I just had to post about my weekend at the SCBWI Working Writers Retreat in Los Angeles. This is an annual event, and my second year attending. Forty authors of children's and young adult books shared the weekend with an amazing staff, including Jen Rofe' and Jamie Weiss Chilton (both agents at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency), Sarah Ketchersid (Executive Editor with Candlewick Press), Jill Corcoron (agent at the Herman Agency), and Tim Travaligni (an independent editor).
The weekend included an informative panel discussion on revision techniques, five small group critiques, five hours of individual revision time, first pages pitch session, and personalized feedback from all the staff members. In addition, we enjoyed fabulous meals, a wine & cheese social (I did NOT have any wine!), and a karaoke party! All tables were laden with chocolates and chips and all sorts of goodies all weekend long. The grounds at Holy Spirit Retreat were beautiful. And we had air conditioning in the rooms!
My only regret is that I forgot my camera, so I've got no pictures to post! The one posted here was sent to me by Toni G. (my roomie). That's her on the left, and we're either singing "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" or "Sweet Caroline."
I came away with a new perspective on the revision process. I have no problem writing books.( I've completed eleven manuscripts in six years.) However, revising is another matter entirely. But now I am ready to tackle it. While the weekend was truly a working writers retreat (we worked very hard on our manuscripts), it was also a whole lot of fun. I made many new friends and rekindled some friendships I'd made last year. It is an event I would love to attend again and again.