Next weekend I'm heading up to New Paltz, NY for the 21st Century Children's Non-Fiction Conference. Check it out at http://21cnfc.ezregister.com/
As a newbie in the world of writing for children, I thought this would be a super introduction to the craft, as well as a way to begin to network with folks involved in publishing the kind of books I visualize myself creating. I found out about it from a website I connected to several years ago, John Bard's site on writing for children http://cbiclubhouse.com. Thanks for the great tip John.
It's been my dream, for more years than some of my readers have been alive, to write and illustrate books for children. I don't mean just any book, but a "forever green" book: one that children and parents will still be reading two or three or four generations from now. This will be my 5th career, if I count correctly. It's time to make the BIG dream come true!
I retired from teaching about five years ago, and determined to take my writing goal seriously. I wrote a novel for 8 to 10 year-olds my first year. Sent it in to an editor in New York and received a polite, if fairly nondescript rejection. I've piddled around with that manuscript a number of times since, but the passion seemed to have cooled. My book was about a nice little girl, and it seems that these days mean girls are what sells. Then I saw an ad for a course on Writing and Illustrating Children's books, at the Montclair Art Museum. At the end of the eight week class, taught by Kristine Lombardi, I now have a dummy ready to try to sell. So the conference seemed like the next step. I'll blog later about how I got that far that fast.
Both Kristine and my classmates have been extremely helpful in revising my dummy. I signed up for a one-on-one session at the conference and was assigned to Roxie Munro. Roxie has been awesome in providing guidance in preparing for the meeting. Between these two knowledgeable young women, I feel confident that I am on the right track as I prepare for this new journey.
Things I will take:
1. A well designed "dummy" (a rough model of my book)
2. Two or three pieces of near-final art work
3. Samples of my illustration work in several styles
4. A pile of business cards with contact information included
5. "Give Away" postcards with a sample of my art work, a concise description of my new book, On the Laundry Lawn, contact information and a rebus showing how my last name is pronounced.
6. A few copies of a concise resume and my publication list in case some publisher wants more info.
7. A proposal for Roxie to review with me
8. At least one piece of art work to enter in the contest. I can leave my cards by the display for more publicity.
9. A bag with my art work on it and the name of my book, in which to carry all my materials, neatly and visibly.
10. My laptop, so I can blog with you and keep you up to date on how the conference is going.