Lessons of an Artist

The Sketchy Stage – when I feel most like an author and illustrator

My January-March was packed full of racing to finish up final art for SMASH, CRASH, TOPPLE, ROLL (a book about Rube Goldberg, written by Catherine Thimmesh) and 12 school visits in three states! I got to visit the wide-open rolling hills of northeast Missouri and several little new-to-me towns in Georgia and South Carolina. 

Ben (husband) can work anywhere, so he goes with me when it’s more than just a day trip. It’s great. He drives :) And our girls and pup get to live it up with my mom (Didi) who is much cooler than me. 

Now I’m back home … April begins … it’s a little calmer, and it’s time to start a new book project… Anything is possible at this stage. It’s when I feel most like an author and illustrator. 

I spend some mornings at Barrel House Coffee shop sketching thumbnails (small loose images) of the whole book, LILIBET MAKES A FRIEND, by Kersten Hamilton. And while I make decisions about which words should fall on which pages and what the images on those pages might look like, I also listen… 

A group of men gather at a table next to me, talk about the best way to make hummus, and how one of them renders some sort of building plans at no charge for fun. They talk a little about politics and new things coming to our little town, even though they are “not at liberty to say”. 

Another group forms around another table. They’re local real estate agents and insurance people. They brainstorm ways they can work together to navigate the tough market. And it occurs to me that we’re ALL just trying our very best to make it in this world, battling imposter syndrome or interest rates. 

I love working at the coffee shop. It reminds me that I’m a part of a community and I’m an author-illustrator in that community. I’m not alone in the struggle of life and work and trying to be something. Many things feel possible. I am creative, fluid, and imperfectly lovely … just like my sketches. 

I Talk About My Mistake on The Lil’ Leaders Podcast

After my last post about making a big, embarrassing art mistake in Little Red and the Big Bad Editor, I was invited to talk about it on The Lil’ Leaders Podcast!

T-Bone the Drone Update

Publisher Little, Brown recently informed me that my book, T-Bone the Drone, is sold out in the warehouse but, unfortunately, they are not going to print more. Soon, T-Bone will only be available as an e-book. So snag a physical copy before they’re all gone! Amazon, BN.com, and Read It Again still have a few. 

I’ll always love my little drone book and how excited kids get when they discover Charlotte, Doll-E, and Blutooth (from DOLL-E 1.0) are a part of this story too!

Pencil Pusher schedule changes…

I’m elated that so many classrooms and families are enjoying the Pencil Pusher newspaper for kids! This newspaper is a project of my heart and I want to continue to make it the best it can be. So I’m changing up the sending schedule a bit to fit us all better. Starting now, schools/classrooms/libraries will receive 2 issues per year (Fall & Spring) and individuals/families will receive 3 issues per year (Fall, Spring, AND a summer edition with surprise stickers)!

Just a schedule change. There’s no need to do anything. But if you’re not already signed up, you can do that at the link above, or if you need to change your subscription for any reason, email me at theshanda@yahoo.com.

Friends with New Books!

Shelli Johannes co-wrote and recently released the Farm Friends series! (Think STEM + agriculture, early readers).

Bethanie Merguia’s Wagnificent (a young middle-grade graphic novel about Sage and her dog, Thunder, who juggles with being a perfect pet and a wild animal from wolf ancestry) comes out in July! Preorder and get a cool set of stickers too

Vicky Fang’s 3rd in her Best Buddies series just dropped! This series is a favorite of my cousin, Paisley (age 7)!

Kristen Tubb’Fowl Play (middle-grade novel) will be hitting shelves in July!

Shannon Anderson’s newest picture book, B is for Belonging, comes out in August!

Jannie Ho has illustrated the second early graphic novel in the Fry Guys series! This “punny” book comes out in October!

McCall Hoyle’s middle-grade novel, Millie, just released! This book is the 3rd book in her beloved dog “series”.

Randi Sonenshine’s 3rd book in her Built Series, The Den that Octopus Built comes out in May!

I Made A Mistake, BUT It Drove My Point Home!

Filed under: Lessons of an Artist,My Books,School Visits | February 29, 2024

It was a lovely day for a school visit in southern South Carolina. I was on my last presentation of the day. The gym was filled with curious 3rd and 4th graders, hanging on my every word. They liked me! I could tell :)

As my presentation came to a close with the reading of the twist ending in LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR the audience gasped and laughed. My shoulders lowered and I thought… Shanda, you’ve done it again, you crazy kid. Great job! Now, it was time for questions!

