Thursday, May 5, 2016

The SCBWI Summer Conference is Selling Out Fast!



In particular, the intensives are filling up!

You'll have to jump on it to get a space in the Illustrator's Intensive,

CHARACTER BUILDING
Developing a Believable and Engaging Cast for Your Picture Book
 With the day’s faculty: Sophie Blackall Author/Illustrator, Peter Brown Author/Illustrator, Priscilla Burris Author/Illustrator, Pat Cummings Illustrator, David Diaz Illustrator, Laurent Linn Art Director, Simon & Schuster, Cecilia Yung Art Director Art Director & Vice President, Penguin BFYR, and Paul Zelinsky Illustrator 

It's a full day drawing session. Bring drawing material and a 8-1/2” x 11" pad and tracing paper!

And there are just a few spots left in these craft intensives,

School Visits – the Crash Course, with Suzanne Morgan Williams Author / Bruce Hale Author (All Day) 
In this hands-on intensive, Bruce Hale and Suzanne Morgan Williams coach you in taking your school/library presentation to the next level. They’ll cover planning, marketing, performance, curriculum tie-ins, and everything in between. You’ll even be videotaped and receive feedback on a brief excerpt from your presentation. Assignment: Please bring a five-minute talk to share, plus: your latest book (or ARC), any marketing materials, and a prop (small enough to fit in a shoebox) that represents you and your work.

Supplementing Your Writing Income, with Bonnie Bader, SCBWI PAL Advisor (Morning) 
Are you in between projects, or waiting for a contract? This class will give you concrete ways to supplement your writing and illustrating income. Learn how to get writer/illustrator work-for-hire, and come away with a list of publishers to contact for work. In class exercises include writing query letters, writing to a publisher's specifications, and more!

Novel Writing: Soup to Nuts with Stacey Barney, Senior Editor, Penguin/Putnam (Morning) 
In this session, Stacey Barney will guide you through a comprehensive overview of novel writing devices. It's always helpful to bring a work-in-progress so that you can apply each technique and device to your own work during the discussion. Stacey brings her editorial expertise to help each participant discover what is working with their manuscript and what can be improved.

Writing Voice – Speak Up, I Can’t Hear You, with Kat Brzozowski, Editor, St. Martin's (Morning)
You’ve come up with a plot. You’ve created characters. You have a setting. Now how do you make your readers feel like these characters are really speaking to them? Voice is one of the most important elements of fiction and one of the hardest to master. In this session, we’ll work hands on to improve voice in fiction, with a focus on young adult fiction (and techniques that also apply to middle grade). By reading and discussing how authors create voice on the page and working on our own writing to sharpen our voice, this session focuses on writing that really brings your characters’ individual personalities to life.

The Ins and Outs of Writing Middle Grade Fantasy, with Bruce Coville, Author (Morning) 

The session begins with an "annotated storytelling" that will analyze a piece of fantasy writing from the macro to the micro—discussing everything from mythic structure down to the reasons for specific metaphors and word choices. Then we'll examine ten specific tactics to employ while writing middle grade fantasy. We'll conclude with some critiquing, as time allows. Assignment: Please bring a work-in-progress.

Crafting Your Novel’s Narrative: The basics of structure, voice, character, and plot, with Alvina Ling, VP & Editor-in-Chief, Little, Brown (Morning) 
Whether you’re just starting out, or in the revision stage of your novel, this intensive will give an overview of the four basic elements of your narrative. This workshop also aims to help you work through and brainstorm around any specific issues your having with your novel’s narrative. Assignment: bring an issue you’re having in your work-in-progress that deals with either structure, voice, character, or plot to discuss and talk through with the group. Optional: Read both Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin.

Revising and Re-Imagining Your Picture Book, with Harold Underdown, Publishing Consultant (Morning) 
Picture books are so simple, but often need to be revised or even re-imagined many times before they are just right. Drawing on our years of experience as independent editors, and in-house children’s book editors in New York before that, Eileen Robinson and I developed this workshop to help writers do just that. This workshop will teach you techniques to enable you to find problems with your picture book manuscript, reshape it, even re-imagine it, and then polish it before you send it out.

Poetry: From Picture Books to Verse Novels, with Carole Boston Weatherford, Author/Poet (Morning) 
Examine how narratives unfold through poetry. Consider how poets choose language, channel voices, evoke settings and use structure. Practice creating tableaux, experimenting with structure and writing from different points of view.

