The SCBWI Ireland East section is proud to let you know that their first social took place on Saturday 6th June 2015 in the Lexicon Library Café in Dun Laoghaire.
Hosted by Social Liaison Ciara Winkelmann, it was a small gathering of budding and established children books writers and illustrators. Our inspiring impromptu group was happy to share ideas, experiences, publishing problems, and successes with each other.
Ciara kindly brought along the latest award-winning children's and young adult's books so that we could leaf through them and drool over them. The books included:
- • Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers, winner of the 2015 CBI Book of the Year Award and the Children's Choice Award
- • Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton, winner of the 2015 CBI Honour Award for Illustration
- • Haiku – mas é do thoil é! by Gabriel Rosenstock, winner of the 2015 CBI Special Award
- • Teen novel Daideo by Áine Ní Ghlinn, winner of the 2015 CBI Honour Award for Fiction
All these books are very inspiring and utterly unique and sparked lively discussions amongst our chatty group. How to get published was naturally one of the main discussion points and here's the friendly advice that was given:
- • Don't get discouraged – even award winning authors have self-doubts and sometimes get it wrong
- • Get exposure via the Internet – that's what Facebook, Twitter, and all their lovely relatives are for
- • Create your own website so that people can look you up and learn what it is that you do
- • Don't take "no" for an answer – somewhere out there is a publisher who gets you and your ideas!
The mention of Internet exposure led us to the topic of e-publishing. Whilst this is certainly a fast and efficient way to publish, we all agreed that e-publishing is not up to speed for presenting illustrated children's books. It is time-consuming and downright scary to techno-phobes. Not all of us have the know-how to use the Internet to the best of our ability.
However, because children associate technical devices such as phones, tablets, laptops, etc. with games, and not so much with books, the idea of interactive books greatly appealed to all of us. It was agreed that future bestsellers would certainly benefit from online puzzles, games, brain teasers, treasure hunts, and word searches. Food for thought!
Maybe you'll find some of these ideas useful or maybe you would prefer a lively discussion with members of SCBWI Ireland: East. If you are in the area, we are looking forward to seeing you at our next social. We'll keep you posted!
Photo from the left to right: Catherine Kelleher, Antje Kelly, Adrienne Michel-Long, Ciara Winkelmann, Celia Carlile, Orison Carlile, and Ruth Long. Ellen Brickley joined us later after the picture was taken.