Thursday, July 16, 2015

Nick Adkins - Winner Of The Conference Logo Contest

The Michigan SCBWI Fall Conference is less than two months away! Earlier this week, we shared the winning logo for the conference on our Facebook page and it definitely sums up the theme of the day.
Congratulations to Nick Adkins for winning our conference logo contest! Please read our spotlight below!

All of our speakers either live here in Michigan or grew up in our great state. So they are all examples of the amazing homegrown talent that Michigan shares with the children’s writing community. We have two editors coming who will also be offering written critiques, four amazing authors, one speaker on literacy and an illustrator sharing his time for portfolio reviews. Here’s a little breakdown:

Kathryn Jacobs
is a Senior Editor at Roaring Brook Press, which is part of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Kathleen Merz 
is a Managing Editor for Eerdmans Books for Young Readers which is located in Grand Rapids.

Deborah Diesen 
is the award-winning author of the New York Times bestselling THE POUT-POUT FISH series and other picture books.

Kelly DiPucchio 
is the award-winning author of over twenty picture books, including New York Times bestsellers, GRACE FOR PRESIDENT, and THE SANDWICH SWAP.

Lynne Rae Perkins 
was awarded the Newbery Medal for CRISS CROSS. She has authored other novels and also written and illustrated several picture books.

Ruth McNally Barshaw 
is the author/illustrator of the popular Ellie McDoodle series and her first illustrated picture book, LEOPOLD THE LION, will be released this fall.

Dr. Mary Bigler 
is a Professor at Eastern Michigan University where she teaches courses in reading and language arts. She is a past president of the Michigan Reading Association.

Wong Herbert Yee 
is an award-winning author/illustrator of numerous picture books and early readers. His first picture book, EEK! THERE’S A MOUSE IN THE HOUSE, released in 1992 and is still in print.

It’s an event you won’t want to miss. Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 3 at Thomson-Shore publishing in Dexter. Registration will open on August 1.


Nick Adkins, Author/Illustrator, SCBWI member since 2014

As soon as I heard about the contest the idea of a flower kind of blossoming into an open book popped into my head.  When I originally sketched it out, I wanted the roots to grow into the conference title, but it just wasn’t legible. After some struggle and some consultation with my wife, I decided to go with straight text and add the texture to the grass and dirt. I left the pages blank, because it’s our job to fill them. It took four iterations before I was happy with it. Five before my wife was happy with it.

I’m a lifelong doodler. A favorite birthday present growing up was always a pad of paper and a box of colored pencils or crayons. I loved making things up and drawing them. Eventually that grew into writing stories. I didn’t take any of it seriously until I was part way through college and remembered how much fun it was.
That moment when everything comes together. I often go into the creative process with a pretty
basic idea and trust that it will change and grow into something better. When it does and I can take a step back and take it in—I live for that! And if I can get a classroom full of kids to laugh, that’s pretty good too.

I’m working on a series of early chapter books about a quirky fourth grader. She is trying to navigate the ups and downs in the life of a ten year old, but chaos ensues when a sassy little robot joins the family. My goal is to find an agent to represent me and then get the books into the hands of young readers.
My mission since the start has been getting kids interested in reading. At school visits, I’ve found kids that have already started to bottle up their imaginations and I do my best to inspire them to be super creative.

For writers and illustrators:
Create something that excites you. Find your happy place, turn on your happy music, and just work. And if it stops working, walk away and come back in a day or two. If it’s still not working, change your place or music or project and try again. For me, developing a process has really helped the ideas to flow from mind to hand to paper.


  1. A huge congrats to Nick! That's so awesome. And great to see the line up for the conference in October.

  2. Congrats, Nick! I love the logo, and it was interesting to learn your process. Great idea to respond to Nina's "glimpse into your brain" question by drawing a graphic!

  3. Exciting line-up and way cool logo. Congrats!

  4. Good job, Nina and Nick! That was fun.