I feel both disheartened and hopeful by attending the conference. Disheartened because it is so hard to get published, but hopeful because I learned:
- I shouldn’t pin all my hopes on one story. As one illustrator put it “you have to be an idea factory.”
- Current trends in picture book stories are for very spare manuscripts – less than 700 words, quirky, lyrical, funny, and “different.”
- It can take many years to get published and the only thing that will definitely stop me getting published is giving up.
Out of over 1,000 conference attendees, only 300 were already published, so there are lots of other aspiring (the conference calls them “pre-published”) authors and illustrators. I was able to network with them and also be inspired by what published authors and illustrators had to share. It was wonderful to leave feeling stimulated with lots to think about and do.