Friday and Saturday September 20-21, I spent at the Northern Ohio Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators in Cleveland, learning about the children’s book industry and getting some pointers on revising my first young adult novel, Canoedling, which is set in Cleveland.
It was an excellent conference with hundreds of writers and published authors and illustrators, as well as literary agents and editors of children’s book publishing companies. We had keynote speeches from literary agents and publishing company editors, and I shared numerous informal discussions with writers over meals. Erica Finkel, Assistant Editor with Amulet Books gave the opening address: “Know Your Marketplace: From Board Books to New Adult,” and in her closing address, Andrea Welch, Senior Editor at Beach Lane Books, spoke about trends in the marketplace.
I attended one workshop on characterization and another on structuring chapters in middle grade and Tween novels, both by Rebecca Barnhouse, author of Peaceweaver, The Book of the Maidservant, The Coming of the Dragon, and other novels. (www.rebeccabarnhouse.com). Terrific.
Linda Epstein, an agent with Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency, gave the Friday evening address, and
Karen Grencik, an agent with Red Fox Literary, gave the Saturday luncheon address. Mary Ryan, author of seven middle grade novels (Me Two was made into a Disney Channel Original TV Movie), gave seminars on “Show Don’t Tell” and dialogue.
The conference faculty included many others (see http://nohscbwi.org/conference.html), but these are the only ones I was able to hear. What a worthwhile event!