Angie Azur is a YA Sci-fi Writer.
Writer for PALEO Magazine.
Former Intern at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
SCBWI & COWG Member.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

SCBWI NY Conference 2011

I have never been to the NY Winter Conference. So I was eager to soak it all up. I couldn’t wait to meet writers like me. My belly flopped for agents. My palms sweat and heart sped in anticipation of reading in front of editors.

I went alone. No one from CA was going to fly to NY when the LA summer conference is so close. But I didn’t care about that. I had finished my first novel and I was ready finally. I was ready to research on how to get it into the hands of agents and publishers. And here’s what I found out:

Friday: Writer’s Intensive

I paid extra to have the privilege of reading my first 500 words in front of two editors. Registration began at 8:00 AM. The time change threw me off a bit, but adrenalin kept me awake. The sign in was easy and organized. The volunteers were polite and helpful. And the speakers began promptly at 9:00.

There were 3 speakers for this portion of the conference: Edward Necarsulmer IV, Julie Strauss-Gabel and Liz Szabla. Below are my brief notes on them:

ENIV (Mclntosh and Otis Inc.) He spoke with a dryness, yet humorous tone. He cracked jokes. He smiled a lot. He seemed approachable. He believes in the business and his authors.

JSG (Dutton Children’s Books) She publishes 10-15 books a year. Loves new voices. She is not interested in Picture Books. She is into Middle Grade and YA. She loves SCBWI.

LS (Feiwel and Friends) Lives in the SF Bay area. She acquires 40 books a year. She loves plot driven material with strong voice. She is excited about SCBWI and loves to find new talent among the attendees.

The whole weekend flew by with such inspiration pouring over everyone. It was fun, intense and eye opening. I found that I know I am ready to search out an agent for me. And not just any agent will do. I will wait for the right one. She must love my work. He must go to bat for me. She must fit my personality. He must understand the way I work. There are so many agents out there, it does pay to be picky, even though I am eager.

I also realized that these SCBWI annual events are not for everyone. I met some writers/illustrators not ready. They were not open to critique or they thought kid’s lit was gong to be easy to get published in because, well, it’s for kids. I had to bite my tongue a few times, but I know from experience they will soon fall out.

But I would say that these big events should be attended by professionals. And I don’t mean published. I mean someone who is choosing writing or illustrating as a career. If you’re not sure, check out the smaller events in your area. That way you are not wasting money and time.

In all I had a wonderful conference. I am glad to have met such interesting creative people and I wish everyone luck.

My goals are set for the next year - GET AGENT! Finish new project and continue on my path to one day being published in the book arena.