Congratulations to Rahele Jomepour Bell and Taia Morley, winners of the 2018 SCBWI Social Media Mentorship Award for Illustrators! Laurent Linn and I were delighted to present the award for the first time at this year’s Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles. I’ve been a fan of online communities and social media before either term became popular, and over the years have seen what kinds of book promotion will and won’t work in social media, and how important it is to consider individual context. I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned with other illustrators and illustrator/writers! Also, my own career as a children’s book creator got jumpstarted at the 2010 SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles, for which I will remain forever grateful; this is a wonderful opportunity to pay it forward.
This new award is the brainchild of YA author and Simon & Schuster art director, Laurent Linn. From Laurent: “The SCBWI offers a wide range of fabulous programs and awards for illustrators. But, specifically at our International Summer Conference in Los Angeles, one focus I felt was needed was a program for PAL member illustrators or illustrator/writers about social media book promotion. At conferences and in my job as an art director, I’ve seen that illustrators use social media in so many different great ways, but book promotion seems tricky for most people. How to promote an upcoming book without overdoing it? How to utilize one’s unique skills, talents, and connections best? What are one’s overall purposes for using social media? I see this as an art director, but I’ve also been through this myself with my own book I’ve written and illustrated. So I decided to create a new opportunity for PAL members attending the LA conference that would hopefully help fill this gap. As a member of the Illustrators Committee on the SCBWI Board of Advisors, I discussed it with the other Committee members—all agreed this would be a marvelous opportunity. But I didn’t want to teach it alone. So, who else to teach this with than Debbie Ridpath Ohi? Working with Debbie on her books, as well as observing her expertise of social media in general, I knew she would have a wealth if insights perfect for this award program. Now that our first time doing this has been a success, I’m excited to see how this Mentorship grows at the 2019 L.A. Conference! Debbie and I will be eager to see who applies next summer.”
You can read more about the award and this year’s winners on the SCBWI Conference Blog at http://scbwiconference.
blogspot.com/2018/08/the- social-media-mentorship-award- for.html.