This was fun – looking at publisher’s lists, noting the movement around the publishing industry, appreciating the varied styles of publisher, editor, and agent websites and presentation.

I especially enjoy the blogs and twitter feeds of industry professionals – these views make them more approachable, less daunting.  They encourage conversation and community.  And I have learned a ton about writing craft and industry conventions in these venues.

On Edward Necarsulmer‘s twitter page, I found this gem:

Discovery pile?  I love that.  I have only ever heard it described as the slush pile.  For anyone who has ever lived in places with Real Winter, there is hardly any way to spin it so the slush pile is a good thing.

But discovery pile? Fantastic.  No wonder Holly Cupala loves her not-so-secret agent so much.

The bonus? He will present at both conferences.  I am already signed up.

And the chocolate reference?

No, I won’t try to bribe any faculty with high-end chocolates.  But it is a nice pick-me-up treat during the conference day, when coffee would stretch my already thin, overstimulated introvert nerves.

By 3:00 on Saturday afternoon, that might be everything.

listening to: Snow Patrol, Chocolate


  • At first I thought it was a bit of colourful language on your part to call the conference speakers ‘faculty’, but I looked on the SCBWI conference website and how about that – the speakers are called faculty right on the homepage. I have to say that as an academic, I pressed my lips together a bit.
    rant/ I am still in the process of becoming ‘faculty’ after 11 years of University and lots of applications and convoluted hoop-jumping. I think these folks must be great speakers, leaders, facilitators (instructors/teachers, if that is not to passé)… but calling them faculty smacks a bit of calling garbage collectors ‘sanitation engineers.’ I’m on to you SCBWI!

  • PS attitude is everything! You are smart and talented and intuitive enough to teach folks a few things at this conference. Be not cowed!
    Drop some knowledge bombz!

  • Oh dear. I was using the language they use, and I completely understand your rant about it. And I laughed out loud because you are exactly right and because I could totally picture those firmly pressed lips. Oh dear, oh me.

    (Thank you also for identifying the rant as separate.)

    Also: that does it, I am changing my name tag to Melvin, and I am wearing something with cow print on it. Which I will have to buy.

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