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


A Comic For Bibliophiles

For the curious, here are the results of my "do you dog-ear your book pages or not" survey on Inkygirl from a while ago.


A Cautionary Comic For Writers (plus one of my New Year's Resolutions)

Almost all of my comics are based on my own experience as a freelancer, as you might have guessed. This one is particularly relevant. One of my constant challenges is that for me, social media is more fun than work....but as a result, it can be way too easy to justify time I spend on social media as work.

This year, one of my work goals is to get my middle grade novel finished. 

While I can't control IF my novel is ever published (and I've become positive that this angst has a lot do with why I've been spending way too much time fussing about the outline and prep), I can focus on getting the book finished.

Which is why I've decided I really need to pull back a wee bit from some social media, especially Facebook. I suspect I'll be on much more than the average person, but I'm going to try being more conscious about when I use social media, and how I use it.

My favourite social media these days: Twitter and Instagram. Some people find Twitter too negative but I find that so much is about what feeds you follow, and how you interact.


Inkygirl in The Write Life's "Best Websites For Writers In 2018" list!

Thanks to The Write Life for including Inkygirl in their list of 100 Best Websites For Writers 2018!


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.

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