The keynote speeches were better this year than any year I can remember. Speakers who inspire, entertain, and get across nuggets o' wisdom are rare...but they were in abundance this year.
The best part of any SCBWI conference is catching-up with old friends while also stepping out and making new friends. This year was a wonderful mix of new and old for me and I'll definitely be keeping in contact with several people I met for the first time this year.
And now for some photos!
Two of the authors I was most looking forward to seeing were M.T. Anderson and Carolyn Mackler (both were keynote speakers).
Mr. Anderson is one of the most down-to-earth smart dudes you'll meet. He also loves doing character voices, though his Grover sounds a tad more Yoda-ish.
Ms. Mackler and I actually did meet briefly years ago when she signed my copy of Vegan Virgin Valentine, which is one of my favorite books. She claims to remember meeting me, and I think it's very sweet that she tells me that.
Of course, the conference ain't complete without a costume and a dance! This year's theme was Heart & Soul, and before I show you a good photo of my costume this year, see if you can spot me:
Several weeks ago, I found a cupid costume online. It was an embarrassing costume, which made it the perfect costume. I sent the link to Ms. Mackler to show her that, yes, people do dress wacky at SCBWI. In her keynote speech, she claimed that I asked her to dress up with me. In truth, she asked me if it'd be cool to dress alike. And of course it was cool! So while our origin stories may differ (I personally think she can't believe it was her idea to dress like...as she dubbed the costume in her speech...Skanky Bo Peep), it was absolutely less embarrassing to dress as S.B.P. with someone else. And when our friend Rachel Vail (an amazing speaker) agreed to dress up with us, it was even less embarrassing and much more fun!
We even tied for first place in the costume contest!
Finally, just before everyone went home, the attendees stood in long lines for autographs. The one autograph I was most looking forward to was from Loren Long.
This will be Baby Isaiah's very first signed picture book: