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Following on from my post yesterday on the Writers' Roundtable Intensive

Again, in line with SCBWI blogging policy I'm going to restrict my conference report to general comments about the flavour of the comments coming from panellists and speakers. #ny13scbwi is still active on Twitter, where a lot of other attendees have Tweeted about sessions and linked to their own reports.

Meg Rosoff

- Meg Rosoff gave a hilarious keynote speech about how to react (or not to react) to whenever someone asks a children's/YA writer when they're going to write a real book for adults. My favourite lines were: "Children aren't idiots. It would be a lot easier to write for them if they were" and "Children's books are literally life changing in a way that adult fiction cannot be";

- during a panel featuring booksellers, the point was made that more people are discovering books on-line so that key words are becoming more important to discoverability (particularly in the case of non-fiction) but independent bookstores still have an important place in selling books and in enabling readers to find great books. More people than ever before are buying books because publishers are making it easier for them to do so but having a good story remains key;

- the school and library market in the US is still performing strongly because they'll take hundreds of books across the spectrum rather than just the bestselling titles. US schools are also starting to get to grips with the Common Standards and so finding ways of tying your book into them so that they can become part of lesson plans and enable publishers to know how to place your book while also broadening the market for it;

- in terms of current trends booksellers are keen on fairytale and classically-inspired literature while non-fiction narrative is also doing well. However the market is shying away from longer books for younger children and is looking at short story collections because they provide material that can be read out in class and then discussed. Picture books based on current events are also popular because they can be used in the curriculum and augmented by other material (e.g. newspaper reports, biographies etc). Realistic, action-packed novels are popular as are books about bullying, science fiction with a real edge, intriguing non-fiction, illustrated novels, movie tie-ins, books with strong themes about war, survival stories and books that spotlight diversity;

- Amazon is noticing a strong market for short fiction and serialization of longer works (both established books like Dickens's fiction and newly commissioned works) and publishers such as Scholastic are starting to produce Apps for children although it remains an expensive process;

- authors should learn how to develop dog and pony shows - learn how to do presentations so that you can get into schools or take Skype sessions;

- it's not enough to have a great concept for a novel, you also need to develop it into a compelling read. Don't write one-note stories - use different strands that feed upon and build on each other. Publishing success doesn't happen overnight;

- Shaun Tan gave an inspiring talk about writing and illustration and what interests him. I loved the fact that he doesn't know what a story's about when he gets started but instead gets insight as he goes along with it;

- Mo Willems was also hilarious with his tips on how to write picture books, including - more is not better, it's just more - be succinct; write what you're passionate about; you may own your book's copyright but you don't own its meaning; always start your drawings in the middle of the book and think about aspect; read the very best and try to find the flaws in them.