Back in May, I wrote a thank you letter to the Society Of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Stephen Mooser wrote back the following:
Hi Debbie—Wow and Congratulations—we keep a file, and a posting of SCBWI Success Stories and not only is yours one of the best, but it may also be the most entertaining of all time---you have made our day and we are so happy for your well deserved success—looking forward to seeing you again soon—all best wishes from all of us here at the office, Steve
As I was doing some prep for the SCBWI conference in LA next week, I realized that posting my thank you letter publicly might be of interest to some of you out there…especially those who have never been to an SCBWI event:
May 19, 2012
I’m writing to thank you all. Since I started attending your conventions regularly in 2009, so many opportunities have come my way.
I first heard about your organization and events from Santa Barbara area author named Lee Wardlaw, who was my writing mentor. Lee also introduced me to her agent at Curtis Brown, Ginger Knowlton, and Ginger eventually became my agent.
I was nervous when I decided to register for the Summer Conference in LA in 2009. I had attended many years before, but Lee had been there to introduce me around. This time I'd be going alone. What if no one talked to me?
When I got to the conference, I was surprised and delighted to find out that my fears were unfounded. Everyone was friendly, and I met kindred spirits everywhere: sitting beside me while we were waiting for a workshop or keynote to begin, at the many social events throughout the weekend, even in line for the women's restroom. Especially in line for the women's restroom.
And the BNA's were friendly and talked with me. Yes, even Jay Asher!
(You can see other comics I did leading up to the event here: http://bit.ly/xRxKRk )
I learned so much at that event and came away incredibly inspired plus during the year, I kept in touch with many of the people I had met.
Fast forward to the 2010 Summer Conference.
After I was rejected for the manuscript critique (it was my fault; I had misread the rules), my illustrator friend Beckett Gladney suggested that I enter the SCBWI Illustration Portfolio Showcase instead. I thought she was crazy because (1) I had no art training and (2) I had no portfolio. Beckett went through sketches and doodles I had been posting on Flickr, and helped me put together my very first portfolio.
AND THEN SOMETHING AMAZING HAPPENED.
Not only did I win one of two runners-up in the overall Showcase, but I was also chosen for the SCBWI Illustration Mentorship Program. In addition to one-on-one sessions with six industry experts during the convention, I also met a wonderful group of illustrators who have since become friends.
We encourage and commiserate by e-mail, launched a SCBWI M
Este bichito nació de un ejercicio que estoy haciendo. Dibujé todas la letras del alfabeto y a partir de sus formas básicas ilustré personajes. Este es el primero y está basado en la letra A. Eventualmente tendré una familia completa de bichitos raros.
This creature was born from an exercise that I´m doing. I drew all the letters in the alphabet and from their basic forms illustrated characters. This one is the first and it´s based on the letter A. Eventually I´ll have a complete family of weird creatures.
...because it's my favorite day of the year :)
happy valentine's day!
love, pippa....and me :)
I got a pingback on yesterday’s post and it got me to thinking about another item between family members and friends.
Dreams flow well in letters, don’t they? I think we’ve lost part of that connection, especially because of the internet. No anticipation flutters our heartbeat when we think of getting an email. That sensation came when we waited for real mail, on paper, with ink covering the page like so much ivy growing out toward us, carrying dreams, images, and speculations. Secrets huddled within the lines of word leaves, providing us with tiny thrills and mysteries.
These were the reasons we wrote to cousins, best friends on vacation, or pen pals. Most of that is gone now with the arrival of internet. That loss is what I regret, for now, instead of picking up fountain pen and paper, I reach for a keyboard, and the thought and care that would had gone into writing to a love one has dissipated into a mist of remembered pleasure.
Can you imagine how much of our world’s history, knowledge, and philosophy would not exist if it weren’t for written letters?
Much of the ancient world would be a mystery to use without those letters between philosophers and historians. The treatise is a simple extension of the letter. Those documents formed the very foundation of what we know as literature, scientific notation, constitutions, etc.
Family members wrote to one another, knowing that they might never get a response from the one who’d moved so far away, or the one who’d stayed in the old neighborhood/country. Hope clung to fragile ink-covered pages, written with love, despair, anticipation, disgust, and all the rest of human emotion. Did those pioneers recognize the tradition they followed from a thousand years before?
As we move further into a new world that disdains the tangible personal letter, we need to look back for a moment to imprint in our minds what we’re giving up. Physical remains of letters have survived for thousands of years. One badly timed lightning strike can wipe out years of work or correspondence.
Mother Nature doesn’t care about electrons that floated around or are stored in the ether around us. A scrambled atmosphere can do as much damage in the long run as a flood. All communication is vulnerable to disaster, computer driven no less than the Pony Express.
At the end of the day, though, we choose to use our time to communicate with dreams, aspirations, and secrets from one person to another, or merely to open a channel and punch keys.
The individual decides. Quick and dirty or thoughtful and fulsome? When is the last time letters arrived in your mailbox?
for such a little girl, pippa has a mighty BIG heart. so, her "intention" is to share the love. not just on valentine's day....but EVERYDAY!:)
From a fan:
I really like the book How to Steal a Dog. I think we have a lot in common. Do you like horses and rodeos? Yes, I know I'm changing the subject.
here is my contribution to this week's i.f. theme of 'mail'. i painted it last year so that i could use the image for my 'contact page' of my website.
it's me...in my uggs;)
btw, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all my friends out there! thank you for traveling with me on the road to becoming a successful children's illustrator:)
can't wait for lots of new endeavors in 2011...
We’ve come a long way in this 31 Days of Thinking Like a Writer, a challenge to write at least 750 words each day.
Secrets and Letters
Letters written in the 1860s
We haven’t written any letters yet in our creative writing prompts, but today’s the day. Letters have an intimate feeling because they are usually written from one person’s heart to another person’s heart (unless it is a business letter, but that’s not what I’m talking about here). There’s an implied emotional connection right away.
Letters can be inform about facts or events; they carry emotional baggage that can be negative or positive.
Today, write a letter from your character to another character in the story.
Start with “I am writing to tell you something important. . . ”
For fun, reveal a secret in the most emotional way possible.
Use concrete sensory details, set the mood of the letter with our mood exercise, and let the story unfold slowly. You can not fully reveal the secret until the last sentence or paragraph.
It’s an exercise in drawing out the tension in a short piece of writing, as you Think Like a Writer
For more info, see writeapicturebook.com