Monday, January 23, 2012

Speaking at SCBWI Utah & Chicago Chapters

I feel very honored to have been invited to speak at both the Utah/Idaho and Chicago SCBWI Conferences! (Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators -the largest organization supporting the creators of children's books) I went to my first SCBWI conference back in 1992 - where I met Carol Lynch Williams who writes young adult fiction and we've been friends ever since. I had no idea what I was doing back then (still don't -shhhh) and really hadn't planned on becoming a children's book illustrator. When your in your early 20's and male it makes more sense to illustrate dragons and dudes with swords.

But somehow I found my softer side - probably had something to do with my wife and our first few children that gave me the desire and interest in pursuing what has become my passion.

Anyway, I was invited by Illustrator Sherry Meidell to present at the Bountiful Davis Art Center on Saturday February 25th @ 9:00am I'll be speaking to Utah and Idaho SCBWI illustrators: "Selling Yourself In A Global Market Place" This is a topic that is relevant to all of us trying to make a living with our art. As tech companies develop tools for networking and merchandising on the internet – opportunities are emerging quickly for artists to take their products directly to their customers. The middle man will usually be a necessary component for artists to find their markets but these middle men are beginning to offer something more than money, editing, and production. It’s vital to discover how you can take advantage of these new developments and sell your work globally. Everyone is welcome! $45 SCBWI members - $50 for others. More Info.

This May I'll be heading for Chicago for a bunch of school visits and presenting with Martha Rago-Art Director at Harper Collins at the Chicago Chapter of the SCBWI. I was invited by Janet McDonnell and Terri Murphy - both excellent illustrators and coordinators for the conference (where's my anxiety medication?) The event will kick off on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 8:30am At the Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, IL. I'll be looking at portfolios and offering suggestions in the morning and talking about marketing in the afternoon session - and participating in a panel discussion sometime in the middle. More info.

I have to say that this is kind of a dream come true because any time I get the opportunity to teach I take it! It not only benefits the attendees but sharpens my knowledge as I have to prepare and know my subject inside and out. I know I've blogged about this before but presenting is one of the best ways to succeed. I've presented a few times at these conferences before and the people you meet and connections you make are invaluable.


  1. Man, I wish I could go, I know I'd thoroughly enjoy your presentations. Have fun. I just love SCBWI, they've been very generous to me and my friends! I've met some wonderful, talented, caring people through them, I'm honored to call friends...

    Agy Wilson

  2. Maybe you can video your talk and post it here for those of us who can't attend. I'm sure you'll be great!

  3. That's awesome! I wish I could go to that as well. I really find all your presentations with online lessons so valuable as well!

  4. So happy you're doing these! Good on ya Will! I know you will inspire!

  5. I just registered the other day for the Chicago meeting. I'm so excited to meet you in person, since you have been great help to me.

  6. Hey Will! I’m all set for the Oakton Community College conference on May 5. I grew up in Des plaines and took a photoshop at the college. So cool that you’ll be in my home town! Looking so forward to meeting you and sitting in on your presentations.


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