Many hands raced upward, and I called on a girl in glasses. She told me that she did not have a question, but instead had a comment. So, I let her continue. This 3rd grader looked concerned and proceeded to tell me that I had omitted an important detail (that she described) in some of the illustrations in the book.

“I did?” I asked. With the whole group watching, I flipped back through the story slides and sure enough, she was right! I gasped this time. I couldn’t believe I had missed this. The publisher missed it too. No one had ever mentioned it to me before. But this kid saw it and was brave enough to call it out.

The room went quiet. The kids didn’t know what I was going to say. But what could I say? I threw my hands up and said … “Oops!”. Then the whole room, including me, burst into laughter! I mean, what are the odds that a book about editing could have such a mistake in it? It is kinda funny :)

Sure, it was a little embarrassing, but I’m the first to admit that I make mistakes all the time. We all do. It’s human. It’s something I discuss at every school visit, and this one was no different. We had already talked about why we need to “edit” our work because no one gets stuff “perfect” the first time or sometimes even the 20th time (and in this case, my work STILL has a huge, published, out-there mistake in it)!

BUT at this moment I was able to demonstrate in real life what I preached. I stood humbled on that stage, dripping in my imperfections. And it was perfect! This was a remarkable moment between me and those kids. We were the same. All students of life. Just imperfect people trying to do our best, even if we don’t succeed sometimes. And you know what? It’s okay and still totally worth it.

Can you spot it?

I challenge y’all to read LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR! Check it out from your library or maybe even purchase a copy. (I promise it’s still a great book despite my faux pas :) Can you and your kids/students find the missing thing that I left out of several illustrations (including the cover)?! If you figure it out, reply or comment to let me know. Don’t worry. My pride isn’t bruised too badly :)

Maybe you could use this as a springboard to talk to your kids/students/self about making mistakes, owning them, but getting back up and dusting yourself off, then learning and growing into a better version of yourself after them. You can bet I’ll have an eagle eye on my illustration work from here on out!

You don’t have to be perfect to be loved.

Hooray!! LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR is a nominee for the 2024-2025 Show Me Readers Award in Missouri, and I’m super excited to be visiting 4 Missouri schools in a couple of weeks! I have no idea if these visits came about because of this book being on this state list or not. Either way, I love how a book can bring me to different parts of our country (and the world) to meet so many cool kids and educators. If you’re interested in me making a fool of myself speaking at your school, check out my info here.

This book is also the featured title for One Book Habersham in Habersham County, Georgia! It’s a cool community initiative that brings together a whole county through one book…

Read the book. Talk it up. Ask your neighbor, “Have you read ​Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf Editor?” Let’s see how many people in Habersham County we can get to say, “Yes!”

Books will be available at all public libraries and schools throughout the community for you to read, enjoy and share with others. Look for copies – in restaurants, banks, doctor’s offices, etc.


What have you goofed up lately? Do tell! It’ll make me feel better :)

How Did I Get Published?

Filed under: Lessons of an Artist,Shanda's Journey | October 7, 2022

I got asked this question several times at the Decatur Book Festival this past weekend. And I have such empathy because I once asked this question too.

Let’s back up to 2006. I was a new high school art teacher, and I wasn’t all that happy. It had nothing to do with the kids, the facility, money, or the administration. It was just me. I felt very stupid, ungrateful, and spoiled, but I was not being fulfilled. I knew deep down it was because my real dream was to make kids books. I even felt like a fraud, telling some of my artsy teen students that it was possible to follow their dreams in a creative field after graduation (when I wasn’t doing the same).

The truth is, having a creative career isn’t a straight line. You don’t typically graduate with a “job” waiting for you like many other careers do. It’s a risky venture of your heart and your finances. This choice isn’t for everyone, but I think you just KNOW if it is … because you just can’t shake it.

If this is you and your dream is to publish children’s books, do these 3 (not so easy) steps:

  1. Join (SCBWI.org) The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators
  2. Go to their conferences and practice what you learn
  3. Expect a long road but an absolutely awesome one with incredible people and adventures

This is exactly what illustrator Michael Austin told me when I cold-emailed him in 2007 and asked, “How does one publish a children’s book?” He simply said to join SCBWI. So I did, and it worked :)

-Shanda

Wow, 10 years makes a difference!