Put Your Best Foot Forward: Looking at that crucial first page, and making it better, with Victoria Wells Arms, Agent, Victoria Wells Arms Literary (Afternoon) 
Sometimes writers start in just the right place, and sometimes the best opening line or scene is hiding on page 27. Some authors seem to think a prologue is the only way to really get their point across. How are you going to hook that reader–any reader–into dying to know more? In this three-hour intensive, Victoria Wells Arms, former editorial director now agent will look at both your first page, and the place you think might actually be a better first page, and we will discuss the various options in how you start a novel (chapter books thru YA, no picture books here). Assignment: Send in the first two pages of your current work-in-progress to victoria@wellsarms.com, and, if you like, the other place that you think might be an alternative starting place, two additional pages max so I can read ahead of time. We are going to have to stick to 5 mins total for each participant.

Build Your Social Media Presence, with Martha Brockenbrough, Author (Afternoon) 
Learn the differences between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr, and get down to the brass tacks of how you can use each to: build authentic relationships with a variety of readers and power connectors; increase your platform without increasing your workload; and share your books without clobbering people over the head with tone-deaf marketing messages. We’ll focus on best practices for each social media platform, tools you can use to create images that resonate, and website platforms that let you integrate all of it seamlessly. Assignment: Please bring a laptop and 2-3 favorite quotes from your books or about writing.

Why Did You Do That?: Creating Strong Characters to Push Your Plot Forward, with Matt Ringler, Senior Editor, Scholastic (Afternoon) 
In this intensive we will take a close look at character motivation through dialogue and back story and how to use that to advance your plot. Will include several (fun!) writing exercises. Assignment: Please come with three characters from books, television, or movies that you find to be particularly strong (whether you love them or hate them!)

Revising Your Chapter Book or Novel, with Harold Underdown, Publishing Consultant (Afternoon)
What happens after you write your first draft of a novel or chapter book can be the most important and most difficult part of the writing process. Based on my own work with writers, this workshop teaches proven techniques to get useful feedback and others, dig into "big picture" problems with your manuscript, and refine it at the sentence level. 

It's going to be an amazing conference, and the intensives promise to be game-changers for your craft and career. You'll find registration and all the other conference info here.

We hope to see you at #LA16SCBWI!

(Cross-posted at scbwi.blogspot.com)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Registration is OPEN for #LA16SCBWI



We're so excited!

The SCBWI Summer Conference is packed with:

Keynotes and inspiration,

Agents and Editors and Panels and insight

Breakout sessions on the craft and business of writing and illustrating for kids and teens,

Optional classroom-sized intensives with the amazing Conference Faculty (a who's who of children's literature!)

Optional one-on-one manuscript critiques and portfolio critiques for feedback from a publishing professional.

The Portfolio Showcase gives you an opportunity to display your work to faculty and participants alike. Come and be discovered!

The Golden Kite Awards Cocktail Reception and Dinner

Illustrator, International, and nonfiction socials and the LGBTQ & Allies Q&A

A PAL BooksaleAutograph party, even yoga,

And the conference gala... The Red Carpet Ball!

So bring your Hollywood Glamour, sense of career adventure, and dive into all the craft, business, inspiration, opportunity and community that the SCBWI Summer Conference has to offer. You'll find all the information and registration here. 

We hope to see you there!

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Thank You, and We'll See You In Los Angeles!

SCBWI Team Blog, left to right: Lee Wind, Jaime Temairik, Jolie Stekly, Don Tate, and Martha Brockenbrough

What a conference!

We hope you'll join us for all the inspiration, craft, business, opportunity and community of the 45th Annual SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles, July 29 - August 1, 2016.

SCBWI Team Blog
Lee, Jaime, Jolie, Martha and Don

Autograph Party

Mike Curato

Martha Brockenbrough

Paul O. Zelinsky

Kate Messner and Linda Urban

Rita Williams-Garcia


Gary D. Schmidt

Matt de la Pena

Sophie Blackall

William Joyce

Jane Yolen

Lin Oliver

Arthur Levine

Pat Cummings

Our Open Call #NY16SCBWI Conference Illustrator Journals!


For the last few conferences, we've been asking a handful of illustrators to share a page from their conference journals/sketchbooks of something that inspired them during the conference. (You can see some recent entries here.)

The idea is that it gives illustrators a spotlight, and shares a multi-faceted visual take on all the craft, inspiration, business, community and opportunity of an SCBWI conference!

