Scene Stealing Seagulls and SCBWI

Wow, what an experience at the SCBWI Canada East Niagara Falls retreat! Tons of talent, talk, and inspiration. Here’s a bit of what it was like:

Keynote Quotes

“Story matters most.” Emma D. Dryden, drydenbks, talking about all the many technological devices and platforms there are.

“Bring your props out before you need them.” Kathleen Duey, talking about introducing physical elements or setting details to your reader when they’re just insignificant details so you can bring them up again later when they become pivotal plot points.

“Think of voice as personality; the thing that stays with you.” Nancy Conescu, executive editor, Dial Books for Young Readers, telling us she needs to see this in manuscript submissions she would consider acquiring or working on further.

“No more missing sock stories!” Tracey Adams, agent, Adams Literary, when asked what she does not want to see…but she did go on to say that anything can work if it works.

Most Memorable Moments

* Walking to dinner and coming across a bride and groom’s photo shoot backdropped by the falls. But the wind was whipping the bride’s hair and dress all up and around. Immediately, Kathleen Duey stepped up and suggested the bridal party, a group of mostly men standing idly by, form a windbreak by positioning themselves in front of the bridge and groom but out of the photo. They did and it effectively blocked the worst of the wind. Situation saved!

* Waiting to deliver Lesley Livingston to the group tour and snapping this photo as a seagull soared right towards me. Check it out:

* And downloading my photos to find some seagull snuck into my snapshot of Janis and Lesley. Scene stealer! Look at it there between their heads, bold as all get out!

Seagulls aside, in summary Jackie Garlick-Pynaert did an outstanding job of gathering the talent (which also included Patti Ann Harris, art director of Little Brown; author Kristin Clark Venuti; editor and author Lorin Oberweger; director and writer Roman White) and coordinating the conference.

I look forward to enjoying the new connections made at this conference for a long time.

© Lizann Flatt,
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.

SCBWI Canada East Conference

I was lucky enough this year to get to SCBWI’s Momentous 40th anniversary conference in LA. Read about it here. My take on that amazing experience will appear on this blog in a bit. But allow me to momentarily don my official SCBWI Canada East Regional Advisor hat to shout about an event closer to home:

“The Courage to Create” Fall SCBWI Canada East Conference
No matter whether you’re creating, marketing, or promoting your work, it all takes courage. 

October 14-16, 2011
Ottawa, Ontario
Sheraton Downtown Ottawa
150 Albert Street


Diane Kerner, VP, Scholastic Canada
Susan Hawk, Agent, The Bent Agency
RJ Anderson, Author of Ultraviolet, Spell Hunter, and more
Ben Hodson, illustrator of Richard Was a Picker, Jeffrey and Sloth, and more

* Crystal Kite Award presentation to Marsha Skrypuch
* one-on-one critiques
* Friday night Bookstore Book Bash at Collected Works

You can download the brochure from this site (scroll down to the linked pdf file).

© Lizann Flatt,
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.

Think Spring: SCBWI in Niagara Falls, Ontario!

I’m soooo tired of winter, of either being sun deprived or freezing, so I’m going to focus on spring for a moment.

You know I’m involved in SCBWI’s Canada East chapter, right? (Full disclosure: actually I’m the Regional Advisor.) I’m really looking forward to this spring’s conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario. This year a volunteer stepped forward and offered to be the conference coordinator for our spring event. I’d met her at our fall retreat and things went from there. Super huge thanks to writer Jackie Pynaert for stepping forward to spearhead this huge undertaking!

Writers: you know you want to join us! Here are the details:

SCBWI Canada East Niagara Falls Retreat and Conference

May 13-15, 2011
Niagara Falls, Ontario

Josh Adams, Agent, Adams Literary
Hilary Van Dusen, Senior Editor, Candlewick Press
Alan Jones, Art Director, HarperCollins Canada
Authors: Terri Farley, Sydney Salter, Fran Cannon Slayton, Veronica Rossi

Find the complete registration package on the SCBWI Canada East website or our Chapter’s page at

Hope to see some of you there, and please feel free to spread the word.

© Lizann Flatt,
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.

Fun with the SCBWI Canada East Fall 2010 Retreat

So you take pictures at a writing retreat, and they sit around doing nothing. While you get your snow tires put on, you sit around doing nothing. Put the two together with laptop and….

…you come up with something a bit better than nothing. Enjoy.

© Lizann Flatt,
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.