Tag Archive for SCBWI

SCBWI vs. RWA Cage Match

What are the similarities and differences between these two writers’ organizations’ big national conferences?

I discuss today over at my group blog Drunk Writer Talk.

(Aside) The first manuscript I ever wrote was a romance, as was the second, which I abandoned before revising, having decided that romance wasn’t my genre. And while I made that decision back in 2003, I’ve remained a member of RWA because I love the organization and the friends I’ve made there.

Now I have a new love… SCBWI. (end of aside)

In my post, I compare the two conferences.

Another difference I thought of after I posted is: free books.

At RWA’s National conference you end up with at least 10 free books without even trying (you get them when you register and at each keynote) and by trying you can end up with boxes and boxes and boxes of free books. The big six (and smaller) publishers all host free book signings for their authors. Also the publishers give away at least one title (usually more than one book) for each all of the keynote speakers. (The books are on your chair when you go into the room.)

RWA also has a HUGE author signing open to the general public, where the books are donated by the publishers, and any published member attending the conference can sign. It’s HUGE. Hundreds and hundreds of authors signing. And last summer, when it was held at the Marriott in Times Square, the line started hours in advance, trailed through the entire hotel, snaked around the driveway and down the street. It was my first time signing, with Cinderella: Ninja Warrior and Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer, and I have to say it was quite a thrill. Quite a few of the younger teens who came up to ask me to sign books had clearly been given lists of authors they were allowed to talk to/buy from by their mothers. :) Not surprising given the range of authors signing, from well, me (with a young-skewing YA) to full-on erotica novels.

If my comparison had been scoring based on getting books, or opportunities for published authors to get their books into the hands of readers, RWA would win hands down. But from my perspective as an author and conference attendee, I’m not sure I could pick a clear winner.

While I love the free books I get at RWA… I often end up donating them to a library or hospital, or giving them away to friends, and I kind of liked not needing another suitcase to go home. :)

RWA Home Page

SCBWI Home Page

SCBWI Visual Highlights

SCBWI is the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. Try saying that three times fast. Or three times slowly for that matter. 😉

I’ve been to quite a few writers’ conferences over the years, but this was my first SCBWI, and I had a fabulous and productive time.

I nearly filled a whole notebook with madly scribbled notes. The full day “intensive” on Marketing for Professional Writers was unbelievably overwhelming. My head was ready to explode by lunch. And that day ended with drinks with my agent and the impressive and witty Jon Fine from Amazon Publishing. Now it’s time to sit back and prioritize. :)

For now, here are some of the fun highlights — just the ones for which I have photographic evidence. :)

Here is the fabulous Mahtab Narsiman, moi and multi-talented Debbie Ridpath Ohi.

Photo taken by Debbie (on the right), also known as @inkyelbows

All of the speakers at this conference were unbelievably high quality, but one fun unscheduled treat was a short presentation by Henry Winkler who writes middle grade novels with SCBWI founder Lin Oliver.

Here’s bad and fuzzy photo I obnoxiously took of him when I accidentally ended up standing beside him waiting for the elevator. I should have said hello and asked permission, but didn’t want to pass up on the opportunity. My apologies to Henry. :)

After the conference, I did a little chill-axing at the MOMA before taking the train to Newark airport for my flight home. Didn’t have nearly as much time there as I would have liked, but stopped for the best cup of hot chocolate I’ve ever had.

What you can’t tell from this photo, was that it was hot in two ways… and spiked. I can’t remember all the ingredients but the key ones (beyond hot chocolate) were tequila, chilli flakes and cinnamon. Yum. That’s a stick of cinnamon sticking out. Talk about spicy. Burned going down, in many good ways. :)

I will talk more about the content of the conference both here and at Drunk Writer Talk soon.