Being Brave & Having Fun: NESCBWI14

I think my brain has recovered enough to hit some highlights from NESCBWI14 this past weekend. The theme was "Create Bravely: Make Your Mark" which was appropriate in its many forms and I came not only as a faculty member, but as someone with a new project in mind, a new POV experiment and a commitment to learn something about first chapters as those are my weakest link.

Some of the most inspiring things are the keynotes and it was an astounding lineup this year: the incomparable Jane Yolen, the touching Peter H. Reynolds, and the hilarious honesty of Laurel Snyder--honestly, I could just come for their talks--there was so many great things I took away from them, here were a couple of my favorite quotes:

"Get out of the way of the work."
"Think of the great two-word story starter: 'What If?'"
"Reinvent yourself every ten years; that's how long a fad has legs."

-- Jane Yolen

"I have a journal which I call 'Books Not Yet In Print.'"
"What is your philosophy? What do you believe in?" --> "Stories that matter, stories that move."
"The mistake can be the sparkspiration."

-- Peter H. Reynolds

"While there are rules and labels, these are the lowest common denominator. Being brave means stepping outside the rules."
"What have been the defining moments of Who You Are that are embarrassing to talk about? That's where your bravest works are."
"You are writing for an audience, one kid, not marketing."

-- Laurel Snyder

I learned about how to use Scrivener (thank goodness!) and first person with the always intelligent and insightful Nova Ren Suma, and got must-know feedback on my first chapter of the WIP-of-my-heart, both in session and in critique. It was a good weekend! Top it off with getting to bash swords and mince words with the fabulous A.C. Gaughan (who I've been hoping to rope into doing something together for some time) as we talked about re-envisioning "strength" so that we can we writers can write "strong characters who are female" as opposed to "strong female characters."

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One of my closest NESCBWI buddies, Jennifer Carson, still hanging out with me after nearly 10 years & a new face who joined me in tweeting a pic for #WeNeedDiverseBooks, which was taking the Internet by storm this weekend!

I got to meet tons of new people and lots of old friends, talk to folks about #WeNeedDiverseBooks and hang out sparkly stickers as part of the Bravery Posse, and basically get to do all the things I love most: hang out with cool and interesting people, become inspired, take care of folks, be helpful, Pay It Forward, and all the while get to talk about good books while eating good food. Really, what more could I want in a weekend?

Oh, right, I bought and signed books and had books signed for me! A phenomenal time with phenomenal people.

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This is where the magic happens. I cannot recommend it enough! See you next year!


One Response to “Being Brave & Having Fun: NESCBWI14”

  1. […] Dawn Metcalf shared keynote quotes and discussed why #WeNeedDiverseBooks. […]

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