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

Tuesday
Apr172018

Writers and illustrators: Be aware when research/prep turns into procrastination.

Tuesday
Apr172018

If you love a book, write a nice review. It gives the author encouragement on days they want to take up scorpion petting. - @LianaBrooks on Twitter

Tuesday
Apr102018

Advice to writers/illustrators: Take the long way. Shortcuts rarely pay off. 

Tuesday
Apr102018

Video of how I created one of my broken crayon drawings

You never know what will come out of a broken crayon (#48 in series). I decided to take a video of how I created one of my broken crayon drawings, and I gave it away on Twitter - congrats to Ann Schimmoler, who won the final result (I am still waiting to hear from Ann so I can mail the doodle to her).

See my Broken Crayon Page for more art, resources for educators and info about my upcoming broken crayon book with Linda Sue Park and Simon & Schuster.

Monday
Apr092018

Advice For Young Writers, Embracing Magic & ENGINERDS: Three Questions With Jarrett Lerner

Jarrett Lerner writes books about farting robots, belching knights, and other serious matters. You can find him online at jarrettlerner.com and on Twitter at @Jarrett_Lerner. You can also often find him at the mgbookvillage.org, which he cofounded and helps run. He lives with his wife, his daughter, and a cat in Medford, Massachusetts.

I first encountered Jarrett on Twitter, where he is an enthusiastic champion of kidlit. When I asked him about ENGINERDS, I loved that he made sure to give credit to the illustrator, Serge Seidlitz, who did the cover and spot illustrations inside the book. Yay for authors who appreciate their illustrators!

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr042018

Comic: The Frog Prince, Revisited

Tuesday
Apr032018

Writing Advice, Indie Bookstores and Classroom Tour: Three Questions with Colby Sharp (THE CREATIVITY PROJECT)

Colby Sharp is a fifth grade teacher in Parma, Michigan. I first heard about him through the Nerdy Book Club (of which he is a co-founder) and Nerd Camp Michigan (ditto). He runs The Yarn podcast with his friend Travis Jonker. You can find Colby on his website, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Thanks to Colby for answering Three Questions for me today!

I love Colby's classroom tour, especially hearing the stories behind some of the art! Did you know that Deborah Freedman created the header for The Nerdy Book Club?

Colby's advice for young writers: Start out by copying the people you love. Doing this can help you eventually find your own style and voice.

What he's excited about now: independent bookstores. Colby described the amazing things he sees indie bookstores doing and encourages us to make sure we use some of our book buying power to support these community bookshops.

Colby is one of the most positive and enthusiastic people I know, especially when it comes to helping kids find the books that help them fall in love with reading. I was honored to be one of the contributors to the just-released THE CREATIVITY PROJECT, published by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers

Synopsis of THE CREATIVITY PROJECT (Little Brown Books For Young Readers, 2018):

"Colby Sharp invited more than forty authors and illustrators to provide story starters for each other; photos, drawings, poems, prose, or anything they could dream up. When they received their prompts, they responded by transforming these seeds into any form of creative work they wanted to share. The result is a stunning collection of words, art, poetry, and stories by some of our most celebrated children book creators. A section of extra story starters by every contributor provides fresh inspiration for readers to create works of their own. Here is an innovative book that offers something for every kind of reader and creator!"

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For more interviews, see my Inkygirl Interview Archive.

Wednesday
Mar282018

Social media tips for authors and illustrators (Part 1)

I've been using social media since before the term existed and though I am far from expert, I have learned a great deal along the way. I'm going to start posting some social media tips for authors and illustrators on my blog from time to time, in hopes of helping some of you avoid the (many) mistakes that I made.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar272018

The story behind my upcoming Broken Crayons picture book with Linda Sue Park for Simon & Schuster BFYR!!!

 

I am THRILLED and HONOURED to announce that I will be illustrating a picture book by Linda Sue Park. The announcement appeared Publishers Weekly Children's Bookshelf last week while I was out of town:
Announcement in Mar. 22, 2018 issue of Publishers Weekly Children's Bookshelf

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar272018

Comic: Writer's Block Biscotti

Tuesday
Mar202018

Celebrating Judy Blumesday in NYC....WITH JUDY BLUME! 

Things have been crazybusy lately, so I've only had a chance to post about this now. And of course I NEED to post about this, because how often am I going to have a chance to say that I shared a stage with the amazing JUDY BLUME?!? Needless to say, I was a wee bit excited:

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar192018

Punctuation Is Important

Monday
Mar192018

THE MAGIC WORDS: Writing Great Books For Children and Young Adults

I rarely post about books on the craft of writing because there are so many good ones, and I was also being inundated by requests from publicists and authors to review their books for Inkygirl readers. To reiterate: I lack the time or inclination to be an official book reviewer, so please do NOT put me back on your lists. Thank you. :-)

I do, however, sometimes post about books I like, and I had to post very briefly about THE MAGIC WORDS: Writing Great Books For Children and Young Adults by Cheryl B. Klein (W.W. Norton).

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar162018

Behind The Scenes: Illustrator Andrea Offermann and the cover of THE YIN-YANG SISTERS AND THE DRAGON FRIGHTFUL

Don't you love the gorgeous cover of The Yin-Yang Sisters and the Dragon Frightful? Written by Nancy Tupper Ling, this upcoming picture book is illustrated by my friend, Andrea Offermann, and it comes out from G.P. Putnam's Sons Books For Young Readers on Sept. 18, 2018. Andrea was kind enough to share the process behind the cover design process....

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar012018

Advice to writers/illustrators: Take the long way. Shortcuts rarely pay off. 

Wednesday
Feb142018

Comic: Valentine Rejection

Tuesday
Feb132018

Free picture book templates, how-to guides and other resources

Over the years, I've been accumulating all the "How <title> Was Created" guides for young writers and illustrators, advice from children's book creators I've interviewwed, plus a few tips for not-so-young book creators. Feel free to browse all this info as well as my free picture book thumbnail templates at my CREATING PICTURE BOOKS resource.

Saturday
Feb102018

Common source of writer's block amongst cat owners.

Saturday
Feb102018

Comic: The Four Stages Of Writing

Friday
Feb092018

Comic: Kidlit Restaurant