Scavenger Hunt Announcement 2015

1st Annual (Totally Unofficial) Super-terrific NJSCBWI Conference Scavenger Hunt

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I’m so excited to be heading off to an incredible conference for children’s writers and illustrators this weekend (June 13-14, 2015.) Now, if you know me at all, you know that social anxiety has been an issue for me for a long time – so you might wonder how it is I’m looking forward to a conference center crowded with people. Why am I eagerly anticipating a weekend full of conversations with strangers and opportunities to impress (or mortify myself in front of) publishing industry movers and shakers?

As a very kind conference goer told me during my first conference “if you’re an introvert here, you’re in good company.” No matter how much space you need, there’s a way to find it. No matter how uncomfortable you are talking to strangers, there’s a smiling face who is passionate about the very same things you are. And if you retreat into a book for a bit – absolutely no one at a children’s book conference is going to judge you for it!

But let me drop a caveat. (ouch! right on my toe.) Letting your anxious/introverted/shy/antisocial side do the decision-making is always possible at NJ-SCBWI. But it does NOT get you the most benefits. So I highly recommend putting on your extrovert hat for at least a few hours a day. The people you’ll meet, the stories you’ll hear, the connections you’ll make will be more than worth the effort. And when you need to retreat for a bit of quiet, there’s always room for that, too.

To encourage everyone – frequent flyers to first-timers – to make the most of the conference this weekend, I am launching a super-terrific scavenger hunt. Print off the PDF I’ve created and bring it with you (along with your schedule, business cards, first pages, and – of course – a cardigan.) Check off challenges as you go. Then report back here on Monday June 15th with your totals. To the champions go the spoils!

The Rules are simple: we make kids’ books, so use what you learned in Kindergarten. Play nice, be honest about your scoring, and have fun. No pushing, no shoving, no wedgies, no potty mouths.

The Stakes are tremendous: Come by my blog on Monday, June 15 and post your final score in the comments, along with your favorite moment from the conference. Top 10 scores get awesome prizes – like a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books or The Business of Writing for Children. Plus Fame! And Glory!

P.S. if any of you readers have an additional prize you’d like to contribute, drop me a line at howes (underscore) kathryn (at)

The Scoring is easy: You’re on your honor. I believe in you. If the challenge requires you to share a photo (or if it just seems silly not to) please post it to twitter using the hashtag #NJSCBWIhunt . No twitter = no problem! Email your pic to howes (underscore) kathryn (at)

Lose your copy? No printer available? I’ll have extra copies with me. Please come up and say hi! You’ll find me at the tote bag table first thing Saturday morning – then here there and everywhere all weekend. I’m 6 feet tall with brunette hair almost to my waist – you’ll find me.

Click Here to Download Your Scavenger Hunt Form

BTW, if it’s not blatantly obvious, this game is in no way planned, sanctioned, organized or required by NJSCBWI. It’s just me, having fun with friends old and new. Please refer any problems, comments, complaints, compliments, (bribes, tiaras, etc) my way – not to the conference staff. 

********UPDATE: Friday, JUNE 12th: This just in! Author Erin Dealey  (tweeting @erindealey) has promised a copy of her hilarious DECK THE WALLS: A WACKY CHRISTMAS CAROL to one winner randomly selected from all those who post a picture of Ame Dyckman holding a sign that reads: We Miss You Erin Dealey! #NJSCBWI ************************


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