Yesterday I attended Katie Davis‘ Picture Book Summit and was it amazing!
First I want to encourage anyone interested in becoming an author of children’s books to check out Katie’s amazing podcast Brain Burps about Books and then go directly to iTunes and give her a 5 star review! This woman has done more to teach me about publishing my children’s book then anyone in years. She’s funny and full of valuable information and deserves to make new and noteworthy. Actually, what I really care about are other authors like me finding her, I would have missed the amazing Picture Book Summit yesterday if I hadn’t have found her and I just happened to find her when I was googling another podcast. And I have to say I talked to other SCBWI published authors who said they have taken her classes and they were very valuable for them.
OK enough about the amazing fun lovely and intelligent Katie Davis, and yes I did see two people in about 30 seconds propose to her on the chat…
The Picture Book Summit was so full of valuable information it was incredible! And they have a Facebook group we all got to join (yes all 600+ of us probably almost 1000 people) get to continue this journey together. The speakers gave valuable information about how to perfect your craft, how to develop characters, plot and story for young children, how to make sure your story is ready for submission, and some specifics on working with an illustrator if you just write text.
Peter Brown’s My Teacher is A Monster book cover.
I can’t say any one presenter was better then another. Starting off with Peter Brown an author I had never heard of but quickly fell in love with after hearing him speak and then googling his website and books of which I promptly ordered 3-4. I mean how could I resist My Teacher is a Monster?
Andrea Davis Pinkney gave an inspiring and very informative talk on writing non-fiction with lots of amazing advice for me who so wants to be a biographer!!! Learning about how she collaborated with her husband as the illustrator and how they run their formal weekly work sessions, how she would develop ideas and capture them on everything from her idea journal she takes everywhere to the bottom of a flip flop when it got left home accidentally one day, and how to create an engaging piece of non-fiction kids won’t label as yucky spinach! I think she would have got a standing ovation if we were in the room with her.
A consistent theme was write a good story. There were lots of pluses and minuses, good and bad, to becoming an author of children’s books in todays age. The ability to connect with an audience on social media and control your own platform and career is better then ever before, but this also meant more work. But the underlying theme was connecting with your readers was fun and nothing to be scared of. Then they taught you how to do just that!!
The agent and editor breaks were very informative as well answering questions about how to submit, what they are looking for, and how to perfect your manuscript and picture book dummy!
The panelists and speakers were SOOOOO FUN! And willing to be silly and keep the day upbeat and energetic! (and let me tell you it was a long one, but one you didn’t want to miss a second of… on the seat of your pants all day wondering what’s coming that I don’t want to miss cause this is so good!)
And as a side bonus, because I could watch and participate all from the comfort of my living room, I was able to mop my floor, do my dishes, paint a picture of my avatar I’ve been wanting to get done, and create a story board for both my East Glacier Bear story and the Green Queen books!
My story about Levi Bear who wants to go to school gets planned out.
AND BEST OF ALL we got a private invitation to submit to the agents and one editor!! My fingers are crossed, but I feel like I’m so ready… we’ll see, could take another 5 years before I get my stuff perfected? IDK.
Anyway I learned a ton about what to do next, so enough computing off to work!!!
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