Sunday, January 30, 2011

SCBWI: 40 Years

Olivia with author Lin Oliver

At the podium

Olivia's doodle

Our hotel room's view

For the past six years, I've looked forward to the annual winter conference of the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Every year offers a new perspective on the creative process, the publishing industry, and the love of literature. This year's speakers, a veritable who's who of children's literature, shared inspiring stories of their youth, hilarious letters from their fans, and their key secrets on being funny. Lois Lowry spoke of the pain in losing a sister, while RL Stine recommended being open to writing to a different genre. Jane Yolen described the poetry of a line with Mark Teague at her side, and Mo Willems made us laugh with Lenore Look and Marvin Terban. As always, the insights were inspirational, the conversations collegial, and Lin Oliver's witty banter made me laugh. Despite the seeming similarities, this year, however, was truly different. Now a writer and illustrator herself, my daughter Olivia also became an SCBWI member, perhaps their youngest. With Olivia's Birds coming out in April, bringing her along seemed like the perfect way to share the news with fellow SCBWI members. She enjoyed listening to the speakers, but especially loved the big welcome she received from many of the 1,100 attendees. Together we met artists, authors, bird lovers, and even an ornithologist who studied at Auburn University in Alabama. It was a joy to share this world of creative and bright people who are so dedicated to both their craft and to bringing joy into children's lives.


Kate @ penguin art . com said...

It was wonderful meeting you both!

Amber Keyser said...

It was fantastic to meet you and Olivia! War Eagle!