SCBWI LA Conference 2013

A quick guide to a brilliant few days

RA Susanne Gervay and I have just returned from the SCBWI conference in LA. If I had my Santa wish now, I would ask that every SCWBI Australia East/NZ and West member get a free ticket to LA and admission to this festival of kids' books and creators. We  saw nothing of LA but had a rollercoaster insight into the minds and thoughts of some of the giants of the kids' book industry today.  

When you have time, please look at the conference program to see who was there. You may not have heard of some of them but they are huge! And they have a lot to say about kids books. SCBWI Conference  

There is also an extensive blog that was created by a team of writers who did a brilliant of job of trying to capture the excitement and words of wisdom as they fell from presenters' lips. And there were many! 

There were 1200 members there over fours days listening to keynotes, sitting in on breakout sessions and signing up for intensives with top editors, agents, writers, illustrators and publishing professionals from the US.   

Here are some of my highlights.  

Keynotes from Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett, who write for kids eye-to-eye, making them laugh with their brilliantly wild imaginations and subversive humour.   


Andrea Davis Pinkney, New York Times best-selling and award-winning author of more than thirty books for children and young adults and vice president, executive editor at Scholastic, NY. 

Steve Sheinkin

historical non-fiction writer gave a great guide to how he researches historical fiction and non-fiction kids want to read. Brilliantly entertaining and page turning books that draw kids from the present into a fascinating past. 


Writer and freelance editor, Deborah Haverson  

spoke about the importance of setting as something that isn't just in the background but very much part of the action.

Matt De Le Pena, Mexican American writer spoke about being a Mexican boy in a white world and how he writes for teens with tenderness and pain.  


David Wiesner, if you don't know his work please look him up!! He spoke about the years it takes to draw, discard, go back to, create, scrub out and finally arrive somewhere you never thought you would go. And with him it is always a good trip and a great arrival. 

I will be giving a more complete description of these and other sessions I visited soon. 

Enjoy reading and looking!