I just returned from a week in New York City; three days spent at the SCBWI conference and three days visiting publishing houses. It was an epic trip!
SCBWI conferences are always a blur of information, inspiration, new friends, old friends, and just non-stop fun. I was so happy to be able to spend ample time with friend and fellow mentee, Debbie Ohi. Another illustrator I was happy to spend time with was Mike Boldt, who directed me on a drawing for The ABC’s of Northern Ghana charity project. We also share an agent, so it feels like we’re siblings of a sort.
The meetings with publishers were unbelievably exciting. They were set up as a result of my win at the last Summer SCBWI conference, and it was humbling just to be talking with these publishing giants.
My meetings were with Liz Szabla, editor at Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan), Jordan Brown, Alessandra Balzer and Donna Bray, editors and publishers at Balzer and Bray (HarperCollins), Laurent Linn, art director at Simon and Schuster, and Patti Ann Harris, art director, with Connie Hsu, editor at Little Brown Books. We looked through my portfolio and talked about the work they like, as well as what they’ve been working on lately. Needless to say, I would love for the opportunity to work with these folks!
Last, but definitely not least, was my meeting with Nancy Paulsen and Cecilia Yung, my editor and art director at Penguin Books for Young Readers. We discussed our current book project, and had a wonderful 2 hour lunch. It was so great to get to know Nancy in person – I am so lucky to be working with these two incredibly supportive women!
With all the time spent at these meetings, I can’t wait to get back soon to do more exploring in the beautiful City of New York.