Wednesday, May 16, 2018

PEN World Voices Festival, Or In Which I Meet Sean Qualls & Selina Alko

There are many joyous moments for a writer in the picture book creation process:

1. when you discuss possible illustrators with the editor 

2. when you find out which illustrator actually got the job

3. when you see the first sketches

4. when you see the final art

5. when you meet the illustrator(s)!

Actually, #5 has only happened to me once so far -- this past April at PEN World Voices Festival in Brooklyn, where Charles Waters and I joined Sean Qualls and Selina Alko for a "poetry and collage" workshop. Thank you, PEN folks for having us!

Also present was our editor and mother o' the book Carol Hinz... and a new friend: photo-illustrator Shelley Rotner. I would love to collaborate with Shelley at some point! Meanwhile, she was kind enough to take these shots of Team CITYH (CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR?):

having artsy-fun:
Sean Qualls, Selina Alko,
Charles Waters, Irene Latham,
Carol Hinz

Selina Alko displaying samples
of the craft

Sean Qualls creating skin-tone paint

yes, we can be serious, too. :)
and finally, a collage of the collage:

Pretty awesome, right? 

I do hope at some point to meet some of my other co-creators: Stephanie Graegin, illustrator of DON'T FEED THE BOY; Anna Wadham, illustrator of both DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST and WHEN THE SUN SHINES ON ANTARCTICA; Mique Moriuchi, illustrator of FRESH DELICIOUS; Thea Baker, illustrator of forthcoming LOVE, AGNES (October 2018); John Holyfield, illustrator of forthcoming MEET MISS FANCY (January 2019).


  1. Whew! I was worried that I had missed two of your books and ready to head to my library site. And then I read the text. Two books forthcoming - I can't wait! The workshop looks fun! Glad you all had the chance to meet!

  2. Postcards from an octopus!! Can't wait!


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