Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Watcha Want -- Jay

Tell me watcha want, watcha really really want.

Okay, I know I’m dating myself by ripping off that song lyric, but it’s what today’s post is about. Plus, it’s a catchy song. Don’t deny it!

From what I understand, people start applying in January to speak at the national SCBWI conference. And that’s something I really really wanna do. Two years ago, Lisa Yee invited the Disco Mermaids to be guest speakers in her workshop on blogging. Last year, I spoke on a panel with other members of the (now graduated) Class of 2k7. But this year, I wanna take that final step and lead my own workshop.

So I wanna know, for those of you who’ve attended lots of writing conferences, what were some of your favorite workshops? Or what are some workshops you don’t see enough of?

And for those of you who rarely go to conferences, what types of workshops would make a conference worthwhile?

Any ideas would be helpful. Just throw ’em out there. Because I really really really wanna ziz-a-zig ah!

(Sorry. Had to do it…)

- Jay


(Drumroll please...)

Kirkus Reviews - Editor's Choice
Borders - Original Voices Finalist
Barnes & Noble - Top 10 Best Books for Teens
Book Sense - Winter Pick
Association of Booksellers for Children - Best Books
Foreign Rights Sold: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea


Colorado Writer said...

I've only been to 2 conferences, one locally and of course the LA conference.

What do I want?

1. A workshop on the craft.

Mary Hershey's Writing Humor workshop was great. There were giveaways, personal experience stories, PLUS freewriting exercises.

2. A workshop on the path to publication. What to do, who to know, how to hang out with the right people at conferences and in the blogosphere without being a stalker. Subbing alone vs. finding an agent. How many versions of your novel did it take? How many agents did it take? Basically how many licks to get to the center of the lollipop.

3. A panel with you and your editor AND your agent describing the whole journey from all 3 viewpoints with all the pain and agony mixed in.

Does that help?

Laini Taylor said...

Wow -- what a great collection of accolades so far, Jay! I'm so happy for you!!!! As for workshops, the best one I ever took was at the National Conference and it was on writing middle grade series. Though I've mentioned the author many times before who taught it, I'm blanking on his name right now!! What was so good about it was that it provided a lot of points that made me think out my own plot, characters, and all the basic building blocks, it gave me tools for thinking about my own WIP by talking about major necessary elements -- though not exactly a formula.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jay,
I've gotten a lot out of Catherine Ryan Hyde's dialogue workshops at the Cuesta Conference & have learned tons in several different first pages workshops. Break a leg with the Big Wish.

Deena Lipomi said...

Hi Jay -- a couple things:

1. I force YA novels on ppl as Xmas gifts every year, and this year when my 24yo-Chemistry-PhD-earning-no-time-for-fiction bro opened his 13 REASONS WHY, he said, "Oh. I've heard of this book." You are known amongst the Harvard Chemistry PhD students -- how cool is that? (OK, maybe not as cool as a nod from Kirkus, but work with me here. I was IMPRESSED.)

2. When I heard Bruce Coville speak about Raising the Stakes - wow. It made such a HUGE difference to me. (a) Stakes. Definitely a topic that is needed but not covered enough. Also, I'd love to hear more about (b) setting. How much is too much? How much is not enough? That is something I struggle with.

GOOD LUCK with your application!!!

Disco Mermaids said...

Wonderful ideas so far. A couple of them really have my wheels spinnin'.

And that's great about Harvard, Deena. It's kinda cool knowing I'm being read in a school I could've never gotten into!

- Jay

Katie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debby G said...

Congratulations on your wonderful successes!

cynjay said...

Go Jay go! SO great to hear how many people love 13 Reasons.

As for the seminar, I have three words for you: Pat the Bunny.

Stephanie Roth said...

That's wonderful news! A really great entrance- and I can't wait to see what follows in your long career.

What do I want? more hours the day to get what I really want done! This year is off to a super busy start- lots of books (hurrah!) and very interesting and challenging ones they are! I was getting a bit burned out lst year, but this is really fun again.

Stephanie Roth said...

You's the problem with being miopic me- I don't really read things (yes, I know this is an authors blog, but sometimes the obvious really escapes me)- what do I want from a seminar! OH! Well...I would love to hear about how you're juggling and transitioning with all of this. How do you focus without overthinking things now that you have all of this great press? How have your goals changed and how do you structure your day now? HOw do you keep discplined now that time is a little freer? Those sorts of things.

The storm has just started hitting outside- it's a doozie!

Disco Mermaids said...

It has been quite a great year for you, Jay. I'm so glad we're experiencing it with you (or at least near you).

When you speak at the national conference I think you should talk about me. And Eve. No? (Like you won't!)

Seriously, I remember really enjoying Gennifer Choldenko's seminar a couple of years ago. She told her personal story, but mostly she talked about the problems she had after her first book sold. The process of getting the second book sold was more difficult than she'd expected. So maybe you could talk about life *after* signing a contract. And then talk about me. And Eve. 'Kay?


LindaBudz said...

Congratulations, Jay. The awards are well deserved, to be sure.

I'm not going to be able to be there in August, but if you're looking for general ideas, I think you do a great job of "showing" rather than "telling," even though so much of your story is in the MC's head. Something I'm struggling with in my WIP.

Gregory K. said...

That's a heckuva list, Jay. Maybe you could teach a seminar on how you got to know all those reviewers so they... Oh. Right. Maybe you could teach us all how you got so in the head of a character and made her story so understandable (and thus got those accolades)? Stuck in the Head should NOT be your title, but it's the right idea....

cassandra-w said...

I like hearing about personal writing journeys that are loaded with inspirational quotes. I love quotes. G Choldenko gave us a bunch at a conference a couple of years ago that made my year.

Craft wise, the best session I've attended was Nancy Werlin's speech on revision. I think I'll always be learning about how to do that.

To me, a good session leaves me wanting to buy or share the speaker's book, inspired and confident about my own possibilities as a writer, and armed with writing gems that I can refer to later to help give me a boost later when I'm sinking into the "How do I do this?" mode.

Sarah Michele said...

You're the first guy I've seen quoting the Spice Girls in a long time.

Rita said...

Um, this song reference made me laugh very, very hard.

I'm with colorado writer on topics. I basically love hearing everyone's individual paths to wild fame and fortune. The continuing of the path beyond the first book is good, too! :D