LESSONS LEARNED: SCBWI WINTER CONFERENCE

This was the second time I attended an SCBWI conference and it was just as good as the last one, maybe even better.  The speakers were amazing and truly inspiring, in fact they were supercalifragilisticexpialidociously good, literally.  Yes, Julie Andrews was one of the guest speakers.  Not only her but we had other amazing writers and illustrators such as Mo Willems, Shaun Tan, David Ezra, and Meg Rosoff, just to name a few.  All of the speakers agreed with one thing; children’s books are one of the most important aspects of all literature, and they are absolutely right.  As Meg Rosoff explained, children’s books are books that will be read not one but millions of times, they will become a kid’s best frien

d, and it is through them that they will learn about change, fear, loss, and so much more.  Let’s just say that I felt quite honored to be part of this group of people. I wish my books will one day inspire millions of kids around the world.

I left with some key things on my mind, things that I should always remember and would like to share.

Shaun Tan said, “The thing that matters more in art is the thing you can’t explain.”  Stay interested.  Pay attention to things that are in front of you.  Look at ordinary things in new ways

Barbara McClintock’s message was clear. “Be bold and do it.  Go after it.  Don’t hesitate.  Don’t stop trying.”

David Ezra talked about creative block and told us, “being stuck is part of being an artist.”  Which was reassuring to say the least.  Most importantly he said to let go of the outcome, let go of control, ask questions and always doodle!

Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton shared with us the story of how they began writing children’s books and reminded us, “No matter who you are, you can make a difference.”

Mo Willems was hilarious and inspiring.  He told us that as writers we should be invisible.  More is not better and to write about what we don’t know!  He finished by saying, “Your job is to be some child’s best friend.”

I ended this trip to NY by visiting what I love most.  Bookstores!

ny

 

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