Hello, fellow writers and illustrators. A happy, crisp early autumn to all of you!
This past Saturday afternoon, I attended the Write-In/Sketch-In for Children’s, YA Writers and Illustrators, co-sponsored by BCPL and the MD/DE/WV Region of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and free for all who came. It was held at the Owings Mills branch of the Baltimore County Public Library, which is brand-spanking-new, and quite nice to visit.
The event was fun and well-attended; there were 15 of us in all. We quietly worked on our various projects and also networked, chatting in small groups about our work and the craft of writing and illustrating for children. There were hourly door prizes. Refreshments were available throughout the event, courtesy of the library and our SCBWI region.
I was able to speak to many of the participants. Sue Peters, our always cheerful co-RA from Delaware, helped to lead the event with Kathy McMillan, hardworking PAL Member Coordinator, who was the chief organizer. Kathy is the author of Sword and Verse, an upcoming (Jan. 2016) release from HarperTeen. She will speak at our conference in March.
We were joined by Cheryl Chang, an author and teacher, and Alena Salanovich, originally from Belarus and just starting out as a new writer; they both helped with the tidying-up at the end — thanks! Sam McCauley was there from Bel Air. He creates board books, and won a door prize. Jacqueline Broy, a retired Anne Arundel County school librarian who has an early reader manuscript with an agent, worked on some writing while she was there and Karen Whiting also joined us. She has been an author for 21 years and also uses puppetry in her storytelling; she’ll be one of our region’s speakers at the March conference. Jackie Ross, an animator and illustrator who went to RISD and Johns Hopkins and has done work for Sesame Street was interesting to talk with. I met a husband and wife team who have published a picture book and create comics together: Rod Hannah, from New Zealand, and his wife Leanne Hannah. Also in attendance were Mitchell Weitzman, Lorraine Bonzelet, Christina Harvey, and Roslyn Dowling, who joined us at the spur of the moment when she met Sue.
I was grinning from ear to ear when Sue Peters congratulated me for the release last week of my picture book, The Sparrow and the Trees by Sharon Chriscoe. My ticket also won a door prize: one of two copies of Dinosaur Name Poems donated by author Steven C. Cunningham, M.D. Sam McCauley won the other copy. Karen Whiting won a copy of my book Fine Life for a Country Mouse.
This was a pleasant and productive way to spend an afternoon. I hope you’ll consider attending one of these events in the future. Many thanks to Kathy and Sue and the BCPL.