The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) has played a huge role in my writing life. Joining SCBWI was a leap for me — for the first time I was able to see myself as a professional, even though I had no published works to show for it. The organization has led me to dozens of writing friends, critique groups, opportunities to better my craft, and now, as New Mexico’s assistant regional advisor, a chance to give back to the children’s writing community.
Ever dreamed of writing or illustrating books for children? If you live in New Mexico or in a neighboring state, I invite you to join us in Albuquerque for the upcoming Handsprings Conference on Oct. 24 and 25, 2014 at the Ramada Inn, Eubank and I-40. Faculty will include the following publishing professionals:
- Liza Baker, Executive Editorial Director, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
- Patti Ann Harris, Senior Art Director, Little, Brown
- Sara Megibow, Agent, Nelson Literary Agency
- Julie Ham Bliven, Associate Editor, Charlesbridge
The conference will include an evening social event on Friday and a full conference schedule on Saturday, including a First Impressions Panel, individual faculty presentations, plus the opportunity to attend two of our five targeted breakout sessions.
Here is an overview of the breakout sessions offered during this year’s conference. When you register, you’ll be asked to select two different workshops, one for breakout session #1 and one for breakout session #2.
Sara Megibow: Spoken Words and Written Words: Talking about Our Manuscripts and How This Helps Nail Pitch — Talking about a book can be helpful both to pitching your novel and to the actual written creation of your book. Attendees will talk through their pitches and their stories in a safe environment (or just listen to others talk if that’s more comfortable).
Julie Ham Bliven: Writing Middle-Grade Novels: Voice Your Voice — Using recent Newbery Medal and Honor books as a guide, this presentation examines qualities of remarkable middle-grade novels and suggests ways for you to strengthen your novel’s unique voice.
Patti Ann Harris: Good Habits of Successful Illustrators — Learn how simple ideas like keeping a sketchbook, taking the time to research your subject, and being open to the revision process can help you to grow as an illustrator and a picture book artist.
Patti Ann Harris and Liza Baker: Picture Book Boot Camp — A behind-the-scenes look at the world of the picture book and the steps leading up to publication. A focus on craft will include lively discussion and some in-class work on such topics as creating strong characters, the best practices of succeful illustrators, and tips on polishing your picture book.