Friday, February 3, 2012

A Week of Acronyms: SCBWI, FOCUS, and WSRA

SCBWI's (and Esther's) 13th annual Winter Conference was my first of the international variety. I began my New York trip the day before the event so I could meet my sister Judy to walk down drizzly streets seeing the sights--and getting lost. We are not map people! One highlight: the New York Public Library's "Celebrating 100 Years" exhibition, including the original Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga, and little Roo.

Friday was even wetter than Thursday, so we wandered through the American Museum of Natural History, where we lingered in the butterfly exhibit, and briefly strolled along the edge of Central Park.

Esther's Wednesday post covered many of the conference highlights, so I'll add just a few of my own:
  • Jane Yolen's generous Mid-List Author Grant, to be awarded annually to an author who writes steadily and well but whose books have not received a lot of media attention. Eligible authors have at least two PAL level books but have not sold a manuscript in at least one year. Nominations for next year's awards will be accepted from June 1 to November 1, and winners will be announced at next year's conference. Watch the SCBWI web site for official details. Thank you, Jane!
  • Kathryn Erskine's closing keynote, which used the acronym FOCUS as a guide for keeping our minds on our work. I especially appreciated her advice about blocking out distractions by creating a little waiting room in my mind. She recommended posting a guard at the door. (I wonder where I might find a fire-breathing dragon!)
  • Meeting Steve Mooser, Lin Oliver, and the many enthusiastic, hardworking, dedicated, and brilliant author and illustrator volunteers who keep the SCBWI organization and events running smoothly, efficiently, and cheerfully.
Yesterday, I presented a poetry workshop for teachers and also participated in a panel of Wisconsin authors at the Wisconsin State Reading Association's 2012 Convention. In the morning, I was thrilled to see enthusiastic teachers chewing on pencils, staring into space, and drafting their own poems in preparation for sharing the method with their students. In the afternoon, Lisa Albert, Kathryn Heling, Jacqueline Houtman, Lisa Moser, and I spoke about our books, our writing processes, and our school visit presentations. I enjoyed getting to know my fellow presenters a bit better through their work.

And now I'll shift gears again, to a freelance project, teaching plans, and school visit preparations. Yes, I'm busy--and glad to be! Back to work!
JoAnn Early Macken

1 comment:

April Halprin Wayland said...

JoAnn ~ Thank you for passing on Kathryn Erskine's advice about blocking out distractions by creating a waiting room in our minds.

Love the image.