Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Interview with Leanne Hatch - 2020 SCBWI Summer Spectacular Showcase Honor Winner

© Leanne Hatch

Hi there Leanne! How does it feel winning the Honor among so many other talented artists?

Receiving one of the portfolio honors was an absolute surprise and I couldn’t be more excited! I almost didn’t submit my portfolio since the conference was online and more accessible to so many amazing artists. I was so sure mine would just get lost amongst a sea of incredible talent (and there was A LOT of incredible talent!) At the last minute, I decided it’s important to take every opportunity to put your work out into the world and it turned out, my portfolio did not get lost!

Absolutely! I'm so glad you submitted your portfolio. What kind of projects are you working on now?

I am wrapping up my first picture book, UNRAVELED, which comes out Summer 2021 and am working on revised sketches for my second picture book which will come out the following year. I have enjoyed every second I've spent working on these projects and can’t wait until others can enjoy them too!

Wow! Congratulations! Is there any other type of illustration work that you’re hoping for in the near future?

So far, my stories have been written and illustrated by me. I would love the chance, as an illustrator, to help bring someone else’s story to life.

© Leanne Hatch

That would be lovely. Is there one really helpful piece of advice that you’ve gotten since pursuing illustration? 

I am pretty new to the children’s book industry so I’m still taking it all in! I think one important piece of advise is to always be open to change and suggestions. Writing and illustrating is very personal and after spending a lot of time with your ideas and characters as you develop them, it’s easy to get attached and used to them being a certain way. Discussing your work with your editor or critique group or even children is so valuable in getting a fresh perspective which almost always results in a better story. 

That's good advice! What was one of your favorite quotes or lessons from the SCBWI Summer Conference?  

I learned something from every single presentation but as an illustrator, I was most inspired by LeUyen Pham. She’s amazing. From her suggestion that understanding design far outweighs the ability to draw to her lessons on how to create compositions that carry the reader through the entire story. Who knew that the figure eight could hold someone's attention? I’ve already started incorporating her techniques into my current project!

Yes! So many good tips! What were some of your favorite books when you were a kid?

I grew up in the 70s and 80s and loved Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss and Richard Scary books. I remember daydreaming about being a little mouse and getting to live in my dollhouse. Another book I will never forget was called "My Mama Says there aren’t any Zombies, Ghost, Vampire, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins, or Things" by Judith Viorst. One of the illustrations frightened me so much, the book remained shoved under my parent’s bed for the rest of my childhood. It’s possible that it’s still there!

© Leanne Hatch

Hehehe, I love that book! So where can we find you online?

My website is
and I can be found on instagram @leannehatch_illustration



Interview by Meridth McKean Gimbel, a kidlit writer, artist, & champion taco cruncher who is currently building a time machine. They are also represented by Linda Pratt at Wernick & Pratt. You can follow their work at:

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