Wasn’t It Great? by Lindsay Bandy

Tell me about your Pocono Retreat! I want to know what you learned, how you grew, what energized or terrified you, and what you’ve been inspired to do now that you’re home. Send me pictures at LKBandy84@yahoo.com – some Seuss Selfies, perhaps?-and we’ll make a photo collage of the fun! Remember, this blog is YOUR blog….your place to be interact, be inspired, and stay informed!

I was definitely inspired and challenged over the weekend. I got some seriously kick-butt revision strategies that I’m thrilled about. Heather Flaherty’s presentation on “show don’t tell” really set the suggestions I received from my critique into motion, and helped me to look at the way I was presenting backstory in a totally different (better!) way. It’s funny how different critiquers can give totally different advice, and amazing how even opposing advice can be integrated into something new that enhances your vision of your own work! Honestly, I can’t stop thinking about it, which is awesome and probably slightly OCD…

I was especially inspired by Leslie Helakoski’s presentation. She encouraged us to look at every struggle, every obstacle, as an opportunity to grow and improve. To focus on the positives of the journey, because, as she said, “There is no happy ending to an unhappy journey.” I left so refreshed and energized, determined to look at every challenge, every revision, and every step of the process as a gift. We get to do the creative work we love, and that’s a prize in and of itself! If we stress too much over the process, chances are we will stress over publication, stress over marketing, stress over school visits, stress over the next book…..you get the idea. So, do what you love because you love it. Love the process of improving the work you love and watching yourself grow. Love the process of getting to know other writers and illustrators, meeting industry pros that give you the gift of constructive criticism, and celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of others, too.

I hope we can all say,Β like Woolbur, WASN’T IT GREAT?!


Share your great stories in the comments section and keep in touch!

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15 Responses to Wasn’t It Great? by Lindsay Bandy

  1. I loved your post, Lindsay, and loved, LOVED the conference. What an inspiring, supportive event! One technical thing I learned is that when writing narrative description in my chapter book, I must keep the same voice as the POV main character (even if it’s not written in first person). In addition, the great value of faculty critiques was reinforced. I want to thank the EPA SCBWI volunteers and members and Highlights Foundation for making the weekend such a success! I can’t wait to go back next year!

    • Lindsay Bandy says:

      Thank YOU, Virginia, for all you did to organize the Critique-A-Thon. Great to see you again πŸ™‚

  2. hmmmmm says:

    Hey Lindsay- Glad it was a good weekend. One of these years…
    If you are willing to share, I’d love to hear some of the strategies you learned for incorporating backstory more effectively! I find that so often I sit down to a first draft and go on and on with backstory before getting to the meat of things, and then have to try to come up with ways to fold it in that don’t weight the story down at the outset… which I’m not always so good at…

    • Hey Anna, I feel your pain! For me, anyway, it’s the pitfall of being a very reflective person. I’ll definitely work on a post about this. Maybe with some examples from my revisions if I’m feeling brave?! Thanks for asking πŸ™‚

  3. Heather Pierce Stigall says:

    I had a great time and I could only go for the day on Saturday! Thank you for giving me that option. I loved that the day was full of opportunities (workshop choices, critiques going on throughout the day, optional mini workshops, free time) and I particularly enjoyed Lindsay Barrett George’s workshop, “When the Stars Align.” It was fascinating to hear about how she turns her ideas (which come to her, not from her — just like me!) into stories. She gave us a fun hands-on activity and an opportunity to share them. I am going to try her technique of writing the story, then making illustrations (in my case, stick figures into a book dummy), then taking all of the words out and then putting them back in — One. At. A. Time. I really hope I can stay the whole weekend next year.

  4. The retreat was everything I hoped for — and more! I appreciated having time to write, which I didn’t expect, on Saturday.

    I had my first-ever critiques (with Laura and Joan). They provided me with honest feedback that will help me move forward with my writing.

    • Lindsay Bandy says:

      Hey Stacey! Laura and Joan did my critiques, too. I got some very insightful feedback, and the time to write was great, because I could get to work while the ideas were fresh! So glad we were able to meet in person πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks to the organizers for putting another great faculty together! The kidlit world is generous and supportive. πŸ™‚ I blogged a round-up of the conference today at http://www.wendygreenley.com/2015/05/my-pa-scbwi-pocono-retreat-round-up.html

  6. Lindsay “It was GREAT!” What an inspirational weekend and so lovely to connect with old friends and make new ones. A bit of my total fear to speak to the “professionals” faded a smidge on this retreat. My fears manifest in that heart racing, tongue stumbling way, fed from that deep well of insecurity about sounding stupid. The annual retreat at the Barn is a perfect atmosphere in which to take those small steps into the lake of my worries and see that I won’t in fact drown.

    • Lindsay Bandy says:

      Hi Chrissa! So good to meet you in person. My fear is *slowly* diminishing, too…..way to be brave! Hope to catch you next time a:)

  7. I didn’t get to hear the other speakers over the weekend but I still left jazzed up about writing and a big part of that is from the energy of the group. What a terrific, supportive, creative crowd. And a big thank you to the organizers for all their work.

  8. erikammon says:

    I had such a phenomenal time! It was my first ever SCBWI event and I learned a ton. I felt inspired by so many people around me, and am amazingly motivated to get back to work once the weekend was over! I had a few enjoyable chats with Lindsay Barrett George, too!!

    • Lindsay Bandy says:

      Hooray for your first SCBWI event! It was great to meet you, Erik, and I’m glad it was helpful. I’m looking forward to an update on Steve’s progress πŸ™‚

  9. Pingback: Reining in Picture Book Back Story, by Anna Forrester | EasternPennPoints

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