It was a beautiful sunny morning when a number of us met at Neuchâtel train station. We hopped on the train to go a little ways out of the city center. It certainly was lovely weather to take a walk through the vineyards where we got an amazing view of the sparkling lake and were absorbed in engaging conversations about life in Switzerland, work, travel, kids and of course, books. Then we headed down to the lake for a cold drink at a nice local café, where we heard about someone's latest picture book project and an impromptu crit happened. With some rumbles in the tummies, we looked for a picnic spot and settled down for lunch. After which, we looked over another wonderful picture book project. Properly inspired, we got to work on our individual work-in-progress.
i think it was a fantastic way to spend a few hours with fellow creatives. Thank you to everyone who came and made it an inspiriting time.
5 May 2019
Riding the wave of the excitement of Day 1, we jumped into Day 2 of the Europolitian 2019. The day started with lovely door prizes being given out and the announcement of the winner of the Portfolio Showcase. Congratulations Devon Holzwarth from the Germany/Austria region! #europolitian19SCBWI
Then it was onto an invigorating panel discussion which covered topics such as social responsibility, authenticity of our stories, trends, the difference between the industry then and now, taboo topics in children's literature, diversity and the power of a story. On the panel were Kathi Appelt, Maria Middleton and Alice Sutherland-Hawes.
Sufficiently caffeinated from our coffee/tea break, we go into the morning workshops which delved into topics such as illustrating book jackets, building strong characters and rights.
Then it was time to fuel our stomachs to get more energy for the afternoon workshops.
The afternoon was filled with talk about digital portfolios, creation of a novel and querying basics. A quick coffee/tea break and then it was onto the Mentor Program and Undiscovered Voices. Thank yous were said and gifts were presented.
All too soon it was time for the closing keynote by Kathi Appelt; Whirled P's, which gave us words such as places, people, pets, problems, power, PLAY, partnership, profession and POSSIBLE! My personal take away is this: When you're doing your life's work, your life works!
Next on the agenda was regional networking sessions as well as a few more consultations. And that concluded Day 2.
Monday was given over to Peer Critique Cafe. I have to say, for me, my critique group was a great group. Thank you, ladies, for a wonderful crit!
Below are some pictures for you to enjoy. Here are a couple of links to some other posts about the Europolitian; one from a faculty member, and one for an attendee. Update: another post about the Europolitian from the Germany/Austria region.
Do you feel like you missed out? Or maybe you really want to go to another SCBWI event? Well, if you are a member of a SCBWI region, your RA will keep you updated. If you are not a member, join up!
Hope to see you at our next event.
4 May, 2019
It was the first day of the conference, we started bright and early with registration opening at 7:45 am. It was fabulous to see people arriving early and all excited about the day. #europolitian19SCBWI
Elisabeth Norton, RA for Switzerland, welcomed all the attendees and after a few administrative announcements, we were treated to an inspiring opening keynote by Chitra Soundar. Chitra filled us with much passion for our craft and gave us practical steps to build our foundation that would help us to scale our scaffolding to success.
The panel discussion, which followed next, gave an overview of marketing in the publishing market and touched on aspects such as; building relationships, book covers, authenticity, brand/platform, online presence and trust. On the panel were Andrew Ruston, Chitra Soundar, Molly O'Neill, and Naomi Colthurst.
Then it was time for a coffee/tea break to stretch our legs, refreshing ourselves before diving into the workshop sessions. The four workshops covered topics such as illustrating picture books, writing picture books, aspects of fiction writing as well as a look at how first pages can change through the editing process.
Lunch break was next and conversations flowed over burgers and soup. The afternoon workshops looked at humour in children's literature, crafting a stand-out manuscript and more illustrations for picture books.
There was another opportunity for chit-chat at the afternoon coffee/tea break. Then we headed back into the last set of workshops for the first day. This time, there were discussions about the creative process, author visits and a session which covered almost every aspect of publishing.
Whew! That was a packed day, filled with loads of stimulating and thought-provoking sessions. But we were not quite done yet; a lovely apéro and networking time followed. Individual consultations with industry experts took place at the same time. Finally, it was off to a well-deserved dinner for all of us.
Below is a slideshow, featuring some of the highlights of the day.
Stay tuned for Day 2.
I apologise that this series of posts did not get posted live during the Europolitian 2019 Conference. I had trouble getting the WIFI to work in my room.
