Monday, March 25, 2013

In Which I'm Torn

Come late May, there's a Children's and YA Conference here in the cities I'm attending. I went last year and it was awesome, and this year it looks to be even better so I registered as soon as registration opened.

And then I started to browse through the catalog to decide which talks I wants to attend. Last year that had 3 tracks at the same time, a picture book track, a middle grade track and a YA track. I attended all the YA ones, though I later heard there was an awesome MG one about magic in fantasy that I regretted missing.

But this year, this year they've made it more difficult. They've combined YA and MG (yay!) But! BUT!! They've added a craft track and a career track too. Which means the choices aren't as straight forward.

So now I'm looking at some of the tracks and I'm not sure which ones I should go to!
Urgh. If I only had a time turner...

Here are the tracks so you can see what I mean. I've highlighted the ones I want to go to:

Tracks on Craft (CR), Middle Grade & Young Adult (MY), Picture Book (PB), and Publishing & Career (PC).

  • CR—Limitations and Latitudes in Point of View with Swati Avasthi and Heather Bouwman
  • MY—World Building for Fantasy Writers with Kelly Barnhill
  • PB—Creating Excitement in Picture Books with Barbara DaCosta
  • PC—Steps Along the Way to Publication with Lynne Jonell
  • CR—“Where’s Papa Going with that Axe?”: The Sharp Work of a Good Opening with Swati Avasthi and Heather Bouwman
  • MY—Creating Male Heroes: Beyond the Brooding Hunk with Bryan Bliss, Steve Brezenoff, and J.C. Geiger
  • PB—Picture Book Dummies: Why, Why Not, and How? with Georgia A. Greeley
  • PC—Writing for the Educational Market with Laura Purdie Salas
  • CR—Monstrous Characters with William Alexander
  • PB—Reading Picture Book Award Winners with Susan Marie Swanson
  • MY—Sex and YA Literature: Choices & Consequences with Andrew Karre and Carrie Mesrobian
  • PC—To Query or to Kindle: A Dilemma for the 21st Century with Erin (Soderberg) Downing, Laura Bradley Rede, Stephanie Watson, and Patti Frazee
  • CR—Plotting and Plodding Your Way through a Novel with Kurtis Scaletta
  • CR—Revision: Cultivating Curiosity with Pat Schmatz
  • MY—Teens Do Know Best: Reader Response and the Writing Process for Young Adult Fiction with Patrick Jones and Adela Peskorz
  • PB—Authors and Illustrators on Craft, Process, Publication and How to Keep Going with Nancy Carlson, John Coy, Molly Beth Griffin, David LaRochelle, Stephen Shaskan, Charlotte Sullivan, and Mike Wohnoutka

Like, how am I ever going to decide? Some of them are easier than others, but overall, there are a lot of tough choices I'm going to make before the conference.



Maria Zannini said...

Whenever I'm faced with the conundrum of multiple tracks of awesomeness, I Google the speakers and see which ones seem to present themselves the best.

Either that or eenie, meenie, miney, moe. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Go with another author and split the difference. Hopefully you both take good notes!

Matthew MacNish said...

I've met Will Alexander, and I know Andrew Karre, Bryan Bliss, Steve Brezenoff, Carrie Mesrobian, and Kelly Barnhill from the internet, and they're all pretty amazing, so you're in for a treat! Good luck making all the panels.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I find taking craft classes on-line work so much better for me, than the short amount of time alloted in a convention.

If you can find those kinds of classes ahead of time, it might make your choices easier.

Rena said...

I go back and forth about craft classes. I love to get a glimpse into someone else's process and what works for them, but I also take everything anyone says with a grain of salt. It simply doesn't work for everyone.

But yeah, you have some really hard choices ahead of you. It looks like so much fun though!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Those sound fun. You need a buddy like me to tag along and be like "Sarah...let's go to this one!"

Anne Ahiers said...

i don't know how you're going to decide for Breakout Session 3

Unknown said...

I like Alex's idea - take a buddy and compare notes later on. If you can, record the sessions on a dictaphone or something ad type up later :)


Austin Gorton said...

For session 1, I'd say go with the craft track - you're pretty great at world building as it is.

Session 2 is tough; you can never learn enough about crafting a good opening, but the MY session sounds intriguing too.

For session 3, I'd say go with the MY track. Seems like an interesting topic, especially given the age group.

Session 4 is tough - for me, it would probably come down to the two craft tracks, but that's just because I have a lot of disdain for Reader Response. You're already pretty great at revision, but I'd worry that maybe the plotting session could be too basic? Then again, like openings, you can never learn too much about either.

DL Hammons said...

*sigh* I so wish I could attend a conference this year. Have fun with yours...difficult choices and all! :)

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