To the Conference I Shall Go!

Posted Oct 4 2018

The Wonders of a Good Conference

Every year I look forward to the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrator’s Conference. Before we moved to North Carolina, I loved going to the conferences in Maryland or Virginia. But now I look forward to the Carolinas conference.

 

I’ve made a lot of friends who always greet me as I’m a long lost sister. And they always encourage me. But the faculty for each conference also treat me with great encouragement and respect. They also teach me a great deal

 

This year, the enthusiastic and bubbly Tammi Sauer gave us good tips on how to write dynamite picture books. And I was lucky enough to win a copy of her yet to be released book, Wordy Birdy Meets Mr. Cougarpants, which was delightfully illustrated by Dave Mottran. One of the things Ms. Sauer emphasized was that the author should leave plenty of room in the story for the illustrator’s input.

 

Since I’m now trying my hand at writing chapter books, I took in Kelly Starling Lyons and Vanessa Brantley Newton’s energetic and informative session on writing chapter books. I also had a critique session with Stacy McAnulty on my chapter book. I ended my time with Stacy realizing my one chapter book should actually be four chapter books. Eek!

 

In the bookstore, I bought three chapter books to study the form. Less is more in this format. Since you want to encourage the reader to go it alone, the text should be engaging, but simple. Little description, but lots of action and dialog are the key. Ms. Lyons’ Jada Jones: Class Act very simply, but with much tension, tells the story of Jada Jones running for class representative.

 

Bridgett Bell-Langston’s story Finding Home, My Arf-O-Biography, tells the story of a puppy learning to live away from his dog family and behave in his new home.

 

Goldie Blox and the Haunted Hacks! is part of Stacy McAnulty’s series about Goldie Blox. All three books helped me understand a bit more about how to write chapter books.

 

I’ll go into more detail on these books and the others I bought. Plus more about the conference in next week’s post.

 

And my brag of the day is that I sold 7 copies of my book, Emily’s Ride to Courage. I’m proud of that considering the competition from other authors.

 

See you next week.

2 Comments

  1. Joan says:

    Dear Sarah,
    Thank you very much for sharing about the conference. So happy that you sold 7 copies of your book. Glad you had s great time and learned a lot.

    Never Give Up
    Joan

  2. Linda Andersen Gutheil says:

    Sarah,
    Your new website looks great. Your web page team did a wonderful job. So glad to hear you enjoyed this conference so much too.

    Take care,
    Linda Andersen Gutheil

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  Linda Andersen Gutheil
Sarah, Your new website looks great. Your web page team did a wonderful job. So glad to hear you enjoyed this conference so much too. Take care, Linda Andersen Gutheil
  Joan
Dear Sarah, Thank you very much for sharing about the conference. So happy that you sold 7 copies of your book. Glad you had s great time and learned a lot. Never Give Up Joan
  Joan Y. Edwards
Thanks for telling us about the books you read! I am glad that you were able to hibernate and escape the heat! Never Give Up Joan
  sarahsbookreflections
Oops, sorry about the extra n in your name.
  sarahsbookreflections
Sorry, several factors are at play, Gundrun. First off, at the beginning of the year, I had 3 live threatening illness in a row which put me off my game. Then my regular source of books for review quit and sold her business. This left me without children's books to read. But your kind comments and question have indeed helped to get me back on track. I'll work on a new post this week. Thanks for your comments and I hope all is well with you.

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