Happy New Year! I can hardly believe how deep we are into 2014 already. Twenty thirteen was a stressful and exhausting year for me, but I am since renewed with the onset of a new year filled with possibilities and reaping the fruits of last year’s labor. Great things are on the horizon. I just wrapped a set of instructional videos for Craftsy.com titled “The Art of the Picturebook”! All of you talented visual storytellers who are interested in making picture books can sign up and learn about the craft-from generating story ideas to making a complete picturebook dummy. I share examples and tips from my published and unpublished work as well as a few examples from my super talented students at MICA (with their consent, of course). Classes should be available at the end of February to early March. Stay in the loop by signing up for my mailing list at www.shadrastrickland.com for announcements.
Willa Banks, Educational Programs Coordinator at the Benjamin Banneker Museum, has invited me back for a second visit to share the ins and outs of my work on WHITE WATER. Best part is, with a $6 field trip fee, EVERY student will take home a signed copy of the book! The presentation will be held on February 11.
Last August Roger Sutton invited me to test out my writing chops on an article about my graduate school experience. That article expanded to include ideas about my path to publication and working in the industry in general. The piece is tentatively titled “Do Good Work and the Rest Will Follow.” After many revisions and a very gracious pre-edit by the lovely and talented Zetta Elliott, that article will run in the 2014 March/April issue of The Horn Book Magazine! I am honored to have been asked. I tell you, though, writing with a real and large audience in mind is waaaaaay more intimidating than writing for my blog readers (all twenty of you) ;-). When I write for “Living the Dream”, I do so with only a handful of people watching and am much less self-conscious about how I present my ideas. Writing for a “real” publication is like standing outside naked stuttering though pages of my journal.
On February 21-23 I will be in New York for SCBWI’s winter conference. It will be my first SCBWI conference and my first time as a faculty member! I can’t wait to meet everyone and am certainly looking forward to my panel with Peter Brown, Raul Colon, Marla Frazee, and Oliver Jeffers on The Art of the Picturebook. Stay tuned also for an invitation to join me, and Zoobean’s Chief Mom, Jordan Lloyd Bookey for an on-air chat via Google Hangout about PLEASE, LOUISE!
And lastly, but not leastly, PLEASE, LOUISE will be in stores on March 4! My wonderful art director, Laurent Linn sent me a couple of advance copies hot off the press with lovely comments about our work together. I am so proud of the book and hope that it will be well received by book lovers across the globe. If you are on pins and needles like I am, you may pre-order the book now at Amazon.com. Stay tuned to the blog for book launch details, upcoming events, and sign up for the mailing list for special giveaways! Look for an article with Toni Morrison next month in American Way Magazine where she will talk a bit about our Louise!
Happy New Year, and thanks for reading!