This time around, we're changing it up, opening it up, to ANY and EVERY illustrator attending #NY16SCBWI who wants to take part.

Just add a link to your image that you've posted somewhere online here in comments. It's that easy!

Remember to SIGN your artwork
(including your website so you can be contacted if someone falls in love with your illustration.)

Ready? Set? Illustrate!


Gary Schmidt keynote: The Bombers of the Boston Marathon, and the Planes of 9/11--and How Anthony Wished They Would

Lin Oliver introduced Gary Schmidt as not just a writer's writer—but as a writer's writer's writer. Gary has won two Newbery Honors, and all of his books are perfect, literary gems.

The last time Gary was here, he found out his back was bleeding just before he went on stage. Today, he's wearing a dark shirt—just in case.

He started by noting how wonderful it is to gather like this with other writers and illustrators, who generally work alone. "To be with each other is really quite an amazing gift, isn't it?"

Children's writers have the same mission. "We all do our best work for kids. That's why we get along so well."

The writers that he really admires—the writer that he hopes to be—is not just someone who displays the pyrotechnics of class, but the writer who shows up. "The writer who sits down on the log and tells me a story and so everything is different."

Gary comes from a writerly family. His uncle Bradford Ernest Smith wrote "Captain Kangaroo." "Do you know what cachet that has in first grade? Amazing!"

When a character on that show, Mr. Green Jeans, passed away, Captain Kangaroo didn't replace the man. He showed up instead next to the viewer. "He sat on the log. He told us the world is terribly broken."

"He was saying that despite the brokenness of this world, the world is so beautiful."

"This is what the writer for young kids does," Gary said. "Movies and television can fill the consciousness to overflowing. We know they do. Watch any superhero movie. But the writer for kids inspires and stimulates the consciousness to growth and understanding. What an amazing act. What a responsibility."

Gary, who teaches writing each week at a maximum security prison, told us several stories about people whose stories have touched him. One of the writers he volunteers with, Anthony, was 10 years old on 9/11. Now serving a life sentence, Anthony made two drug deals that morning, returns to his apartment, and saw the first plane hit the tower. He went outside to see if there was a plane about to hit his building. "I wished it would," he wrote. "It would have done me a favor."

Empathy was at the heart of his talk. "What ails thee" is a deep question from one heart to another, a question of human empathy. And that's what writers ask their characters and shows their readers.

We also write "to express the understanding that human beings are creatures of great complexity," he said. "Story insists on human complexity and multidimensionality. With story, we live literally in the tangles of our minds."

As writers, we have to believe that everything matters, everything small and large, he said. The curve on the bow of a boat matters. The snow on a mountain top matters. The way someone moves her arm matters. The way a kid wears his hair matters ... Suppose everything matters, everything is a sacrament.

There's a rabbi who says a prayer: "Lord, let the world be here for one more day. My dear friends, be that rabbi. For God's sake, if you're writing of kids, be that rabbi."

Alessandra Balzer: Acquisitions Today: Opportunities and Challenges

Alessandra Balzer is the Vice President and Co-Publisher of Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, publishing picture books to novels from teens.

On the process of acquisitions:
Auctions are rare. Many of B+B's favorite books come traditionally. If Alessandra loves a book, she shares it with her team and they look at it closely. If the team is on the same page, she brings it to the acquisitions board. Many details are looked at in the meeting and it's approached as a business decision.


On coping with losing something you love:
It is what it is. You do your best. If you don't get it, you move on.


Do you ever offer notes on a manuscript before making a decision?
It depends. When it's done, there's no guarantee, and a lot of time is put into it. Alessandra has done it when it's worked out, and she's done it and then had to reject the project.

On deal-breakers in a offer:
As an editor it's difficult because there is a passion part and a business part. It can be helpful when the house has a policy when it comes to contracts which can take some challenges away because certain pieces don't need to be negotiated.

On junior-level editors taking on projects:
When a more junior level editor brings a proposal to an acquisitions meeting, the rest are behind them and advocating for the project as well.

Final thoughts:
Do your best work, and don't write to what's selling or to trends. Write your passion.





Ginger Clark: Acquisitions Panel

Ginger Clark has been a literary agent with Curtis Brown since 2005. She represents many genres and categories of books in addition to representing the British rights for Curtis Brown's children's list. She's lots of fun on Twitter, and from there you may have learned she's really into wombats and Peter Capaldi, but aren't we all?

