“Glorious, stirring sight! The poetry of motion! The real way to travel! The only way to travel! Here today–in next week tomorrow! Villages skipped, towns and cities jumped–always somebody else’s horizon! O bliss! O poop-poop! O my! O my!”
– Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Two months ago, my mom and dad decided to separate. Now they live in different houses. My brother Andrew says that we aren’t to be a family anymore. Is this true? Did I lose my family? Is there anything I can do to get my parents back together? Sincerely, Katie McCormick.”
Oh, my dear Katie. You know, some parents, when they’re angry, they get along much better when they don’t live together. They don’t fight all the time, and they can become better people, and much better mummies and daddies for you. And sometimes they get back together. And sometimes they don’t, dear. And if they don’t, don’t blame yourself. Just because they don’t love each other anymore, doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. There are all sorts of different families, Katie. Some families have one mommy, some families have one daddy, or two families. And some children live with their uncle or aunt. Some live with their grandparents, and some children live with foster parents. And some live in separate homes, in separate neighborhoods, in different areas of the country – and they may not see each other for days, or weeks, months… even years at a time. But if there’s love, dear… those are the ties that bind, and you’ll have a family in your heart, forever. All my love to you, poppet, you’re going to be all right… bye-bye. ~Mrs. Dountfire
Remembering Robin Williams.
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!
Next….”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!
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!