Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 20, 2010

Agent Holly McGhee Signs On For 2011

Holly McGhee, President of Pippin Properties and agent has agreed to join the faculty for the New Jersey SCBWI June 2011 Conference.  She will be giving a presentation titled, “Working out of the Comfort Zone.”  

Worked today on Silent Auction dinners – Got commitments from Emily Van Beek from Folio Literary Management for dinner in Manhattan for July 28th.  I have not confirmed the other editors for that dinner.  On July 14th, Carolyn Yoder has committed to dinner in Princeton, NJ.  I think Margery Cuyler will be joining us at that dinner.  I have invited a couple other industry professionals to join us, but still need to hear back.  On July 27th, Holly McGhee from Pippin Properties is joining us for a Manhattan dinner.  There are a lot more in the works, but the process is kind-of-like herding cats.

A number of people donated things today to the raffle.  I’ll post about that in another post.  Laurie and I worked to try and get all the logistics worked out with the hotel.  We are trying to be perfect, but there always is “Murphy’s Law.”  Hallee is working on the lunch tables and then when she is done with that, I will go over it and make changes, then Laurie will give it to someone else to check for mistakes.  I can’t even tell you how many times and how many people have gone over the schedule, but it is just like editing a manuscript, it needs a lot of eyes.  It is a huge task and the thought of a mistake lingers everyday in the back of Laurie and my minds.

In case you are interested, we have 285 critiques taking place during the two day conference.  That would be a lot to schedule even without First Page Sessions, pitches and workshops, but it is an intricate puzzle when you add those things into the mix.

All the tote bags and other printed goodies I ordered have arrived.  Susan and Sandra Steen, who aren’t even coming this year, has donated their time to stuff folders to help us out.  In fact, we have a number of volunteers who are helping, even though they aren’t attending. 

For all of you who helped me choose black print on the toiletry bag for Beth Bogert’s logo, the white would have been better.  I just didn’t see that the black wouldn’t show up well on the blue.  You can see it, but it doesn’t stand out.  I hope Beth is not disappointed.

I sent out a letter to all the attendees today, so if you are signed up for the conference, check to find the e-mail.  Of course, let me know if you didn’t receive it.  Well, it doesn’t sound like that could have taken 12 hours of non-stop work, but it did and Laurie spent all day working on the conference, too.  We must talk on the phone a dozen time each day, trying to figure out the best way to tackle the problems that magically appear each morning.  Then we have a whole team of people who are working on other bits and pieces.  I don’t even want to begin counting up the hours that go into this conference.  I think we are better off not knowing.  At least I have two non-related conference things below to share with you.

At Puffin Books, Jennifer Bonnell has been promoted to executive editor. She has been with the imprint for 10 years.

At Media Source, Library Journal and School and Library Journal publisher Ron Shank has been, also, named publisher of The Horn Book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Whew! Not even six in the morning and I’m exhausted just reading what you are doing! Keep up the great work Kathy. Its going to be an AWESOME conference.


    • Nanci,

      Thanks for being out there. I know you are in my corner.



  2. Kathy, I really feel for all of you, and if you want me to be another set of eyes, feel free to send me anything to look over.

    As far as Murphy’s Law, when I headed one particular event, I was told to expect 5 things to go wrong. It seems that it’s impossible to avoid at least one, and you always hope it’s something simple. Sometimes it’s human error; other times it’s unforeseen circumstance. I remember when I got married, everything went off without a hitch (well, it rained, but seemed to stop every time we entered or exited a building! lol), but who could’ve known that the exit off the G.S.Parkway that led to the catering hall would’ve been blocked because a fire broke out at a factory right there! It made almost everyone late (not me, ’cause I knew other routes), but it worked out in the end 🙂

    I headed the decor and entertainment for my son’s Project Graduation year, and with all the calculations, all the preparation, etc., there were still things that had to be dealt with (who could’ve figured that we’d have tornado-gusting winds blowing away the entrance to our “tunnel”! lol And the NY Sports Club, who I spent hours dealing with, getting them to put in more electrical outlets to accommodate our inflatables, had outlets that were already there that ended up NOT working! There were many headaches and I was the chicken without the head (and believe me, my hair looked like it and no one told me!), but it all worked out well.

    Anyway, as you know, you work your way around the problems, and with so many hands to help, somehow it all works out, and typically it’s the kind of stuff that no one knows but the “crew”. The thing is, with this conference, I think most, if not all the attendants and faculty REALLY appreciate what you do which is why “thank you” can’t be said enough and doesn’t seem to cover it 🙂


    • Donna,

      Who knows what unforeseen things will come up. Right now, we have gone over ever detail we can think of and we are passing everything off to have more eyes check. I can’t think of anything more we could do, so we have given our best.



  3. Kathy how do the dinners with agents/editors work?


  4. I think it sounds like a ton of work Kathy! And it always turns out to be fantastic. Hooray for you and Laurie, and the crew.


    • Jeannine,

      A company would pay big buck to get this type of job done, just because of the amount of work needed to be done. I am looking forward to this year, since the hotel will be cool.



  5. Nanci,

    After I nail down who is coming on what date, then I have to get a restaurant. Figure out how much it will cost and how man people we will let attend. The Laurie will make up a sheet for each dinner. Say we decide that we can have eight people for four editors, then there will be eight spaces for people to sign up for the dinner. Anyone else who wants to come would have to be on a waiting list.



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