What You Can Learn from Kidlit Pros


When Trey Stone and Matt Parker’s iconic "But..." and "Therefore..." plotting advice is cited by multiple faculty members, you know children’s literature is in good hands. Seriously.

This weekend I attended the Austin SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Working Conference – two days of panels, keynotes, breakouts and intensives related to the art, craft and business of making and selling books for kids.

I came away from the event inspired and invigorated, with knowledge I can apply to my work for kid, teen and adult audiences and so much I want to reflect on.

But in the meantime, here are five quick takeaways from #ATXSCBWI18.

On Story

Watch the video. In the course of two days, this advice from the writers of Southpark and the Book of Mormon was mentioned three times – it’s that good.

On Difficult Subjects

A book is a great place to feel uncomfortable.
— Author Elana K. Arnold

On Editing

Do a quick sweep for words you’re using a lot. ‘Just’ and ‘that’ are probably two of them. Kill ‘em.
— Agent Sarah LaPolla

For Illustrators

Everyone should be able to draw a map.
— Executive Art Director Lucy Ruth Cummins

On Persistence

It just takes one yes.
— Author Cate Berry

Note: Image is from my visit to The Negaunee Foundation Children's Literature Gallery at the American Writers Museum in Chicago. If you haven't visited, do!




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