Sarah Davies and Ginger Clark tag team on describing how a rolling auction works. All of the bidding publishers give their bid, and then the lowest bidder is asked if they can match the highest bid, and the other bidders are approached in turn, and this can go around a few times, perhaps up to seven rounds.

Compared to a best bids auction, where Ginger asks for editors to name their ultimate bid and no additional rounds of bid-taking happen.

For most books Ginger has sold she's initially sent out the submission to 12 editors. In special cases she's sent the submission out to upwards of 27 editors (and she notes that 25% of those 27 were at Penguin Random House, which is the strange reality of big houses merging into even bigger houses these days).

The most important 'gets' in a contract to Ginger are:

Translation rights, British rights, audio rights, joint vs. separate accounting on multiple book deal royalties (you want separate accounting!!) Ginger will only take joint accounting deals unless there are no other offers OR the publisher is offering them an insane amount of money. Other than that, deal-killers are up to the client, says Ginger.

Ginger's last bit of advice:

When picking an agent, pick someone you think will be a great advocate for you and will be a great, professional advice-giver—don't pick someone only because you think they could be your best friend, or that reminds you of your mom or Peter Capaldi, or because they own a wombat.

(l-r) Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker; wombat from How To Negotiate Everything

Alvina Ling: Acquisitions Today: Opportunities and Challenges



Alvina Ling is Vice President and editor-in-chief at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (where she's worked since 1999.) She oversees Little, Brown's core publishing program (including picture books, middle grade, and young adult), and edits children's books for all ages.

Some highlights of Alvina's comments:

"When we acquire a book, we generally want to acquire an author and an author's career."

On whether there are other considerations besides the manuscript in making the decision, "very occasionally" Alvina will see if the author has an online presence--a website, or are on twitter. But as she explains, it's "not a deciding factor, but can contribute."

About asking for revisions before signing a project, Alvina agrees that it's more suggestive than proscriptive, and she recalls working with Peter Brown for a year before signing his first book.

The panel also covers joint versus separate accounting, how auctions work, and important "gets" in the negotiation process and the pros and cons of working with younger versus more senior editors.

Final Alvina wisdom from the panel:
"Since today is Valentines' day, you have to love what you do. We're all up here because we love what we do... love your work, love meeting the people."

It's great advice.

Want more Alvina wisdom? She's on twitter at @planetalvina

Sarah Davies and Rubin Pfeffer: Acquisitions Panel

Sarah Davies

Rubin Pfeffer
Sarah Davies and Rubin Pfeffer are both literary agents with deep editorial experience honed over many years working as editors at various publishing houses.

Sarah is the founder of The Greenhouse Literary Agency. Rubin Pfeffer founded Rubin Pfeffer Content.

They spoke to us today about opportunities and challenges in publishing, with Rubin asking all of the panelists a variety of questions ranging from terminology to process and working styles.

Sarah's career in children's publishing in London lasted for 25 years. She moved to Washington, D.C. to found her agency, and is now back across the pond, where her agency is an international presence. She loves cultivating new talent and selling books all around the world (including Iran and the republic of Georgia).

What is an auction? 
Sarah explained this happens when more than one editor wants a book. Agents might set a time by which offers need to be received. Sarah likes to hold her auctions on Fridays (there was disagreement on the panel about this). Offers come in with their basic terms in addition to a lot of love from editors. To Sarah, the editor's passion for a project is a significant factor.

What does rejection signify?
To Rubin, rejection doesn't mean your writing wasn't good enough. There are factors beyond your control.

What kind of control do you have over the projects you submit?
Everything is done on behalf of your clients, Sarah said. One of the first questions she asks is about which editors clients already have relationships with. But she's also going to search her frequently updated database and use what she's learned in her frequent meetings with editors. "I'm making notes all the time and updating those."

She also runs submission ideas past her clients to make sure the best decisions are made.

How do you cope with losing a project that you love? 

Sarah Davies doesn't often fall in love with a new author. "I'm quite sparing in my love... when I fall in love, I want to get it." But it sometimes does happen that potential client chooses someone else.

Rubin Pfeffer on respect
It's easy to wear your emotions on your sleeve, but showing professionalism will take you very, very far. "It will cut you off short if it's not there."

How much work do you do on a manuscript before submitting it to an editor? 
In eight years, there have been only about two times Sarah has sent out a manuscript she hasn't given some feedback on. "My goal is to sell it as well as it can be done. My editorial role is working on it until we can get it to where it stands the best chance of being acquired by an editor."

