Why, oh why, does my voice go all squeaky when I meet my rock star heroes of authors? All I can say is that SCBWI Washington can put on a fantastic conference, gathering together some of the very best of our industry! My head is still whirling with everybody I met and everything I learned. This past weekend, luminaries including my own agent (Steven Malk), Jon Scieszka–our U.S. Ambassador for Children’s Lit, Adam Rex and my buddy Grace Lin descended onto Redmond.

Here we are at the Kid Lit Drink Night with our incomparable fleet of indie booksellers, Sue at Mockingbird and Rene at Third Place Books. And at the far right, meet Emily Whitman, a debut novelist.

Connie Hsu, the assistant editor who has worked on my books alongside Alvina Ling, and I popped out to the Borders where we stalked my books. I don’t think we were technically supposed to take pictures inside the store, but when Connie found my books both on the main floor and up in the YA section, what could we do? YAY!

And then here are my girls: Sue, MaryJane Beaufrand (novelist AND bookseller and my running buddy), Rene, Janet Lee Carey (whose upcoming STEALING DEATH is going to be hot hot hot), Holly Cupala (ditto with her forthcoming WHAT WOULD XANDA DO) and Peggy King Anderson (my lovebug of a writer buddy whose faith and goodness have saved me these last few months).

I wish I had been able to get pix of everyone else: Laini Taylor and Jim Di Bartola, Katherine Grace Bond, Michael Stearns, Martha Brockenbrough, the entire Ad Com Committee that put on the conference, Nina Laden, Deb Lund, George Shannon, Kirby Larson… SEE? It was a fantastically wonderful and inspirational weekend filled with geniuses!

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