Hi Stephen, it is my pleasure to have the chance to ask you some questions today in preparation for the upcoming 2010 SCBWI Bologna Symposium. The conference is certainly shaping up to be another exemplary SCBWI event. Before getting into some questions about your writing craft, I’d like to start with a few questions about your role as co-founder of SCBWI.
Sarah, you’re a publisher and managing director with Walker Books in Australia. Could you tell us a little about your career and what path you took to reach this position?
I joined Walker Books in 1986 as their first Export Manager and spent the following three years traveling five months per annum for the company in to Canada,
Kristin, thank you for taking the time to share some of your knowledge with us in preparation for the upcoming SCBWI Bologna 2010 conference.
I’d like to first mention what fun it was reading the many interviews with you posted around the web. I easily found six amazing interviews, and I feel like I already know so much about you.
Your experience in the book publishing industry spans more than 30 years. Over this time, have you observed that many book trends and topics come and go, or do you think there are classic themes in children’s storytelling that never go out of style?
Both. Great stories and great themes never go out of style.
Hello, Deirdre. You are the picture book publisher at Walker Books. Could you talk us through your day at work?
I get up reluctantly, shower, then after breakfast (either a bowl of porridge or wheat-germ toast with peanut butter and a banana), I’ll get a lift to the tube station, squeeze into a train to go over the river to Vauxhall,
Richard Peck has received a Newbery Medal, a Newbery Honor, and many other remarkable awards and citations for literary work. He is also the first children’s writer to receive a National Humanities Medal.
SCBWI members and supporters feel a special connection with Richard, not only due to his long list of remarkable books for young readers,
Hello, Sara. You wear a number of different hats. You’re both a commissioning editor and a published writer. Which came first, the writing or the publishing? How do you combine the two?
I’ve created stories since I was a little girl, imagining epic dramas for my Barbie dolls. When I was young, I was convinced I couldn’t be a writer because my spelling was appalling.
I’m currently developing some picture book dummy ideas, later in the Spring I’ll be working on Volume 2 of the Zipper-kun series for Rironsha in Japan.
As a successful illustrator, how do you organise your time? Can you choose to concentrate on one project at a time and see it through to the end,
Beyond being exposed to new talent and books, what does participation in SCBWI events provide for you? What benefits do you see for illustrators?
First and foremost its fun! Participating in SCBWI reminds me of the things I love about my work and keeps my passion kindled. The participants are equally enthusiastic about this field and the work they do,
Hello, Doug. You’re both an illustrator and a writer. How does combining these skills work for you? Do you prefer projects where you’re responsible for creating the whole story, both the words and the pictures? Or do you enjoy the challenge of putting your own spin on someone else’s words?
It’s all different. Another writer’s words will make me stretch my art a little more,