The NYC conference is a mash-up of greeting friends, meeting new people, get-togethers with regional members and the scheduled events. I always hope there is something I can take from the presentations be they keynotes or breakouts sessions or even intensives. Last year it was Jack Gantos who stayed with me for long after the keynote was given. The organization, the dedication, the determination was so present, not because he told us about all of that, but because he SHOWED US. He had a power point of his notebook, what his desk looked like [at a private library no less–wow] and how he plotted and planned his stories. Now that I liked, process. I can do process.
I admit to not being huge on inspirational speakers. I think just about anyone can be an inspirational speaker if the topic is themselves, talking about how they got to where they were, how much it took, what made them keep on going. And I love those speakers and speeches, they just do little for me.
When we work on our regional conferences our goal is to have solid, practical, relatable notes that can be translated into the writing or art of all participants.
The NYC conference is not based on craft for the most part. It is a series of keynotes surrounding breakout sessions with agents and editors based in New York and what they are interested in. Some, like Jordan Brown gave a craft-based presentation along with submission guidelines. Others may just tell what they want, how they want it and give submission guidelines.
So, stay tuned for takeaway number one—Anthony Horowitz.