The Big New York Trip



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!

Photo by Debbie Ohi

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.

(photo on right by Debbie Ohi)

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.

Visiting publishing houses! Harper Collins (left), Macmillan (center), Simon and Schuster (top), Little Brown Books (bottom)

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!

In front of the building at Penguin

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!

A view from Central Park

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.


  1. Eliza, the pictures are great, the illustration is just beautiful and your visits to the publishers sound wonderful. I’m so happy for you. It was great to see you, too. Exciting times ahead! Can’t wait to see what’s coming for you.

    • Oh thank you Juana! It was SO wonderful to see you there, and I really wished we had gotten lunch at some point. Let’s be sure to do that at the next gathering! I’m hoping you have a very creative and productive 2012!

  2. Wow Eliza! Love the illustration and the photos. Congratulations again! Sounds and looks like a dream come true!

  3. Eliza! Looks like you had an amazing time in the Big Apple! Cheers to you, my friend! I’m so happy for you, and so happy that people are taking notice of your incredible talent.

  4. I love the armful of books, the joy of looking up.

  5. Congratulations Eliza, What a wonderful post and another fabulous illustration! So glad you enjoyed your time in New York!

  6. Konnichi wa – We wrote our words to you and then translated them into Japanese and then back to English. Here is what we say:

    Yay, we are very excited for you! You deserve all the money. I think we love your work, and want to see it on the shelf for decades to come.

    Go Eliza happy time!!

  7. Love the illustration—what a great representation of your work! It looks like you had a very productive trip!

  8. Hi! I love your little NY illo! (We met briefly and had a nice chat at the conference). I admire your work, and I’m glad you had such a great time there! :)

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