Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Magic of Story Time

Imagine the following scene...

A room full of children varying in ages from 5-11 playing with toys. Two children are throwing toys, two others rolling around on the floor, and still two more are playing very loudly and not following directions. The adults in the room have tried redirecting to new activities, attention getters, giving warnings, separating children, etc. And yet the room does not get any calmer.

Enter the storybook...

The group has been gathered together for story time. Amongst the moans and groans comments can be heard such as "picture books are for babies" or "I don't want to read a's boring." And yet the storyteller ignores the comments and begins reading the story. She is animated and uses voices to tell her tale. You can feel that she really believes in the power of the story and within minutes ~ actually more like seconds the group of children that had just been so wired up is mesmerized and fully engaged in the story.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Writer's Day in L.A.

Yesterday I attended the SCBWI-LA's 30th Annual Writer's Day. It was my second official writing conference since taking up writing seriously again.

I was a little anxious about attending at first. I kinda felt like that little five year old girl I once was. I was always nervous about having to move for the 3rd time in two years and then go to a new school and make new friends all over again.  Well I've come a long way since then and I am happy to report - I loved every minute of it!
The camaraderie with fellow writers was excellent. I also felt very inspired by the speakers of the day which included: Susan Patron- Author, Margaret Miller-Editor at Bloomsbury, Toni Johnston-Author, Bruce Coville- Author, and Rachel Cohn- Author.

The conference took place at Clairbourn School in San Gabriel ~ a truly beautiful campus with white picket fences, pristine playhouses and equipment, quaint buildings and bright green lawns.  I kept trying to envision children on this campus ~ and inadvertently may have created a character for a new story.

The day was jam-packed full of precious, eye-opening information for any aspiring children's writer. I walked away with a bag full of freebies, a page full of notes, and a head full of ideas. If you have a chance to attend this event next year- you are in for a treat!