What You Can Learn from Kidlit Pros

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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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