Thursday, July 16, 2009

SCBWI Dinner

So, the dinner was great. I had a glass of wine and (almost) totally forgot that I was networking with agents & editors and just felt like I was hanging out with some new friends. Stephen Barbara was super easy to talk to. We discussed books- what we like, dislike, etc. He is a HUGE Mo Willems fan. (Who isn't?) His other favorite picture books include How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long and King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood (which I will be ordering today!)

Unfortunately, just when the conversation started getting really good (in other words, it turned from the industry in general to my specific career!) they made Stephen Barbara move to the other end of the table. They wanted to make sure all the guests got an equal opportunity to schmooze. This is why I was so bummed that dinner for five turned into dinner for fourteen!

But on the whole it was a really fun night and I am so glad I went.

BTW, Tina Wexler is super cool! She is NOT inclined to take on PB authors, but if you write middle grade or YA, try her!

I did not get much of a chance to speak to Maureen Sullivan, but she seemed lovely.

I did not get much of a chance to speak to Steve Metzer either, but I did hear him give this tip to my friend, Tiffany:

If you want to write a PB in rhyme, I suggest you write your entire story out in prose first. Otherwise, rhyme ends up driving the story.

10 comments:

Melissa said...

Sounds like a fun time! Wine is always helpful in those situations too.

Crystal said...

Wow! Seems like you had a great time! Thanks for sharing this experience, Corey! I'm drooling . . . :)

Yat-Yee said...

Who are the "they" who moved SB? But you've made a connection, and that's a good thing.

Corey Schwartz said...

Yat-Yee, I was afraid someone was going to ask me that! It was the SCBWI leaders who organized the event.

B.J. Anderson said...

Yay! Sounds like a great experience, though I wish you'd gotten more of a chance to speak with Stephen Barbara, as well! Thanks for sharing your cool experience with us!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Nice update. Thanks for the Tina insight. I've seen her name around. Good to know she's cool in case I decide to query her. Glad you had a great time.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Sounds very cool. I love all the PBs by the Woods. They are an amazing team.

Lazy Writer said...

Sounds like a fun dinner (even without the wine)!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Thanks for sharing this Corey. I 'met' Stephen and Tina at a SCBWI event and thought they were both wonderful.
I love your tip on writing a PB out in prose so the rhyme doesn't drive the story. I've only written one picture book but I will keep that in mind, for sure. It makes sense.

taralazar said...

Glad you had a good time and got to connect with agents and editors. I saw Mr. Barbara at RUCCL last year but didn't have the opportunity to speak with him.

A big YES! on Steve Meltzer's suggestion. That's what I always tell my critique partners when they need to revise a rhyming story: get the story right in prose first. Don't let the rhyme dictate the story.