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 Illustrators, Writer'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
Thanks to Robert Lee Brewer and Brian Klems of Writer's Digest for inviting me to be on their new WritersMarket.com podcast! I talked about how I started writing and illustrating books for young people, what I've learned so far, my middle grade novel, meeting Judy Blume, how much I love illustrating Michael Ian Black's stories for kids, board gaming, musical instruments and much more.
I was nervous but ended up having a lot of fun; both Robert and Brian are such nice guys. I used to work with both Robert and Brian for Writer's Digest (a daily publishing news column as well as articles for the magazine) and I hope to finally meet them in person someday!
Award-winning indie children's book author Lucy Ravitch shares tips and clears up misconceptions about indie publishing
Lucy Ravitch is the author The Pancake Menu, a children's interactive book that helps kids practice math skills as they play restaurant. The book won the 2016 Bronze Independent Publisher Award in the Children's Interactive category, and was also the bronze Reader's Favorite award for Children's Concept Books for 2016. Lucy says she has loved math since she was young and love showing kids that learning is FUN. Lucy launched her own company (Enjoy Learning Something) to publish her books and blogs at KidsMathTeacher.com. She lives in sunny Southern CA with her husband and five children.
I usually focus on traditionally published authors in my blog, but I was so impressed by Lucy's enthusiasm, business acumen and success in her indie publishing ventures that I thought Inkygirl readers would be be curious to know more. Thanks so much to Lucy for taking the time to answer a few questions!
Who could not want to read a book with a title like Sheldon Unger vs The Dentures Of Doom? This new book comes out from Star Crossed Press on October 1st, 2016. You can find more info about Jeff Szpirglas at Twitter and Facebook, and more about Sheldon Unger vs The Dentures Of Doom on Goodreads.
Rescue dogs, debut picture books and advice for young writers: Interview with TOBY author/illustrator Hazel Mitchell
Congrats to my friend and agency sister Hazel Mitchell today on the launch of her debut solo picture book, TOBY, which comes out from Candlewick today. Even though I've never met the real-life Toby in person, I've been following Hazel's photos and posts about this sweet rescue dog via social media. And like many other Toby fans, I was genuinely distressed when I heard about Toby getting lost and I cheered out loud when he was finally found, safe. You can find out more about the real-life Toby's adventures in this post by Hazel.
On rejections: No matter how discouraged you get, remember: always try one more time. - Billy Coffey
No matter how discouraged you get, remember - always try one more time.
Just read the first two books in Marcie Colleen's debut chapter book series, SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS (just launched from Imprint/Macmillan) Omigosh, I am in love with these books. Here are just a few reasons:
- So many laugh-aloud moments, for both kids AND adults. What I especially loved: the humor aimed at adults is NOT the "nudge nudge wink wink, we gro
Advice for young writers, apothecaries & MARK OF THE PLAGUE: Three Questions with author Kevin Sands
Last year, I mentioned how much I enjoyed The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands (as Kirkus said, "a spectacular debut") from Aladdin/Simon & Schuster. I'm excited that the sequel, Mark Of The Plague, launches today!
Last week, I asked you:
"In the past year, how have you read books? Check all that apply."
424 people responded. I opted for a multiple choice rather than "which do you prefer" for this poll to cut out the need to decide on a preference, plus it gets complicated because I would need to include different categories of reading; someone may prefer picture books in print, for example, but opt for a digital version of a novel for older readers.
Just read Kevin Sylvester's MiNRS 2 in one sitting, on the train to Buffalo. Or almost one sitting: I had to stop reading for a few minutes at U.S. Customs to answer the standard border crossing questions (I did keep reading in line until the very last minute). We were all told to turn off all digital gadgets during the 1.5 hours at the border, including digital readers, but HA!!!! I had a PRINT book.
Behind-the-scenes: How new picture book PIRASAURS! was created, with insights from author Josh Funk and illustrator Michael Slack
Back in May 2013, I posted an interview with Celia Lee, an editor at Cartwheel Books / Scholastic, and Celia invited Inkygirl readers to submit manuscripts for a limited time; apparently Celia received over a thousand submissions (!). A couple of years later, I met Josh Funk at nErDcampMI and found out that he had sold one of his picture book manuscripts to Celia as a result of my Inkygirl post, and it was being illustrated by Michael Slack.
It's been four years since my first children's book came out. One thing I've learned since then: to pay more attention to the people and things around me.
EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE can be a source of wonder and inspiration: a snippet of conversation, a secret smile, even someone's shoes. Ask yourself questions about the people and things you see around you, invent reasons why people look or act the way they do, what happened to them, why they chose to wear that particular piece of clothing today.
Beautiful part of writing: you don't have to get it right the first time unlike, say, brain surgery. - R. Cormier
(Quote above & others available as free, print-ready posters for classrooms, libraries, bookstores and elsewhere: DebbieOhi.com/read)
Just got back from the SCBWI Summer Conference in LA. My roommate was the amazing illustrator, Eliza Wheeler, and I had a chance to see her just-released picture book, THIS IS OUR BABY, BORN TODAY (Nancy Paulsen Books / Penguin).
So sweet! And of course, gorgeously illustrated. For ages 3-5.
"A baby is born and the world rejoices! With a loving mama, a trumpeting herd, curious cousins, and even some dancing peacocks heralding this little one’s arrival, it is apparent that the joy and wonder a new baby brings is shared by all! Varsha Bajaj’s lilting prose and Eliza Wheeler’s enchanting scenes of a wide-eyed baby elephant and its smitten family celebrate the importance of family and community in every child’s life. Set in the lush wilds of India, this is an endearing, beautifully illustrated tribute to little ones getting their first warm welcome to the world."