I know, I still haven't told you how I got on doing my keynote lecture at the conference. Did they boo? Did they throw things? Did they turn up..?!
Well, I will tell all in a second, but first, a few other things like more celeb authors and illustrators I met...
As well as the lovely Tim Hopgood, I also met Sarah McIntyre, whose illustrated characters are hilarious (and whose glasses I am SO planning to steal...).
Sarah took amazing, picture-book style notes throughout the conference. You can see more of them on her blog but here's just one of the sheets she did at Tim's talk:
She also sketched her own take on my conference space chicken that was this years special logo:
In the conference bookshop, I discovered a new, favourite picture book, by Jason Chapman (sadly, no relation), called Stan and Mabel, which manages to combine beautiful, painterly backgrounds with great, cartoon animals characters. It also has the funniest endpapers I've seen in ages - go and have a look!
I met Jason in person at the celebration party on Saturday night, so was able to congratulate him. It was a rather classy affair, with a string quartet, free champers and colour-coordinated balloons everywhere.
The SCBWI 10th anniversary celebration cake was just extraordinary: here is me posing with it for the camera (so, what's new!?). Can you spot the space chickens?
Below are my sketches of the panel up on the stage, as they debate the state of the industry (as well as a few of the people sitting around me). I was drawing when I should have been paying proper attention - slap wrists. No, I can listen and draw at the same time, honest guv, I'm a woman, I can multitask...
As well as the big events in the main auditorium, there were lots of smaller talks you could opt for over the weekend. I went to another really interesting session on Saturday afternoon, with Mini Grey. She talked us through how she wrote, designed and illustrated award-winning books like Traction Man and Dish and Spoon.
She does SO much work so achieve her books, reworking them again and again, creating coloured roughs and sometimes several mock-ups, often with hand-made flaps and pop-ups. She had brought along loads to show us:
Oops, there's another train sketch sneaking in...
It was all so inspiring, and I was having so much fun, I completely forgot to feel anxious about my talks on Sunday.
There were so many other interesting talks and events going on. I haven't even touched on the wonderful illustration exhibition, or the (frankly rather hunky) Marcus Sedgewick and his opening lecture, but I really must get down to some work.
The sketches are some of those I did on the way there and back. If you want to see the rest (it was a long journey, so I managed quite a few) take a look in the Picture Gallery.
Thanks so much to all the members who work so hard to make SCBWI what it is, and especially to those who helped organise such a brilliant conference - can't wait until the next one!
OK, I'll shut up now, and we can all go and get on with some work...