a conference round up

The SCBWI Western Washington conference last weekend was inspiring and exhausting as always. And after about a week to let my head stop spinning, I’m ready to pinpoint a few of my favorite takeaways.

Books I’m excited to check out ASAP:

HERE by Richard McGuire

RAIN by Peter Spier

LIES, KNIVES, AND GIRLS IN RED DRESSES (dark, dark poetry with gruesome cut paper style illustrations!)

lies, knives and girls in red dresses  home  the farmer and the clown


HOME by Carson Ellis (actually I bought a copy at the conference and I’ve been reading it every night before bed :))

And yes, three of those books are wordless picture books. That’s because one of the sessions I attended was with David Wiesner on the topic of wordless storytelling. It was fun to see how excited he was about the books, comics and movies he was sharing with us- practically jumping up and down. After hearing him use it half a dozen times, I wrote the word “astonishing” in my notes. Here are my notes, by the way.

conference notes

I also attended a session with the art director Kristen Nobles who talked about the 8 things she (and Candlewick) looks for in an illustrator. I especially loved what she said about exploring a variety of perspectives and view points: “I don’t like it when you’re always in the perfect seat as the reader.” It’s a great reminder, especially when you are drawing lots of dummy sketches in a short period of time as I currently am.

And there were so many beautiful portfolios to flip through! Have you seen the work of these illustrators?

Liz Wong

Corinna Luyken

Michaele Razi





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