To the Conference I Shall Go!

The Wonders of a Good Conference

Every year I look forward to the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrator’s Conference. Before we moved to North Carolina, I loved going to the conferences in Maryland or Virginia. But now I look forward to the Carolinas conference.

 

I’ve made a lot of friends who always greet me as I’m a long lost sister. And they always encourage me. But the faculty for each conference also treat me with great encouragement and respect. They also teach me a great deal

 

This year, the enthusiastic and bubbly Tammi Sauer gave us good tips on how to write dynamite picture books. And I was lucky enough to win a copy of her yet to be released book, Wordy Birdy Meets Mr. Cougarpants, which was delightfully illustrated by Dave Mottran. One of the things Ms. Sauer emphasized was that the author should leave plenty of room in the story for the illustrator’s input.

 

Since I’m now trying my hand at writing chapter books, I took in Kelly Starling Lyons and Vanessa Brantley Newton’s energetic and informative session on writing chapter books. I also had a critique session with Stacy McAnulty on my chapter book. I ended my time with Stacy realizing my one chapter book should actually be four chapter books. Eek!

 

In the bookstore, I bought three chapter books to study the form. Less is more in this format. Since you want to encourage the reader to go it alone, the text should be engaging, but simple. Little description, but lots of action and dialog are the key. Ms. Lyons’ Jada Jones: Class Act very simply, but with much tension, tells the story of Jada Jones running for class representative.

 

Bridgett Bell-Langston’s story Finding Home, My Arf-O-Biography, tells the story of a puppy learning to live away from his dog family and behave in his new home.

 

Goldie Blox and the Haunted Hacks! is part of Stacy McAnulty’s series about Goldie Blox. All three books helped me understand a bit more about how to write chapter books.

 

I’ll go into more detail on these books and the others I bought. Plus more about the conference in next week’s post.

 

And my brag of the day is that I sold 7 copies of my book, Emily’s Ride to Courage. I’m proud of that considering the competition from other authors.

 

See you next week.

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