This was my first time at the New York Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conference (#NY15SCBWI). So this was a big deal for me. I planned and prepped for the big day. I felt ready.
By mid trip it felt like my lungs had been infested with a small razor-blade-wielding army. My voice was shot. I now sounded like Minnie mouse on helium, and I winced with pain when I spoke. This is not a look, or voice I’d recommend when trying to make great first impressions at a conference.
Keynotes and illustrator intensive
I was determined to make it through the three days – and I did (barely). There were lots of inspirational keynote speakers. Laura Vaccaro Seeger spoke about her writing and illustration process. She gave us an inside peek at her list and doodle-packed journals. She spoke about the importance of always keeping a notebook of some sort with you to jot down ideas throughout your day. Some of her key points also included:
I participated in the illustrators intensive: Generating a picture book story. We had to write and story-board a picture book. We based our story on an illustration that we had brought to this workshop. I’m not a writer by default, so this was a great learning experience for me. I used one of my Puss n’ Boots illustrations. The story took on a completely different theme in this exercise. The story was now all about a cheese-obsessed mouse who made the mistake of stealing a bite from his arch enemy The Cat. Pan to a big chase scene and kerfuffle…
What I learned from this workshop was the following:
Conference keynote speaker highlights
There were so many other amazing speakers at this conference. Some of the highlights include: