Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SCBWI Canada West Conference

I think I mentioned that I was going to the SCBWI Canada West conference on the 20th, but I've been so busy that I haven't been able to write anything about the event! I had a lovely time at the event and I got to spend time with many lovely Writers and Illustrators at this conference. I'm just going to share a summary of the conference. Note: I have permission from the pictured pictured below to post their photos here.

Lisa Cinar
My day started with a mad dash to grab art supplies (a task that proved almost impossible). This was my third time attending this conference. One thing that I never imagined was that the illustrator's workshop would actually be a workshop where we had to create. Crazy, right? The two years before the artist talked to us about their art. Lisa Cinar, being the Art Teacher that she is, made us do work. There was lots of coffee provided at this event, so there wasn't any worry there. I loved the presenters in previous years, but I fully enjoyed Lisa's workshop as well. I can't wait to see what we do next year!

After an empowering opening by Denise Jaden and the workshop with Lisa Cinar we went to lunch. I got to meet the lovely Mary Jo Wagner for the first time at this conference! She and I had lunch together (along with many other members of the group) We are both a part of the same SCBWI chapter, but since I haven't attended the writing meetings I hadn't met her yet. I also got to meet some other great new Illustration members as well!

Hazel Hutchins
After Lunch Hazel Hutchins gave a wonderful presentation about picture book energy. Now it's always a tough choice at these events. I had the choice of learning more about PB or MG books. It's not an easy choice. I knew I made the right decision when I attended Hazel's presentation. She was absolutely fantastic to speak with afterwards as well!

Lisa Cinar gave us all a brief picture book history lesson. That hour may have flown by quickly, but in the end my brain was about to explode! I can't believe I learned so much. One fun thing I learned is the length of picture books are the cause of the printing press publishers use. The reason picture books are 24, 32 and 48 (though generally 32) pages is because that's what's easiest for them to print!

We had a nice draw for picture books. I got a copy of "Then It Rained" Written by Crystal J. Stranaghan and Illustrated by Rosa Espadaler. I also got a nifty gift card from Indigo, so a-book-shopping I will be a-going!

Finally Hazel Hutchins wrapped up the the event with a very inspiring message for us all. She basically tied us all together and had us figure our way out. For me and Mary Jo, it proved an impossible task. The take home message from all of this is that no one can make books all on their own. The Writer's and Illustrators of all the books you've read have had (at least some of the following): publishers, agents, other writers, editors and schooling behind their success. Beyond this is family, friends, teachers, acquaintances, fans and anyone else who has helped a Writer or Illustrator become successful. Anyone who supports a Writer or Illustrator in any way is in part a cause of them becoming successful. Why right now you are helping me on my road to success by reading this blog. Bonus points to all those people who comment on any of my posts!

I want to give a special shout out to Ken Kilback and Helena Juhasz for their work with the SCBWI. Helena is the coordinator for the Canada West Illustrators and makes sure we meet up and keep creating. I'm glad we have her because she's very inspiring to us all!

Ken is the Regional advisor to all of Canada West. Ken does a lot of work to set up this event every year. He works very hard and I don't think any of us could give him enough thanks for all he does. Thank you so much Ken!

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