As promised, I have some more photographs to share from the fall conference. At the end of the post, I have a special treat and a link to a very special blog. But first, here is Molli Nickell, an independent editorial consultant, during the dessert party on Friday night. It was the first of many mingling opportunities during the SCBWI-Southern Breeze fall conference. Molli conducted a pre-conference marketing workshop on Friday, providing intensive help on drafting query letters and writing proposals. During the conference, she urged writers to think of query writing as “selling,” not “telling.”
Jodi Wheeler-Toppen provided great help during the conference. In this photograph, she is speaking with Sharon Wright Mitchell, who offered a workshop titled “Librarian’s Bag of Research Tricks!” Sharon and I talked briefly about a great idea she has for a picture book set in the 19th Century.
Here is Jo Kittinger, one of our SCBWI Regional Advisers. She and Donna Bowman, mentioned in a previous post, worked with Richelle Putnam for more than a year to put together the conference. Great job! Jo has dozens of nonfiction books to her credit and is waiting on a publication date for her first fiction PB. She has written about rocks, dead trees, George Washington Carver, and Jane Goodall, among others. Jo and Donna, as a team, make SCBWI-Southern Breeze a strong region with top-notch programming. I also loved visiting with her husband, Rick, who is great with technology and shares an interest in photography and photography gadgets.
Elizabeth Dulemba presented a workshop on self-promotion (on the cheap, even) for illustrators. She is the Illustrator Coordinator for Southern Breeze and is responsible for putting together the gallery exhibit of our illustrators’ work that the Southern Arts Federation will tour starting in January. With Elizabeth is Wanda Vaughn, our Mocha and Munch Chef. She single-handedly provides food and drink to keep us fortified through the jam-packed day.
In his presentation, Laurent Linn, the Art Director, for Simon & Schuster, showed us photographs of picture books being printed so we could understand how the production process affects what writers and artists can do to create picture books. He talked about six general types of picture books: holiday books (Los Gatos Black by Marisa Montes and illustrated by Yuyi Morales), classic folk tale/fairy tales (Glass Slipper, Golden Sandal by Paul Fleischman and illustrated by Julie Patchkiss), a child’s discovery of the world, books for young children dealing with a difficult concept (Can you Say Peace? by Karen Katz), nonfiction/poetry, and animal.
Here, almost at the end of the day, Laurent Linn and Martha Mihalick, associate editor at Greenwillow Books, discus how editors and art directors work together to marry text and art. Nearing the end of their discussion, they each said some version of: “It may be nice for you writers to know all this, but don’t worry about any of it. This is what we do best. Leave it to us.”
Here is Diane Z. Shore, who presented a workshop on nonfiction that featured not only her latest book, This is the Feast, but also my book, Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator. I have been learning from Diane since I began attending SCBWI conferences five years ago. I especially remember her tips on marketing and her class on first pages and how to get out of the slush pile. Diane was a generous contributor to the Joan Broerman book basket, which goes to a lucky conference goer for donation to his/her local library or school library. This year’s winner was Peter Huggins, author of In the Company of Owls and Trosclair and the Alligator.
Here are Paul Fleischman, our keynote speaker, and Hester Bass, whose first book (a PB biography of American artist Walter Inglis Anderson illustrated by E.B. Lewis) will be out in August (I can’t wait!) at the very end of the day. Hester is a two-time organizer of the fall conference and talked Paul into coming down. We’re very glad she did!
Okay, now that you’ve made it to the end of the post, a treat. I mentioned a few days ago that coming home meant meals to make and clothes to fold. Well, I thought I’d show you what I’ve been cooking. Here is a serving of Pumpkin and Black Bean casserole, presented in a bowl made by my son, Nathan. The recipe comes from my favorite food blog. My friend Susan Voisin is the writer, photographer, and designer of the blog. I never quite stick to a recipe so I made mine with butternut squash and I substituted a little goat cheese for her faux cheese sauce. We’re not vegan around here, but we love good fresh food.