Springmingle 2012 Wrap-Up

Each year our Southern Breeze (AL, GA, MS) chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (scbwi.org) holds our annual conference in Atlanta. It's called Springmingle and it's a high falutin' affair! First off, it's a great opportunity to hang out with friends and colleagues of like mind. This is a strange and frustrating business we're in, and it helps so much to be around peeps from time to time.
     I had the privilege of being Kirby Larson's (Newbery honor winner for "Hattie Big Sky") angel during the conference. But we were already buds, so she flew in a day early and we played. In Seattle last summer, Kirby showed me their countless book stores. In Atlanta (Georgia), we shopped and ate. Here's Kirby in front of the Vortex in Little Five Points...

Here we are sitting at the "magic table" in front of The Brick Store Pub (it was very windy) in downtown Decatur:

and ate at Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles...

Fox Brothers BBQ, and the Iberian Pig (with Vicky Alvear Shecter). We also visited Little Shop of Stories, of course. All said, I think Kirby got a great taste (ha!) of Atlanta. (CLICK HERE to read Kirby's wrap-up and see more pics!)
Here we are during the conference!
           Speaking of which... We had some excellent speakers this year: Greg Ferguson of Egmont, Kristin Daly Rens of Balzer & Bray (HarperCollins), Mary Kole of Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and Andy Runton of Owly fame. And of course, Kirby.
     I felt they imparted seriously valuable knowledge to our attendees - I learned new things as well (always). I even had a writing critique with Kristin that went very well. ;-)
     But mostly, I enjoyed hanging out with friends and celebrating their successes. Here's all the friends who published new books in 2011 (click to see it larger):

     Good friends are to the right: Janice Hardy (Darkfall); Vicky Alvear Shecter (Cleopatra's Moon); Heather Montgomery (lots of educational books - especially on snakes!); and Jo Kittinger (Dirty Third Street). I'm so happy for them! It's a good group of people in this children's lit-o'sphere! Love you all!

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