This past weekend I was fortunate to attend The Children's and Young Adult Literature Conference at The Loft Literary Center. I always find it energizing to participate in events sponsored by the literary community. There were several highlights for me the past two days. One was a networking lunch time moderated by John Coy. He is an accomplished local author who wrote the picture books Night Driving and Strong to the Hoop. I have always enjoyed using these books to teach creative writing. Jon Coy shared some of his insights with the group regarding the challenges of publishing picture books in today's market. At this time he sees a stronger market for chapter books and YA novels in the publishing world. He has moved to that niche in the market with book titles that include: Crackback, Box Out, Top of Order and Eyes on the Goal.
Another highlight for me was Nancy Carlson's presentation Writing and Illustrating Your Work. She is a local author/illustrator who has published over 50 primary children's books that include: Start Saving Henry, Harriet's Recital, and Louanne Pig in Talent Show. Nancy Carlson also spoke to the challenges of the picture books in today's market. She emphasized the importance of marketing and social networking. She has taken on a personal challenge to do a sketch a day for a year and post each one on her blog. Check it out: www.nancycarlson.com
On a personal note I would like to add there a lot of resources and classes to support writers at The Loft Literary Center.
Lastly, I would like to recommend some pictures book titles that were highlighted by Andrea Welch, an editor at beach lane books as fine examples of artistic elements and good writing:
Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus by Mo Willems
Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
LMNO Peas by Keith Baker
Winter Is the Warmest Season by Lauren Stringer (local author/illustrator)
Who Said Coo by Deborah Ruddell
Fold me A Poem by Kristine O"Connell illustrated by Lauren Stringer