This past Saturday I had the opportunity to attend a seminar by the Canadian Children's Book Centre. It was a wonderful morning packed with advice and discussion from some of our canadian author/illustrators, publishers and booksellers. I still can't quite believe I was in the same room as some of these fabulous people-pinch me. Award-winning authors Frieda Wishinsky, Gillian O'Reilly, Kevin Sylvester, and yes Barbara Reid! I know, double pinch me!! It was interesting that each spoke of non-fiction writing, and how it is often something we don't immediately consider when we think about children's books. But now I sure will! Especially considering my background in science. They all hit home how important it was to write about what you know and love, and to honour your voice.
I left so inspired and energized that I started brainstorming ideas for my own picture book manuscript the very next day.
Canadian publishers Margie Wolfe and Sheba Meland shared the inside scoop on what they are looking for; from cover letter advice, to how to stand out in their slush pile. Booksellers Maria Martella and Saffron Beckwith spoke about what librarians, schools and bookstores are looking for in new children's books.
Overall it was a very informative and inspiring seminar. The speakers were so kind, humble and honest in their thoughtful responses to how they began their careers and found success in this industry.
After this seminar I am really looking forward to my next conference: "Package your Imagination" by CANSCAIP this November. And I think I better start saving my pennies because next on my list will be an SCBWI conference :)