Wowee zowie! The SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and illustrators) LA conference was fabulous!! And now I’m totally excited about our scholarships and upcoming course. Double wahoo!!
First off I want to share some of my personal highlights from the conference starting with seeing old friends, making new friends, and having a wonderful Children’s Book Academy get together lunch, and having a wonderful roommate in Carol Foote. Then there was the thrill of seeing 6 former students selling their books at the PAL members book signing even though I got there late after the Red Fox Literary party and many were gone.
Below are some pics in a slide show. Just click on the left to pause if you like or use the arrows on the right to scroll through faster or go back.
I loved Newbery winner Kwame Alexander talking about self-publishing and taking his book to the farmer’s market where he’d make thousands but then October came…. What a fabulously charismatic and inspiring man.
Gorgeous and funny keynote MCs and SCBWI co-founders Steve Mooser and Lin Oliver who did a brilliant job and kept us all laughing.
Caldecott winner Dan Santat shedding a tear at the end of his keynote presentation. Jordan Brown talking about connecting your character’s voice to the reader’s experiences. The importance of empathy. Mem Fox being Mem Fox – awesome. Emotion. Miranda Paul’s clarifying that creative nonfiction doesn’t mean invented or untrue and asking – what does your story give that readers can’t get from the Internet? Adam Rex, hilarious and ridiculously talented. Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewster on writing humorous nonfiction. Jane O’Connor says she’s a fantastic eavesdropper, and middle grade novelist Shannon Hale who impressed me so much that I went to her website, which is also hilarious and full of great stuff that you can learn from http://oinks.squeetus.com/. Clearly I could write many blog posts on the many fabulous speakers that I saw.
This year I also splurged and stayed for the Illustration Intensive just to make sure that our upcoming course is as extraordinary as I think it is and the great news is, that it is!! Still, it was so fabulous seeing what we’ll be teaching (on a much deeper level and a whole bunch more that of course couldn’t be included in a one-day intensive) presented in a different way and I even learned some new things (always a thrill). I loved the faculty including Laurent Linn, Paul Zelinsky, Pat Cummings, Eliza Wheeler, Peter Brown, Melissa Sweet, Cecilia Yung, John Rocco, Alexander Penfold, Dan Santat, Brenda Bowen, and Lauren Rille who were all generous and erudite and inspiring. And even though after 28 years, I was familiar with most of the content, the specifics of how some of these folks do what they do was absolutely wonderful to see and the camaraderie was awesome. It was an awesome way to end the conference and totally inspired me for our upcoming course for which we are offering both full and half scholarships!!
Recently we gave away a record number of scholarships for our picture book writing course, which ended up being a total love fest with Knopf assistant editor Kelly Delaney and a fantastic group of students. All of us were blown away with how far students took their stories from the beginning to the end of the course and now we’re hoping to do the same with our next course. So we’re thrilled to announce that scholarship applications and registration are now open for the 2015 Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books. This course is for fearful beginner, courageous writers, and award winners. It gets rave reviews and many former students are now published. And while the main focus is on picture books, we’ll also be including materials on illustrating chapter books, middle grade, and graphic novels if we can squeeze it all in plus we have some fantastic bonuses and Golden Ticket submission opportunities! The scholarship applications, where we are honoring both Rafael Lopez and Pat Cummings, are easy peasy. Here’s the link to find out more bit.ly/1NnXLQn Don't worry if you register for the course and get a scholarship, we'll refund your money without problems. We’d also be grateful if you’d help us get the word out about these and also about the course here bit.ly/ZVVAib
And now for our Big Announcement!!
The delightful and incredibly creative assistant graphic designer and art director for Farrah Strauss and Giroux, Kristie Radwilowicz, as described by FSG Editorial Director Joy Peskin, will be co-teaching the course! Kristie is warm, generous, super smart, and lots of fun. She’ll be giving us the inside scoop on this veteran NYC publisher while gently helping students take their work fabulous places and guiding them through new doors. We also have some phenomenal bonuses for this course as well as some excellent submission opportunities that we’ll be announcing later not to forget some brand new extraordinary contributors including the great Salina Yoon, Lane Smith, Eliza Wheeler and Paul O. Zelinsky! Wow. Please come check it out and help spread the word.
Yours in children’s book love ~ Mira
Mondays with Mandy or Mira consists of Mandy Yates and Mira Reisberg. Mira is the founder of the Children's Book Academy and was so impressed with Mandy when she was a student in one of the interactive courses, that she invited Mandy to share the blog. Mandy has as an MFA in creative writing from Spalding University and has been published multiple times in Highlights Magazine. We hope you enjoy and find our offerings helpful.
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