Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Summer Roundup: ALA Conference, Classes, More




The summer has gone by in a flash, but here's a recap of the American Library Association (ALA) convention in Orlando and other kid lit activities that kept me busy.

ALA Convention


The ALA Convention was a dream come true as a debut author. Lee & Low Books invited me to join their line up of authors signing books, so I headed to Orlando for a weekend in late June with my older daughter. Not only was it thrilling to sign my book, but I got to meet so many kidlit friends and idols walking around the convention center. Some memories:




It was so official. My photo with all these amazing Lee & Low authors.

My author signing table

New friends and kid lit luminaries (l-r) : Marsha Diane Arnold, Katy Duffield, Lane Smith, Jen Swanson, Minh Le, Dan Santat, Kathryn Otoshi, Kwame Alexander, Miranda Paul.

Picture Book Writing Class at The Muse Writing Center

This summer I taught a 6-session picture book writing class at The Muse, a great local writing center where I've taken many workshops over the past few years. It was really fun to consolidate everything I knew about picture book writing and to work with talented students.

Workshops and Webinars on Author Platform Building

This summer I also gave a workshop and did a joint webinar with my Kidlit411 partner in crime, Elaine Kiely Kearns for the SCBWI on social media and platform building. The in person workshop was part of a series of local Tidewater SCBWI events that Vanessa Barger and I have organized on a monthly basis for our area, and the webinar was presented by the Texas SCBWI.

Elaine and I talked about our experience building Kidilt411 from an idea to a well-respected kid lit resource website in 2.5 half years. Some cool milestones: 3400 Facebook members in our group; over 430,000 page views; and we've been listed on a number of "Best of" lists, including Writer's Digest's 101 Best Websites for Writers in 2015 and 2016.

Summer Fun

Along the way, our family had great fun. My daughters went to camp, we went to a lot of softball games, and had some fun family outings. But most of all, it was a summer of beautiful sunsets:

My local supermarket in June
Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach, VA 

Salem Fair, July 4th weekend
Salem Fiar




Burlington, VT has the best sunsets I've seen
Five cousins on the shores of Lake Burlington, VT

Onward and Upward

Now that the girls are back at school, I've got time to devote myself again to writing and illustrating. What projects are you working on? Leave a comment!

9 comments:

  1. What a fabulously productive, and yet fun, summer you had! I did a whole lotta nothing. Well, not nothing. I was lying down in pain a lot. That seems about equivalent to your summer! :D Congrats on all your accomplishments!

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  2. Sylvia, it is thrilling to see your smiling face while you're signing your book- and such a class-act publisher who produced it. onward, upward, indeed, and I'll look forward to seeing pix of your next successes and steps along the way.

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  3. Fun times! Oh, if only the east coast was a bit closer to the west coast! LOL. We sold our home and moved this summer, so summer flew past in a flurry of boxes. Hoping to settle down now and get my writing schedule back! Congrats on all of the great adventures!

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  4. Great roundup in words and pictures of a well-balanced summer in which you hit professional and personal highs! You've inspired me to make my fall season count.

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  5. How cool to meet all those authors!

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  6. Sounds like a great and memorable summer!!

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  7. There are many specialized conference and meeting space San Francisco out there which are in high demand. This is because of the aura and atmosphere in the rooms. You must visit their site to get a sneak peek of the rooms.

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