The 2014 MN SCBWI Conference brimmed with colorful characters. In her keynote “Schlemiel, Schlimazel, Give Us Any Chance, We’ll Take It,” KellyLight, creator of the Louise Loves Art series and illustrator of Elvis and the Underdogs and The Quirks, invited participants on her Laverne and Shirley-inspired journey toward children’s book superstardom, encouraging us to take chances and push forward.
“I hope my story shows other SCBWI members that believing in yourself, along with a little goofy use of absolutely anything that helps to keep you going . . . can get you down that road to publication . . . maybe a bit bumped around and nauseous . . . But well on your way to realizing your dream.”
See more at kellylight.com.
After an ABDO Publishing workshop by Candice Keimig, Art Director, and Grace Hansen, Editorial Marketing Coordinator, Lisa Yee, author of the Millicent Min and Bobby middle grade series presented her keynote, “From Slush Pile to Best-Seller: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.”
The realism in Lisa Yee’s work stems from her inspirations, real live people. Yee’s son Benny inspired Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) and Bobby the Brave (Sometimes). Marley Sandelski first drew notice as a supporting character in Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time. But, when he became an inadvertent stop-bullying ambassador for real kids, Marley earned his own book as the protagonist in Warp Speed. The Kidney Hypothetical–How to Ruin Your Life in Seven Days came about when Yee’s daughter took a dangerous dare. Learn more about Lisa Yee, the 2014 Sid Fleischman Humor Award-winning author, at lisayee.com.
2014 MN SCBWI Conference Intensives
Sunday intensives by Bruce Hale, Carter Hasegawa, Lisa Yee, and Kelly Light proved to be a bittersweet opportunity–like being told you can only have one Lays Potato Chip.
I’d registered for Bruce Hale’s intensive, “Funny Business: The 7 1/2 Secrets of Writing Humor.”
Then I waffled, thinking, “Really, isn’t a sense of humor a natural gift either you have or you don’t? Maybe I made a mistake.”
Turns out I could have used another hour/week/year of Hale’s instruction. Funny can be dissected and analyzed.
Three Funny Business Don’ts:
- Don’t use topical humor
- Don’t try to get too cutesy.
- Don’t telegraph your jokes
- Do respect your audience.
- Do give them the humor they like.
- Do let them finish the punchline.
- Do work in threes. (Oops.)
For more writing tips, see BruceHaleWritingTips.com.
Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.
~ Mark Twain
Congrats on the mentorship!