She’s from Birmingham (bam a lam), way down in Alabam (bam a lam)

In October, I’m going to Birmingham, Alabama, for their annual SCBWI conference. Birmingham! I have never been there before. I haven’t spent much time at all in the South, actually. My dad is from Louisville, so I’ve been there many times, but that’s about it.

What shall I see/do/eat while I’m in Birmingham? I’d love your recommendations. Most of my associations with that city come from Ramjam:

This is going to be my third SCBWI conference of 2012. I also did New Jersey and Oregon. (I’d never been to Oregon before that, either. SCBWI is an excellent way to explore the country.) I like doing SCBWI conferences because it’s a chance to meet other writers and editors. But I try not to say yes to too many of them because all the time I spend critiquing manuscripts, traveling, and working is time that I then can’t spend actually writing. So I try not to commit to too many writers conferences each year. I think three or four is a pretty good number.

At the Birmingham conference I’m going to be doing individual manuscript critiques, and I’m going to be running two workshops: one on humor writing (a variation on the humor-writing workshop that I did in Oregon this spring), and one on overdone tropes in kids books. I’m trying to get all my notes in order now so my presentations will be ready by October. So if you have any suggestions for commonly-used kids book tropes, please send them my way! Don’t worry, guys– I’ve already got “vampires” on my list.