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  • Writer's pictureRuss Cox

A NESCBWI 18 Conference Recap

Well, another New England SCBWI conference has come and gone. I am still trying to recover from the whirlwind of a weekend. There was so much going on, that it was hard to keep track of, and remember, things that happened. Here is a quick breakdown. I am now on the faculty as the Northern Illustrator Coordinator for NESCBWI. My responsibility now begins since the conference is over. The people who work hard behind the scenes are absolutely wonderful, and very helpful in the transition process. Hopefully, I will not try their patience too much with my questions. I look forward to helping putting together events for illustrators and helping with the conference next year. This past weekend, I got to present two workshops. One on Character Design, and the other workshop on Self Promotion. I believe they went well, and folks got something out of them. In the Character Design workshop, I really pushed the attendees in not settling, and being satisfied with what they brought in. We went through about 10 steps, or processes, in developing a character. There was some grumbling but I took that as a good thing. With the Self Promotion workshop, it turned into a group chat which I loved, and was very grateful that folks were willing to chime in with comments or questions. I gave the attendees different options for self promotion once the postcards are mailed. They are still the best way in getting your name out there. We had one person stand up and present their postcards for feedback. That is not an easy thing to do and we applauded her for doing so. I had a roommate for the weekend. Shawn Anderson and I never met before the conference. We hit it off the first moment we started chatting. He is such a lovely guy, and very funny. He is also part of the faculty now as an Associate Regional Advisor so we will be in touch with each other throughout the year. I was able to attend a few workshops during the weekend. I focused more on the writing side of things but did attend Matt Phelan's Graphic Novel chat. He talked about his process with writing and illustrating. It was jammed packed with info. The other writing courses were equally informative and I did walk away with a better understanding of the writing process but it is a matter of putting my butt in the chair and doing it. As always, the highlight is when I get see, and hangout, with my dear, close friends. We always talk about getting together throughout the year, but time gets away from us. Plus our lives are going in such different directions, it makes it more difficult. At least we know the conference is there every year, and an opportunity for us to gather and have some laughs. We did our annual barbecue dinner on Saturday evening. It is always a highlight. Some things that I missed out on: -Dan Santat's workshops (a few of them were the same time as mine). -Matt Phelan's keynote (I had to set up for my morning session). -Heidi Stemple's workshop (again, the same time as my workshop) and having a chat with her. -Being able to chat with folks for an extended period of time, or missing an opportunity to chat. -Hanging out with my Wonder Twin, Brook Gideon. -Sleep. We never get enough during conference weekend. Now it is time to roll up the sleeves and get cracking on some new stories, while incorporating the new information that I learned. Until next time. -

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