NESCBWI Conference 2009 Recap

So life is back in color on all levels. I went to the NESCBWI Conference last weekend. I spent the whole day away from my little boy for the first time which was hard but I was rewarded greatly.

Both keynote speakers were amazing. Floyd Cooper and Cynthia Lord. My words can't do justice - see them if you get the chance! I am so impressed with how fantastic our regional conferences are every year. The Diversity panel at the end of the day was a highlight also. The moderator, Padma Venkatraman had a challenging task but handled herself so gracefully and lightly. I wish it had run longer. New Hampshire is not the most racially/ethnically diverse state and it was so meaningful to me to focus on diversity as the conference theme.

The workshops were interesting and while I feel there is less of a WOW factor for me each year, I always walk away with a few gems of knowledge. From Barbara Johansen Newman I was reminded to use hands more often to evoke emotion - I think I 'underuse' hands as a good prop or indicator of emotion. Next year I may switch to writing workshops - I feel like I'm hitting a wall with the illustration choices. OR...maybe I'll shake off my stage fright and teach one. I have something good in mind...

But the best part of the day for me was seeing friends AND seeing them be rewarded for their talents! Michelle Henninger, from my local critique group, won the Ann Barrow scholarship. Ann Marie Piantedosi, also of my critique group won honorable mention for her poster. Kathy Weller, fellow picture book junkie, won twice for the poster contest including top honors - 1st place published. Local illustrator chum Andy J Smith also won in the published category. Congrats to all of you!!!! I wasn't even sad to not entered the contest this year. I enjoyed seeing all the beautiful entries.

And the next day I even finished my illustration assignment - on time! Hooray for climbing back up!!!