Three Questions For Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

Welcome to Inkygirl: Reading, Writing and Illustrating Children's Books (archive list here) which includes my Writer's and Illustrator's Guide To Twitter, interviews, #BookADay, writing/publishing industry surveysWriting & Illustrating a Picture Book For Simon & Schuster BFYR post series and 250, 500, 1000 Words/Day Writing Challenge. Also see my Inkygirl archives,  and comics for writers (including Will Write For Chocolate).

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
Jan112011

Literary fiction writers: "Dear Lucky Agent" Contest

DearLuckyAgent Contest

From time to time, I promote writing contests that have no entry fee. This one targets literary fiction writers.

Deadline: Jan. 23, 2011

Prize (3 winners): critique of first 10 pages of your work by agent, 1-year subscription to Writersmarket.com

More info

Monday
Jan102011

Word Count Challenge Check-In

URL shortcut for this challenge: http://bit.ly/dailywords

I Love My Work

I've successfully managed 500 words a day except for one day on the weekend. I'm going to wait after I attend the SCBWI conference in NYC at the end of the month before I consider ramping up to 1000 words a day.

How are the rest of you doing with your Word Count Challenges?

 

Sunday
Jan092011

Great cartoon about the Huckleberry Finn revamp controversy

If you haven't already heard, a new version of Huckleberry Finn is being released that replaces the word "nigger" with "slave" instead.

Bookshelves Of Doom recently posted a good Cagle comic on the controversy.

Thursday
Jan062011

Picture book Dummy Challenge

Are you an author thinking of writing or writing and illustrating a picture book? If so, check out the Kidlitart Picture Book Dummy Challenge, 25-week online group challenge to create a submit a picture book dummy. It starts today and ends on June 30th.

Excerpt from the description of who can join:

Though geared primarily toward author/illustrators, writers who are not artists can benefit from portions of the dummy exercise, and illustrators without an original manuscript can use the process to create a dummy portfolio piece.

Find out more at: http://kidlitart.blogspot.com/2011/01/its-here.html

Here's the blog post schedule:

Jan. 6-Jan. 13 (1 week): Pick your project

Jan. 13-Feb. 10 (4 weeks): Draft the story

Feb. 10-Feb. 24 (2 weeks): Develop the characters

Feb. 24-Mar. 10 (2 weeks): Storyboard text and art

Mar. 10-May 5 (8 weeks): Produce tight, full-size sketches

May 5-Jun. 2 (4 weeks): Produce final art of two spreads

Jun. 2-Jun. 16 (2 weeks): Comp the cover and assemble the dummy

Jun. 16-Jun. 23 (1 week): Research submissions; prepare dummy package

Jun. 23-Jun. 30 (1 week): Submit

Jun. 30: Wrap party!

Wednesday
Jan052011

Writer Productivity Tip: unsubscribe to as many mailing lists as you can

So far, I've managed to easily meet my goal of 500 words a day. I'm even thinking of upgrading to 1000 words a day, but am going to wait a couple of weeks to make sure I'm not just experience a burst of "beginning of the year resolution" enthusiasm.

How are the rest of you doing?

One thing I'm doing to help minimize wasted time: UNSUBSCRIBING TO UNNECESSARY MAILING LISTS. I've mentioned this a while back, but since then I've let a number of services put me on their mailing lists without doing anything about it. Instead, I just delete the messages as they come in, without reading them.

NO LONGER.

From now on, if I find myself about to delete a mailing list message, I'll think very hard about whether I should be on the mailing list at all. And instead of being lazy and just hitting the delete key, I'm going to take the time to scroll to the bottom of the message and figure out how to unsubscribe myself.

A related tip: never EVER put people on your promotional mailing list without asking their permission first. It drives me crazy when I start getting promo e-mails from an author with an accompanying message like, "Hey, I thought you'd be interested in my work. If you want to be taken off the list, just let me know." It immediately makes me want to NOT buy the author's book. Ok, rant over.

Tuesday
Jan042011

250, 500, 1000 Words A Day Challenge now on Facebook

 

I'm tickled by the enthusiastic response to my 250, 500 and 1000 Words/Day Challenge for Writers! I've been getting a ton of "I'm in!" messages on Twitter, Facebook and here on Inkygirl. For those on Facebook, I've created a page specifically about the challenge:

Saturday
Jan012011

Happy New Year's, all!

