Monday, May 18, 2009

SCBWI Conference

This weekend the northwest Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Conference happened. Susi and I love to attend for inspiration and catch up. Authors, illustrators, editors, agents, and art directors mix it up and pour Miracle Grow on each other.

We all want to hone our craft to become better writers, illustrators, and smarter cookies. There really were fine and brilliant people at this conflab, challenging each other to make great books. Jon Scieszka releshes his job of getting boys excited about books. He was crowned Ambassador of Young People's Literature by the U.S. Congress. To describe him, mix one part teacher with five parts fourth grade boy, sprinkle generously with genius, add big scoop of funny, then turn on a fire hose full blast and let it fly around the kitchen. Add salt.

It was so nice to see Stephen Mooser, who is like Heidi's grandfather to us all (if Heidi's grampa was clean shaven, lived in SoCal, had a tan, and worked out). After all Stephen started SCBWI. I met Steve at my first SCBWI in Santa Monica (1982) where I had a portfolio review with Tomie dePaola. This was the national conference and there were about eighty people there. Steve, you have given us so much, and contributed significantly to the development of good literature. Thank you.

Here are Kirby Larson, myself, and Stephanie Lyle at the conference. We recently collaborated on a project with Washington State History Museum. Kirby's story, Sayonara, brings me to tears every time I read it. To read it go to COLUMBIAkids e-mag.

I very much enjoyed Adam Rex. A genius with a capital X. All the speakers blew me away. What a conference.


Kim Baker said...

I'm so glad you and Susi made the long trek around the construction to come to the conference! I think your recipe for Jon is spot on. What a nut!

Jennifer Mann said...

Hi Richard
Great to see you there, and here. And thanks for your kind comments. There are some circumstances that clearly seperate Maurice Sendak and me, but can't hurt to aspire, eh?
Looking forward to that bridge opening up so that I can come to PT and glean some of your wisdom. Hi to Susi!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thanks, Kim. Y'all put on a marvelous conference. What a gift to writers, illustrators and ultimately children and lovers of good books.