Friday, February 19, 2016

William Joyce's Kickoff Keynote #NY16SCBWI by Kim Briggs



Dear Alison,

Last weekend, we spent all our waking hours absorbing the amazing energy of the NY SCBWI Conference. William Joyce kicked off the #NY16SCBWI Conference Saturday morning with his keynote: Books are Like the Ice Cream Sandwich: How New Technology Doesn't Change Much of Anything but it's all Kinda Cool."

Any speech revolving around an ice cream sandwich is going to peak my interest, and he did not disappoint.
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 I knew William Joyce was a gifted author illustrator--I just never realized how HUGELY talented he is. 

Check out his extensive book collection: 


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And I hate to admit it, but I didn't realize the movie, The Rise of the Guardians, was based on his book, Jack Frost. It's surprising that when the movie came out no one capitalized on his book--or at least I didn't notice it. And the art, oh Alison, the art in JACK FROST is amazing. Joyce's well-known bold characters but with light watercolors. I can't wait to pick up my own copy. 

Usually with big speeches and panel discussions, I write down sound bites, and I can't wait to share Joyce's sound bites with all of you.

Joyce admitted he didn't remember giving his assistant the Ice Cream title--but he found a connection to books. He said, “The hard stuff’s on the outside and the good stuff’s on the inside no matter what. It doesn’t matter if its a book, a movie, or an ice cream sandwich. It’s all the same."

And you know what, he's right. We need to crack that cover, open that laptop, bite through that chocolate cookie outer to get to the juicy middle. 

HIS BEST TIP: "You should always think of it as a book."

And Joyce always has. In his teen years, he began to illustrate and write and in a short time began to submit. He received 250 Rejections—some nice, some blunt, but he didn’t give up. He kept going. Determined, he went to NY and meet with editors and anyone in the publishing industry who would meet with him. And finally, someone said YES, and really, isn't that what it's all about-- that one YES? Well in the beginning, it is. Then it's about the next YES, and the slews of NOs, followed by another YES. It really doesn't matter where a person is on their writing/illustrating journey--the road's just as bumpy and jarring on each leg of it. It all comes down to the YES.

As book creators, because that’s what we all are, we should find new ways to play with books.

William Joyce is all about the journey into book discovery. He and a handful of creatives developed Moonbot Studios.
Their apps create new ways for children (and all of us) to experience books. I can't wait to look more into these apps, that are some of the best selling apps on the market.

In the upcoming weeks, I'll talk more about the conference and share all my sounds bites top Industry Professionals, Rainbow Rowell--we'll probably both talk about her, and a number of other sessions and speakers, so until next time...

Sharing the writing love one letter at a time,
Kim Briggs