Day 2 was a continuation of getting accuainted with fellow conferees, faculty, and the Chautauqua grounds. What seemed to transpire very quickly was a building of community. Everyone is friendly, helpful, welcoming, and encouraging.
I had breakfast sitting next to Andy Boyles, science editor. After breakfast, we were given an over view of Highlights Magazine by the editors. What continued to come up was the original vision and mission of the publishing company is what continues to drive what gets published, no exceptions.
After lunch we boarded a bus for Director, Ken Browns' brothers' family home in Westfield for a BBQ. We were given a surprise speech by award winning, author Joy Cowly who inspired us by reminding us that all authors start out at the same place. She went on to say that writing for children is like a prayer with out the religion. It's spiritual. In her closure, she said may the fire of the divine creation consume you and make you its' co-creator. It gave a few of us that were sitting together goose bumps.
At the meal, Patti Gauch, former editor and VP for Philomil sat across from me and talked candidly with us about what we needed to get from this conference. She talked about critiquing Eric Carle's manuscript and him telling her that he would rather sink of his own steam than that of an editors. Patti said to be our own boss of our own business when we leave. She also made it clear to find and hold on to your own unique voice.
Today was about building community. The community is now ready to move forward into the learning, honing, and making the next steps.