Topping Up the Inspiration Tank

I was at the CANSCAIP (Canadian Society for Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers) Saskatchewan Prairie Horizons Conference in Lumsden this last weekend. It’s held every two years and as usual, it was fabulous!

I got to hear 10 people pitch their mostly YA manuscripts to a panel of four esteemed judges (Marie Campbell, Eric Walter, Sigmund Brouwer and Sean Cassidy) in a Canadian Idol type competition. I enjoyed hearing the different styles and learned a lot by listening.

We went on a moonlight labyrinth walk. A huge moon lighted our way so it wasn’t a big deal that the wind picked up and blew all our candles out. The labyrinth walk is one of my favourite parts of the conference.

We heard incredible speakers – Marie Campbell, an agent who was both honest and straightforward but inspiring too; Eric Walter, a prolific writer and man of conscience and action; Sean Cassidy, an incredible illustrator/author who wowed us all by teaching us to draw cartoon expressions. Here’s my results:

ExpressionsNot bad, eh?  🙂

The open mike is another favourite part of the conference for me. We had about 20 people read 5 minutes of their work. Amazing stuff! (Not to mention I had a hoot being the time keeper.)

Add to all this, a weekend of writing talk – specifically writing for children talk. Believe me, that’s a big deal. Not once did I have to explain why I write picture books. Not once did I have to say that no, I wasn’t planning on “moving on” to adult writing.

I met new people, I laughed, I ate really well (lemon poppyseed cheesecake – yum!), I left feeling fired up and ready to write. This morning I was up at 6 to do just that.

And what a beautiful location! Lumsden in the fall. Here’s a shot taken early Saturday morning.

IMG_2075I’m already looking forward to the fall of 2015 and our next CANSCAIP SK Prairie Horizons Conference! If you are a writer, illustrator or performer for children, I highly recommend it!




5 Responses

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  1. What a grand weekend it must have been. I have always loved Lumsden. I think it would be a great place to live, nestled in the valley. Looking forward to your new book!

  2. Great post Dianne. It was such a pleasure to chat with you. 🙂

    Just a question… I’d like to follow your blog but I don’t see a spot where I can follow…? Help. 🙂

  3. Thanks Suzanne. I think what you’re looking for (I’m not real tech savvy) is on the right side of the title bar. RSS? Is that it?

  4. Lemon poppyseed cheesecake! Sounds divine! Glad you had such an inspiring weekend. Oh, and p.s. I was inspired yesterday at my first photography class. Thanks for the recommendation!

  5. David Fahie is a great instructor. You’ll be glad you took his class.

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