Monday, August 8, 2016

SCBWI 2016 Summer Conference Tidbits

I have spent the last week or so trying to return to my “normal” life, after spending a long weekend at the SCBWI 45th Annual Summer Conference, which as we all know, took place at the Millenium Biltmore Hotel, in Los Angeles, at the beginning of the month. As usual, the talent, expertise, good will and cheer of everyone involved boggled my mind! It was wonderful to see old friends, and to meet new ones.

I learned so much as the weekend progressed, and became increasingly sleep-deprived and overwhelmed as time went on, but in a good way! I'm still pouring over my sketchbook, which I filled up with notes and drawings. From the scribbles, I have extracted a few inspired quotes to share with you, along with (very!) rough sketches of the speakers, who I drew while listening to their sage words. Enjoy!  

“Only your life can create your voice.”  ­— Drew Daywalt, author. His books include The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home


“If you’re not struggling and frustrated and failing, you’re not setting your goals high enough.”  ­— Pam Muñoz Ryan, author. Her novels include Esperanza Rising and Becoming Naomi Léon

“Diversity is not a trend... it needs to be the norm.” ­
— Justin Chanda, Vice President, Publisher of 

children’s imprints, Simon & Schuster


“Trust criticism & revision, and allow yourself to learn from it.”  ­— Arthur Levine, Publisher and Editor, Arthur A. Levine Books


“Pick things you like, and things you know. You will get something you didn’t set out to do, but it will be yours.” — John Klassen, author/illustrator. His books include I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat


 “Know your premise before you start. It could be the most important 25 words you write.”
— Carole Boston Weatherford, author and award-winning poet. Her titles include Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America and Freedom in Congo Square



“Be brave and listen. None of us know everything. All of us can learn more.”  ­— Mary Lu, YA author. Her titles include the Legend trilogy and the Young Elites series

“Be brave and spontaneous with your ideas. The more you use, the more you’ll have.”  ­­— Sophie Blackall, illustrator of over 30 books, including Finding Winnie, the Baby Tree and the ongoing Ivy and Bean series


Molly Ruttan
instagram: mollyillo
twitter: @molly_ruttan
FB: Molly Ruttan/MollyRuttan Illustration

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