Spent a terrific day today at the Arizona Young Authors’ Conference, meeting young authors, hearing their ideas, and listening to them share their stories. (They were brave–they read aloud to people they’d only just met, something I didn’t have the courage to do until I was an adult!)

Keynoter Amanda Shepherd did a fabulous job of showing the attendees (and me, too!) how illustrators work, and of sort of tricking us into drawing something by breaking things down into manageable steps, and along the way reminding everyone that the things you draw (or write) don’t have to be perfect. She also said something I liked: “Sometimes if you make a mistake it’s part of the answer to how your story comes out.”

In the smaller group sessions I ran, we brainstormed ideas for stories about talking animals, people who can fly, and exploding toilets–great stuff, all of it.

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