VCFA MFA workshop, Austin SCBWI conference 2010

photos: Top left- A not-so-great shot of the workshop space
Top Center- Don Tate, Donna Bowman Bratton, Carmen Oliver, Shana Burg
Top Right- Debbie Gonzales, MFA graduate and coordinator for the workshop
Bottom left- The after-party. from left Stephanie Farrow, Susan Taylor Brown, Donna Bowman Bratton (standing), Emma Virjan, Erin Edwards

I’m so terribly behind on my blog posts that I submit to a bulleted list of some noteworthy events.

* The VCFA MFA workshop held October 3rd was a tremendous success. Kathi Appelt and Sharon Darrow shared their expertise in picture book and novel writing, digging deeper into theme and character development than I expected. It was wonderful. The number of MFA graduates and well-published authors in attendance would have been intimidating if not for the friendliness everyone exhibited.

Sharon and Kathi led insightful discussions about character, rising action, theme, and the many components that strengthen plot. I wish I had made note of who to credit with the following profound statement. “A story is the outer world colliding with the inner world. Through imagination and skill we bring it to our readers. It is our challenge and our joy.”

Following the workshop day, many of the attendees scooted over to a mexican restaurant to enjoy social time and some really good food. I made many new friends during this event, especially the multi-talented and oh-so-nice Susan Taylor Brown, with whom I chatted and laughed until my jaw hurt. I hope she’ll be back for our January, 2010 conference.

*Austin SCBWI 2010 Conference
Our local SCBWI chapter is growing by leaps and bounds thanks to the multitude of talented authors in our community. Our conferences are growing, too. Check out the website for information about our January 30, 2010 event. With an event title of DESTINATION PUBLICATION, you could correctly assume that lofty plans have been made for the occasion. Following is a list of Conference Faculty.

Mark McVeight, agent, The McVeigh Agency
Cheryl Klein, senior editor with Arthur Levine/Scholastic (and editor for 3 Harry Potter books)
Andrea Cascardi, agent with Transatlantic Literary Agency
Kirby Larson, Newbery Honor Author of Hattie Big Sky
Marla Frazee, 2009 Caldecott Honor Illustrator
Lisa Graff, associate editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Nathan Bransford, agent with Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Stacy Cantor, editor with Bloomsbury

Check out the Critique offerings. I understand most of these are already sold out.
Mark McVeigh
Andrea Cascardi
Nathan Bransford
Chris Barton
Jessica Lee Anderson
P.J. Hoover
Philip Yates
Shana Burg
Liz Garton Scanlon
Jennifer Ziegler
Jacqueline Kelly
Sarah Lewis Holmes.

What an event this will be!