On Saturday, September 29, we held our third annual Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium with the theme “Look Out!”. Miss the fun? We’ve compiled a timeline of the day’s highlights based on tweets by our staff, visitors from our sister publication School Library Journal, and other attendees. See Friday’s ceremony timeline here.
9:13am: Good morning! We’re ready for a full day of great books at the Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium!
9:20am: Coffee, cider donuts (yum), and Horn Book editor in chief Roger Sutton’s opening remarks—off to a good start!
9:25am: Roger Sutton: “What strikes me most about the books honored last night and today is that they “look out,” emphasis on the 2nd word”
9:31am: BGHB chair Thom Barthelmess on nonfiction winners: committee looked for books that “inform and delight in equal measure”
@sljournal, 9:31am: “Look Out” the theme of today’s Horn Book colloquium at Simmons College
@1stSentenceTest, 9:37am: “Everyone needs a chance to feel special” Chuck Close on his parents, who thought he was “the greatest thing since sliced bread”
9:38am: BGHB Nonfiction Award winner Chuck Close (in video from his studio): “Art saved my life”
@1stSentenceTest, 9:47am: “Chuck often says ‘if I didn’t go to Yale I would’ve gone to jail’” Amanda Freymann on the artist
@1stSentenceTest, 9:49am: “He often watched soap operas while he was (painting)” Joan Summers on Chuck Close
9:57am: Chuck Close: “Ease is the enemy of the artist”
10:14am: Chuck Close on why he paints faces: “The face is a roadmap of a life”
@1stSentenceTest, 10:22am: “His life is a testament to the importance of art education” Joan Sommers on Chuck Close
10:29am: Amanda Freymann on Chuck Close: “There is not a medium this guy hasn’t experimented with”
10:51am: BGHB judge Lauren Adams introducing fiction panel: “We all felt both lucky and challenged to have such great books to choose from”
10:59am: Video giving us a glimpse into Lewis Michaux’s bookstore in Harlem begins the panel on BGHB Fiction winner No Crystal Stair and African American literature
@1stSentenceTest, 11:04am: “They call me the professor and I say ‘you’re right. I professed to do something and I did it.’”—Lewis Michaux
11:03am: No Crystal Stair author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson (Lewis Michaux’s great-niece): “Education and knowledge, reading, can be a powerful and life-changing, life-saving thing”
11:13am: Moderator and librarian Deborah Taylor: “How do you keep the format from overwhelming the story?” Editor Andrew Karre: “It’s like building an airplane in flight”
11:28am: Illustrator R. Gregory Christie: “We all need to come together and learn each other’s history”
@sljournal, 11:22am: Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards/Colloquium honors V. Micheaux Nelson’s “No Crystal Stair” on her great-uncle, Harlem bookseller Lewis Michaux.
@sljournal, 11:24am: Deborah Taylor: “Anyone interested in the long arc of lives should be interested in No Crystal Stair”
@sljournal, 11:28am: Bookseller “Lewis Michaux was saved by books and went on to save others with them.”
11:37am: Vaunda Micheaux Nelson on her term “documentary novel”: “When a writer begins to invent, you need to own up to that & call it fiction”
12:36pm: Time for breakout sessions on “looking out” from different perspectives: creators, academics, librarians, teachers, editors/publishers
@sljournal, 1:08pm: Horn Book honors Caitlin O’Connell and Donna M. Jackson’s The Elephant Scientist: “Science writing…starts with story.”
@sljournal, 1:34pm: Caitlin O’Connell and Donna M. Jackson’s The Elephant Scientist coming as an enhanced ebook in Nov. Cool.
