Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

May Meeting: Author Charlotte Sullivan Wild

This month, Charlotte Sullivan Wild, author of The Amazing Idea of You (Bloomsbury, 2019), gifted our audience with “The Amazing Idea of Play!”

Now, quickly, grab a pencil and draw a scribble! Next, add onto that scribble to make it into a picture. With this playful exercise, Charlotte launched her presentation on “Using Play to Revitalize and Create Work.”

Other fun exercises, some based on the author’s experiences attending Stephanie Watson’s class on creative play:

-Sketch three things that first come to mind and when done, write captions

-List 50 titles of books you could write

-Create a collage of your story or character


-As artists it is our JOB to play.

-Play reminds us of our audience: KIDS!

-The main purpose of play is to RELAX and try out NEW things…to imagine the impossible, explore, experiment, discover and laugh. In other words, to LET GO.

-Play is healthy.

-Humor reminds us what’s important: to connect with another heart (not to be perfect, rich, or on Oprah.)

-If ever you feel stuck, use play to shake things up; by playing around doing something else, you relax, and that unlocks a new direction.

-If ever you feel anxious or fearful, use play to loosen up; as artists we must focus on “ how you can bring out your deepest, vulnerable truths” and play helps us to do that.

-Play is essential. It increases output, improves outcomes, and even brings luck and helps find solutions.

Writers and illustrators can “live the creative life in a sustainable way” by shifting their point of view from publication to the creative process through:

1. Living a Healthy Life: Find balance in all you do; include play in that balance to unlock the seeds of creativity.

2. Gathering Plenty of Compost: Collect inspiration everywhere; this sort of play evolves into new ideas or concepts.

Perseverance is key, but if you’ve lost the joy in your work, even for the moment, then prescribe yourself some PLAY, so you can find the joyfulness to write your book.