Monday, April 23, 2012

SCBWI WA 2012 Children's book Conference and Nikki Dolls

  Here is last years and this years Nikki dolls.

It was so fun to have a little friend Nikki to go with me as we learned about how to get his book published.


I had a fun outfit for each day at the SCBWI conference.
And then there is the reality of getting your book past all these people to finally end up in a childs hands and dreams. There were so many great lecturers. I loved two agents. One was Rubin Pfeffer. This was his slide at his great lecture about Picture Books being alive and well in this economy.  He read my first page of my book in one of the lectures. Too long for this picture book market. Now a picture book needs to be 800 words or less!!!  But they like what they read..just needs to be shortened and voice younger. 

Lots of fun...



Mellisa Sweet is a wonderful artists and children's book author illustrator. Please check out here links and web. Also an interview with her link. 


Mellisa Sweet's wonderful lecture on illustrating and writing a children's book. Her art is beautiful and her work ethic is inspiring.

I loved Andrea Welch lecture; Making Your Picture Book a Perfect 10.

Andrea Welch from Beach Lane Books
This is the review of her lecture from SCBWI ,

The first impression is key: Does she laugh? Does it have fun with the language? Does her heart ache for the character? Does she want to read it aloud? "I will never get used to that feeling I get when I open something up and say, 'Oh my God, this could be amazing!'"

Does it have certain crucial elements? She asks 10 questions (we're sharing five) 


  1. Who is this manuscript for and does it have a clear audience? 
  2. Is the project emotionally engaging?
  3. Does the manuscript meet a specific childhood developmental/emotional need? 
  4. Does the manuscript have a highly creative concept, structure, and execution? 
  5. Does it use clever, evocative language? 

"Emotionally engaging doesn't mean sappy," she sais. "It means it speakers to a reader's heart somehow." The Mo Willems pigeon books speak to a child's desire to want to do something, for example.

"If a manuscript is funny, it will get my attention," she says. "If it's funny and full of heart, I probably won't be able to resist it."



Eddie Gamarra was a wonderful person and knowlegable agent. He answered all my questions about a book becoming a movie!! He helped me personally with a private time in the hall giving me advice. We also left him a DVD of the movie I did of my husband John Doan in Ireland playing his music. I linked his name to an interview on another blog. He was worth the whole conference and yet there were so many more friends, lectures, books to look my heart is full. 

Here's Eddie!
I learned the most I have ever learned this year. This is the 4 SCBWI conference I have been too. And this time I woke up and really understood what they were saying. I now have a plan on how make the changes I need to make to allow my book a chance to be published. It seemed like I was on a cloud with all the tips and personal help I got! I am excited to get to it. I would really recommend the SCBWI conferences. I could only go to one conference this spring and I picked SCBWI. I was sad I missed Art Fest this year but now I know the sacrifice was worth it!






6 comments:

Lisa Graham Art said...

I love your dolls Deirdra! There is a craft fair about an hour away from where I live here in Kansas every September...your booth would sell out I am sure.

I did not know you were working on publishing a children's book...how wonderful!

Karla said...

Oh Deirdra... I was thrilled to read about your time at the conference... I can just hear how much you were inspired, encouraged and over-the-top blessed!! I am so happy for you. We'll have to plan another time together next month some time... hugs... Karla

Simply Heidi said...

Great review. Are you attending the SCBWI spring conference? It will be my first. :)

Simply Heidi said...

Oops, I should have clarified - SCBWI Oregon. The one in Portland. :)

Dawn Babb Prochovnic said...

Great summary, Deirdra! Thanks for sharing.

Sarah Pogue said...

Best of luck getting your book published! I'll be sure to buy a copy for my daughter when it is =)
Thanks for sharing what you learned at the conference.