Yesterday I spoke at the SCBWI conference--shoutout to Sydney Salter for putting on a darn good show--and learned a ton myself. In particular, Matthew Kirby (CLOCKWORK THREE) did a brilliant job of examining "voice" and "how to find yours." That's a topic I could have never addressed in five trillion billion years.
Anyway. I was struck again by the bravery of participants who submit a single anonymous first page for a critique by an editor and an agent in front of the entire group. The critiques are brutally honest, and I'd NEVER have the courage/confidence to participate in that kind of reindeer game.
There was one sample in particular that left everyone pretty much dumbstruck. It was the first page of a picture book about cremation. In fact, the title was something like "So-and-so Learns About Cremation." Good times. Because who doesn't always enjoy a snappy picture book about cremation?