Hey, illustrators and aspiring illustrators! Be the first kid on your block to win an in-person portfolio critique from Caldecott-Medal winning children’s book illustrator David Diaz! How?
It’s easy! First register for the Austin SCBWI 2011 Regional Conference Boots, Books, and Buckskins coming up February 18-19. You can do that right here and read all about the conference and the amazing faculty of top authors, illustrators, children’s book publishers, editors — an agent and social media expert, too — right in the packet along with hotel information, campus map, schedule, break-out sessions, author intensives, and portfolio reviews and your EZ-peazy registration form. Handy and amazing, right?
You don’t have to belong to the Austin SCBWI chapter to attend Boots, Books, and Buckskins. But you’ll receive a discount for belonging to the National Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI.)
Good so far? OK, the next step is to e-mail the Texas Sweethearts, let them know that you’ve registered. You’ll be automatically entered into the contest to win the free portfolio reviews. Who are the Texas Sweethearts? A small group of dynamite published Austin area Y.A., middle grade, and children’s authors you’ll want to know about, anyway. See their blog here.
You might win a portfolio review with author-illustrator Julian Hector, another presenter.
Or you might win a review with author-illustrator Frances Yansky.
I could go on a bit about these authors because I know them. Instead, I’ll focus on the two illustrator stars of Boots, Books, and Buckskins David and Julian.
(The lineup of non-illustrator stars includes National Book Award author Kimberly Willis Holt, Egmont USA, vice-president and publisher Elizabeth Law, Arthur Levine Books editorial director Arthur Levine, agent Emily van Beek and many other wonderful presenters.)
David Diaz was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1995 for his work in Smoky Night, about the L.A. riots, written by Eve Bunting. His other award-winning books include Eve Bunting’s Going Home and Newbery Honor winner, The Wanderer by Sharon Creech. Diaz’s colorful illustrations in Margaret Wise Brown’s The Little Scarecrow Boy led to the book being named the New York Times “Best Illustrated Book” for 1998.
Most recently David has teamed up with renowned author Joyce Carol Thomas to create The Gospel Cinderella, a soulful retelling of the classic Cinderella story. He’s on the advisory board for the SCBWI Nationa. He recently curated the national touring Golden Kite; Golden Dreams – an exhibit of original illustration art from SCBWI Golden Kite Award-winning- books over the past 30 years.
Julian Hector was born in Los Angeles, raised in rural Texas, and received a BFA from Parsons the New School for Design, in New York City. His clients include Disney-Hyperion, Scholastic, Harper Collins, and Simon and Schuster Julian Hector is represented by Rebecca Sherman of Writers House. His books include Gentleman Bug (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) and The Little Matador (Disney-Hyperion).
So why, you just might ask, are the Texas Sweethearts giving away the free portfolio critiques by David Diaz and Julian Hector — instead of — well, for example, let’s say an unnamed children’s book illustration blog by someone who just happens to share the same SCBWI chapter as them?
Luck of the draw. Ever-alert Sweethearts Jessica Lee Anderson and P.J. Hoover won the portfolio critiques as door prizes at our recent Austin SCBWI Christmas Holiday party. Since they’re not illustrators, they decided to exploit the windfall on their blog as a way to promote our regional conference. Because everybody loves a contest!
So read PJ’s explanation to make sure you understand the rules. In a nutshell:
1.) Prepare yourself to come to Austin, Texas if you’re not already here. And Register for the conference here. (You’ll find the enrollment form to fill out and send in on the last page of the PDF.)
2.) E-mail the Texas Sweethearts to let them know you’re in. Here’s the address:
Truly, these are your last chances for consultations with Diaz and Hector at the conference.
The paid portfolio sessions with them have all sold out!
Not to be eclipsed by the Sweethearts’ generous contest, I want to give away something too.
I’ll give away two front row seats to the two small group intensives that Diaz and Hector are individually doing on the afternoon of the conference. Spots in these “special sessions” are going fast for $20 apiece.
I’ll also give away one portfolio review by me — since I can’t give away any by David Diaz or Julian Hector. Since the Sweethearts are doing that.
1.) Register for the Boots, Books, and Buckskins Austin SCBWI Regional Conference before it sells completely out (seriously, it will.)
2.) Post a comment on this blog — or send me an e-mail — letting me know you’ve registered and which small group intensive session you’d like catch during the conference. My e-mail address is: Mark@HowtoBeAChildrensBookIllustrator.com
I’ll pick three winners a week or two before the conference. Note: You can enter the Texas Sweethearts contest and mine at the same time to double your chances for a prize or prizes! Try everything! You might win from me and the Sweethearts!
Now I have to show the Texas Sweethearts video.
Because I think you’ll see from this how it’s hard to stay peeved at them very long for winning the Diaz-Hector portfolio critique door prizes and making the most of their windfall with a blog contest.
Clearly, these particular door prizes, in a more perfect world, should have been won (to be given away) by — let’s just say a more illustration-centered blog. I won’t mention any in particular. (In fairness to the Sweethearts, they recently expanded their ranks to include two author-illustrators Emma Virjan and Don Tate, along with authors K.A. Holt and Jeanette Larson. Now they go by the moniker Texas Sweethearts and Scoundrels — because Don’s in there.)
Anyway, the video with its honky-tonk soundtrack by Sharif hits so many of the same color notes as Boots, Books, and Buckskins that it could be the conference theme as well.
Go here to Register for the Austin SCBWI 2011 Conference – February 18 and 19, 2011. Send the Texas Sweethearts and me your messages (details above.) Prepare yourself to possibly win one-on-one professional consults, portfolio reviews, manuscript critiques and/or front row seats at exclusive small group intensives.
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Clint Young Interview on “Literary Asylum“
Wonderful interview with Austin SCBWI’s own superbly talented Clint Young on D.N. Cunningham’s Literary Asylum blog. Clint talks of how his daughter’s name for her pet stuffed pig inspired the picture book Toast that was acquired by Feiwel and Friends, of creating his own Photoshop brushes to paint, and his work for LucasArts as a Star Wars concept artist. Read it here.
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Hop on to Mark Mitchell’s Make Your Marks; Make Your Splashes online course — about drawing and painting good illustrations for books and other children’s media — before the price goes up in January! Learn a great secret for better drawing here.
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Shelley Ann Jackson and Jeff Crosby share their art
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