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Lizzie Finlay A workshop about children’s picture books at SCBWI

September 10, 2012

On Saturday I was very lucky to hear local author and illustrator Lizzie Finlay, give a talk about writing successful children’s picture books at the SCBWI.

The SCBWI stands for The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and was formed in 1968 by a group of Los Angeles-based writers for children. It is the only international organization to offer a variety of services to people who write, illustrate, or share a vital interest in children’s literature. Local organiser of the Manchester SCBWI, Steph Williams, had kindly invited me along and I was so glad that she had. Along with fellow illustrator Melanie Williamson, Lizzie (who was a little camera shy) steered the group of about 15 of us. through the main do’s, and the not so many don’ts involved in putting a great children’s book together. It was fascinating.

Lizzie was so charming, engaging and enthusiastic in talking about her world as an author and illustrator, that the room warmed to her instantly. She had graciously brought some sketchbooks along for us to see, (always a favourite of mine) and let me take some images to show you too. I loved seeing the different approaches to illustrating an image and the little notes and neat scribbles as reminders or prompts for her ideas to perhaps add later on.

Lizzie narrated her first book to us ‘Dandylion’, whilst Melanie held up large versions of each page. Afterwards she broke down some of the different structures and patterns that are usually found within the story and helped us think about the key ingredients we should be aiming to include in our children’s books.

I think for me it was exciting to meet someone who was actually doing what I would like to do, and who still seemed invigorated and refreshed by the process. Lizzie has also written ‘Little Croc’s Purse’, the soon to be released ‘ Who’s Afraid of the Chocolate Wolf ‘ and is presently working on her fourth book about a polar bear.

Many thanks to Steph, Lizzie and Melanie for creating a truly inspirational afternoon.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 10, 2012 1:10 pm

    Looks and sounds wonderful! A sneak peak into creative process of other artists is always interesting and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

    • September 10, 2012 2:07 pm

      No problem Lisa. Appreciate your comment and agree with it’s sentiment too. It’s great to see what other people do isn’t it.

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