As I mentioned in my last post, I had the chance to attend a workshop and lecture with Chronicle Books founding editor, Victoria Rock last week. It was a great afternoon and evening. I came away excited, exhausted and ready to keep working!
The structure of the workshop was fascinating. It was called a “First Looks Intensive” (after the idea of “First Pages,” I assume), and it was specifically for Author/Illustrators. Each of the 15 or so participants supplied a dummy book, and each book was read under a document camera for 2 minutes followed by 3 minutes for Victoria to give feedback. What struck me was how approachable and down to earth she is, as well as her ability to give decisive feedback while still being kind. My book, “Here We Go,” came up about a third of the way through the workshop. My heart was hammering, but the attendees laughed and exclaimed as the pages went by. Victoria immediately commented that it was “Sweet” and “Charming,” that there is a good variety of layouts and perspectives, and even that it could be marketable across age groups. She also mentioned that the rhyming could be stronger in places and the ending could be tweaked, which was very helpful to hear.
Later that evening was the SCBWI monthly meeting, and Victoria was the speaker. She mainly spoke about books she has worked on over the years. Many of which I recognize and some of which I love. She mentioned “A Seed is Sleepy” illustrated by Sylvia Long, which certainly falls into the latter category, and she even mentioned that there is another one coming out called “A Rock is Lively.”
So, for all of this, I want to express GRATITUDE to SCBWI Western Washington. There is such a wide range of kid lit, from the YA Novel all the way down to the Board Book, but I felt like this event was geared right to me: an aspiring author/illustrator of picture books. I’ve found this chapter of this society to be amazing because there is something for everyone. I highly recommend it.
Anyhow, I’ll sign off now- I have a submission to work on!