I've just returned from three amazing days in Auckland at the Storylines Hui - a conference for children's book writers and illustrators. Here are some notes from the sessions I attended...
Workshop: Great ideas and writing texts for picture books with Kyle Mewburn
Kyle took us a high-octane roller-coaster ride of his tips and tricks:
Workshop: Illustrating children's books with Gavin Bishop
Gavin took us through his journey into children's books, which began with a degree in fine arts. Listening to his story was an absolute delight. Here are some of the pointers I took away:
We all had the opportunity to pitch to publishers and agents if we wanted to. I pitched to three publishers. I need to work on my pitch, but I really appreciated the chance to meet the publishers and hear their feedback.
I'm including a line about our conference dinner because our table won third prize in the 'design a label for a bottle of wine' competition! We won for 'The Little Yellow Swigger' (other possible label ideas included 'The Wine in the Meadow' and 'Duck Drunk').
Workshop: Illustration for children's picture books with Vasanti Unka
I love Vasanti's work and her workshop was really useful. Some top takeaways include:
Workshop: Writing catchy poetry for children with Paula Green
I entered the workshop with some serious FOMO (David Elliot was giving a workshop at the same time, which I missed) but Paula's session was an absolute delight.
The conference finished with a wonderful speech from Joy Cowley, who spoke about the power of books to affirm and empower children. It was a fabulous hui and I'm already looking forward to the next one!
Kathryn is the author of short story collection Pet, and the winner of the Mindfood Short Story Competition and the Headland Short Story Prize.