Sunday, May 22, 2011

Conference - Part One

Just finished a pretty intense three-day writers' conference put on by the local branch of  SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators). The focus was on picture books. It was good. Strange, as all conferences are to me, but good.

I learned something odd the very first night. Picture books can be for all ages. Now, that, to me, is a paradigm shift if ever I heard one. I've been tooling along on the assumption that a picture book is one of those sweet, little things with gorgeous watercolors and few words. Turns out, that's only one type. Got to further research this.

One of the drawbacks of the conference for a neophyte was the groups' assumption that everyone knew the ins and outs, the language, of picture books. I don't think I was alone. But I did get a kick out of this: Saturday night, we had a group critique (10 participants and an editor). They were discussing board books. I felt incredibly naive (really stupid) but had to ask - What's a board book, Precious? They were kind.

I'll write more - pleased with Friday night's sessions and Sunday's. Saturday's were a bit...

The presenters were great. The facility was great. And the folks from SCBWI, as usual, were awesome.

Life is complicated - even for a picture book.

PS - A board book is one of the those heavy-paged books with only one or two words on each page. (like the Chronicle book, Wiggle Like An Octopus) Some board books have flaps. Some are die-cut. Well, you get the picture (pun intended)!


  1. I have to admit that one of my favorite books is Tuesday, which is a picture book. I always thought picture books for grownups being photography and art books, otherwise known as coffee table books.

  2. Never read that one. Yes - I'd forgotten about coffee table books. I suppose one could call them picture books. I've got something I'm gonna share about audiences tomorrow.