The first Picture Book Summit rocked! If you didn’t attend this one, be sure to sign up for the next one.
I came away with several new techniques to try out on my picture book manuscripts. I also decided which picture book manuscript I am going to present for a critique at the PYI conference, after I apply what I learned at the summit to the manuscript.
But most importantly, I came away refreshed and renewed and inspired. I have been stuck, stuck, stuck in my writing. And that has made me crabby, crabby, crabby. I think that’s another reason why people tell writers to write every day. Otherwise we get crabby. I know I get crabby after several days of not writing anyway. What about you?
There were four fabulous educator sessions, plenty of questions answered by agents and editors, and three amazing keynote speakers.
Here’s something I learned from each keynote speaker:
1. Peter Brown
Peter Brown tries to tell a story visually and what he cannot show using pictures, he will use words to show instead. This is completely opposite to how I write, and so I am going to try it out and see how my stories differ.
One of my favourite books by Peter Brown is:
2. Andrea Davis Pinkney
Andrea Davis Pinkney carries her writing notebook with her everywhere. In fact, she even leaves it at the side of the pool when she takes a swim. One day she forgot her notebook though and ended up writing some notes on the bottom of a flip flop! A flip flop! The notes on the bottom of the flip flop became part of her first picture book. She still has the flip flop.
I will remember to take my notebook everywhere from now on. And not only because I don’t own a pair of flip flops.
One of my favourite books written by Andrea Davis Pinkney is:
3. Mac Barnett
Did you know that Mac Barnett can do a decent Grover imitation? But that’s not all I learned during his session. Writing picture books is a visual act, and so we must think visually. Barnett taught me some stuff I don’t normally think about as an author, stuff related to layout and trim size. For example, a full page image will invite the reader to linger, whereas a two page image becomes fully immersive or a payoff for a joke. These are things that an author like me can keep in mind while writing text.
I love this recent book by Mac Barnett:
Did you manage to attend this year? Are you considering attending next year? What have you been up to lately?
Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.