Writers & Illustrators of the Future Workshop Week 2024 Day 3

Writers & Illustrators of the Future Workshop Week
2024 – Day 3

Writers Workshop: 24 Hours to Shine!

Contributed by Martin Shoemaker

On the second day in the classroom, the writers returned at 9:00 a.m. for more instruction from Jody Lynn Nye and Robert J. Sawyer, this time on the process of traditional publishing and what happens to your manuscript when it reaches the publisher’s office. The typical manuscript has to be good enough for two pages, then the acquisition team will try twenty pages, and then will skim to the end and hopefully pass the story to the editorial group. And that’s just the start of a much longer process! A publisher has only a few slots in a year, and your success depends on an editor loving your book enough to champion it through the acquisitions and production gauntlet. Jody and Rob also discussed Hollywood deals, which are even more rare and nearly impossible, and how the one thing you can control is the quality of your writing.

After lunch, Rob went around the room handing out trinkets from Jody’s box of prompt objects (an old-fashioned key, a dog figurine, a small candy case, a piece of bubble wrap, and more). This collection of odd items will inspire the writers to launch their 24-hour stories. The exercise is inspired by L. Ron Hubbard’s article “Magic Out of a Hat.” Then they were sent out on a simple mission: WRITE!

The Illustrator Workshop Begins

Contributed by Leah Ning

The illustrators started bright and early this morning, listening to Echo Chernik speak about her portfolio. She spoke about how illustrators shouldn’t be afraid to suggest additions to existing IP while designing, as well as the balance between working on projects for love versus good pay.

She continued by talking about the different career choices artists can make. She spoke about the balance between pay, negotiation, and new paths for potential career expansion. She says there are ways to negotiate to make a job with a lower budget worth it—if you have interest in that particular job or path.

Following this, Echo walked the illustrators through the process of an illustration project—from the contact to finish. She pointed them to guidelines on contracts and pricing, and what details should be in a creative brief (and which details sometimes aren’t, even if they should be). The class also touched on AI art and how illustrators can protect themselves, contractually and otherwise, from having their work used to put them out of further work. There was lengthy discussion on how to balance the loss of income resulting from the increasing use of AI to generate pieces that illustrators would previously have been paid for. Echo, personally, is “throwing cats at the problem”—specifically art nouveau portraits of cats! Knowing how to switch directions, she says, is vital to being a creative.

Echo then went over some ways to advertise yourself and get jobs as an illustrator, including print directories, a list of ever-changing online resources and social media, and shows and conventions. She talked about consistency in branding and presentation to different sets of clientele.

After a lunch break, the winners watched a slide video from illustrator judge Val Lakey Lindahn and heard Echo talk about licensing, including copyright transfer, work for hire, and several levels of licensing rights. They then moved on to using references in illustration and resources for creating a reference library including professional models.

The illustrators then heard from Peter Green and Tamra Meskimen referencing articles in the book Art by L. Ron Hubbard. Green and Meskimen spoke about art as a form of communication without attempting perfection, and developing a unique style as an artist. In demonstration, the illustrators were asked to do a quick drawing to hear from the person next to them what the piece communicated.

The winners were then released for tux fittings, portraits, and interviews. Tomorrow, they’ll get to hear from several of the illustrator judges, have a live figure drawing salon, and attend the highly anticipated art reveal!

2 replies
  1. Dustin Adams
    Dustin Adams says:

    I’ve heard some not-yet-winners say they are intimidated by the 24 hour story. It’s nothing to be negatively concerned about. It’s quite exhilarating, actually. It proves your capability because you *can* do it. And when it’s done, you feel amazing!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *