Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 23, 2013

The New England SCBWI Conference in Verse


Authors Sudipta Bardhan and Kami Kinard gave a workshop at the New England SCBWI Conference in April. I had SCBWI member, Karen Calloway ask me why I never put up anything about the New England SCBWI Conference a few days before it was held in April. I told her I would be glad to share her experience on my blog, since I know the New England Chapter does a great job with their conference. Karen put the conference to verse. Here it is:

It was late Sunday night when my friend Christi and I returned to our homes in  western Maine. We had journey for twelve hours round trip to attend the New England SCBWI Art of Craft conference in Springfield, MA. We were bleary-eyed and exhaus-ted, but euphoric.

To say that my writing will be forever changed would be an understatement, but rather than write a long piece about every workshop I attended, who taught it, and what I learned, I offer the following verses.

What SCBWI Can Do if I Let It 

by Karen Calloway


All my stories, every one,

the old, reworked, or just begun,

seemed more than perfect, skilled and deft,

yet somehow I was  always left

with angst, confusion, doubt, and so –

off to a conference I did go.


It grew my brain and filled my heart-

an end, a middle, a whole new start.

I learned about metaphor, arc and rhyme,

character changes, voice sublime,

facebook, blogs, critiques and wine,

and illustrations I wish were mine,


indie publishing (self-help advice),

poetry, picture book (word-count precise),

young adult, middle grade, theories, craft . . .

new information to polish my draft,

authors, artists, new-found friends,

editors, agents, and newest trends.


Keynote speakers Lin and Creech

convinced me (again) that I must reach

to do my best upon this stage-

word by word and page by page,

for books are within me, daring, wild.

They will stir the heart of a waiting child.


Genre, genre, wish I might

have the wish I wish tonight . . .

to be courted by publishers, one, two, three,

considered a “find”  by the industry.

Then certainly, surely, my luck will have flipped.

Perhaps even Spielberg will ask for the script?



It was awesome. Wished you were there. Maybe you were.

Hazel Mitchell and Dawn Metcalf showing off the doodles they did on their book table. I am not sure, but I think they auctioned it off at the end of the conference.

Thank you Karen for sharing, hope you keep the motivation you found and attend more SCBWI events.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This was fantastic! Conference highlights in verse…who knew. May Spielberg and others offer you a contract!


  2. Well done Karen!


  3. I can tell you, as a ‘reliable’ source that the tablecloth was whisked away by Kate Messner in her handbag. Who knew!


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