Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jon Scieszka: Tales of a Picture Book Writer: Do's, Don'ts, Maybes

Jon Scieszka

This is my summary of Jon Scieszka's keynote speech at the LA SCBWI Conference, 2010.

Guys Read http://www.guysread.com/
2008 Ambassador of Books for Children and Young People

Stuff he wished he'd known when he started out:
- Picture books are around 32 pages
- Submit to an appropriate publisher for your book
- Top 100 picture books list online.
- Worst 100 picture books list online.
- Read the best books and the worst books. Connect with what YOU like.

KidLit blogs JS likes:
- Betsey Bird http://blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/afuse8production
- SCBWI Team Blog http://scbwiconference.blogspot.com/
Leave this behind once you are knowledgable and established.

- Cut your picture book in half. Leave room for the pictures.
- No rhyme, no alphabet books, no underwear and fart books.

Be consoled:
JS got lots of rejections for his “Ugly Duckling” story.

JS mentions his love of “George and Martha” stories by James Marshall.
“George was fond of peeking in windows.
One day George peeked in on Martha.
He never did that again.”
Very sparse text. Very effective.

- Congratulate yourself for attending the conference.
- Just start doing it. Rejections are part of the process.
- Read every PB/MG/YA novel you can.
- Be a storyteller.
- Write what thrills you.
- Put your butt in the chair.

- Lose your vision.
- Chase the market.

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