Sunday, March 25, 2012

SCBWI Workshop

Yesterday I attended a SCBWI (Society for Children Book Writers and iIllustrators ) workshop on Picture Books in Ventura, CA. It was my first, and I was amazed at the talent in the room and the depth of the discussion.

One of the most interesting discussions was about "younging down" an idea for children. This is not "dumbing down" a story idea, which is demeaning and discounts the basic understanding children have about life. It is taking an idea and making it relevant to a child and his world in terms he can relate to and appreciate. In writing for adults, we do not need to consider the age of the reader; in writing for children, it is very much an issue. But to merely give children "fluff" and not relate real issues that they face, we miss an opportunity to help them explore their world in a meaningful way. This is not to say that we should hit children with the full impact of the adult world, but they are capable of relating and understanding stories about issues that they face in their everyday lives. It also allows the parent an opportunity to explore these issues with their child.

1 comment:

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Sounds like an excellent workshop.