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2013 Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium timeline

Arthur Levine, Sara Goodman, and Pamela Yosca. Photo: Shara Hardeson.

On Saturday, October 5th, we held our third annual Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium with the theme “Building Character.” Miss the fun? We’ve compiled a timeline of the day’s highlights based on tweets by our staff and other attendees. See Friday’s ceremony timeline here.


9:02 am: Good morning! We’re ready for a day full of children’s books, people who make them, and people who love them at Horn Book at Simmons!

9:06am: Horn Book editor in chief Roger Sutton in opening remarks: “Literature changes us… It’s how we build our character.”

9:07am: #BGHB13 Fiction Award winner Rainbow Rowell and Eleanor & Park editor Sara Goodman on building characters in the novel

9:13am: Rainbow Rowell comes up with groups of characters and the relationships between them, rather than individual characters one at a time

9:15am: Rainbow Rowell wanted Eleanor and Park to be “real people,” not defined by their problems

9:17am: Rainbow Rowell: character is revealed in how characters speak, how they respond to others, how they change throughout the book

9:27am: Rainbow Rowell: “I’m not interested in people trying to be bad. It’s much more interesting to watch people trying to be good.”

10:07am: #BGHB13 judge Pam Yosca speaks with editors Sara Goodman (Eleanor & Park) and Arthur Levine (A Corner of White) about editing characters

10:14am: Arthur Levine: when writing and editing fantasy, you must pace revealing the nature of characters with revealing information about the world

10:22am: Fascinating discussion between the editors about the challenges of editing a series still being written

10:41am: Arthur Levine: A Corner of White sequel coming Mar. 2014 is called The Cracks in the Kingdom “and it’s freaking awesome!”

10:47am: #BGHB13 Nonfiction winner Robert Byrd on researching Ben Franklin: “What is it about him that makes him feel like one of us?”

10:55am: Electric Ben is a follow-up to Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer. Robert Byrd and his editor felt Ben Franklin was “the American Leonardo”

11:02am: Robert Byrd points out a horn book in a spread from Electric Ben 🙂

11:21am: Robert Byrd: some of Ben Franklin’s musical compositions were performed by Beethoven and Mozart

11:39am: #BGHB13 Nonfiction honoree Christy Hale drew inspiration from the childhoods of the architects she included in Dreaming Up

11:42am: As Dreaming Up progresses, the children pictured get older and their building play gets more sophisticated

11:47am: Architecture is a field dominated by white males; Christy Hale emphasized diversity in the children pictured and architects included in Dreaming Up

12:03pm: Time for lunch and breakout sessions: “Quite the Picture Book Characters,” “The Character of Award Committees,” “Reviewing (By Some Real Characters) at The Horn Book,” and “140 Characters or Less: Children’s Books and Social Media”

12:29pm, @decoyapplejuice: Eating and tweeting at a breakout session on social media. I am so meta.

1:44pm: #BGHB13 Picture Book Award winner Jonathan Bean shows original sketches for At Night and Building Our House

1:50pm: Jonathan Bean: “Even in the early stages in the sketchbook, it just feels right to me to have the text & images develop together”

2:10pm: Fascinating to see (adorable) photos of the Bean family and the house’s construction from late ’70s-early ’80s next to illustrations from Building Our House

2:11pm: Jonathan Bean thinks of the landscape and the house itself in Building Our House as characters

2:52pm: As a child, Open This Little Book author Jesse Klausmeier wanted a “story that would never end,” loved the idea of “books within books”

2:56pm: Jesse Klausmeier and illustrator Suzy Lee asked “How many themes can we layer?” when collaborating on Open This Little Book

2:58pm: Jesse Klausmeier: “I like to think of Open This Little Book as a gateway book to other books — I like to hook ’em young!”

3:03pm: Jesse Klausmeier: as the books in Open This Little Book get smaller and smaller, kids reading it draw in closer and closer to the book

3:10pm: Cathie Mercier of Simmons closes #HBAS13. How does she manage to beautifully recap all the presentations the minute they’re done?!

3:38pm: Cathie Mercier: until the next BGHB awards and HBAS colloquium, “grab a cookie, have a sip of water, read well, and travel safely!” See you next year!

4:14pm, @decoyapplejuice: Invigorating to spend time in the place, and community of minds, so formative to my career path. Thanks, @HornBook and @simmons_gsa!


More on the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards and the following day’s Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium: “Building Character” is coming soon! Follow us on Twitter for updates on all things Horn Book.

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