12 February 2010

Looking Forward to SCBWI New England’s Spring Conference

SCBWI New England’s annual spring conference is coming up on 14-16 May 2010, and registration has opened here.

I’ll lead two workshops at that conference, on:

I proposed the latter workshop because it was on the list of topics that attendees had requested in previous years. I figured I’d been collecting information about the topic, studying comics scripts, and trying out ideas, so I’ll have plenty to share. And if people with more experience proposed a workshop on the same topic, the organizers would choose them instead.

This month I saw the full conference program, and realized that the organizers had recruited an award-winning comics creator to lead another workshop about graphic novels…Matt Phelan.

Of course he has the great advantage of being able to draw and write, which produces a different process. The conference organizers did a swell job of arranging his appearance before Roger Sutton announced that The Storm in the Barn won the Scott O’Dell Award, which both raised the book’s profile and set me to questioning whether the story leaves the realm of historical fiction for fantasy. And now I may have the chance to discuss that question with Matt Phelan himself!

This is the second year in a row that Roger has gotten me in mildly warm water this way. Back in 2008 The Horn Book invited me to review Road to Oz, the picture-book biography of L. Frank Baum written by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. I generally liked the book, but questioned the overall narrative and what I felt was a stylistic quirk in Krull’s text.

Last July I went to California for the Winkie Convention of Oz fans, and one of the speakers was…Kathleen Krull! In fact, due to the randomness of seating in the Asilomar dining hall, we ended up sitting next to each other at lunch. Half a second of frozen time after glances at name tags, and then we had a fine discussion.

But really, I have to watch out for Roger.


Kathleen Krull said...

I strive to be mature.

J. L. Bell said...

And I strive to keep up.