November 5th, 2012
Once again, the SCBWI Western Washington retreat has blown me out of the water. Attendees were fortunate to be in the experienced hands of organizer Jolie Stekly, who hosted the event at the gorgeous Inn at Port Ludlow. The fantastic duo of editor Jordan Brown and author Anne Ursu, engaged and challenged us all weekend. Exactly what I’d hoped for!
We were told to dig deeper into the elements of character and voice in order to produce first pages that will be an open door a reader can’t resist going into. They had great examples for us to analyze and a whole list of recommended reading to inspire us long after the retreat is over.
Unique to this year, participants were able to send in first pages ahead of time for written feedback from Jordan and Anne. This was invaluable as I’ve always found impromptu comments in a room of eager writers to be forced and stressful for all.
Everyone was in good spirits and the camaraderie was as bountiful as the food was delicious. Evening activities included bonfires with s’mores, bananagram marathons, and Kid Lit Drink Night in the lounge. Everyone took advantage of the fleeting opportunity to reconnect with colleagues from near and far.
The retreat was over far too quickly, but I’m certain we all left with plenty of grist for the mill and the determination to dig deeper. Huzzah!