1:49pm: BGHB judge Megan Lambert introducing picture book panel: “I’m always on the lookout for kids’ reactions to picture books”
2:01pm: Author Mac Barnett was inspired by a single image on illustrator Jon Klassen’s website and wrote Extra Yarn “in the world of Jon’s art”
2:15pm: Jon Klassen on whether bear & rabbit of I Want My Hat Back are in Extra Yarn: “truth is I just don’t draw too many different-looking animals”
@sljevent, 2:17pm: Klassen says similarities between bear and rabbit in Extra Yarn & I Want My Hat Back weren’t intended, there’s no rabbit resurrection
2:26pm: Author Julie Fogliano says she didn’t set out to write a picture book with And Then It’s Spring but was “writing just to write”
2:34pm: Illustrator Erin Stead specifically paced Julie’s text, added characters to “make you stay there” and linger over her words
@sljevent, 2:37pm: “I wanted to keep the reader slowly walking through this book…but I didn’t want them to leave…” Erin Stead
2:37pm: Fascinating to see Jon Klassen’s rough drawings for Extra Yarn & block print blocks Erin Stead used in And Then It’s Spring
2:44pm: Author Philip Stead saw Erin’s illustration of bears waking in And Then It’s Spring, ran upstairs, & wrote Bear Has a Story to Tell
2:47pm: Mac Barnett says he’s “very conscious that the story’s not finished” when he’s done writing; the narrative continues with illustrations
2:56pm: Roger Sutton: “what I love about both [Extra Yarn & And Then It’s Spring] is how much space they have. Thanks for giving us room to breathe”
2:59pm: Mac Barnett on yarn-bombing: “I was not at all familiar w/ the practice when I wrote [Extra Yarn]…I definitely am not cool enough”
3:21pm: This BGHB crossword puzzle by Tim Wynne-Jones is hard!
3:23pm: Horn Book executive editor Martha Parravano moderating discussion between fiction honorees Elizabeth Wein and Mal Peet on War Stories
3:28pm: Mal Peet on inspiration for Life: An Exploded Diagram: “…and in my cheerful way, I was thinking about nuclear missiles…”
@1stSentenceTest, 3:31pm: “I start with a small riff and improvise madly around it” Mal Peet on composing a story
3:36pm: Elizabeth Wein: “Writing [Code Name Verity] was absolutely liberating”; it was fun to “play around with form”
3:40pm: Mal Peet: “When you get to my age, the difference between autobiographical novel and historical fiction gets kind of blurred”
@1stSentenceTest, 3:42pm: “When I went to university I was in a hurry to lose two things: my virginity and my accent.” Mal Peet on being from Norfolk
3:45pm: Code Name Verity‘s main characters “Verity” and Maddie were originally a single character who was both a spy and a pilot
3:50pm: Fun fact: Elizabeth Wein has her pilot’s license!
4:05pm: Panel on the Picture Book Proclamation with signatories Jon Klassen, Mac Barnett, Erin Stead, & Philip Stead
4:09pm: Erin Stead: “The first time I ever heard from Mac, he asked me for money. For the ad.”
4:21pm: Erin Stead: “You’re looking at 4 people who every day are trying to make a good book, and that is hard to do! [The picture book] is not over yet”
4:24pm: Mac Barnett: “We could enter a golden age of picture books at any time. But you never know when you’re in it”
4:31pm: Do libraries and librarians need a Proclamation?
4:36pm: Mac Barnett: “there are so many frontiers in this form”; Jon Klassen: “there’s no other form where you can take so many risks”
4:40pm: Closing remarks by Cathie Mercier: “imaginative power of books is limited if we don’t also talk and write about them”
4:44pm: Cathie Mercier: “In ‘looking out’ for children’s literature we must also look in, to examine our own assumptions”
4:53pm: Thanks for celebrating with us! Next year’s awards & colloquium are in the works for 1st weekend in Oct.—mark your calendars!
10:57am Sunday: Elizabeth Wein flies home from Boston—but is she flying in the plane or flying it herself? We like to think the latter!
More on the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards and the following day’s Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium: “Look Out!” is coming soon! Follow us on Twitter for updates on all things Horn Book.