The “Writing and Illustrating Picture Books” roundtable, moderated by Cheryl Willis Hudson of Just Us Books, provided a fun and insightful look into the creative process behind picture books. Joanna Cardenas from Viking / Penguin Random House detailed the publishing process for writers and illustrators, revealing that oftentimes the two parties do not have direct communication but collaborate through the book’s editor. This helps preserve the creative license of the illustrator without the writer controlling the process.
As a writer who began in spoken-word, I believed for too long that to write in standard form (i.e. sonnets, sestinas, etc.) was to engage in white literary vehicles antithetical to my existence as a writer of color. At a recent lecture by Natasha Trethewey, she argued for poets of color to embrace white traditional forms as one of many ways to subvert the white canon.