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Picture Book Club March 2017

Tuesday 14th March saw the fifth outing for Picture Book Club. This time we were in Windsor. Thank you once again to Waterstones for being wonderful, generous hosts. We were very excited to be joined by not one but three special guests!

First, we were delighted to welcome Meg McLaren, author-illustrator of Life Is Magic. Meg is a celebrity these days having been nominated for the Klaus Flugge Prize and the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2017. Results of both are out soon! All the members of Picture Book Club are behind you, Meg! Excitingly, Meg had brought along some of her sketch books and dummy books. It was a privilege to be able to see a little bit of the work that goes into creating a successful title such as Life Is Magic or her new release, Pigeon P.I. Naturally, we all had our books signed and I am now the proud owner of my very own member of the Houdini rabbit family!

Also in our exciting line-up was Libby Hamilton, Meg’s editor at Andersen Press. It was so interesting to hear from both author and editor about how they commission work and collaborate. For those of us present without a mainstream publisher, it was also reassuring to learn that someone real does read all our submissions and thinks carefully about them even if the answer is nearly always ‘no (thank you)’.

Finally, thanks to Paul Black from Andersen for setting all of this up and coming along to help eat the cake and add in words of wisdom and a few tit-bits of gossip. We always love that!

Little by little, we’re all learning a bit more about what it takes to make a great picture book that has longevity like Life Is Magic. Can’t wait for the next Club evening when we will be hearing the agents side of things from James Catchpole in Oxford. In the meantime, go out and buy Pigeon P.I. It’s FAB!