Event Report: Austin SCBWI Regional Conference

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Last weekend’s highlight was “Kick It Up a Notch,” the 2013 regional conference of Austin SCBWI.

Authors Katherine Catmull and Greg Leitich Smith at the Friday night reception at the Austin Children’s Museum
Agent Erzsi Deak of Hen & Ink Literary Studio
Illustrators Amy Farrier & Emma Virjan (Amy in the chapter’s incoming illustrator chair)
Me with my fellow Cynthia — YALSA Nonfiction Award finalist Cynthia Levinson
VCFA MFA grad Sean Petrie & my former (incredibly talented) student Vanessa Lee
Children’s novelist K.A. Holt & Dear Teen Me anthologist E. Kristin Anderson
John Gonzales & Chronicle editor Tamra Tuller
Triple author photo — Karyn Henley, me & Helen Hemphill
Children’s author Bethany Hegedus, incoming ARA Samantha Clark, Sean & Vanessa
Outgoing illustrator chair Mark G. Mitchell, former RA Tim Crow & author Brian Anderson
Award-winning illustrator E.B. Lewis at registration on Saturday morning
Tween author Jo Whittemore, author-illustrator Jeff Crosby, E. Kristin, debut author Nikki Loftin & Greg
Authors Shutta Crum & Lindsey Scheibe
Jeff studies the illustrator portfolios & leaves comments
Authors Jessica Lee Anderson & P.J. Hoover
Bethany & Samantha
Authors P.J., Joy Preble, Cory Putnam Oakes & Jessica
Fresh faces — illustrator Erin McGuire & Jillian S. Tinsley
Lester Ferguson of NEWAVE Studio & successful auction bidder Gene Brenek
Cynthia & her Peachtree editor Kathy Landwehr
H. Scott Beazley — soon-to-debut YA novelist with Hyperion/Disney!
First pages panel with Tamra, E.B., Erzsi, literary agents Rubin Pfeffer and John Cusik & Kathy
John Cusik of Greenhouse Literary & illustrator/web guru Erik Kuntz — kudos to Erik for coordinating gifts for the outgoing chapter leaders!
Glamorous Amy
Jo & outgoing RA Debbie Gonzales
Austin SCBWI founder Meredith Davis won a web-platform critique from me.
Newly agented Donna Bowman Bratton, author Anne Bustard (to whom Eternal: Zachary’s Story is dedicated) & me

Cynsational Notes

Mine! author Shutta  & illustrator Patrice

Austin illustrator Patrice Barton was presented a Crystal Kite Member Choice Award. Peek: “The Crystal Kite Awards are given by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators each year to recognize great books from 15 regional SCBWI divisions around the world. …the Crystal Kite Awards are chosen by other children’s book writers and illustrators, making them the only peer-given awards in publishing for young readers. Each member of SCBWI is allowed to vote for their favorite book from a nominated author in their region that was published in the previous calendar year.” Last two photos courtesy of Shutta.

The winners of the
Betty X Davis Young Writers Award were celebrated, and children’s author Liz Garton Scanlon joined me on the
local author critique faculty.

National faculty also included editor Neal Porter of Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook.

Incoming RA/author-illustrator Shelley Ann Jackson formally assumed leadership of the chapter.

Thank you to Austin’s own independent bookstore, BookPeople, for handling book sales at the event!

From a fashion perspective, the colors purple, red, black and white appeared to be all the rage.Women embraced black tights, while artistic men were all about red fezzes and bowling shirts.

Don’t Tweet That! by Shelli Cornelison from Shelli’s Soliloquy. Peek: “…the brevity of Twitter makes it a particularly perilous place for conference presenters.”

2 thoughts on “Event Report: Austin SCBWI Regional Conference

  1. It was a wonderful conference! I'm so grateful I was able to attend and hope to get more involved this year. I was too busy admiring your skirt in the bathroom to realize it was you wearing it!

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