Monday, April 15, 2013

Inspiration & the SCBWI Houston Conference 2013

I love to go to SCBWI conferences. They're inspiring, educational, offer great networking opportunities, and I feel invigorated when I leave. So, I got myself down to Houston last weekend to attend their annual conference. The drive from Dallas was well worth it. Here was their lineup:

I loved hearing Peter Brown talk about his career. He's very funny. He and his agent, Paul Rodeen, seem to have a great working relationship together. They're like super cool brothers, actually. Peter's illustrations are wonderful. Love his work!

One of the best parts of the conference was the pre-conference assignment from AD Lucy Cummins. She gave us 2 manuscripts to choose from. One was a picture book (Chicks Run Wild) or a middle school manuscript to create a cover design. Unfortunately, I can't remember what the title was because I, of course, chose Chicks Run Wild. We each chose a page from the book to illustrate, sent in our sketches to her, and waited for feedback. When she got back to us, we went to finals and brought them to the conference for the illustrator's breakout session.

Here was my sketch:

 And the final:

I loved seeing everyone's take on this story. So many crazy chicks! Great chance to work with an AD too. That's always a lovely opportunity. Lucy is super nice, and had a lot of constructive things to say to all of us. Very helpful.

I also won a book in the raffle, so I'm going to send some love out to the author who is from the Houston area. Crystal Allen's book The Laura Line doesn't even come out in stores until April 23rd, and I HAVE A COPY! Yay! Can't wait to read it!

Within an hour of arriving back at home, from a really long roadtrip to Houston, I snuck off to the local library to load up on picture books to get my head around where I go next. My goal has always been to have my own picture book published. I'm feeling really close to making that happen!

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