The best thing about going to writing conferences is rubbing shoulders with other writers. The childrens' writing gang seems even friendlier than most--and I was lucky to have four other members of my critique group there: Cliff, Barbara, Lyra and Rosanne. (Collectively, we are Tale Spinners at least on our GoodReads page.)
I listened to keynotes from three NY editors. Christy Webster is an editor at Random House and she shared info about writing "Step into Reading" books. Anna Bloom, from Scholastic, works on series books and talked about both character-driven series (think Ramona or Judy Moody) and concept-driven series (39 Clues or Goosebumps). Sha handed around a whole stash of books for us to leaf through. The third editor, Little Brown's Kate Sullivan, spoke on plot structure.
I also attended two workshops. One, by agent Michael Stearns, was called Plot Mechanics 101 and was delivered with humour and aplomb. I would write it all out, but I'm not the world's most accomplished typist. (Here's a link to a similar talk he gave elsewhere.)
The second workshop was given by writer Michele Torrey: The Query and Onward. I found it fascinating, as Michele had sold a number of books directly to publishers and gave us very detailed instructions on how to do so. She was an excellent and engaging speaker.
Finally, there was the great door prize give away. Cliff and I waited through about half an hour of people winning--and then it was revealed that a sizeable number hadn't even had their tickets placed in the raffle! we stormed the stage for a second crack at the prizes. Zilch. then, it came down to the grand prize, a handmade teddy bear, stitched together by SCBWI member, Bob Griggs. The woman whose number was called said she didn't want it, so another ticket was drawn: MINE.
So I walked out a winner in so many ways. SCBWI-Oregon is great, and I have to thank Judi and Robin for a great conference. They are bright, funny people and set a marvellous tone for the proceedings.
And now off for yet more revision...