Friday, September 26, 2014

Somewhere in Time, Mackinac Memories

Somewhere in Time, Mackinac Island, Michigan

The 2014 SCBWI-MI Fall Conference was held on Mackinac Island last week. Conference coordinators, Charlie Barshaw and Anita Pazner worked their tails off to ensure that everyone had a grand ole' time. Indeed, the experience seems to have aged them a bit.

They had loads of help from our chapter RA's Leslie Helakoski and Carrie Pearson, the AdCom team, J & J book sellers (that's Whistler and Rumberger), Illustration Coordinator Ruth Barshaw, and the numerous conference attendees who stepped up as needed. A fantastic line-up of speakers devoted hours of their time and expertise. Thank you to editors, Arthur Levine and Christy Ottaviano, agent Jodell Sadler, author Candace Fleming, author/illustrators Eric Rohmann and Laurie Keller, and our home-grown talent Kris Remenar, Sandy Carlson, Lori Taylor, Ed Spicer, Julie Hedlund, and David Stricklen!

Congratulations to Wendy Sherrill who took 1st place in the 2014-15 Novel Mentorship competition with author Edith Hemmingway! Bravo to Ann Finkelstein (2nd place) and Magdalena Roddy (3rd place), and to everyone who took a risk and submitted their manuscripts.

Enjoy these photo memories and please help by answering the question about organizing notes at the bottom of this post. Thanks for sharing your pictures: Sandy Carlson, Jennifer Rumberger, Kirbi Fagan, Diana Magnuson, Ann Finkelstein, Rachel Anderson, Lori Yuhas, and Vicky Lorencen. We'll have reports and more photos from the many conference sessions in the coming weeks.

Plein air painting at the butterfly house was a huge hit. Thank you, Lori Eslick!

Sketch by Diana Magnuson

Traveling mates: Kathy Gilson, Heidi Sheffield, Lori Yuhas, and Jennifer Rumberger

Kirbi Fagan and Sandy Carlson.

Funtastic faculty!

Everyone came home with reams of notes from the informative and inspirational sessions. I have a stack of identical SCBWI folders from many years worth of conferences. I labeled some of them, Sept. 2010, etc. For awhile I remembered, oh yes that was the conference where I had a critique with editor Cheryl Klein, or that was the conference where the editor set off the fire alarm trying to steam the wrinkles out of his clothes. But it's not long before all the years blur together, and I have to sift through every folder and all the papers inside to find what I'm looking for. So, here's a question:

How do you organize all of this valuable material?

Please share your organization tips and strategies in the comments below, and stayed tuned for more conference reflections in the weeks ahead.

Happy reading!

Kristin Lenz


  1. Great memories of the conference. Thanks! I look forward to tips on organizing conference notes.

  2. Remember David Stricklen in the indie panel! He's a home-grown talent that presented with Lori, Sandy, and Julie.

    1. Yes, thanks! I just added them and Ed Spicer too!

  3. Great picture collection! My organization sounds a lot like yours, folders for each conference, probably not the best use of the notes, though.

  4. I make a folder for each conference (name, date, location) and add the main faculty members' names on the tab. I file them chronologically with most recent in front. I have folders for major subjects too such as "nonfiction picture books" so I'll copy notes from a conference session that pertains to my subject folders and drop them in there. HOWEVER! My file drawers are getting full so I need to go digital with some of this stuff!

  5. My anal retentive nature has me save the PDF brochure of the conference as well as all my handwritten notes into EverNote. Than I tag it with "Conference." That way I can easily search for who presented at particular conferences and what I learned. (I also keep the conference folders, but I could probably get rid of them except that people worked so hard to put them together.)

    1. That is a great idea - and one that I would probably never get around to doing! But now we know who to ask when we can't find something. :)

  6. Fantastic photos from a very memorable conference. Thanks for posting these, Kristin!

  7. Love the butterflies! Jealous that I couldn't be there...S.

  8. I keep the conference folders too. :) They organize the various papers for me. But I take notes in a separate conference sketch-journal. Sometimes I go through it later and pull out all the little things I learned and organize it into a list as proof it was worth what it cost to go to the conference.
    Shutta -- you were missed!
    And all -- GREAT conference!! Anita and Charlie really outdid themselves organizing such a fantastic resource for us.