It gives me great pleasure to invite children’s book writers and illustrators to the eleventh annual Pacific Northwest Children’s Book Conference, sponsored by Portland State University and held on the beautiful campus of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Our terrific faculty this year includes Susan Blackaby, Marla Frazee, David Gifaldi, Ann Whitford Paul, Susan Goldman Rubin, Elsa Warnick, and Emily Whitman. Because they are published authors and illustrators and experienced teachers, they are able to communicate in ways that are truly meaningful to students. Their sympathy for the creative struggle—having been through it themselves—and their willingness to share what they’ve learned are among the assets that distinguish our conference from most others.
Our special guest this summer is Liz Bicknell, editorial director of Candlewick Press, one of the country’s outstanding publishers of children’s books. In her 13 years at Candlewick, she has published numerous award-winning titles in all genres, and brings an enthusiasm and intelligence to her work that is reflected in her success. Liz will provide a fresh perspective on the world of children’s book publishing today.
This summer we have a full week of lectures that focus on the craft of writing: creating memorable characters, writing picture books, finding your story, avoiding the “show, don’t tell” pitfall, getting started in nonfiction, writing great dialogue, probing the young adult market and overcoming the difficulties of living a creative life. First page analyses, an open mic, and more—all this in a retreat-like campus setting!
In the afternoons, illustrators will work on creating compelling and enduring characters and will learn about the “tools” of the illustrator and the business side of their profession; writers will divide into workshop groups led by a faculty member. (In order to be sure you are assigned to a group at your level of experience, we ask that you email the first five pages of your manuscript by June 22, 2010. For details, please see page 10 of this brochure.) These workshops will provide feedback and support for writers in a collegial setting. Individual manuscript and portfolio critiques will also be available.
Attendees will have the option of staying on campus and sharing meals with the faculty. This chance to exchange ideas and make connections is a major factor in contributing to the friendly atmosphere that makes this conference memorable.
I look forward to seeing you this summer!
Linda Zuckerman, Director
Pacific Northwest Children’s Book Conference