Springmingle 2009

     Wowsa. Well, I'm home from our 2009 SCBWI Springmingle conference and the snow is finally melting . . . in GEORGIA!! Gads.
     I hope our wonderful (out of town) speakers finally made it home safely too. They were: Abigail Samoun of Tricycle Press; Mary Kate Castellani of Walker; Caitlyn Dlouhy of Atheneum; and Kathleen Duey (biggie author!). Of course the weather completely messed with their travel plans. The bonus was I got to spend more time with all of them as we hung out for two extra days at Little Shop of Stories, the King Tut exhibit and Mary Mac's Tea Room (they adored the fried green tomatoes and banana puddin'). Truly, Atlanta doesn't get snow very often, so perhaps they felt lucky to get stuck here? Maybe...
     It was my great pleasure to be Caitlyn's angel all weekend, which basically meant I was glued to her hip to help her with anything she needed during the conference. Because I was always around I can honestly report Caitlyn is one of the most generous editors we've ever hosted. She made a point of meeting everybody and answering all the questions that came her way, spending real time with every single person. We got along fantastically well too (not hard). What a nice, nice person and incredibly talented editor!
     We leaned on our local talent as well. Shelli Johannes Wells, creator of Market My Words, talked about marketing (very educational); and Daniel Powers and Liz Conrad both gave talks about illustration. I wasn't able to make it to Daniel's talk but learned a ton from my good friend Liz.
     As usual our incredible RA's, Jo Kittinger, Donna Bowman, Heather Montgomery, and Robyn Hood Black (and the husbands) did an amazing job of pulling together a spectacular event and making it look easy (it wasn't, trust me!). We are so incredibly lucky to have them and such a dedicated group of volunteers in our region - we've truly created a tour de force which (I have straight from the source) is gaining widespread attention in the publishing world.
     I was also thrilled to be presented with my Magazine Merit Award during Saturday's dinner.
     Of course I didn't take any pictures, but Sarah C. Campbell took some beauties. (I'll post more as I find them.)
     If you can ever make it to one of our regional events, I highly recommend them. The atmosphere is much more intimate than at national events and you get the chance to really talk to editors and your peers and learn new information. Hope to see you next year!

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