- It was my first Poconos conference and the cozy environment lets you get close to your fellow conference mates and faculty. It's such a supportive and friendly environment.
- Though I thought that I was going to be cool and not geeky... I burst into tears upon meeting Laurie Halse Anderson and while telling her why I loved Wintergirls. (maybe more on this in a later post)
- My grandmother died on Friday night and I got the call during the evening keynote speech. Since there was nothing I could do, I just cleaned myself up and headed back into the conference. Throughout the weekend, as my friends learned what had happened, I received an incredible amount of sympathy and support... but they also helped me to push on and keep moving, keep learning.*
- The faculty (authors, agents, and editors) workshops and talks, each and every one, taught me so much. I'll go into some of those in a later post when I have a chance to compose my notes, but suffice it to say that I left the conference with a bag full of writing and revision tools that I can't wait to put into practice. And yes, Laurie Halse Anderson, I will try to cut back on my tweeting (Issy crosses her fingers behind her back)
- Critiques-- both my peer critique group and my faculty critique. I know where to take my revisions and how to make my manuscript shine. I also gained great insight into how editors and agents would look at my synopsis, pitch line... even genre. And a few key questions have shown me that I need to rework my pitch and synopsis to make the uniqueness of my story shine through... otherwise, it will get lost in the pile of vision stories and paranormals.
- I met (and met in person, and reunited with) so many incredibly talented and passionate people. I can't wait for the day when I get to hold all of their books in my hands. My shelves will be groaning.
- Candy. Writing prompts. Challenges. Art. BOOKS. Hotel photographs with hidden images.
Thank you, SCBWI of Eastern PA, for hosting such an emotional, amazing, and inspiring conference.
*I couldn't stop and dwell. I couldn't do anything back home, and the best thing for me was to keep moving and learning. All of my friends let me cry on their shoulders and then helped me to focus. That was the greatest gift that I could have been given.