The Totally Unofficial NJSCBWI Conference Challenge 2015

I certainly hope that all the attendees of this year’s NJ-SCBWI conference had as much fun as I did. I met lots of new friends, gave hugs to plenty of old ones, and finally got faces to go with names I’ve only known through amazing online kidlit communities.

I’ll be posting some highlights from the weekend here soon – let me know if you have any pictures you’d like me to include!

I’d like to thank everyone who participated in some way – large or small – in my spur-of-the-moment scavenger hunt experiment. Over 100 of you checked out the blog page about it over the weekend- and I passed out more than 60 copies to attendees (thank you, Crowne Plaza business center!)


Kimberly Marcus got 5 attendees to spell out SCBWI! That earns a lot of points!

If I somehow missed you – don’t despair! You can check off tons of challenges even now; I’ll bet you did plenty of things in the list without even realizing it. Here’s the link to the list of challenges.

Once you’ve tallied your points, head to the comment section below. Please leave your name, your point total, and your favorite/most memorable moment from the conference in a comment.  I’ll  announce the winners (top 10) later this week!

Once you’ve commented, maybe you’d like to take a few minutes to check out my other posts about #raisingreaders – all the things it takes to bring up kids who love books (like we do!) I’d love it if any of you have suggestions for future posts or would like to do a guest post.

An extra big thank you to all the marvelous people who didn’t know I’d be torturing them this weekend – but went along with the game without complaint: Ame Dyckman, Adam Lehrhaupt, Leeza Hernandez, Sudipta Barden-Quallen and Harold Underdown, you are kind and patient and very forgiving – as well as nearly impossible to embarrass!!


28 thoughts on “The Totally Unofficial NJSCBWI Conference Challenge 2015

  1. I don’t have any numbers to report for your creative scavenger hunt challenge, Katey, as I did not have the opportunity to attend the NJ SCBWI Conference. Good luck to all as you tally your numbers.

    I look forward to hearing all about your sessions and events that you participated in at the conference and hope you did “kick some dupa”.


  2. Thanks for creating this incredible event, Katey. I come across as loud and brassy but in reality I’m quite shy, so as a newbie (or conference virgin) it was fantastic to have this event at the conference. I met so many more people than I expected. I totaled 690 points. One of the more special moments was the swordfight with Ame Dyckman and somehow getting Sudipta Barden Quallen to perform an abbreviated chicken dance. Adam Lerhrhaupt would only share his secret handshake in exchange for “a gift” so I came up with a limerick about about a mollusk who was attracted to arthropods. It won’t win any awards but it did win me that handshake! Thanks again!


    • Paula – it was such a joy meeting you. Your carpe diem attitude at the conference – in spite of all the trouble you had getting there – was inspirational. I’m sure looking forward to seeing what you accomplish int he next year. Here’s hoping you set the world of kidlit on fire. (and so far – you are WAY in the lead on points!)


  3. I totally lost track of points, but enjoyed having this great list of ice breakers which kicked the conference off with so much fun! Adam’s secret handshake was pretty sweet though:)


  4. My name is Kimberly Marcus, point total is 370 and my favorite moment was doing the chicken dance with Paula and Sudipta dancing a little back. She was really cute. My second favorite was Ame and her sword. That was cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is terrific! Way to go, Kimberly. I’m glad you had fun with the scavenger hunt – and I hope you also learned a lot about craft and made some helpful connections! Thanks for sharing.


  5. I didn’t do so well with your awesome scavenger hunt, but I did do well having a wonderful time at the conference! Meeting so many writers I only knew online in person was a lot of fun! My favorite moment I think was getting a critique from the incredible writer, Jen Malone. I learned an incredible amount from the presentations and even thought of some new story ideas 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ariel, the points never really mattered anyway! What matters is that you took the leap to get the most possible out of the conference – and it sounds like you truly did. I wish I’d had more of a chance to chat with you in person – but it’s such a busy weekend. Looking forard to reading what you come up with next!


  6. My favorite moment was when Lori Degman introduced herself to Harold Underdown and said, “I always thought you were from Australia” and he replied, “It’s the name.” Ha! She is so cute. (P.S. i wouldn’t have outed Lori, but she already outed herself on Twitter!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is so funny! I like Lori better every minute of the day (and that’s saying something, since I liked her an awful lot the moment I met her.) What a good sport that Harold DownUnder is!


  7. Pingback: UP!–The Afterglow of Our 2015 NJSCBWI Conference :D | Writer Side UP!

  8. I didn’t total up the points (sorry!) but enjoyed meeting you. I too had awesome critiques at the conference and even a two-fer with Adam participating in Ame’s session with me. NJ SCBWI is a generous, awesome group of people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is such a great group of people – very supportive of one another’s goals and work. It was great hanging out with you at lunch – and I love that you not only won a bag of books in the raffle – but that you shared them. You are so sweet, Wendy!


  9. Katey,

    This is such a cute idea. I wish you would have sent it to me before the conference. I would have talked it up on my blog. Sounds like you got a good response, anyway.



    • Kathy, I really should have – but in all honesty I thought of it on the Thursday before the conference and threw it together as a goof with about 30 hours notice! I agree, we should join forces a bit more next year. That is, if Ame Dyckman (and her sword) are allowed back at the conference center!


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