The logo designed for the event by Austin illustrator Dallion MacGregor said it neatly — the dawn of a new era for a device known for centuries as the book.

Social media consultant Nick Alter (left), illustrator-author Clint Young (center) and graphic designer, comics art and web consultant Erik Kuntz (right) prepare for their presentations this past weekend. On the monitor is Clint’s illustration of Mole for The Wind in the Willows: Redux by Newbery Honor author Jacqueline Kelly.

Organized by the Austin, Texas SCBWI chapter and sponsored by St. Edward’s University, it delivered on what it had promised: Authors, illustrators and other venturesome book people sharing what they’d learned in the field about unleashing stories for e-books and digital interactive book apps and iPhone game apps and animations using TED-style chalk talks — using crazy blends of traditional and digital tools.

Designer, writer, comics artist, animator, owner of Erik Kuntz

Creating and maintaining your web persona presented by Erik Niells

“You can’t expect your agent or publisher to do it for you anymore: your main publicist is you. Not matter what stage you are at in your publishing career, creating a compelling and accessible online presence is a necessity. Your brand is no longer just your work: the audience now wants to feel a connection with you,” Erik explained before taking his listeners through the not-actually-that-scary world of blogs, search engines, social media, book trailers and other tools for effectively promoting yourself promoting yourself. 
Standing out in the e-book crowd: storybook apps, enhanced content, and digital marketing extras presented by Deanna Roy

Deanna Roy, publisher at Casey Shay Press, an independent press based in Austin developed Dust Bunnies, a special-featured iPad/iPhone storybook app, in partnership with Polycot Labs.  She also created Kids Show Kids How to Make Balloon Animals for all color e-book platforms. Deanna spoke of going beyond uploading text and covers and creating enhanced e-book content with bonus features to set your book apart. Illustrators or authors can pitch unique storybook apps to developers or have them custom-built.

There’s an app for that presented by Amanda Williams. The illustrator/art director of the award-winning game Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, developed by Tiger Style Games spoke of creating apps for Apple devices such as iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

She shared the fascinating story of how a small, dedicated virtual team of programmers, designers, and musicians from around the U.S. pulled together to create Spider — an experience that was new to her as an illustrator. Amanda showed examples of art for interactive game apps and some of the tools and techniques (digital and traditional) she uses to create environments for mobile video games.

Clint YoungIllustrator Clint Young with one of his illustrations for “Rat” of Jacqueline Kelly’s “Wind in the Willows” sequel, “Wind in the Willows: Redux”

From paper to pixels; the art of the digital paintbrush was presented by animation and game concept artist Clint Young, who has worked for major entertainment companies such as LucasArts Entertainment to game-maker Bioware.

Young demonstrated how he creates his own brushes in Photoshop to produce finished art pieces that look and feel like they’ve been crafted from real paint. They’re layered for animation and ready to be delivered to an editor.

Getting discovered and why you should absolutely give your stories away for free presented by Bear James. Whether in print or on the iPad, the children’s literature marketplace is always getting more crowded.  Being ignored means failure, and although no magic elixir exists for getting your stories discovered, author, illustrator, and designer Bear James presented some interesting trends and unconventional solutions he’s observed from other countries, markets, and the recent past.

Bear James

By being savvy about new technologies, marketing, game theory, and engaging with the fans, Bear aims to offer stories that continue to grow with people beyond the confines of a traditional book.

Bear’s presentation


Picture book author Lindsey Lane talks about the journey of her picture book, “Snuggle Mountain” (Clarion) illustrated by Melissa Iwai to a new life as an app for an iPhone and an iPad.  Below,  Brad Graeber, CEO, and co-founder of  Powerhouse Animation (left) and freelance illustrator Joel Hickerson (right) showed how YouTube can be used to educate, promote and publicize.

Joel Hickerson


Clint Young and Mr. Toad


Writer – illustrators Nicole Cortichiato and Gene Brenek 



Austin SCBWI founder Meredith Davis, Shelli Cornelison, and Girllustrators Amy Farrier, Emma Virjan, and Marsha Riti wait for a session. Below, Christy Stallop, Marsha Riti, Amy Farrier, and Houston SCBWI illustrators coordinator Diandra Mae catch up.

Illustrator Christy Stallop takes notes while Richard Johnson of InteractBooks introduces the InteractBuilder software via Skype from his Los Angeles hotel room.

Illustrator Christy Stallop takes notes while InteractBuilder’s Richard Johnson addresses her group from his Los Angeles hotel room.

Clint Yung demonstrating

More links:

Author Lindsey Lane

Powerhouse Animation Studios

Joel Hickerson

Space City Illustrators – Houston SCBWI

It’s just a small sampling of the presenters from the groundbreaking SCBWI conference.

Find more links and read about all the symposium offerings.

Oh, and (amazingly) it rained!

Dallion McGregor’s logo