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SCBWI MidAtlantic

Where’s Meg this week: Neustadt Conference, VA Children’s Book Festival, and SCBWI

By Appearances, Awards and news
Hi everyone - Here's a quick run-down of my appearances  and newsworthy updates for this week. L-R: Laurie Halse Anderson, Eric Gansworth, me, Linda Sue Park, Mitali Perkins, Jason Reynolds, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Laurel Snyder, and Alex Wheatle The Neustadt conference and prize announcement, today through Oct 21: I’m lucky and proud to be among nine finalists nominated for the Neustadt Prize in Children’s Literature. This week, we find out who wins. Now virtual, you can register and enjoy conference sessions over a three-day period, from today, Oct 19, to Wednesday evening, October 21, when the winners are announced. Register here. [Added after original post] Jumpstart Read for the Record Virtual Panel, Tues, Oct 20, 6 - 7:30 PM EST: I'll be joining nationally-recognized academics and policy-makers in early childhood education to discuss how to support our youngest learners during the pandemic. We'll be focusing on learning in a virtual environment, supporting kids' social and emotional health, and supporting racial justice. Register here.  VA Children’s Book Festival, Wed., Oct 21, 1 pm EST: Are you a fan of R.J. Palacio and her international bestseller, Wonder?  Yeah, me too – and that's been true since we were elementary school BFFs. We’re together at the Virginia Children’s Book Festival this week thanks to a pre-recorded session about being best friends, our latest books, and why on earth Yoo Hoo was ever a popular drink. Register here. SCBWI New England, Thursday, Oct 22, 7 - 8:30 PM EST:  Two authors, two editors, one...
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SCBWI winter conference time

By Appearances, The Writing Life, writing advice

I’m rushing to type this and then head to the airport for the SCBWI winter conference, where I’ll have the privilege of introducing some winners of this year’s Golden Kite and Sid Fleischman Awards.   I’m thinking back on my own career as I get ready to take this trip. I’m considering all the ways that I learned the ropes of the publishing business and how this organization was part of that journey. No organization can provide you with everything, but my membership with SCBWI was a first important step for me. It was my declaration, I think, that I was a writer.

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Notes from the road: writing with depth, finding the joy & honoring your roots

By Appearances, The Writing Life

I’m finally home after a long stretch in Northern Virginia. This weekend was the SCBWI Midatlantic annual writers conference, where I taught an intensive for the first time on how to write characters with depth, and how to develop a compelling voice in writing. Yikes. I had forgotten how hard it is to teach writing – and how much you learn from doing so. What I came to was this: Layers, depth and voice in writing really come from how deeply you want to go inside yourself and how honestly you can lay bare what you find.  I hope my SCBWI colleagues who attended were able to find something useful during our session. I’m wishing them lots of time to remember, to record, and to write. Then it was on to the Arlington Central Library. You could fit all of my hometown, Richmond, inside the hip pocket of Arlington. What a busy and vibrant place – especially its library. (Favorite feature: a vegetable garden planted in the beds that border the entrance.) Lisa Cosgrove-Davies, Youth Services Librarian, worked with the Arlington Teen Advisory Board to coordinate two school visits at Jefferson Middle School and Washington Lee High School, followed by an evening talk at the library. Now, was I feeling confident? No, I was not. It’s always a crap shoot on whether people come to an evening library event, and Dallas was playing Washington to boot. But I kept channeling the words of Pat Cummings, who reminded me at the conference that the real joy in…

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