Brian Pinkney plays a drum

This past weekend I attended the 10th annual Western Washington University Children's Literature Conference where I sat back and soaked up inspiration and fabulous stories from four great writers and/or illustrators: Brian Pinkney, Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Michael Grant, and Katherine Applegate.
 
The highlight for me was listening to how Brian Pinkney uses creative play and other creative outlets to inspire his work. He showed us an example by playing a drum! He said he often drums on the back of his studio chair when he feels a little stuck or needs to loosen up.
The conference was Katherine Applegate's first conference to speak at after winning the Newbery for The One and Only Ivan! What a lucky group we were!

Attention all Washington State Kid-lit junkies:

KEEP THIS CONFERENCE ON YOUR RADAR FOR NEXT YEAR! 

It's fantastic. I'm not even just saying that because it takes place in my own town of Bellingham. It really is fantastic.

I hope I'll see you there next year.