Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mad About Children's Publishing - And More on Conferences

Echoing Julie's excellent post of earlier this week, well presented conferences provide us writers with up-to-date information and much needed optimism. Also ditto in Florida as in New York for the good future for children's books, with hard copies co-existing with digital.

Last month I crossed Alligator Alley (Rte 75) from southwest Florida to Miami to attend the 2012 Florida SCBWI Conference. The theme was "Mad About Children's Publishing" with this theme carrying through the Saturday evening dinner with editors and writers costumed in Alice in Wonderland character garb. There was a lot of fun as well as many great and interactive presentations and workshops from such inspiring guests as Lin Oliver of National SCBWI and award winning author Donna Jo Napoli.

Of all the terrific sessions, the one I focused on driving back on Sunday across the Everglades was the fascinating workshop on The Art of Friendship in Children's Picture Books by Tamar Brazis of Abrams Books. We discussed the nature of friendship, especially among very young friends. Tamar asked us to consider what makes a friendship close and how to show this, including showing affection for a friend, sharing fun, interests and problems, understanding a friend's concerns and worries, all without telling and particularly by using dialogue.

I started composing on the drive home! Such inspiration! The most important item to consider, besides the plot and story arc, is the development of character and affection between these characters in that most limited space of the picture book. I love my new characters that were born at the conference and when crossing back over Alligator Alley, and after much revision I hope some editors and children will love them too!

What inspirations or new guiding principles have you gleaned from a writing conference or published articles recently?

No comments:

Post a Comment