Sunday, January 17, 2010

SCBWI and Unplugging

In less than two weeks I'm headed to the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) Conference in NY. I am so excited, because not only do I get to go to to MY FIRST writing conference, I also get to finally meet all of the girls in my writing group (Marie, Karen, and Megan) IN PERSON.

We decided that we're going to do a critique session the night before the conference starts. I haven't ever done a live critique, so I'm a little nervous. We promised to send our manuscripts to each other by Monday the 25th. So I'll have to have at least a few chapters from my WIP that I'm not embarrassed to let them read by then.

Which is why I've decided to send my ethernet cord to work with my husband this week so I can FOCUS on writing and editing. I will miss you all, but don't worry I'll be back next week.

Have you ever participated in a live critique group? How do you prepare?

30 comments:

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

How exciting about the conference! I'm sure that will be so much fun. I've been to local ones here, which has been fabulous, but am hoping to attend RWA Nationals this summer.

As for crit groups, I've never had an in person one. I'll be curious to hear how that goes.

Enjoy your unplugged week!

Paul Greci said...

Have a great time at the conference. I participated in a live critque group of sorts. I attended a week-long conference and each morning was a writing workshop w/the same people 15 people. By the end of the week we'd each had twelve pages critiqued. And I was in a semester long class that was a writers workshop.

For what it's worth, I think you'll get the most out of the critique if you don't say anything and just take notes and then have a time where you can ask questions at the end of the critique. Just let the others discuss your work in front of you.

aelko said...

Have a grate your unplugged day! :)

Catherine Denton said...

Live critiques are fun because you're able to discuss and ask questions. It's nice to see a live response. Have a blast at your conference. I have one coming up in March and I'm frantically re-working my story to get it turned in for the manuscript critique they offer.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

The conference should be fabulous. I hope to be able to go to one some day. Have fun!

I've never had a "live" critique group. That sounds like fun, too. Sounds like a great week for you. :-)

sherrinda said...

I know you will have a fabulous time. Regarding the crit group, I have never done a live one. I think it would make me soooo nervous! But I'm sure since you have already been working with these ladies, then you will be comfortable with them and trust them. I'd love to hear how it goes!

Matt said...

I just got home from SCBWI Miami. What a weekend. Not only will you meet lots of great writers, you'll get to hobnob with publishers, editors and agents. I learned a great deal today alone, and it was only a half day. I have some valuable email addresses and came away with some good ideas to improve my manuscript.

As for critique groups they are a must. I've been a regular for a couple of years. Grow a thick skin though. You never realize your flaws until someone is staring at you with them.

Have fun.

Jade said...

I love being an Aussie but moments like this make me wish I wasn't trapped down near Antarctica (okay, so maybe I'm not that close.). I'm so jealous!! I'd LOVE to go but it's kind of far.

I haven't done live critiquing, but best of luck with it. Good luck with the focusing too!

Aubrie said...

That's so exciting! I've never been to a writing conference before and I'm sooo want to meet my own critique buddies. I write to them on email more than I do some members of my family, yet I've never met them in person.

Jemi Fraser said...

That is hysterical - and such a good idea. We're wireless, so I guess I'd have to send the router :)

I've never done a live crit either. My buddies & I are considering a conference later on in the year, but it is so much money for the plane flight - never mind the rest!!

Enjoy it to the fullest - and report back with lots of details! Have fun :)

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Look out for me and my critique group! Marie knows us, but we'll all be carrying around First Novels Club totebags! As for live critiquing...we always live critique...watch the clock...the only danger you're in here is having your critique session last 10 hrs bc you want to gab and catch up. And since this is your first time meeting in person, there'll be a lot of that-set aside some social time and then get into the critiques and either put a time limit on each person or have on task master who brings everyone back to work when you start chatting...that happens to us alot:-)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I am so excited for you, I feel like I'm going! Live it up and come home refreshed and inspired.

I've really only done live critiques, for the most part. My advice would be to agree how you'd like to present material:
*author reads aloud
*another reads aloud
*group reads quietly, etc.
I like hearing my words in someone else's voice. It shows if what I think I'm saying is actually happening and points out sticky spots.

MeganRebekah said...

What a great idea! Do you think your husband will take my wireless internet box with him to work too?

Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, how fun! Have a great time in NY!

Anita Saxena said...

Conference and live critique. How fun! What a great idea to tell the Ethernet cable to take a hike. I need to do that. Good luck!

Tracy said...

Have fun and I hope you get lots done this week!

Karen Denise said...

Oh, I wish I could go! Have fun and learn lots of things. I've got an award for you over at my blog. Check it out when you get a chance. :-)

Terresa said...

I went to SCBWI in LV last weekend. It was a total and complete blast. I loved the small group format, the line up of excellent authors, illustrators, agents & editors.

It was my first conference, too. And I'll definitely be back!

About critique groups, I enjoy them but currently not active in any "in person" groups. I do have some friends that I critique with via email. That seems to work pretty well, too.

Have fun! Can't wait to read about how it goes!!

Stephanie Thornton said...

I've never done a live critique of other people's work, but I've been critiqued live. It's great to be able to ask a question right then and there, get instantaneous feedback from your readers. Of course, it's a little scary too.

Have a blast at the conference! You're going to have so much fun!

Rebecca L Sutton said...

That sounds like a blast! I can't wait for the day I get to finally meet my critique girls in real life. Enjoy! I hope we get to see a lot of pics and hear the details.

LOL at having your husband take your cable to work. That's the exact reason I take my laptop to the library. No wifi to distract me! Good luck. ; )

Patti said...

I have and it was nerve wracking. Just go in with a positive attitude and say it's all to make me better.

Have fun at the conference.

Elana Johnson said...

I have a live crit group that meets every other week. It is the best time ever!!! We've been meeting for about 2 years, so we're over the awkwardness of finding out your writing sucks face-to-face. And I think you'll see that that's the case with your group too. I mean, I've met a lot of my online friends and it's like you've known them forever.

Have a fun time!

Heather Sunseri said...

That's so exciting, Natalie! I can't wait to hear all about it when you return. Good luck getting lots done this week!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I'm glad the kidnapped cable idea is working. But I do miss you chiming in on our multiple daily emails. :(

See you real soon! :)

Sande said...

The shiney bits of writing for sure!

Dawn Simon said...

Ooh, so exciting! I'll be there, too! I hope to meet you in person!

Great idea to do a live critique, taking full advantage of the time together! My group meets in person and I really like it. I've never had an online group, but I don't imagine that you'd prepare differently. Except for the food. Have lots of snackage on hand. That's a given, though, right? ;)

Jill Kemerer said...

Yes, and I recommend listening and not trying to defend your position when they're finished. Just accept their comments and tuck them away to analyze later. And, of course, enjoy!

Erica said...

Oh yay! A conference - that should be really fun and informative ;o) I've never participated in a live critique, not sure what that entails... Good Luck :o)

Amy Tate said...

Oh how fun, Natalie! I went last year for my first "big conference." I flew all by myself and had a ball! I made it my goal to never sit with the same person twice, and I met some incredible people with whom I still keep in touch. If you have a laptop, take it. I blogged every night before I went to bed. Those posts are priceless to me now. It was an experience I will never forget. I hope you have the time of your life, girl!

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh exciting stuff. I have never been to a conference, but I am hoping to go to my first this year. I hope yours went really well :) All the very best.