About my conference presentations....
"This was my first SCBWI conference. Talented faculty, high quality content in sessions, and networking opportunities made the conference a beneficial experience.
The conference organizers pulled together faculty who represent various roles and areas of expertise. I learned both fundamentals and quirky tips from this impressive group.
Sessions were worthwhile and fun.
A spirit of goodwill was evident and the atmosphere was inspiring. I’ll share one experience that occurred following Kelly Milner Halls’ keynote address. As we applauded, a woman turned to me and said, “Beautiful.” This one word uttered with such sincere appreciation and the expression on this woman’s face linger in my thoughts. I have no doubt that, like me, the inspired woman will return to her work feeling more encouraged and less isolated.
Thank you to the organizers, faculty, and volunteers for making it an enjoyable conference. I’m grateful for your talent, time, and dedication."
Chinook SCBWI Western Washington
May 13, 2013
"This weekend our SCBWI regional conference, Spring Spirit, took place and it was FABULOUS!! We had wonderful speakers and workshops and critiques and food and fun. Kelly Milner Halls was one of the speakers, and if you EVER have a chance to see her, do it. Uh-Maze-Ing! And she is an absolute hoot. Her books are just as amazing as she is. Click on her name and check out her site."
Rosi Hollinbeck, Freelance Writer
April 7, 2013
"I was among your listeners at yesterday's talks in Citrus Heights, and I was moved and excited by what you had to say. Your personal stories are captivating - I wasn't the kid you were, but I recognize the type so well and your acting out of the boy's "best-day-ever" reaction touched my heart. (I also admit to tearing up over the dog-rescuing-the-woman account). You're a great presenter and I think you left us all feeling more energized about our non-fiction writing careers."
April 7, 2013
I laughed–always a good thing at any writers’ conference, where generally, the lights are too florescent, the rooms are too air conditioned, the meals are too starchy, and anxiety from participants pitching their manuscripts is palpable. I laughed more when I found myself in a workshop that was–for me–the pièce de résistance: a talk on school visits with nonfiction author Kelly Milner Halls. I present frequently at conferences myself, and so I admired the hell out of the beautifully organized outline she gave us and her ability to elaborate on it in her presentation with information both relevant and immensely entertaining. From Halls, who speaks as candidly and kindly as if she’s enjoying a latte with 50 of her closest friends, I learned how to approach school librarians, how to negotiate pay for a K-12 school visit, how to tailor presentations with regard to my individual books and students’ ages, and how to use props (dinosaur poop, anyone?) to engage people. Kids love her. I’ve seen their quotes on her Facebook page. I love her, too.
Melissa Hart, "Butt to Chair"
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Yesterday was the monthly meeting of the San Diego chapter of SCBWI. (Which in my head I pronounce Scwibby even though a) no one ever says that acronym as a word, they always spell out the letters; and b) if they did turn it into a word it would logically be pronounced Scibwy or Scubwy, something like that, not Scwibby, which mixes up the order of the initials. And yet to me, and to my family who hear me say it, Scwibby it is.)
Anyway: the guest speaker at yesterday’s meeting was nonfiction author Kelly Milner Halls. Her presentation was fantastic. Erm, wait, that doesn’t work, because it was all about real stuff, not fantasy. Fascinating, then. Excellent. Informative. Yeah.
Halls tells a great story—I can see why she’s in demand for school visits—and shared a bunch of interesting anecdotes about the research and writing of her books. She writes the kind of books my kids go crazy for, about weird, creepy, truth-is-stranger-than-fiction topics. After hearing Kelly’s stories, I’m eager to read these books myself, especially her Sasquatch book and the one about the Baghdad Zoo rescue mission.
At the end of her talk, she said she had a few copies of her books to give away to audience members and decided the winners would be the three people with birthdays closest to hers. “So who has a December birthday?”
Guess whose birthday was closest. I was thrilled because when I she spoke about that book, I thought OH MAN MY KIDS WOULD LOVE THAT. And two of them have already read it, and they do.
Here in the Bonnie Glen, Melissa Wiley
November 14, 2010
Wrinting on the Sidewalk
November 22, 2010 (same event, a second perspective)
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