It’s so true.

Yesterday, my husband (Ben) texted me the image (below left) and said “You’ve come a long way in 10 years”.

side by side old work and new work

These postcard images were created by the same artist (me) and had the same theme (little red riding hood) with a frizzy red-haired character. The difference is 10 years.

That first image is odd, right? Not very kid friendly and extremely stiff. It humbles me to look back at this, because now I remember what a beginning beginner I was!

Sometimes I forget. But looking back at this reminds me how patient and kind other creators and industry professionals were with me at conferences or other bookish events. They didn’t dismiss me and say “you just don’t get it”. Thankfully, they found tidbits of good in my work and praised those things while also giving me gentle nudges to improve over and over and over again.

My dreams were never crushed, and I’m so grateful for that.

Little Red and the Big Bad Editor cover

Just 2 weeks until Little Red hits shelves!

Preorder below!

Read It Again Bookstore (Suwanee, GA) Request a “signed by Shanda” copy in the order comments.

Little Shop of Stories (Decatur, GA) Order 2+ books for free shipping!

Bookshop.org

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Book Depository (International)

I invite you and your family to join me at Read It Again Bookstore in Suwanee, GA on Oct 8, 2022, 12-2pm. This in-person event is perfect for Kindergarteners, 1st graders, 2nd graders, and their teachers. We’ll be reading, drawing, coloring, and writing a thank you letter just like Little Red!

Everyone will get a bookmark and stickers, and of course I’d love to sign a book for you or your class :)

Teachers: I’ll be giving away one FREE in-person writing workshop for students! All attending (K-5) teachers will be eligible.

Read It Again Bookstore
3630 peachtree pkwy, suite 314
Suwanee, GA 30024

Thanks so much for reading!
Love, Shanda

My Daughter Did Something Brave

Art by Harvey McCloskey
Today, my 12 year old opened her first online business with RedBubble to sell her art designs on various merch! She has one design so far, but buyers can get it on shirts, bags, pillows, phone cases, etc. She hopes the sales will help her to start saving for a car (which she will need in 5 years).

But as any creative soul knows all too well, putting your art (aka your heart) out there in the world is a very vulnerable and brave thing to do. And the very first response she got from a friend this morning was, “why is everything so expensive?”. That little comment from a particularly close friend crushed her. She immediately felt dumb for even trying.

Man, it flew all over me as a parent and an artist. No wonder living a creative life is so hard. You have to believe in yourself. Be near others that believe in you too. Hugs, my creative friends!Check out her store for yourself and feel free to comment and send some words of encouragement for her. I’ll read her every one!
Check out Harvey’s Store!

Life is NUTS!

So Much has happened … good AND bad and the reason for my posting gap …

 

I got an agent! – Very good.

November of 2015, I participated in a twitter pitch event called #PBPitch. Participants write up a VERY short pitch of their picture book work-in-progress and if an agent wants you to submit it to them, they “favorite” your post. I got 10 favorites that day! But one agent in particular took the time to email me separately and state that she really looked forward to seeing my work closer. That effort made me feel like she really liked it. She was the only agent I sent it to that week. And that’s how I found Erica Rand Silverman! Turns out, she’s the perfect agent for me! (She’s cool even if you cry which is MUST-have to be my agent :)

 

I got LASIK – Very very bad.

My life changed on February 19, 2016. Because I had LASIK. Yep. That “easy” surgery that’s a “miracle” called LASIK. Well, for most it is a miracle, but it was a tragedy for me. I haven’t even been able to write about it until now – over a year later – and I’m still not out of the woods. My eyes reacted unpredictably to the surgery, probably because of unknown underlying auto immunity in my body. My eyes were so dry for months, I could barely open them and when I did, the vision was a blurry mess. I can’t think of much worse for an artist aside of losing your drawing hand. Then as I was just starting to see some improvement in my sight, I suddenly was afflicted with HUNDREDS of floaters in my eyes that swirled around (and still do) at every eye movement.  I had developed uveitis which in my case is a chronic auto-immune inflammation of the uvea in the eyes. Without steroids, I would eventually go blind. But steroids have their own issues. As months passed, my clarity improved but it’ll never be as sharp as it once was before the surgery. I’ve seen so many eye doctors. And now I have developed cataracts from the steroids. And that’s where I stand now. My vision is starting to cloud up. Hopefully I can remove the cataracts safely with another surgery soon. And I’m hopeful that after that, I can be well enough to undergo a last surgery to remove the many many floaters. From this, I sprouted some scary anxiety that on one occasion landed me at the hospital. Anti-anxiety medicine was a life line, literally. And I’m still very reliant on it as I continue this health journey. The bad news is that I gained 30 pounds since starting this medication, but it’s life (and be bigger for now) or death. Sounds extreme, but it’s true unfortunately.

