Christina Farley
Books by Christina Farley Christina Farley Author Christina Farley Extras News of Christina Farley Christina Farley Teachers page Christina Farley Writers page Contact Christina Farley Christina Farley Blog

SCBWI NY Conference Recap

The SCBWI NY conference was incredible. There just is no other word for it. The staff was helpful and I was impressed at how smoothly everything ran. They provided delicious breakfast breads and coffee (!!!!) each morning and the cocktail party was stunning and so yummy. I ate way too much of that sweet potato dish.

Here’s a picture of me with Kit Grindstaff and Ruth Setton at the social.

I took tedious notes throughout the conference and if you followed the Twitter hashtag #NY13SCBWI you’ll find my brief comments along with many others.

Here’s a picture of my MiG crit partners: Andrea Mack, Susan Laidlaw, Kate Fall and Carmella Van Vleet. So fun hanging out with them!

I found the conference inspiring, and within it, many gems of wisdom that I can use in my own writing.

Some brief thoughts of the weekend:

Meg Rosoff talked about not getting discouraged when others ask: “When are you going to write a real book? Like for adults?” She also encourages writers to: “Be flexible



For my breakout session, I went to Molly O’Neil‘s talk- she’s encourages writers to write with authenticity and heart.


Here’s the line of books that Molly has edited.

Next I went Francoise Bui‘s session because of her focus on characterization. Her three points were to build great characters you need voice, characterization and texture with in the story.


Shaun Tan, an illustrator, spoke about the importance to not fear failure. This helps us to be free to create and experiment. Knowing you can throw out your work allows you to be uninhibited to create. I just loved that.

Margaret Peterson Haddix reminded us that we must write a book for the kid that doesn’t like to read. If we can do that, then the kids who do like to read will love it, too.

Julie Andews spoke with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. I was amazed by Andrew’s presence, which seemed to fill the entire room. The two of them talked about brainstorming and then plotting since they need to work with each other to get the job done. Interestingly, they use a web cam for most of their writing sessions.

Since they write multiple books in a series, they realized they needed to keep the books balanced between the inevitable and the element of surprise, which can be tricky.

Finally, Mo Williams raced to the podium and then around the room. He was great and I laughed so hard. Williams urged us to go deeper, write what we don’t know and understand so that we can explore new emotions within ourselves. He also said to not be afraid to ask the tough questions.

Here’s a link of great advice on Mo Williams’s 9 Steps of Writing.

Oh, and I loved this line Williams said, “Writing is like a sale at the Gap. Take off 20%!”

Such a great experience. I would highly recommend this conference!

7 Responses to SCBWI NY Conference Recap

  1. Kim Kasch says:

    OMG Mo Willems and Julie Andrews! Wow!

    That sounds funtabulous!

  2. Karen Strong says:

    Sounds like such a lovely time. I love going to SCBWI conferences. They always inspire me and get me pumped about writing.

  3. Kelly Polark says:

    Sounds like some amazing speakers! (Mo AND Julie Andrews, wow!)
    One day I’d love to attend the LA or NY SCBWI conference…

  4. Thanks for the great report for us folks who couldn’t make it across the ocean!

  5. Thanks for the great report for us folks who couldn’t make it across the ocean!

  6. Kim- yes it was amazing!

    Karen- I know. Conferences are such a great way to get revitalized

    Kelly- yes, it was a great line up of speakers

    Candy- I’m so glad it was helpful. I’m the same way. I love reading about events that I can’t go to myself.

  7. Thanks for sharing this concise capsule of a huge event.
    I believe I’ve written the book for the boys who don’t like to read. We’ll see when it comes out this summer, right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


HomeBooksAuthorExtrasNews & EventsTeachersWritersContactBlog