Sunday, April 13, 2008

New England SCBWI

Nashua NH was the site of this year's New England SCBWI annual conference. It was very well attended. To the point where it was sold out on Saturday so I only got to go for one day. Well worth it however. The morning began with a conversation with Laurie Halse Anderson. Melissa Sweet led the conversation and Laurie was very entertaining. From hearing about her rejection letters to her daily writing routine to the breakdown when her hard drive crashed, Laurie was open and we got to learn more about her.

I went to a workshop given by Harold Underdown in the morning. Harold gave us a quick guide to the publishing process. I got some good information from his talk. He gave us lots of time for questions which is always a plus. The afternoon session I attended was given by Emily Herman and Anne Sibley O'Brien. Emily gave us many tools to use during the writing process. Lots of great information. I only wish we had time to go through her whole toolbox!

I love going to this conference as I get a chance to reconnect with people and I am surrounded by people who love children's literature as much as I do. I may never publish a kids book but I love finding out all about it and listening to people who do publish.

Today's podcast is for Dandi Daley Mackall's book Eva Underground. The ESOL classroom at my school is right off the library. As a matter of fact, it used to house the library computer lab. Anyway, I see how hard it can be for some of these kids to adjust to a new country and a new culture. In Eva Underground, we have an American trying to assimilate into a Communist country.

Eva's father has gotten a new job -- in Communist Poland!! Her mother has died, and now Eva and her father are moving away from Chicago. Eva is not happy. She vows to find a way to leave Poland and go back to Chicago for her senior year. But she finds living in a Communist country opens her eyes to a world she never really knew. And she meets a young man who is involved in the underground freedom movement.

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