Monday, September 14, 2009

A Very Not Useful Post About My Conference Experience

Before attending the SCBWI conference on Saturday, I received a list of rules-one of which was: Don't corner an agent/editor in the bathroom. During one of my many bathroom breaks I found myself washing my hands next to New York Editor #1, and I'm proud to report there was no cornering.

But really, mutually washing potty germs off of your hands isn't exactly the best context to pitch your project anyway. Who does these things that rules actually have to be invented for them?

I did actually speak to above editor at one point, as lucky me got to sit by both New York editors as the other editor spoke. I asked her a question about agented work. Only, it took me a few tries to say the word "agented." I guess editors leave me a little tongue-tied.

The conference was awesome, of course. Other than our two New York editors (one from Macmillan and one from HarperCollins), we had a visiting agent as well. And lots of published authors.

I volunteered to introduce one of the authors during a break-out session. When I went to the volunteer table to register, they handed me a bandana. A bandana?

The conference had a wild west motif this year, which was really cute to look at, but not to wear. A lot of writers are boldish types who will greet each other with a "Howdy Partner" and tie a bright red bandana around their neck. I'm afraid that isn't me.

I cheated a little and wore the bandana around my arm. And I didn't once say "Howdy Partner." Maybe I need to work on that. Ooh...maybe I should have said "Howdy Partner" to the editor in the bathroom.

This is my shallow report of the SCBWI conference, which contains absolutely NO helpful information except bathroom etiquette and the mandatory dresscode of a volunteer.


  1. Even though I live close to what is considered cow town, I would have had a hard time saying "Howdy Partner". That's why we're writers not actors.

    I don't think I would want to approach anyone in the bathroom.

  2. But it's cute! And it's encouraging to know that I'm not the only one who trips over their tongue in the presence of editors. LOL (not that I have yet, I'm just anticipating it)

    Good for you for controlling yourself in the bathroom! LOL And I'm like you. I don't like bringing attention to myself, even for fun, silly things, which kind of makes me a party pooper. Except when I'm in an excitable mood. Then I'm loud. Hmmm. Not that you want to know all this about me. LOL

    I'm glad you had fun and got to hobknob with the professionals. :-)

  3. Patti-That is a good point. I did try acting in high school, but not being of the bandana-wearing-Howdying variety, I was never very successful.

    Jessica-Well, when you do get tongue-tied in front of that editor, you can know you aren't alone. I'm capable of being loud, too, but usually around friends and family.

  4. Hilarious. I don't think I'd do too well with a cowboy theme, either.

  5. LOL. Love that you didn't say Howdy Partner. Be original. :) Though don't walk through the shady areas of the inner city with that bandanna on.

  6. Ron-If you were a speaker at the conference you would have no choice but to wear a sheriff's badge.

    Maria-Hi! Thanks. Yes, being myself isn't quite so zany as that, but that's okay.

    Karen-Hi! You're right, who knows what the red bandana around the arm really signifies.

  7. Thanks for the report. Cracked me up. I just found your blog post when I googled SCBWI conference etiquette. I'm actually going to my first SCBWI conference tomorrow. I came across the info about a week ago and they were nice enough to let me register late. I only wish I had received an email with DOs and DON'Ts. I admit I'm a little nervous. My game plan is to listen, learn, introduce myself, and definitely not to corner and agent/editor in the bathroom. haha! Thanks for the tip. :)