SCBWI LA Conference Highlights: Timelessness and The Inner Child

1,234 people were on hand for the SCBWI Summer Conference in LA August 3-6th. The biggest children’s book writers and illustrators conference of the year kicked off with some hilarious opening remarks by Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser.

Stephen regaled the audience each morning with a story of how he broke his wrist.

Inspired by the Summer Olympics, Lin lit the SCBWI “torch” and began our “opening ceremonies.”

She had each of the panelists/faculty for the event introduce him/her self and then say one word. Literally one word.


Jay Asher’s word was “Hysteria” from Def Leppard. Let me pause here to catch my breath. Jay *freaking* Asher. This man’s books are some of the best I’ve read in years. I <3 Jay Asher.

I forgot this speaker’s name, but I absolutely loved her enthusiasm at 9 ish am.

The first keynote of the day was Arthur Levine who spoke about timelessness in books.

He defined timelessness as a story capturing the moment of intimacy between the author and the reader.

This point would reverberate through other speeches at the conference that stressed that an author tell their truth to the reader.

One common thread in timeless book is the perceptiveness of the author about what makes people tick.

He gave a few examples of books that had timelessness: The Once and Future King and The Golden Compass.

The next keynote speaker was Tony Diterlizzi. Wow. Just wow.

By far the most entertaining and engaging speaker of the day, more akin to a late night talk show host.

He talked about never abandoning imagination. One of his main points was that he writes books that 10-year-old Tony would want to read.

The trick is staying in touch with the 10-year-old version of himself as he progresses further and further from that age.

He stressed the importance of writing books you’d love to read at the age you are writing for.

He was such an engaging speaker, I bought both books that he had for sale and got them signed.


I’m going to pause here, but I’ll be covering snippets from the conference for a few weeks.

This entry was posted in Conferences, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to SCBWI LA Conference Highlights: Timelessness and The Inner Child

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.