Monday, April 11, 2011

2011 Conference Series- Faculty Q & A with Jim Whiting

Happy Monday! I can't believe it's the week of our 20th Annual Writing and Illustrating for Children Conference!! Weekends are always worth looking forward to, but THIS weekend will be a memorable one!!! It's also time for another Faculty Q & A, and this one is with Jim Whiting. Jim is part of our Distinguished staff, and also co-leading the Nonfiction Intensive with Lionel Bender! You can read J
im's Conference Bio here.

What is the best and worst advice you were given when you started in children's literature?

Because I stumbled into children’s literature on my own, I didn’t really receive any outside advice. It was more a matter of realizing that the skills I had developed editing and publishing Northwest Runner magazine 17 years were as applicable for younger readers as for adults.

What advice would you now give someone starting out in children's literature?
Develop a strong stomach. You’ll hear the word “no” quite a bit – if you hear anything. And while it may be self-evident, take pains to submit your best possible work and make sure you submit it on time. Publishers don’t like prima donnas.

What favorite author/illustrator blogs, websites, Facebook pages, or Twitter accounts do you follow?
Chinook Update is about it.

Where do you do your best work?
In my home office, which about the only place I ever work.

As you know, those who are in children's literature tend to have lengthy discussions on the important topic of snacks (usually it's a baked good). What's your favorite snack?

What are you most looking forward to about being part of the 2011 SCBWI WWA faculty?
In general, the sheer energy and optimism of the presenters and attendees, as well as the chance to meet a lot of new people. In particular, the nonfiction intensive that Lionel Bender and I are presenting on Friday.

Attendees are often nervous to meet faculty at a conference. What, if anything, makes you nervous about being part of the faculty?
Me? Nervous?

What do you like most about your job? What do you like least?
Like. 1) Learning about new things, in science, history, biography or the other fields I write about and edit. 2) Being paid to write about stuff I like. 3) Helping other authors to hone their work and make it much better.

Dislike. The generally low pay for series nonfiction.

What do you most want our attendees to know about you?
I’m very approachable and easygoing.

Great answers from Jim!! As a bonus, I'm including a great Suzanne Collins interview that Jim recently sent us. Jim finds it interesting that she doesn't pay much attention to social media (thanks Jim).

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