I spent the last weekend in February at the SCBWI conference at Asilomar. Not only is this a fantastic conference that draws some of the best writers, editors, agents and educators in the field of children’s publishing, but it is held in one of the most exquisitely beautiful settings in the world—right on California’s Monterey Coast—so inspiration came from all directions; presenters, fellowship and nature.
Although most of us showed up prepared for predicted torrents of rain, the gods gifted us with perfect weather; white-gold sun by day and a sky full of stars at night. Down at the beach, against a sound track of waves crashing on the rocky shore, bundled strands of kelp lay strewn in the sand like a clan of drowned Medusas.
In sublime contrast, drifts of sunlight filtered through the Monterey pines of our lodging’s wooded surroundings. Outside our rustic room, a doe rested in the lush moss and watched over her grazing fawn.
And then there was the conference itself; Friday afternoon and evening, all of Saturday and Sunday morning were filled with thought-provoking, informational and inspiring presentations that covered a range of territory from Alexandria Lafaye’s talk on how to generate sensory details with social and emotional weight, to Cynthia Lord’s discussion of the pros and cons of writing about hard and powerful personal experiences, to Rick Richter presenting possibilities for children’s stories in the brave new world of mobile media.
I came home satiated, exhausted, recharged and full of gratitude for all I’d seen, heard, and experienced over the memorable weekend.