Also Erica held on, encouraged me, and waited for me to get better.

 

I got a book deal! – Very very good.

But in the middle of all this tragedy (early this year), something AMAZING happened. Erica submitted my book to a handful of publishers and 4 BIG publishers wanted it! It went to auction and sold to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in a 2 book deal! A. Dream. Come. True. I can’t even.

 

I did the job! – very very very good.

I was very nervous about illustrating my book through vision issues, but God stayed near me. There’s no other explanation. This very week I’m working through a final tweaks list and then it’ll be a done deal! I have been so honored to work with Andrea Spooner, Hallie Tibbetts, Jen Keenan, and Saho Fujii at Little, Brown!  I couldn’t have imagined a more wonderful first experience! (I think my medicine helped me deal with this good stress better too.)

 

I’m still standing! – very good!

I’ve never thought of myself as very strong, but I still can’t believe what I’ve gotten through this past year. Good and bad. I’ll continue to trust the Lord. I’m sure I’ll still mourn my loss of perfect vision for a long time, but I know God will deliver me to the other side of sorrow soon. He has already thrown me many lines of hope that I hold onto with all my strength.

 

I have the sweetest husband ever! – so good.

Through this, I’ve seen the love my husband has for me. I knew he loved me before, but I REALLY know now. He carried us when I couldn’t rise from the bed or take care of our girls from depression. He never got angry at me or asked me to “get it together” or “man up” or anything like that. He got it together and manned up in my place. He just loved me. He never lets go of our hope for normalcy again one day. He has tirelessly talked with me over and over reminding me of the hope I have in healing, good doctors, and a career ahead of me. He’s such a good man and daddy. He saved me.

 

Moving onward!

So now I’ve finally written this down. Whew. I hope to be posting happy updates soon. Until then, I’ll keep on truckin’.

 

They say the best story is when a character is faced with the most awful thing that could happen to them, and then we see them grow and overcome it. That’s my hope.

Life is NUTS!

-Shanda

 

P.S. My debut picture book Doll-E 1.0 publishes Spring 2018 by Little, Brown!

P.S.S. I don’t recommend LASIK :)

 

How Did I Come To Be … Here?

Filed under: Events,Growing Up Artsy,Lessons of an Artist | September 21, 2015


IMG_4804

Before I answer this question I want to say that I experienced one of the the most magical conferences of my career this past weekend with SCBWIMidSouth and my critique group! It was my first time attending this particular conference, but I was blown away by the surrounding talent, the speakers, and the kindness I encountered. And I’ve been to lots of conferences, believe me- this one was stellar!

I also had some encouraging feedback (the kind that will carry me through another week … another month … another year)! John Rocco even high-fived me! He’s awesome. Him being on the faculty list sold me on this conference in the first place. Not only did I get to hear him speak and have him sign my favorite book, “Super Hair-O and the Barber of Doom,” but he said I had “mad skills.” I’ll never forget THAT. 

So…. “how did you come to be here sitting in front of me?” Kristen Nobles from Candlewick asked as I sat down for my portfolio critique. She wanted to know a little about me and my background up to this point. I answered her back, but what I said wasn’t strung together very well spur of the moment. And of course I was a little nervous. But when I left the conference, that question circled and circled in my head. It’s a really good question, and I’d like to have a really good answer should anyone ask me again.

So here’s my answer… my long, thought out answer…

I was the art kid. I was good at it in elementary school, middle school, and high school. It was a strong sense of my identity and still is. It’s what made me (feel) special. 