What is joint accounting? 
When an editor makes an offer for more than one book, joint accounting is where both books have to earn out before royalties are paid. Agents don't want this situation to happen, but it's the house policy at certain publishers. At Little, Brown, series are jointly accounted, which is more reasonable to agents.

When should you submit to a junior vs. a senior agent? 
There are merits to both. Often a senior person such as Alving Ling might be well placed to give it to a less senior editor on her team. If Sarah has a large submission list, it's more likely to work that way. Many of the less senior editors have worked a long time as assistants, and have excellent experience.

Final words of wisdom 
A client was devastated by the rejection of her dark, edgy YA novel. She felt as though there was no future for her in publishing. She decided to recapture her joy in writing again, which she was starting to lose. "It's so easy to do in the frenzy of deal-making."

Some months later, she came back with a nonfiction picture book text and a chapter book series. Neither of which she had attempted before. These were her "peach sorbet" projects. She took delight in them, and Sarah told them fast. "This is a story not only of determination, but of flexibility... she's my heroine."

The Acquisitions Panel Begins!



From left to right, Rubin Pfeffer (Agent, Content, standing at podium), Alvina Ling (VP and Editor-in-Chief, Little Brown Books for Young Readers), Sarah Davies (Agent, Greenhouse Literary), Ginger Clark (Agent, Curtis Brown), Liz Bicknell (EVP, Executive Editorial Director & Associate Publisher, Candlewick Press), Alessandra Balzer (VP and Co-Publisher, Balzer + Bray/Harper Collins.)

Jacquelyn Mitchard: Say Goodbye to All of That: The Quest for the Perfect Ending

Jacquelyn Mitchard delivering her keynote

Jacquelyn Mitchard is the number one New York Times best-selling author of ten novels for adults, seven novels for teenagers, and five children's books, as well as editor-in-chief of Merit Press, a realistic young adult imprint., and a professor of writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts.



Jacquelyn talks about endings, how it's "more difficult to end a story than to start one," and how "most books really just stop."

She shares some resonant endings, ones that meet the challenge of "ushering the reader back into the world that you convinced the reader to leave."

We're asked to consider, for our own work, "how does the reader feel let in?"

Breaking down the different kinds of endings (with examples), Jacquelyn discusses cliffhanger endings, reflective endings, the incident ending, the simple happy ending (in which people get what they want), the happy/sad ending (like in The Fault in our Stars,) and more!

An ending has to tie up the loose ends, provide a conclusion, and also usher the reader back into the world... and do it quickly.

The ending should also include an element that takes the reader by surprise, something to "make the reader gasp one last time" before they leave the world of your story.

Which all makes it challenging to write the ending to this blog post, striving for a "wrap up with a shot of emotion."

But Jacquelyn saves the day (and this post), because the ending of her keynote comes in the form of a writing exercise: we're all asked to craft one sentence, an alternate ending for To Kill A Mockingbird, from Scout's point of view. A few people from the crowd share their alternate endings.

The original final line: 

"[Atticus] would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning."

Now, you get the chance to put in your own final words: play along in comments.








Keynote: Rita Williams-Garcia

Author Rita Williams-Garcia opened today's conference with a dynamic and funny keynote that kept attendees in stitches: "Dos and Don'ts in Children's Publishing From a Definite Don't." She began her talk with a little dance that set the mood, and then peppered her speech with phrases like "funky-fresh," "de-blackified" and "Black girls with big butts and low self esteem." It was a hoot, folks, she kept it real.

Williams-Garcia started writing as soon as she could hold a pencil in her hands. As a child,  she loved making up stories, although her mother had another word for her storytelling—lying. If a roach walked up the wall, she'd make up a story about it.

As an adult writer, she honed her storytelling ways and learned to "live the plan." That meant setting a goal to write 500 words each and every night. "Even if the writing wasn't great, the words need to come out," she said.

Williams-Garcia also spoke about veering off her plan occasionally, choosing her major in college by "following the boy with the most perfect afro." Time to get back to the plan!

Williams-Garcia's advice for Staying on the Plan:

Don’t isolate yourself. Find your community,
join an MFA program, SCBWI, workshop group.

Don’t fear doubt. A healthy dose of doubt will make you write better writer.

Don’t not fear criticism.

Don’t stop writing. Writers write.

Do live with gratitude. 


Be about the Do.






Jane Yolen presents the Mid-List Author Award

Jane speaks eloquently of how re-inventing a career in the arts every seven to ten years is a way to keep your writing fresh and alive. And yet, how difficult it is when then re-invention is forced on you.

