Saturday, May 15, 2010
This is the poster that I brought for the showcase at the NESCBWI conference in Fitchburg, MA on Saturday. The theme was "Moments of Change". The morning keynote speaker this year was writer Cynthia Leitich Smith, who gave an inspiring address. She advised the attendees "to celebrate the small victories more than the big ones" and to remember that "craft is the golden key". Her new YA book, "Eternal" is on the Bestseller List. In the afternoon, author/illustrator Marla Frazee and her editor Allyn Johnston gave a presentation about creating strong endings to stories, and the importance of both text and illustration to accomplish this. We got to see the early drafts of Marla's illustrations and the many revisions that it took to bring each book to its final state. Marla was also a presenter at one of the workshops I attended, where she spent more time explaining the chemistry between words and pictures. At one of the other workshops, Richard Michelson spoke on the topic, "How much fiction can fit in a non-fiction book". He had a thought-provoking presentation as he took us through many of his books to discuss the line between fact and interpretation. I finished the day with presenter Matt Phelan, who talked about adding depth and emotion to one's illustrations by understanding what one's characters are feeling and thinking. He showed examples from his new graphic novel, "The Storm in the Barn". I left the conference feeling that it was a day well-spent!