Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 1, 2009

Hello world!


The goal of this blog is to bring and share information about Writing and Illustrating for children.  I will be posting information that I acquire from my interactions with editors and agents in the industry and share thoughts and techniques of other writers and illustrators.  Please send me your articles that will help Children’s writers in the process of getting published.  – Thanks, Kathy 

For everyone siging up for this year’s NJSCBWI Conerence, here a little conference ettiqutte to think about:

1. Don’t stalk an editor or agent. Don’t follow them around. There are numerous stories about authors who have followed an editor/agent into the bathroom and slipped a manuscript under the door. This is never a good idea.

2. Don’t push your manuscript on an editor /agent.  Don’t whip out your manuscript at the conference, unless the editor or agent asks you to physically hand it over.

3. Don’t cut into another member’s conversation with an editor or agent. You will make enemies of your co-attendees.

4. Don’t get tongue tied. There will be plenty of opportunity to talk with the faculty during the conference.  Prepare and rehearse a pitch, so you can spout off a few coherent sentences, when you are asked what are you working on.

5. Don’t bring gifts, booze, or fill “thank you” cards with glittery sprinkles or stars.

6. Don’t boast about or compare your writing to a Newbery award winning author or book.

7. Don’t argue with the editor /agent if they say something you don’t agree with during your manuscript critique your manuscript. Don’t cry or get mad. Not everyone likes every book they read and even if they truely act like they hate it, so what? That doesn’t mean someone else will feel the same way. Listen, ask questions and get as much out of the critique as you possibly can. They might spark an idea that breathes life into your story. Even if someone says you should give up writing, don’t let it bother you. They are wrong. Please don’t expect that, because it won’t happen and if it does, please let me know. Editors are wrong all the time. Most famous authors have been rejected over and over again.

8. Don’t forget to be respectful and friendly.

9. Don’t forget to bring your business cards and postcards of your illustrations.  Don’t make the mistake of trying to whip out your portfolio at lunch or other social events. That is not the time or place for this. It is very difficult for someone to focus on a portfolio, but it is easy to handle a postcard.

10. Don’t forget to laugh. Bring your sense of humor with you.


1. Take the time to read through all the faculty bios. Who you are meeting with?  Make some notes about what you want talk about. Is there a question that you would like to ask? Is there someone you would love to meet?  If you know what they look like, you may be able to work your way in their direction. Make a plan.

2. If you have an editor or agent you want to meet and can’t seem to make that happen, ask someone on the conference committee if they will help you. Read books by featured conference authors in advance. It will make their presentation much more meaningful.

3. Do your homework. Look over the names of the authors. Do a Google search on them. Get to know their books. An author will be impressed and probably be more receptive to answering your questions and giving you industry tips.

4. Research the editors and agents.

5. Think about your goals for the conference. A conference is a good place to look for critique partners and groups.

6. If you are attending the conference alone, try to make a friend to hang out with or ask someone on the conference committee to introduce you to someone who might take you under their wing. 

7. Be prepared to learn. Take notes. Bring a few pencils, notepad and a highlighter, just in case.

8. Be friendly, thank people that help you.

9. Come with a list of questions that have been nagging you. This is the place to get answers to all those questions. If you don’t write them down when you are thinking of them, then they will probably fly out of your head when you are in the midst of the conference.

10. Come with business cards and if you are an illustrator take the time to have some postcards of your art, so you can hand them out to editors, agents and others. All you are trying to do is peak their interest in you and your work. So save the porfolio for your portfolio review and or the portfolio exhibit and contest.


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