Last week I went to the SCBWI conference, where writers and illustrators come together and mingle with publishers and editors. This is where book magic happens, where deals get inked, interest gets sparked and conversations leads to promising ventures. I love coming these conferences because I get to catch up with old friends, meet new aspiring writers and also get inspired myself.
A highlight was the pitching session where authors and illustrators got to pitch their book idea in 3 minutes to a panel of publishers. Now these guys were picked from a bigger bunch of pitches, but it was still impressive to see how polished and rehearsed their pitches were. They’ve come a long way than simply explaining your idea in a neat cover letter format, this is really to hook someone in from the start and holding them there.
It was nice to see publishers genuinely excited to find out more about people’s ideas for books. I remember reading the first paragraph of Thai-riffic! back in 2007 at the NSW Writers Centre’s KIDYA festival. James Roy was on the panel and asked me to submit my work to one of his publishers, along with the actual editor from the publisher too. It gave me a goal to work hard on polishing my draft.
This one person leapt up on stage as a last minute entry. She spoke about her button box fantasy tale that brought back memories of The Borrowers and so on. She said that she wanted this book to be the effect of Frozen. Her energy and enthusiasm said it all. Just her joy that she had for the story. I mean, it’s one thing to write a great story, but it doesn’t hurt to really believe in that story too. Publishers can spot it a mile away J
I’m off to South America this weekend, away for 5 weeks for some sightseeing, eating burgers and other fun stuff. Be back with some more exciting news to finish off the year haha.