Saturday, August 02, 2008

SCBWI Success Stories...

Conference sessions for the day ended with a panel of authors and illustrators who found success through SCBWI, whether through grants, portfolio showcases, or simply through learning from conference sessions. The panel featured authors Jay Asher, Paula Yoo and Lisa Yee and illustrators John Rocco and Yuji Morales.

Here's a little something from each of them on getting started:

Lisa Yee said her biggest obstacle was "stupidity." Finally attending a conference got her to a place where writing stopped being a hobby and became a mission.

John Rocco said wins at the NYC conference portfolio showcase in 2004 and 2007 really helped him gain exposure for his work. Then he did a lot of research, cut down his day job, and illustrated his first picture book.

Jay Asher
said there was a moment he realized that his dream of being an author was something he wanted to go after, but after years of rejections (although good ones) he thought he'd never figure out what all those editors in New York wanted. So he took his wife out to dinner and told her he was going to quite writing--and she stared to cry. So he didn't.

Yuyi Morales said that once she decided to go for it, she had nothing to lose, nothing to go back to. She just had her husband, her son, and the public library. And she studied picture books, finally winning an SCBWI grant, and her first assignment after an LA portfolio showcase.

Paula Yoo said, "I know this is cheesy, but it's about what you want to say in your heart." She said don't worry about getting published--her novel worked when she mined her memories and stared writing the truth in her fiction.


Candy Gourlay said...

SCBWI has really made a difference to my own journey. Not just in enlightenment but in finding good friends who share my passion. Thanks for writing about the conference - great for us SCBWIites across the Atlantic!

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