I've always appreciated those who post "takeaways" after they attend conventions: nuggets of wisdom that they took away from the event. Everyone's takeaways are different because everyone has different levels of experience and goals.
I'm going to be sharing mine over the next little while, as well as linking to any others that I can find. If you have takeaways or convention reports of your own to add, feel free to post in the comments section!
Jon Scieszka: Tales Of A Picture Book Writer: Do's, Don'ts, Maybes
- Look up the top 100 books listed by School Library Journal and read them.
- Don't do what someone else does. Do what YOU connect with.
- Read bad books, which can be educational.
- Read children's trade publications and kidlit blogs.
- Most picture book manuscripts by new writers can be improved by cutting length by half.
- Don't try to follow the market.
- Read everything in your field that you possible can: library, bookstore.
- Learn and read in prep but once you start to actually WRITE, then forget about trying to follow every rule and industry blog, and just focus on WRITING.
- In retrospect, Jon is glad that his early submissions got rejected.
Other reports on this event: