2014 Houston SCBWI Conference

Saturday, April 27 I attended the Houston SCBWI annual conference.
I started out earlydriving. Houston is a pretty big city and it takes a while to get across town.

Our keynote speaker was Gary D. Schmidt, the author of the Newberry Award winning book, The Wednesday Wars, and many other wonderful books.                                                                                                                                               His talk was brilliant and his depth of feeling was so inspiring.          “Our stories are complicated ones…they are never one dimensional.”  His bio reads, ” He lives with his family on a 150-year-old farm in Alto, Michigan, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, and feeds the wild cats that drop by.”   I know… pretty cool all around guy, right!

The_wednesday_warsNext….”Qualities of a writer: humility, good humor, grace, patience and gratitude” says Stephen Fraser, literary agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. That’s good advice you can apply to all aspects of life!

He’s been voted the top agent for both picture books and Middle grade fiction. …and he rocked an awesome bow tie!

Other speakers included Kendra Levin, Senior Editor at Viking Books,  “Don’t save anything for the next book, you may get hit by a bus tomorrow” Lol!

Julie Ham, spoke about The Elements of Award Winning Non-fiction.

Jim Hoover, Associate Art Director at Viking books, walked us through the process of making  picture books and how the direction of a book can change.                                                          Then he lead a very informative illustrator break out session about what makes a good promotional postcard. The following morning he presented a story boarding workshop.
What a fun guy, great personality, and he dances too!
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These are some of the postcards I picked up at the conference.

But the best part about the conference…and something I didn’t see coming at all …                       I was the 2014 Grand Prize winner of the illustrator showcase!!                                                        So thank you  Jim Hoover, I’m so grateful!                                                                                                  And thank you to the SCBWI conference staff, it was one of the best!

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