The Europolitian 2019 ended 2 days ago, with the last event being the Peer Critique on Monday morning. But I will start this series of posts with the pre-conference activities on Friday, 3 May.
In the late afternoon on Friday, various groups assembled at the Youth Hostel in Zurich.
The Scrawl Crawl group was the first to set off with illustrators, laden with their pens, pencils, paper and digital drawing pads, to capture the many animals and people at the Zurich Zoo.
Next, the Walking Tour group walked down the street to catch the bus and tram, heading for Paradeplatz, to meet the professional tour guide.
The Creative Cafe group settled themselves at a large round table in the lobby of the Youth Hostel, working on their work-in-progress projects.
Participants from all three groups then met up again at the publisher, Nordsüd's office. We were very warmly welcomed by Nordsüd, who lay on a lovely apero. We were able to purchase some of their books at a special SCBWI rate. It was also a great opportunity to speak to them about the work and industry of children's publishing.
You can see some photo moments from the pre-conference activities below.
Look out for the next post which will feature the first day of the conference proper.
It's another three sleeps till the SCBWI Europolitian Conference 2019! Or two sleeps if you are coming for the pre-conference activities. #europolitian19SCBWI
I am very excited and can't wait to listen to wonderful speakers, attend inspirational workshops and, of course, meet all the people who will be there. It really is the people who make the event; it's the organisers, the faculty and the attendees coming together. Everyone there to talk about the world and work of writing and illustrating for children's books - it will be smashing!
I hope to blog live from the conference so stay tuned for the posts.
Now what does an image of a clock tower and some orange umbrellas have to do with the upcoming Europolitian Conference 2019 in Zurich, from 4th to 5th May? #Europolitian19SCBWI
Well, it's a shot from the test run of one of the pre-conference activities on offer at the conference. Sounds interesting? Mysterious? It could even be the inspiration for your next creative piece.
So if you have not signed up for the conference and are still thinking about it, stop thinking and go sign up here!
Registration closes 20 April 2019, 12 AM, Swiss Time. We have just a handful of places left.
See you at the conference!
Are you ready?
Registration for Europolitian 2019 Conference - Taking Your Work to the Next Level, in Zurich, Switzerland, opens Sunday, 6, Jan 2019, 8 a.m. Swiss time.
Spaces are very limited so get on this as early as you can. The website is here.
Good luck with registration and we hope to see you at the conference in May!
Our Autumn Retreat 2018 was a few weeks ago and i have asked participants to look back on it and let us know what they thought about it. Here's what a couple of them said.
"It was an amazing and tranquilizing experience to be able to work in such a beautiful and silent village with such a beautiful group artists. The working sessions were very productive with the pomodoro method. I was able to go hiking with the bells of cows as a background music in the coffee breaks. Meals were delicious, hotel was cosy and the staff was friendly. Hope to be joining next year too. Perfect place to wash out all the gibberish in one's brain and concentrate on work and relax at the same time :)"
"A small hotel in the alps was the perfect place to kickstart work on my second novel. I prefer to work in solitude, so it was perfect to have a desk with this inspiring view--glad the weather didn’t stay nice the whole weekend or it would’ve been difficult to stay indoors. Getting together for informal meals was great to break up the working day and chat about writing."
It sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Why don't you plan on joining us at the next retreat?
Next year's dates will be announced here on the blog as well as in our regional newsletter.
In the meantime, here are some photos of our hard-working writers and illustrators who were at this year's retreat.
Do you have questions about writing or illustrating for children (anything from craft to marketing) and are not sure who can help?
Well, come to one of our regional meetings and let us help you.
Here are some details:
Zurich - 14 October 2018, Sunday, 2.30pm - 3.30pm
Location - Jack & Jo's, Gustav-Gull-Platz 2 - Zürich, 8004
Please register here for the Zurich meeting so we know who to expect.
Lausanne - 21 October 2018, Sunday, 2.30pm - 3.30pm
Location - Hotel Alpha Palmiers, Petit-chêne 34 - Lausanne, 1003
Please register here for the Lausanne meeting so we know who to expect.
Hope to see you either in Zurich or Lausanne.
On behalf of the SCBWI Switzerland team,
It was a fabulous sunny day on 16th of June, 2018 and some of our members met up for our annual Summer Scrawl Crawl. Here are a few photo impressions.
Willkommen! Bienvenue! Benvenuto! Bainvegnì! Welcome!