SCBWI Winter Conferencing

Chiming in a little late …

Saturday and Sunday of the SCBWI Winter Conference are the days full of keynotes and workshops and panels.

There were 1,133 people from the 47 USA states and 16 other countries, including Australia (hey Bernadette Kelly – great to see you!), Belgium, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.. Of all the attendees there were 375 illustrators which is i think the largest number of illustrators ever. Which also made portfolio showcase and amazing site!

Kwame Alexander‘s keynote saying YES to the writerly life (which seems to be a common thread that is popping up in many recent keynotes – this speaker included) was Inspirational and Exhilarating … a glorious speaker.

Anthony Horowitz and his journey from would-be author to creator of Alex Rider and TV media and way much more. Was magical.

Laura Vaccaro Seeger presented a session on The Making of a Picture Book and talked about the journal, concept books and putting it altogether. Wonderful.

Scattered throughout are many folk illustrating and scribbling thoughts and ideas.

The announcement of the Portfolio Showcase Award Winner (Mika Song) is always a blast and for the life of me I do NOT know how the judges choose the ‘best’ portfolio. This year’s winner is awarded appointments with three art directors. How fantastic. Previous winners and Mentees  have gone on to STAR! Just look at Debbie Ridpath Ohi.

The Tomie dePaola Award (more info here) winner is always exciting – exciting because it is amazing to see what they create from Tomie’s instruction / assignment that he sets. The task this year – to create a six-panel sequence that has a beginning, middle and an end that is obvious, featuring a character of your own invention. It can be funny, sad, dramatic or ordinary, but interesting and with lots of invention and finesse. Congrats Lisa Mundorff for your creation.

Agents Panel, Editors Panel, Workshops galore … and of course the always exceptional Gala Dinner always with food, food, and more food. The Socials Evening are always grand – especially getting to chat to all the other internationals. This year with the International gathering the new Translation Group that has been established under the International Banner was discussed heaps.

And the 2015 Winter Conference in New York Student Illustrator Scholarship Winners were terrific and it was great meeting Fan Wu … Have a squiz (that means look) at the wonderful art.

For a full rundown of the 2015 Winter Conference do drop in to the blog created by Lee Wind and TeamBlog … And after the keynotes and the autograph partying that seemed to go on forever (which happens when a Newberry Award winner is signing – the line went out the door ingot he ballroom and around the corner and then up the aisle) Bini and I, along with a few SCBWI HQ stalwarts tripped off to Barnes and Noble bookstore to see Lin and Henry in action promoting their new Hank title.

So all-in-all another magical SCBWI winter conference. Just loved it.


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