Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Spring Conference, 2017

A random picture of Pokey’s toy box because I don’t feel like doing anything else.

Last weekend I attended the SCBWI Conference in Citrus Heights. It was an interesting experience. Lyn Meredith was so enthused about last year’s conference, but this one, we both agreed, was kind of “meh.”

However, we both agreed that there were parts that were excellent.

I’m not going to address the “meh” parts, except to say that several people walked out of one presentation and I fell asleep during another one.

Author Denise Vega’s contribution was “The End?! Invigorating your picture book with surprise, twist, and resonant endings.”

She identified five (of many) types of endings:

  • Unexpected, or twist ending, as in “Bark, George” by Jules Pfeiffer.
  • Here we go again / Circular ending, as in “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Joffe Numerov.
  • Warm, emotional, satisfying ending, as in “Last Stop on Market Street” by Mat del a Pena
  • Book End ending, as in “Mr. Duck Means Business” by Tammi Sauer
  • Wordless or illustration ending, as in “If Your Monster Won’t Go To Bed” by Denise Vega

You can visit Denise at

I submitted “Raspberry Girl, With Freckles” for a critique with author Grace Lin ( The written critique was to be picked up at the end of the conference.However, in my conference packet was a half sheet of paper that said I had a face-to-face critique session at 11:20. Wow! I didn’t even know this was an option. It was by far the best part of the conference for me. Ms. Lin’s advice was spot on. Earlier in the year, Dan Dunklee of HBE Publications  ( told me  it seemed to be the beginning of a story, with more to come. Ms. Lin concurred. She said I could either take out many details to make it a picture book, or add many more, to make it a mid grad novel. I’ve done some research and there are chapter books for every grade level. Since I don’t write for any particular grade level, I’ll just have to write it and figure out where it fits later. One of the book series that was recommended to me was “Ivy and Bean” by Annie Barrows. I’m love Ivy and Bean. 

Well, my dear friends, I really want to write about Patricia Newman’s presentation, “Life After Publication: Staying relevant.”


I don’t feel particularly well, so I’m just going to post it and hope I feel better tomorrow.