I was not a particularly gifted reader, I was so very average. I loved the book fair! It made me want to want to read – are you following? In 3rd grade I was given a little money each book fair to get some books. I usually bought picture books (even though I was “too old” for them). But I could see that words and pictures played beautifully together. Then, I picked up “The Witches” by Roald Dahl… it was a thick book with a pretty witch on the cover. So I started it…and finished it- a thick book! (Revolutionary for me :) Again, it was words and pictures. I fell in love with reading then. I still wasn’t a bookworm or anything, but I experienced a secret, sweet, magical something when I found that perfect book. It usually had pictures and was funny. 

Fast forward. I go to art school. I figure out that I gravitate to art that reaches many people vs. art that hangs in galleries. It was the art that almost every person could relate to, feel something from, and get a hold of that I wanted to make. I finally figured out that what I really wanted to do with my life’s work was make pictures for the words in books. 

 I didn’t quite know how to make that happen. It’s not a straight path. So, I became an art teacher in a high school to pay the bills, but I knew this was only a stepping stone and not my calling. But I don’t regret it one bit. I learned how much I loved kids, even the big ones. I shared my love of books and illustration with them! I’m not sure if I affected any of them, but they affected me. I wanted to practice what I preached to them about following dreams, so I quit. And my husband and I moved to Brooklyn, NY!

It was only for a year, but I had my New York experience in a little apartment living in the same city as so many artists have, are, and will. I worked at Fishs Eddy near Union Square, and attended night classes at the School of Visual Arts. I will never forget THAT. 

I joined SCBWI in the middle of teaching, but I didn’t get very active until I came back to Georgia and longed to be near artists and writers again. SCBWI filled that void well and continues to feed my soul. I met my writers group through SCBWI, and this single thing has shaped my work more than anything. I am surrounded by talent that abounds me once a month. In their midst, I started writing and really began pushing my art. I’ve also met and/or become friends with several inspirational people: Lori Nichols, E.B. Lewis, Kelly Light, and now John Rocco are all mentors of mine whether they know it or not.

Then I had a child. There isn’t anything more bonding than experiencing stories together. I fell in love with books again, as a mommy. Now, the draw was/is bigger than ever. I WANT to be a part of that world. I want to be among the creators of children’s books!

So, that’s my answer. That, in a nutshell, is how I came to be … here!

-Shanda

FullSizeRender

Toughing It Out

Filed under: Illustration,Lessons of an Artist | August 28, 2015

"Let It Fly" sketch by Shanda McCloskey

I took a cycle class today. It was pretty tough. Going again and again is making me tougher.

This “book game” is a tough. silent. killer. I’ve heard next to nothing since I started submitting my book. I did get one “no,” but it was from a friend’s agent. I can’t help but wonder if it was as quick and gentle as it was as a curtesy to my friend more than anything. The fact is … it’s so quiet. So still. You don’t know how to adjust your technique. Is it the letter? the subject? the person? or has anyone even looked at it yet? Is it sitting in “the slush pile” getting moldy? Members in my critique group have been going through this for a while, but it’s real for me now. I wouldn’t even mind some rejections just to know someone looked at it.

This is a time to listen to my own heart I guess. I love the book I wrote. I believe it’s valuable and beautiful and funny. I believe a child and a parent would have a sweet experience reading it together at bedtime. I believe a room of preschoolers and kindergarteners would get a kick out of it at story time. I believe it would inspire a kid.

The book dummy I sent out is probably not perfect, but I think it has a fantastic chance to be a great book. I hope someone else will believe it too … in the traditional publishing world so my book could be in bookstores and libraries all over the place. I’m working and brainstorming on a new story now. It has a similar large theme of thinking bigger and believing. I need my own stories right now, because that’s what this time is requiring of me. To dream, do my best, be tough, and have some faith.

One day the silence will break. Probably :)

-Shanda

Springing Off From Here

Filed under: Illustration,Lessons of an Artist | March 26, 2015

"Charlotte" by Shanda McCloskey

This is Charlotte. A techie, gadget-loving girl.

 

It’s Spring! (Here in GA anyway :) A time for the renewal of many things, including me. I feel energized and extra committed to my goals and dreams this year. My baby is 9 months old, and for now, things are good. I am getting more sleep at night, and I’m trying to take good care of myself. I have a wonderful mother and mother-in-law who help SO very much with my girls! I’m so grateful.

I’ve been working with the incredible, E.B. Lewis, through a Skype mentorship! It’s cool. He felt I could do better and more interesting artwork if I used real art materials rather than my self-taught, flat, lack-luster attempt at digital coloring.  (He wasn’t quite that mean about it, thank goodness). I felt the same way, deep down.

