I spend a lot of time on Twitter - about 72% of that time is devoted to being jealous of all the cool stuff that happens in New York and Boston. But Vancouver can get pretty bumpin', especially in October and February.
October brings the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable's (VCLR's) Illustrator's Breakfast and the Vancouver International Writers Festival. February brings the VCLR's Serendipity Conference (2011 will have Matt Holm, Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang!)
This year's Illustrator's Breakfast featured Pierre Pratt. It really doesn't get any better than French-Canadian illustrators. I mean, seriously. There's Monsieur Pratt, of course, but there's also Marie Louise Gay and Melanie Watt and so many others (this is such a fun website if you want to see a buncha Quebec illustrator talent).
Pierre Pratt was very charming and showed us some striking Little Red Riding Hood illustrations - while he doesn`t have a publisher attached to the project, he's thinking of doing a wordless Little Red book. That would be so cool! I need to start bringing my camera to things, but here's a crappy Blackberry photo:
The next week was the Vancouver International Writers Festival where I had the pleasure of introducing Kenneth Oppel, Richard Scrimger, Kevin Sylvester and Richard Newsome. Here are a few things you should know about each of them:
Kenneth Oppel: He's a super funny guy. Who knew!? He looks so serious and pensive (and dreamy!) in all his author photos but he's a laugh riot.
Richard Scrimger: Do Americans know about him? They should. Add him to your "I need something for a teenage boy who won't read anything" list. Oh boy, and he's so funny too.
Kevin Sylvester: Also funny! There was a lot of funny going on. I don't think there are enough books about kids and cooking and mystery. Sylvester has this market down. And he sent me a thank you email after his presentation! So classy! I'll be printing that off and selling it on eBay if times get tough...
Richard Newsome: I'm sad to report that Richard Newsome didn't offer to adopt me. You can tell he'd be the greatest dad and The Billionaire's Curse is so good (and so hot right now). And the book trailer is beyond impressive and special effect-y (the first one on the page). Puts Titanic to shame.
And I almost forgot - I won a piece of Julie Flett's artwork at the silent auction at the Pierre Pratt breakfast. It now hangs in my office. She is one of my all-time favourite illustrators and was just nominated for a Governor General's award. NB: The Moccasins is the simplest, most beautiful story for kids growing up in foster families (not to mention being a positive, loving portrayal of a First Nations family).
These were just the events I managed to get to - October also brought the start of a year-long position as the Head of Youth Services at the Port Moody Public Library (the most fantastic public library I could ever hope to work at), my very first guest review (i.e. - the long ass 950 word review) for Quill & Quire and committing to be on the Canadian Children's Book Centre's 2011 Best Books for Kids & Teens Committee. I'll be looking at non-fiction, so things might get a little factual 'round these parts for the next couple months.