It's been a busy morning already and I'm getting ready for a busy afternoon. Keynote speaker Chris Crutcher gave an inspiring talk based on the theme: Turning Real Life into Fiction. He writes YA novels which I'm not particularly familiar with, but you really can't go wrong with the advice to "write what you know".
The first breakout group I attended was lead by Cathy Goldsmith from Random House where she is an art director. She talked about portfolios for children's book illustrators and offered a lot of good information on everything from the process of developing a picture book, ways to submit samples, to more technical information about printing and binding. I came away with some new insights and her talk also confirmed (at least in my mind) that I've been teaching Children's Book Illustration "correctly" all these years!