Sunday started off with the Portfolio Exhibition awards. Tomie dePaola had a short list of illustrators he liked: Sandre Griffin, Larry Day, Jim Carroll, Andrew Mitchell, and Sarah Stern
And the winner of the Tomie dePaola Award of $1000 art supply gift certificate was Heather Powers.
The winners of the juried exhibition were:
Honorable Mention - John Rocco and John Deininger
3rd place - Alan Witschonke
2nd place - P.A. Lewis
Winner of a full-page in picture book and a trip to NY to visit art directors - Jim Carroll
Susan Patron, winner of the 2007 Newbery Medal for The Higher Power of Lucky, gave us a hilarious list of how she went about winning the Newbery and what she's been doing this whole past year as the Newbery winner. One tip from her list, "Words for body parts may be used where needed if they are of service to the story." In case you haven't heard what was all over the media this past year, Susan used the word "scrotum" in numerous places in her book and many people wanted to ban the book because of it. Ridiculous. It was referring to a snake biting a dog's scrotum and the main character asks an adult what the word means. The adult gives a nice, scientific answer. I think that shows kids that it's ok to ask adults about words that you hear and don't know what they mean. Now that the 2008 Newbery winner has been picked, Susan's husband calls her an Oldbery.
Next was a panel on the path of the picture book. It included Arthur Levine (the publisher/editor), Jonah Winter (the author), John Mason (sales at Scholastic), Tracey Van Straaten (publicity at Scholastic), and Bob Brown (bookseller). But sadly, no illustrator was on the panel. Jonah talked about how he got his idea for the picture book, Dizzy and how Arthur signed it up. The editor helps to focus a book. Sum up the manuscript in one sentence and parts that distract from the main point needs to be cut for picture books. Eliminate extraneous material. After the art layouts were created by Sean Qualls, Arthur showed them to Jonah. Jonah thought the art looked too somber for such an exuberant story, so some changes were suggested to the illustrator and it made the book much stronger. John Mason talked about how wonderful Jonah's reading of the text was, so marketing decided to make a recording of Jonah reading the book and sent that out to reviewers and librarians. Tracy used the starred reviews to market the book further through magazines, newspapers, and the media. Black History Month provided more marketing opportunities. Bob talked about why he bought this picture book for his store and how excited he was about it.
The last speaker was Richard Peck, a novelist. "Our readers are looking for themselves in our books." "Fiction is not real life with the names changed." "If you can't find yourself in the pages of a book early in life, you'll go looking in all the wrong places."
After the conference was over, we all said our good-byes. Here's a pic of my roommate Susan and me:
I stayed for four more days after the conference to sight-see in New York with my husband and to drop off portfolios at various publishers. It was a fun week!