I had the pleasure of attending my first Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference. It was so helpful. I learned a lot, and I left felling enthusiastic about the business and my work.

15 Things I learned as SCBWI. (I may expand the list in the coming days.)

1. Write about race without using the word.

2. Write about identity without using the word.

3. Write about tolerance without using the word.

4. Use a refrain. See above.

5. Get to the point — fast.

6. Writers write.

7. Illustrators illustrate.

8. Great things happen when writers and illustrators work separately.

9. Let other people read your work aloud.

10. Be quiet during a critique.

11. Respond to critiques at the end.

12. Critique groups are your friend.

13. Revise your best work before submitting.

14. No agent is needed to sell a children’s book.

15. But the writer with an agent gets a better deal.