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  • Writer's pictureDawn Simon

SCBWI Winter Conference: Part I

Updated: Feb 16, 2020

(Updating to give credit for the SCBWI Winter Conference image - art by Annie Bowler)

I had an incredible time at the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York! And New York... *sigh* I love it. I took advantage of being there, squeezing in adventures before and after the conference.

Before SCBWI kicked things off Friday evening at the Golden Kite Gala, I went to Brooklyn with two of my mom's siblings and visited the apartment building where my dad had grown up--though he hasn't been to Brooklyn in years. My mom passed away seven years ago tomorrow, and I miss her every day. It was really special, seeing Brooklyn for my first time with her brother and sister, and I was thrilled to get to stand before my dad's former home. We texted my dad photos to show him what the building looks like nowadays, and that brought up stories from the past. And family stories are some of the very best treasures! I took this pic on our way there. That's Brooklyn from across the water.

When I returned, I had the chance to explore NYC with a couple of friends.

Wait! Wrong picture!

Here we are!

That's Faith Conlon on the left side of the photo and Margaret Nevinski on the right. Margaret's one of my awesome critique partners! Both ladies are SCBWI Western Washington friends. Margaret, Faith, and I had so much fun. After a late lunch, we went to Amy's Bread for dessert. Since it was two days before the Academy Awards, we bought Oscar cookies. One each, not the whole plate!

I asked the man behind the counter to say, "The Oscar goes to--" while handing me mine, but he just smiled politely and gave me my cookie. He must have thought I was kidding--or maybe every other customer says that! Either way, it was delish. If you go to NYC, go to Amy's Bread!

* * *

The SCBWI Golden Kite Gala was an exciting way to begin the conference. As the awards were presented, each winner spoke, and almost all of them made me cry. Their words were inspiring and full of so much heart. I can't pick a favorite speech. They were all so good. Chris Grabenstein presented the Sid Fleischman Humor Award to Remy Lai, and she's hilarious. I loved everything Chris said about the importance of books with humor.

James Patterson was our special guest speaker, and I really enjoyed his talk. Everyone who attended received a copy of Max Einstein: Rebels with a Cause by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, and each copy had a signed bookplate.

All of the books being honored sounded excellent! I bought Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai and The Lovely War by Julie Berry. I had each one autographed. I blinked in the picture with Remy, but I'll post it, anyway. Just pretend my eyes are open when you see the pic!

winner of the 2020 Sid Fleischman Humor Award

Henry Holt

winner of the 2020 Golden Kite Award for Young Adult Fiction

Viking Books for Young Readers

Both authors were lovely.

I'll do a second post about the rest of the conference and my time in New York in the very near future.

Please tell me in the comments about a writing conference you've attended or would like to attend!

48 views2 comments


Dawn Simon
Dawn Simon
Feb 15, 2020

I had a wonderful time with you, Margaret! I'm going through my conference notes today, still processing all we learned. Thank you for stopping by! Your comment was the very first on my new blog!


Margaret Nevinski
Margaret Nevinski
Feb 15, 2020

Dawn, even though the minions were trying to crash our party, I still had a great time with you in NYC! The Golden Kite Gala was so inspiring, a perfect way to launch the conference.

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