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My SCBWI Miami Intensive

Wow. SCBWI Miami was amazing. So amazing that after coming home I went straight to my computer and did a big push on my revisions.


The intensive I took featured agent Erin Murphy, author and writing coach Joyce Sweeney, and executive editor Krista Marino. They were amazing.


If you ever have the opportunity to take a workshop with any of these three- DO IT!


So here are a couple of gems that I picked up from the day:


What is your writing life like? Erin Murphy


1. What would my ideal writing life be like?


2. What are the obstacles that come in the way between my goals that ideal?


3. Am I over-disciplined or under-disciplined?


4. Think about tools that can help me- turn off internet, timer, turn off my screen when reading manuscripts


5. What are my strengths and resources I have as a writer?


Building a Scene- Joyce Sweeney


• If you can’t justify a scene, get rid of it


• Orientate your reader- promise the reader of what is to come


• Don’t describe a high school cafeteria!


• Capture the voice and attitude of the main character


• Be as entertaining and energetic as possible


• Bring in layers with the character (use flashbacks)


• The climax of the story is when someone won and someone lost


Voice- Krista Marino, Executive Editor


Elements that contribute to voice:


1. Diction- speaker’s vocabulary, choices and expression


  • Doesn’t mean using teen speak or slang or brand names- words you choose and level of formality- ways things are described
  • Limited experience of the world and that impacts the way they use words and communicate
  • Teens don’t make the decision they make because they are dumb. It’s because they don’t have enough experiences or life lived
2. Characterization- age, social status, cultural background- all things that make up a character. Know this!


3. Dialogue- Verbal exchange between 2 or more characters; interior or inner dialogue


  • YA is the teen experience
  • Internal monologue- shows what they are thinking and often the complete opposite of what they are thinking

4 Responses to My SCBWI Miami Intensive

  1. Kim Kasch says:

    Thanks for sharing – I haven’t gone to a conference in a bit – just got my fix. Thanks 🙂

  2. Kelly says:

    That sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing the valuable info with us!!!

  3. Kate Fall says:

    Yes, thank you for sharing. I love Erin Murphy’s questions. I’m glad you had a great time!

  4. I didn’t attend the intensive, so thanks for the info. 🙂

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