I still haven't typed up my notes from the NY conference, but I found some random (and hopefully helpful) notes from the last few years. They're listed by the year they were in my notes. If they don't have a name attached to them it's because I didn't write down who said it - sorry!
Pat Cummings (always a riot to talk with or listen
to!) On Winning Through Whining: Record every injustice, Embellish, and
Encourage others to sink to your level.
Barney Saltzberg: Make 3D models of characters so you can draw them from every angle.
the Long Island conference: Magazine stories are more linear, while
Picture Book stories are more circular. PBs are also more visual, have
more action, and are similar to songs in that they have lots of concrete
NY Conference: HARRY THE DIRTY DOG by Gene Zion
and Margaret Bloy Graham is one of the only books that was published
the way it came in, which is extremely unusual. Almost all other books
go through revisions, sometimes multiple rounds of revisions. (I think
this referred to the text and not the illustrations, but unfortunately,
I'm not sure.)
Perseverance is the key – it (success/getting published/goals in general) usually takes 10 years longer than you think it will.
Jill Davis (Bloomsbury)
- By the 3rd or 4th spread of a PB, there should be a major event
- Plot is easier with a misunderstanding between characters, rather than mean intent.
- A picture book about something is a good thing.
- Try writing 10 stories every week. Keep the ones that are good.
- Stretch yourself and take chances.
- School visits are like giving parties.
Melanie Cecka (Bloomsbury)
Young PBs, Birth – 3 yrs old: ideas and subject specific to small world
the child is familiar with. More about concept and less about the
narrative. Example, WHOSE NOSE AND TOES? By John Butler
- Older PBs,
3-8 yrs old: more about the narrative and more sophisticated ideas.
Example, HOW TO MAKE AN APPLE PIE AND SEE THE WORLD By Marjorie Priceman
Paula Danzinger (from one of the market books, maybe CWIM 2005?):
She always insisted that her Amber Brown books were not a series, nor
were they sequels. Paula used the term "sequelizer" because each was
written without relying on previous or upcoming books. (This is the
kind of series book that I would want to write - if I wrote a series.)
Keep in mind how quickly culture changes. Four years is a HS
generation. By the time you're 12 years out of HS, your own experiences
are three generations removed.
SELF magazine Feb. (nothing to do with children’s books – just makes you think)
- Profound Beauty Volume Power hairspray comes out of the can at 75 mph. (Holy Hairspray Batman!)
- A sneeze can rush out as fast as 100 mph. – Michael Setzen M.D. (ewwwww!)