Today I attended Day 1 of the Fall Mid Atlantic SCBWI Conference. I had the pleasure of attending an intensive workshop lead by author and illustrator (and so much more!) Pat Cummings. With over 30 children’s book under her belt, she is a wealth of information for those like me who are just starting to navigate the world of kid lit. The main message that I took away from the 3 hour class was don’t be discouraged and do what you’re passionate about; just be you. While, yes, there are many unspoken “rules” to discover in the industry, sometimes you just have to forge ahead and try to take advice from those who’ve learned these lessons already (like Pat Cummings). I also learned to RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! Find those publishers and editors that match you and what you believe in. While there are many industry standards, there’s also room for new and exciting ideas, creative superstars and just ordinary people who are passionate about making books for children. All of this can happen but not without plenty of hard work. Below are some resources that Ms. Cummings mentioned today.
Children’s Book Council: www.cbcbooks.org
AAR – Association of Authors Representatives, Inc. (for contract help): aaronline.org
The Authors Guild: www.authorsguild.org
Society of Illustrators: www.societyillustrators.org