So, to help honor the contribution of mid-list authors in general, and celebrate two mid-list authors in particular, Jane announces this year's winners:

Karen Coombs and Sallie Wolf



Sallie was here and joined Jane on stage for an enthusiastic standing ovation!

Portfolio Showcase Award Winners Announcement

It's the coldest Valentine's Day in 100 years, but the SCBWI Portfolio Showcase winner announcement warms our hearts. It is with great excitement that we announce this years winners. Congratulations to all!


Winner: Sarah Jacoby




Honors: Jacob Grant



Brooke Smart


Tomie dePaola Award Winner

This year's illustration inspiration is based on Phillip Pullman's version of Red Riding Hood. Tomie received over 400 entries this year!

While the award is presented today, the announcement happened a little bit ago, be sure to check out the fantastic unofficial gallery put together by Diandra Mae.

From Tomie:

The task for this year's award was about UNIQUE VISUALIZATION of the MAIN CHARACTER.

As I warned, "So often, I have seen illustrators resort to generic depictions of the star of the story—too 'designed,' too ordinary, too much like characters already seen in media, especially on TV and video games."

That said I have chosen the following illustrators:

First Place - Lisa Cinelli


Second Place - Adrienne Wright


Third Place - Christee Curran-Bauer


See the other notables at our link

Student Illustrator and Writer Scholarships

Each year the SCBWI sponsors two student writer scholarships to the Summer and Winter Conferences for full-time university in and English or Creative Writing program.

Lauren Hughes
Ellen Wiese


Likewise, each year, the SCBWI sponsors four conference scholarships for full-time graduate or undergraduate students studying illustration.

Jia Liu
Suyoun Lee


Congratulation to this year's winners.

Happy Valentines' Day from #NY16SCBWI

A special message from all the authors and illustrators gathered this morning...

SCBWI Staff Introduction

Lin Oliver introduces the amazing staff of the SCBWI. A much deserved standing ovation received.



Thank you, SCBWI!

The LGBTQ and Allies Q&A at #NY16SCBWI

It's a social. It's a circle. With a warm and encouraging tribe-within-a-tribe feel, the room filled with authors and illustrators interested in writing and illustrating lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer characters and themes in books (and other media) for kids and teens.

Our special industry guests were:

Bestselling author and former editor Jane Yolen, who has published over 360 books, some with gay characters.

Art director and author/illustrator Laurent Linn, who both works at Simon & Schuster and has a debut illustrated YA novel with a gay main character, Draw The Line, coming out this Spring.

Author/illustrator Mike Curato, who shared his illustrations for the same-worm marriage picture book Worm Loves Worm.

And acquiring editor Michael Joosten, who focuses on picture books at Doubleday and Random House Books for Young Readers.

Jane spoke about how times have changed, and the group consensus was that while there's still a long ways to go, we're making progress towards towards more representation and inclusion of LGBTQ characters and themes. Laurent and Michael discussed the different imprints they work with, and the conversation was encouraging as everyone got the chance to introduce themselves and share a bit about what they were working on (lots of dealing with gender, and characters choosing their gender in science fiction and fantasy in the works.)

A few quotes I jotted down quickly as the discussion flowed...

"Make bold choices and be fully committed to the story you want to tell"

Author Michelle Parker-Rock spoke of how "being different crosses lots of barriers... let your voices ring out!"

Author, Southern Breeze Regional Advisor (and ex-Civil Rights lawyer) Claudia Pearson quoted Kwame Alexander ,who had spoken of how if you want to write diverse books, you need to live a diverse life, and said she was there because, "I want to live a diverse life."

We even learned (from the author/illustrator himself) that Mouse in the Little Elliot books is gender neutral! It was a great session, and people lingered long after the session's formal end-time.


Thanks to all who attended!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Illustrators social

The illustrators were getting their party on this evening at the SCBWI Illustrator's Social, with big nods to Tomie dePaola for putting the  "I" in SCBWI! Peter Brown started off the festivities by introducing members of the SCBWI Illustration leadership team. "It's important for us to get to know one another and network, said Brown.

David Diaz, Peter Brown, Sarah Baker, Paul O. Zelinsky, Laurent Linn







Art Browse: A Chance to View the Portfolios

The #NY16SCBWI Art Browse was a blast! This year's portfolios were as polished as never before. New friends were made and old friends were reunited. And art directors were definitely impressed.