I've posted a new comic over on Writer Unboxed. Title: "New Year's Resolutions."

One of my New Year's Resolutions: To post in Inkygirl more often.

Another: to write a minimum of 500 words a day. As I mentioned before, I know that 500 words isn't a lot, but I've been doing a LOT more drawing lately and have been neglecting my own writing.

I'm secretly hoping that I'll find that once I get into the groove of regular writing again, I'll be able to aim for a higher wordcount goal.

What about the rest of you? Anyone else willing to join me in aiming for 250, 500 or 1000 words a day?

 

Monday
Dec202010

Comic: Writer's Santa Wish List

Monday
Dec202010

Comic: Santa's deadline

Monday
Dec202010

1000, 500, and 250 words a day: Personal Writer Challenge ... With Leeway

As some of you already know, I've been doing more illustration work lately. Right now, my main illustration project is Michael Ian Black's I'M BORED picture book for Simon & Schuster. I've also been doing a ton more sketching to improve my craft.

The writer side of me, however, has been languishing. I signed up for NaNoWriMo but had to give it up because of illness in mid-November -- that's when I started thinking about how much I need to get back to regular writing. And how I need to revisit my Daily Writing Goal challenge myself!

To be realistic, I'm going to start out next year by aiming for 250 Words A Day (and only count words written for my novel(s)). Hopefully I'll find 250 words way too easy and upgrade to a higher word count goal.

Making New Year's Resolutions involving a daily writing goal can be a dangerous thing, I know, but I need something like this. What about the rest of you? Anyone else up to a daily writing goal challenge for next year?

The goal of the Inkygirl Wordcount Challenge simple: to inspire writers to write.

Too often, I find that writers start motivational challenges like NaNoWrimo with enthusiasm and good intentions, but give up when they start missing their daily targets for more than a few days in a row...undermining their confidence and defeating the purpose of the original challenge. I wanted a challenge with build-in leeway, to take into account that sometimes Life Gets In The Way.

I also wanted a challenge that lasted the whole year rather than just a month.

You can find out more about the 250, 500 and 1000 Words A Day Challenge here.

So who's in with me? And wordcount goal are you setting?



Monday
Dec202010

Please vote: Writers Digest 101 Best Websites For Writers

Hi all,

If you've found Inkygirl useful, inspiring or entertaining this past year, I'd be appreciative if you'd nominate my site for the Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites list.

How to do it:

Send an e-mail to writersdig@fwpubs.com with "101 Best Websites" in the subject header, and mention that you're nominating Inkygirl.com.

Whether or not you decide to nominate Inkygirl, I'd like to thank you all for your encouragement and support this past year. This site is run by one person (yours truly) and funded out of my own pocket, and the info and feedback I've been receiving by e-mail and in comments make it all worthwhile. Thank you!

- Debbie

p.s. If you'd like YOUR site to be considered by other writers for nomination, do post your site name and URL below!

Monday
Dec202010

Cartoon Caption Challenge: Pencil-nose Snowman

Monday
Dec202010

Comic: Frosty and the Stamp

Sunday
Dec192010

Comic: Mom's Christmas Wish List

Sunday
Dec192010

Comic: Finding A Quiet Place To Write: Idea #241

Saturday
Dec182010

Comic: Snowman Gift

Saturday
Dec182010

New comic up on Writer Unboxed today

Instead of my usual general writer comic, I've posted a Q&A comic as part of the Reader Q&A on Writer Unboxed. Topic: SCBWI conferences/workshops as being a good choice for beginning writers interested in kidlit/YA.

Friday
Dec172010

Comic: Great Cough Syrup For Writers

Friday
Dec172010

One Of The Many Reasons I Love My Agent, Ginger Knowlton

Wednesday
Dec152010

Natalie Goldberg video

Sorry for the lack of posts. Pre-holiday craziness and a stubborn flu bug has knocked me out of the blog loop for a bit. Catching up now.

Thanks to Open Road Integrated Media for alerting me to this brief but inspiration Natalie Goldberg video. I'm a huge fan of her WRITING DOWN THE BONES, which I reread regularly in bits and pieces. It doesn't matter which random page I pick -- inevitably I'll find a nugget of writer inspiration or hope which helps fuel my work day.