Kristen Nobles at Hollins U

We're not done yet! At the very end of the semester, when everyone's portfolios are ready, we invite a big name Art Director or Publisher to come in, give a talk, and do portfolio reviews. This year I was thrilled to have Kristen Nobles of Page Street Kids (Publishing), who I'd had speak at an SCBWI Illustrators' Day in Atlanta almost a decade before. Kristen was formerly an Art Director at Chronicle and then at Candlewick (for 16 years) before becoming Publisher of the children's imprint at Page Street.

     Kristen gave the perfect talk on illustrators becoming writers - something our students really needed to hear. There's a trend right now for publishers and agents to prefer author/illustrators over one or the other, mostly because it's easier to work with just one person, partly because agents don't have to split the royalties (which are already low), and partly because editors can help get a text into good shape. Good to know!

     Kristen also talked about what they're doing at Page Street Kids. With her background, they're already creating some very impressive titles.

     The next day while everyone was packing up, Kristen gave very thorough reviews to five of our students (graduating or recently graduated). I take notes during the reviews so that the students don't have to focus on anything other than listening, so I get to hear everything she said, and wow, did she give some good advice!
     If you're looking for an Art Director/Publisher to come speak to your region, I highly recommend Kristen! Although, considering she was seven-months-pregnant, you may have to wait a bit for an opportunity!

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