The Magic of the RMC-SCBWI Conference

Denise VegaThis past weekend I attended the 2015 Letters & Lines Conference (SCBWI Rocky Mountain region). For the first time in 12+ years, I was merely an attendee. A year ago I handed my co-Regional Advisor reins to the uber adorable and competent Lindsay Eland and she, along with the amazing Todd Tuell, put on an inspiring and info-packed conference. I loved having time to chat with friends, dance in the drink line, and just absorb the creative energy bubbling around me.

Here are some of my favorite things at the conference and/or best takeaways for me:

  • Saturday soiree. I loved just being able to chat and hang out. Jennifer Smith-Daigle came up with some fun activities which some participated in while others just mingled, downloading the experiences they’d had and just catching up. This is a must-keep! A perfect way to wind down and enjoy each other after a day of information and inspiration.
  • Fave Marketing Tip: (Erin Dealey). She turned a bad review into a super cool school visit exercise. Had older kids debate whether her picture book, Deck the Walls, actually did what the review said it did (taught kids bad manners). Fantastic!
  • Fave Page Turning Tip for Novels (Jenny Goebel): End a chapter with a revelation, threat or a challenge (and a great last line that will get that page turn!)
  • Most Impactful Statement (Andrew Karre, Executive Editor, Dutton Books for Young Readers): (Regarding diversity in children’s books) “Understand the language of their pain.” (those who are misrepresented). This means really listening without defending, learning from mistakes, and always striving to do better. It reminded me of the class I took on Compassionate Communication, based on the book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD.

And I was so thrilled to meet and/or see again the recipients and runners up of my Believe scholarship. It was incredibly humbling and gratifying to hear how much they were enjoying the conference and getting so much out of it. I’m thrilled and grateful beyond measure.

Loved every minute and can’t wait for next year!


  1. Oh, Denise. Thanks for these great tid-bits from the conference. It has been about the same length of time for me since attending a Golden conference. Fond memories of awesome people and conferences. Of course, moving to Michigan may have had something to do with that. Thanks for your leadership in conferences past.

  2. I wish I could have been there this time! Thanks for the recap…it sounds like it was as fabulous as ever!

  3. Thanks for sharing thee highlights, Denise!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *