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New Milton Library breaks ground July 13, 2014. Dignitaries included county officials and state legislators as well as city council members

WIK '14 Pics


New Alpharetta Library Design & Groundbreaking

Image 1

Palmetto Groundbreaking 2

WIK '14

WIK ’14 -- Roundup

If you missed WIK ’14, you missed a lot because it was as much fun as a barrel of writers rummaging around in an illustrator’s paint box -- a little messy, but a lot of fun -- with everyone ready to learn and share and teach about the challenges of Kid Lit.

That it was fun surprised even me, first time Conference Coordinator, because the days leading up to WIK ’14 felt a whole lot more like work than fun.

But that was before I got to see how seamlessly the volunteers worked together to make WIK ’14 happen.

Candice Ransom, author and keynote

A writers’ day-long intensive on craft and an illustrators’ intensive on artistic techniques jump-started the pre-conference activities. Led by seasoned author Candice Ransom and award winning illustrator R. Gregory Christy, these two events

took their participants deeper into the world of writing and illustrating, sharing insider stories, and failsafe methods to make our work better.

Dessert for everyone concluded the day, lots of sweet desserts -- with cakes iced like copies of PAL book covers -- enticing us and bringing us together before the actual conference.

And what a conference! More than 70 volunteers helped make it happen, from registering participants, to

providing munchies, to ordering lunches, to staffing the book store...the list is endless.

Candice Ransom, highlighted the day’s start with her inspiring journey, Keep Calm, and Carry On, an up-and- down saga of life in the professional writer’s “fast lane,” fraught with agent issues, book challenges, and life’s problems.

Workshops followed.

From the get-go, their titles revealed the faculty’s enthusiasm for teaching us more. As important, the faculty stayed on-point, delivering what they promised. Lou Anders’ entertaining “Script Tips:

Hollywood Screenwriting Techniques” packed a full house while Ruta Rimas’ “What Makes a Book Great” kept us all scribbling notes as fast

as we were able. 

Bethany Strout led “Revision with an Editor” while R. Gregory Christie worked to help us “Find the Artistry and Marketability in Your Images.”

Our own talented Southern Breeze members contributed as well, from “Planning Your Novel in Ten Easy Steps,” to “Digital Illustrations,” to “Smart Marketing for Busy Authors.” Even esteemed author Candice Ransom sat in on Deborah Wiles and Kerry Madden’s workshop. If she is still learning, then clearly, so can we.

By the day’s end, we had heard about pacing and prosody, choosing the perfect words and creating picture books that wow. And that wasn’t all that kept us hopping.

Door prizes, longest

distance travelled prizes

and recognizing the best

art and writing submissions for this year’s annual contests galvanized our attention.

Believe me when I report that the hours whizzed by.

Still there was time for sharing experiences, good food, autograph sessions, mocha munching and mingling, and helpful critiques by peers and professionals.

From all indications, participants left with their minds full -- juggling all they had learned with the friendships they had made -- already focused on plans to make their next story better whether in ink or paint.

To say a good time was had by all ... by even the esteemed faculty ... is true.

I just hope we can do as well next year ... Oct. 17th, 2015.

Mark your calendar.

Hope to see you there.

WIK ’14 Conference Coordinator       © Stephanie Moody 2011