I wanted to share a bit of information from the SCBWI-SWTX (society of children book writers and illustrators southwest Texas region) conference that I attended recently. It was a great event with many informational speakers. I really want to thank the staff for putting it all together so well!
Me with some of our wonderful board members
I sketched a few of the speakers as they were sharing their secrets.
The first faculty member was Andrea Welch of Beach Lane Press (Simon and Schuster) She had very good advice for writers and illustrators. Andrea loves good rhyming stories and manuscripts that engage the reader. The content of a book should be emotionally giving but not sappy. A flawed characters is an interesting one. And a story should be one that you want to read over and over again. A writer or illustrator should have creative passion and an intense personal connection to a project for it to be successful.
Kristen Daly Rens from Balzer and Bray (Harper Collins) said “Open with a bang!” In your stories you should make every scene keep the story moving, every scene should keep the tension rising and things should have changed with-in the story. What really works in a story is the combination of an action plot (external action) and an emotional plot (internal action). By the closing of the story the main character should have had some personal growth.
Diane Gonzales Bertrand (writer and professor) said “to be a good writing teacher you must be a writer yourself” She always wrote as a child and later realized that she was good at it. Diane writes from her memories and shares her experience with young students. She states that we should all jump the fence and run into the open spaces and see what happens. If you receive rejection it is not the end but just another beginning.
The SWTX-SCBWI September conference brought new light to the digital marketing possibilities for all Illustrators and writers.
Richard Dean Johnson of Interact Books shared information on how to publish an interactive ebook for children. His company has developed a user friendly program that can help writers and illustrators turn there own publications into an electronic book. These books can be created to have movement and music within the stories pages. Interact Book’s app allows children to purchase books at a minimal cost and create their own library to play with. What a great new way for us to market our published and unpublished works.
Kim Murray of Piccolo Media discussed how to market through social media. Such tools as Websites, Blogs, Facebook and Twitter are some of the social media sites that were brought up in her workshop . Being social and engaged can make your brand more marketable. It is necessary in this electronic age to make a presence on the web. Kim has great knowledge about how to get your brand noticed and how to make social media a weekly if not daily exercise in your business routine.
Hope all of you who are interested in children’s book writing and illustrating can join us next year for our conference.
Here are some local conferences that are happening in the near future:
October 1, 2011 (my b-day yeah!)
The Palmer Events Center
900 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin, TX 78704
October 22-23, 2011 Same weekend as my Bovine Festival, but maybe I can sneak away!
(Meet Alton Brown, Paula Dean and many other celebs!)
February 17-19, 2012
April 9, 2012
6301 S. Stadium Lane
Katy, TX 77494