Last week I attended the BYU WIFYR (Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers) Conference. It was fantastic.
The conference runs for a week and it is intense. I took the weeklong workshop with Dandi Mackall who is a prolific author. We workshopped picture book manuscripts in a 15 person group each morning from 8:30-12:30 Mon - Fri. I learned a ton from Dandi, especially about Point of View and getting in the character's head. Dandi's website can be found here. She's got some great books. I'll make some recommendations on good books later. (Also, Dandi is a sweetheart.)
I got to talk to Martha Mihalick, an editor from Greenwillow Books (an imprint of Harper Collins.) She gave me some great feedback on a book dummy I'm working on. She was great. She helped me fix some big problems with the story and get it more focussed.
The conference is organized by two local authors (as far as I know) who are hilarious and make the whole thing a lot of fun. They are Carol Lynch Williams and Cheri Pray Earl. They are great and their books are great too.
If anybody is considering going into children's lit, either writing or illustrating, the BYU WIFYR conference is an invaluable resource of information and a great place to make connections.
At the end of the week I drew Will Terry (one of the presenters) as a lumberjack.