Welcome to Inkygirl: Reading, Writing and Illustrating Children's Books (archive list here) which includes my Creating Picture Books series, Advice For Young Writers and IllustratorsWriter's and Illustrator's Guide To Twitter, interviews, my poetry for young readers, #BookADay, writing/publishing industry surveys, and 250, 500, 1000 Words/Day Writing Challenge. Also see my Inkygirl archives,  and comics for writers (including Keiko and Will Write For Chocolate). Also check out my Print-Ready Archives for Teachers, Librarians, Booksellers and Young Readers.

I tweet about the craft and business of writing and illustrating at @inkyelbows. If you're interested in my art or other projects, please do visit DebbieOhi.com. Thanks for visiting! -- Debbie Ridpath Ohi


One thing books teach us is that if your life sucks right now, you just haven't gotten to the good part. - Tim Federle

One of my favourite Tim Federle quotes:

One thing books teach us is that if your life sucks right now, you just haven't gotten to the good part.

You can get the above image as a free, print-ready poster in my Free, Print-Ready Archives.


Comic: New Year's Resolution


Give yourself permission to believe that ANYTHING is possible in 2018.


Reminder for writers & Illustrators: all the networking/promo in the world can’t help unless you get your book FINISHED first. 


Happy New Year! And a doodle challenge for you all (even non-artists)

Happy New Year! Here's a fun doodle challenge for artists (and non-artists) of all ages: download and print my blank "2018" page and decorate however you'd like (art, inspiration quotes, random doodling) with what whatever media (crayons, pens, pencils, paints) you'd like.



Maybe draw what you're hoping to see or do in 2018, or write some goals, draw characters from your most recent or upcoming book....or WHATEVER YOU'D LIKE.


If you choose to share in social media, feel free to post the link in the comments below or tag me on social media so I can see. If posting on social media, I encourage you to use the hashtag #2018doodle for others to see.

Also, don't despair if 2017 wasn't what you hoped for. Take a deep breath, focus ahead. 

2018 will be YOUR year.

And congrats to Anika Denise, whose RT was randomly picked (via Tweetdraw on the Competition Agency website) to win the hand-drawn doodle above!


Comic: New Year's Resolutions For Writers


Comic: That's Me


Comic: On Not Making New Year's Resolutions

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm always torn between making and not making New Year's Resolutions because it's so easy to make them but then disappointing and demoralizing when you realize early in the year that there's no way you'll ever be able to make them happen.

Next year, though, I think I AM going to make some New Year's Resolutions. Will be posting about these and why I'm making them soon.


Comic: The Writer and Santa



"Read big and WRITE." Advice for young writers from Danielle Younge-Ullman (EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS NOT RUINED)


I recently finished EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS NOT RUINED by Danielle Younge-Ullman and adored it. I'm not surprised it's garnered so many rave reviews as well as being a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award. I've always been a fan of survival-type stories, and Danielle's YA novel combines this with beautiful writing as well as a complex and entirely believable main character. I loved that Ingrid had a musical background, her complicated relationship with her mother, how her character gradually develops throughout the book. Highly recommended.

Click to read more ...


Free To Download & Print: "A Gift Of Time" To Read, Write or Draw Certificate

Do you know a good friend who could use more time to read, write or draw? Offer to babysit, run errands, do grocery shopping, shovel snow etc.

Everyone appreciates the gift of time.

Suggestions for presentation: Download and print this certificate, then roll it up and present it tied up in red ribbon,  in a mug filled with packaged hot chocolate or your friend's favorite tea, or combine it with a good book.


Advice For Young Writers, Doctor Who and STOLEN WORDS: Three Questions For Melanie Florence

Melanie Florence is a writer of Cree and Scottish heritage based in Toronto. She was close to her grandfather as a child, a relationship that sparked her interest in writing about Aboriginal themes and characters. She is the author of Missing Nimama, which won the 2016 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, the 2017 Forest of Reading Golden Oak Award and was a finalist for the 2017 First Nation Communities READ award. Her other books include Righting Canada's Wrongs: Residential Schools and the teen novels He Who Dreams, The Missing, One Night, and Rez Runaway.

Click to read more ...


Comic: Exclamation Point Abuse Support Center!!!


Comic: The Gift


Advice For Young Writers, Cake & TANGLED PLANET: Three Questions For Kate Blair

I first met Kate Blair at CANSCAIP's Packaging Your Imagination conference, when she was helping during my presentation. Her debut YA, TRANSFERRAL, came out from Dancing Cat/Cormorant soon after; I posted about it here. I enjoyed Transferral so much that I couldn't wait until Kate's second book came out...and I wasn't disappointed. TANGLED PLANET is fantastic

Click to read more ...


Writers & illustrators: Remember to enjoy the journey instead of constantly comparing yourself to others. You may be luckier than you think.


Teachers! I'd love to see what your students draw with broken crayons

You never know what will come out of a broken crayon.

Those of you who follow my Twitter and Instagram accounts will have seen my Broken Crayon series, now up to #35. To teachers: I'd love to see what your students draw with broken crayons! If you send me a link to an online gallery (private or public), I'd love to see. Here is some broken crayon art from 5th-graders in Grande Cache, Alberta, Canada:

Suggestions on where to post a gallery: Padlet, Flickr, Facebook album....if you know of other student-safe gallery venues (all of the ones I've mentioned can be made private if desired), please let me know (you can also tag me on social media) and I'll add it to the list.


Comic: Punctuation Break-up


"If Only" - A NaNoWriMo Comic

Thanks to Arthur Slade for his help with this NaNoWriMo comic!


Exciting news: Michael Ian Black and I are teaming up for I'M WORRIED, a sequel to I'M BORED and I'M SAD!


I've been dying to make this public and I finally can: I am THRILLED to announce that I will be illustrating a new picture book by author / comedian / actor Michael Ian Black called I'M WORRIED.

The story features the Potato, Little Girl and Flamingo from the previous two books in the series, I'M BORED and I'M SAD:

This was my first children's book, published in 2012. Find out how I was chosen as the illustrator.

This sequel to I'M BORED comes out from Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers in June 2018.

The third book in the series, I'M WORRIED, will be published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers in 2019. And YAY, I'll be working again with Justin Chanda (published/editor) and Laurent Linn (art director/designer) again!! As you can tell from this photo of one of our meetings about I'M SAD, I have a lot of fun with this crew. :-)

Justin Chanda, Laurent Linn, me and Alexa Pastor meeting about I'M SAD at Simon & Schuster Children's.