So now to tell you what I was up to all week.
On Wednesday, March 16th I donned my "I solemnly swear I'm up to no good" t-shirt and a blazer and flew over to Maryland! There I met up with Laura Shovan (The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary), Janet Sumner Johnson (The Last Great Adventure of the PB&J Society), and Kathy Macmillan (Sword and Verse) and we headed off to the C Burr Artz Library in Frederick, Maryland where we had our very first panel. It was super fun, and we answered questions and signed books, had dinner, and I crashed at Kathy's, who was graciously hosting me.
The next day we went to Ellicot City, where I was dumb and forgot to take pictures (I know), but we had a yummy lunch and saw some cool stores before our second panel, this time at the Bel Air Library, where we took this fabulous picture.
Friday morning, Kathy and I headed to Mercy High School where we talked to a lovely Creative Writing class about our publishing journeys and a bit about our books. The class was super interactive and asked us great questions and half a second after we took a class selfie the fire alarm went off, so Kathy and I made our sneaky escape. From there we drove over to the SCBWI conference center where we ate dinner and participated in fun ice breakers that involved writing a sentence, then drawing it, then folding it up and letting someone else translate the picture into words, etc., and ended up with hilarious results like this.
Then the next day was the big conference day! Janet and I spent the first hour critiquing queries, then after lunch we split up to do our presentations, and I ran a workshop on world building. Right after the workshop, the four of us met up and were on a panel run by Stephen Barbara about working with an agent, which was super fun. After that I took this sleepy picture, we had dinner, I socialized again and heard some hilarious stories, then I went to my room and crashed.
The next morning I attended an awesome workshop run by Andrew Harwell (Senior Editor of MG & YA at HarperTeen) where he dropped some super tweetable tidbits that I lated tweeted about. It was an excellent session.
Also, we took this picture, which looks like I'm taller than Kathy, but actually she was crouching to be nice, but anyway.
After stopping by B&N for funsies, we all headed to Laura's home and ate pizza and s'mores and maybe created a ridiculous video that involves dancing bananas dressed as Harry, Ron, and Hermione that Janet will possibly tweet on her release day TOMORROW. It was ridiculous and fun and a great mid-tour break.
On Monday we had a relaxing morning before heading off to our panel and signing at The Ivy Bookshop. Then on Tuesday, Kathy and I had another high school visit, which was a blast. We then went library/indie bookstore hopping and took a bajillion Sixteener pictures before having lunch at a really cool converted coffee shop.
From there we went to the most beautiful library I've ever been to ever called the The Handley Library in Winchester, VA where we had our final panel in an actual auditorium. And afterward we visited the Winchester Book Gallery, who was hosting our sales at the library, and we had the amazing opportunity to sign the wall they had full of signatures from visiting authors and illustrators, which was completely amazing.
And that was it! All in all, it was an exhausting, but truly incredible week. I had such a fantastic time, and it was amazing to be able to check off my bucket list item of going on tour, and talk to publishing professionals I admire as a publishing professional myself, and so many little amazing things that just made the trip fantastic.
It was, without a doubt, a trip I'll never forget. :)