Follow My Manuscript! Chapter 5: The Calm Before the Conference

Plane tickets? Check.
Writing portfolio? Check.
Business cards? Check.
Party Pajamas? Umm... Check.

With the SCBWI 2011 Summer Conference just days away, I am gleefully perusing and customizing the conference schedule on my iPhone--using the handy-dandy Guidebook app the event planners provided attendees this year. They are also offering an early morning orientation for LA newbies, so I'm planning to attend and get a lay of the land. Though I have attended other SCBWI conferences, including the 2011 Winter Conference in New York City, I am flying to LA with fresh eyes and ears. So, here's to making new friends, learning new tricks of the trade, being inspired by the giants of the industry, getting some constructive feedback, and making some professional connections.

And speaking of that constructive feedback, I'm so looking forward to my critique for Beetle and the Dung Ball. While there's always a part that craves praise and encouragement, I'm really hoping my mystery critiquer tears it apart line by dung-filled line. I have so many questions regarding structure, voice, and the ending. Questions about tone and page turns and illustrations. Questions about rewrites and next steps and finding that ever elusive "right publisher." There are so many rights that have to be aligned in this wild world of children's books. Right place. Right time. Right manuscript. Right agent. Right publisher. Right illustrator. It goes on and on. So, if you're out there, mystery critiquer, give it to me straight. Show me the money. Help me help you. Hit me with your best shot.

Next time...
Chapter 6: The Critique