Spring is a lovely time of year, don’t you agree?
On a sunny spring day last weekend I attended the Kiwi SCBWI Picture Books 201 workshop headed by award-winning author and illustrator, Sally Sutton and Nina Rycroft. After attending last year’s SCBWI workshop 101 having had such fun, I had no intention of missing this one. I was not disappointed!
Geared at editing, Sally had us slashing prose and reworking rhymes. Boy, this was no mean feat for someone who shires away from rhyming text, I can tell you! Sally also provided us with checklists for both prose and rhyming text as well as a storyboard to work with. It was interesting hearing about changes one has to be aware of should you choose publishing internationally. Even in one of her books sounds such as ‘ping’ ‘ring’ etc had to be changed as they sounded like tin (something sharp) and therefore considered unsafe for kids. Interesting also to hear of what we considered as perfect rhyming words were changed for international publishing due to different dialect in, say, USA and Canada. I loved seeing how one of her stories changed, from its original draft to the finished product. From the title, to the changed words, sentences, dialogue, deleting and rewriting. I always come away with new thoughts on how I can improve my own work. Check out her lovely website.
Nina took over with displays of her wonderful, colourful illustrations. Explaining the process from idea and interpretation of a text to pencilled drawing, from thumbnail to A3 watercolours. Nina has illustrated a number of award-winning books and also is author and illustrator of the richly produced Ballroom Bonanza. Look at this and her other illustrations here, they are such a delight. As you see in the picture above Nina happily guided us through a number of drawings with such ease. I so enjoyed this as I loved drawing at school as a kid. Below was my attempt. I so hope they have another workshop next year!