Sunday, February 14, 2016

Keynote: Rita Williams-Garcia

Author Rita Williams-Garcia opened today's conference with a dynamic and funny keynote that kept attendees in stitches: "Dos and Don'ts in Children's Publishing From a Definite Don't." She began her talk with a little dance that set the mood, and then peppered her speech with phrases like "funky-fresh," "de-blackified" and "Black girls with big butts and low self esteem." It was a hoot, folks, she kept it real.

Williams-Garcia started writing as soon as she could hold a pencil in her hands. As a child,  she loved making up stories, although her mother had another word for her storytelling—lying. If a roach walked up the wall, she'd make up a story about it.

As an adult writer, she honed her storytelling ways and learned to "live the plan." That meant setting a goal to write 500 words each and every night. "Even if the writing wasn't great, the words need to come out," she said.

Williams-Garcia also spoke about veering off her plan occasionally, choosing her major in college by "following the boy with the most perfect afro." Time to get back to the plan!

Williams-Garcia's advice for Staying on the Plan:

Don’t isolate yourself. Find your community,
join an MFA program, SCBWI, workshop group.

Don’t fear doubt. A healthy dose of doubt will make you write better writer.

Don’t not fear criticism.

Don’t stop writing. Writers write.

Do live with gratitude. 


Be about the Do.






1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the encouragement to "Be About the Do."

    ReplyDelete