"Charlotte on Yellow" by Shanda McCloskey

So, the illustration you see at the very top of this post is my best attempt (so far) at applying watercolor and oil pastel to one of my characters. Seems simple enough, but I was at war with myself for a week just trying to get the paint to do what I wanted. I finally painted this, and I feel like it was successful … so I’ll try to spring off from here … no looking back.

-Shanda

Lesson #9: If You Don’t Feel Like Going To the Conference, Go Anyway. (Good Stuff From Spring Mingle 2014)

Looming by Shanda McCloskey

Looming by Shanda McCloskey, final from mentorship with Loraine Joyner, art director of Peachtree Press

So there I was on the Thursday before the looming conference that started on Friday… I’m super-tired, super-pregnant, out-of-breath, feeling huge, and not myself. Everything was set and paid for. My critique group had a hotel room to share for a fun filled weekend. But I almost backed out of going for being tired and overwhelmed. I had some freelance work going on, and honestly I was a little “conferenced out” as well since I had just attended the NYC SCBWI National conference just a month ago. I was also a participant in the illustrator mentorship with Loraine Joyner of Peachtree Press. I was not thrilled with my finished piece (above), so my motivation for going and showing it off was very low. But for some reason, my gut told me to push through and go. I had done so much preparation to go, so I just had to. My friends were counting on me to be there. (Critique groups are good for accountability too :)

Characters by Shanda McCloskey, from mentorship with Loraine Joyner, art director of Peachtree Press.

Characters by Shanda McCloskey, from mentorship with Loraine Joyner, art director of Peachtree Press.

I’m so thankful I went. This was my best and favorite conference yet! Great learning along with some exciting happenings gave me some serious fuel to get me through my next several months of hard life… (third trimester, birth, having a newborn again, and putting my life and body back together again.) I left this conference feeling like God was letting me know I’m on the right track, and to keep trusting Him on the good days and the tough days.

 

Kim, Colleen, Shanda, and Christi representing Trail Mix, the greatest critique group north of the ATL!

Kim, Colleen, Shanda, and Christi representing Trail Mix, the greatest critique group north of the ATL!

I sure did have some extra good days at this conference though, because I got my very first AND second requests for my manuscript and book dummy! (Which means somebody asked me to send them my work so they could look at it more closely and possibly consider representing it or publishing it.)  Two requests! It was a pretty surreal experience, and it felt so good. Only my critique group (and my husband and mom) knows how much I’ve labored over my story. It has gone through many stages, and finally me and my critique group felt it was ready for the next step… to show it to some professionals for feedback. I was pleasantly surprised with the reactions and feedback, so we’ll see where it goes from here. Even if nothing comes of these requests, it’s really nice to hear a little “you’re not crazy and you may have something here” validation.

Here’s a quick line up of the amazing people/staff who came from all over to share their knowledge with us:

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Cheryl from Just Us Books – She reminded us of the importance of making authentic characters of all races. There are so many white kid books. Kids of other colors deserve to “see” themselves in stories too.

Ruth Sanderson – an incredible illustrator who let us see intimately into her life and journey as an artist.

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Lucy Ruth Cummins – art director, designer extraordinaire for Simon & Shuster. Lucy Ruth was hilarious, cool, knowledgable, a good teacher, and emotional about how much she loves books and her job of creating books. She’s one of those people I’ll never be as cool as, let’s face it. And if she ever wanted to work with me as an illustrator, I’d feel pretty awesome :)

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Cheryl Klein – executive editor with Arthur Levine Books which is an imprint of Scholastic. Cheryl was full of knowledge! There was so much information, I had to let it sink in to fully realize just how much I learned! She’s a great teacher, and you can tell she’s a seasoned professional (although she’s young) and  knows what she’s talking about.

Ammi-Joan Paquette – is an author and an agent. She shared with us a peek into her daily life and how many “hats” she has to wear from a mom, wife, author, to business agent. It was nice to hear how she manages it all. I ALWAYS need to hear motivational talks on things like this, because it is my biggest struggle. I want to be a mom, a wife, a friend, a daughter (who helps with her business), AND a wildly successful author/illustrator! How to fit it all in is different for everybody.

So, there it is! A few weeks later, but a conference definitely worth blogging about!

 

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Shanda McCloskey, Children's Illustrator & Author