Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Illustrators! Let’s Get Intense!

One of the highlights of the conference experience is the opportunity to take advantage of one of three four-hour Intensive Workshops on Friday morning. Each workshop is an immersive experience that explores a subject in depth–and is well worth the nominal add-on fee.


For illustrators this year, we are thrilled to again have a team: Executive Art Director Isabel Warren-Lynch (Random House imprints including Knopf, Delacorte, Wendy Lamb Books, Crown, Ember, Yearling, and Dragonfly) and illustrator Mary GrandPré (early fans of Harry Potter will recognize Mary as the creator of the covers and interior art for the original US editions).


Mary will discuss her career, focusing on her process—as an artist who has enjoyed parallel careers in children’s book illustration and in editorial art, Mary has much to share on transitioning from one genre to another.


Isabel’s presentation will focus on art sequencing—a topic that is very timely now, as more illustrators turn to writing and creating their own dummies.


Now for the SUPER fun part: the intensive this year will feature a pre-conference assignment, group critique, AND an in-class exercise!


The assignment!

Sequential Narrative

Minimum of 8 panels – panels no larger than 8-1/2" x 11"

Panels may be smaller; please attach together accordion-style

Include text, if you like: a maximum of 20 words

Illustrations to be executed in any medium: a maximum of three colors.


To bring with you:

1) Ideas (jottings and doodles)

2) Thumbnails (very basic—these should reflect the essence of the sequence; examples provided by Isabel below)

#1 sequence [1]

#2 sequence[1]

#3 sequence[1]

3) Tight sketches (following guidelines above)

4) Paper and pencil for thumbnailing in class


To consider:

What are you saying in your sequence? Something funny, ironic, odd or twisted? Surprising? Scary or sad? Joyful?

Be prepared to explain.


In the session!

After presentations from Mary and Isabel, there will be a group critique of the intensive assignments. 

After the review, everyone will have a chance re-work a set of thumbnails based on feedback—and then there will be one last look at the re-worked assignments.


Exciting, right? Four hours up close and personal with one of the most respected art directors in the business and a world-class illustrator, PLUS a working assignment with on-the-spot feedback!


We are capping this workshop at 12—as of today (7/24), there are only TWO spots left.


Questions? Contact Bonnie Adamson, Illustrator Coordinator.