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
May302017

Madeleine L'Engle's A WRINKLE IN TIME was rejected 26 times before being published (and going on to winning the Newbery!) 

Did you know that Madeleine L'Engle almost gave up writing when she turned 40 because of discouragement over rejections? "With all the hours I spent writing, I was still not pulling my own weight financially." She discovered, however, that her subconscious wouldn't let her NOT write. 

"I had to write. I had no choice in the matter. It was not up to me to say I would stop because I could not. It didn't matter how small or inadequate my talent. If I never had another book published, and it was very clear to me that this was a real possibility, I still had to go on writing." (Source)

A Wrinkle In Time was rejected 26 times before John C. Farrar of Farrar, Straus and Giroux published it. It ended up winning the 1963 Newbery Medal and became a beloved classic.

Sources:

The Storyteller: Fact, Fiction and the books of Madeleine L'Engle - by Cynthia Zarin on NewYorker.com

Awards & Honors: 2004 National Humanities Medalist, Madeleine L'Engle

Penguin Random House Audio Publishing page about Madeleine L'Engle

Wikipedia pages on A Wrinkle In Time and Madeleine L'Engle (though I notice a lot of conflicting info!)

 

(Reprinted from an earlier Inkygirl post)

 

Monday
May292017

Writers & illustrators: Develop a thick skin. To succeed (and survive) in this business, you need to be able to take criticism.

Wednesday
May242017

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

Tuesday
May232017

A new Will Write For Chocolate comic! Confession: I have a wee bit of Esme in my bibliophile soul.

 

 

Thursday
May182017

A comic for fellow font nerds

Thursday
May182017

Donalyn Miller's 9th Annual Summer #BookADay Challenge and how I'm using it this summer

Yay, it's time for Donalyn Miller's annual summer #BookADay Challenge!

I do read all year round, but I find the #BookADay event a fun extra excuse to do some extra reading, plus I love the community aspect. 

Here's where you can find more info about #Bookaday:

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May182017

Productivity tip for writers: Learn how to write ANYWHERE and in the pockets of time others might normally discard.

If you're short on writing and revising time, try my Inkygirl Daily Writing Challenge.

Wednesday
May172017

Productivity tip for writers/illus: While online, DON'T FALL DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE. 

Monday
May152017

Comic: It's Still A Book

I embrace reading in ALL formats but I do still love the tactile experience & focus of a print book, especially for picture books.

Thanks to Paul Carroll for the comic caption!

Friday
May122017

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

Thursday
May112017

Writers and illustrators: Be brave. Fail. Try again. Succeed. Rinse & repeat. - Jenny Bent

Morning doodle inspired by one of my favourite pieces of advice, from Jenny Bent:

Writers and illustrators: "Be brave. Fail. Try again. Succeed. Rinse and repeat."

 

Thursday
May112017

Comic: Life With A Scrabble Addict

Wednesday
May102017

I may not look it, but I have Southern in my soul: SEA MONKEY & BOB Book Tour Thoughts (and a POEM)

I'm back from my Sea Monkey & Bob book tour through the Southern states! My head and heart are so full.

Click to read more ...

Monday
May082017

Advice for other writers/illus who go thru self-doubt during creative process: be kind to yourself, focus on NOW.

Monday
May082017

Writers: don't worry about the details in the first draft. GET IT FINISHED FIRST, revise later.

Saturday
May062017

Comparing yourself to others can suck joy out of creating. Find your own pace, savor the journey.

Tuesday
May022017

Regular reminder to writers: DO YOUR BACKUPS. And have a backup for your backup.

Friday
Apr212017

A comic for bibliophiles

Thursday
Apr202017

Comic: Fairy Tale Critiquing Angst + some advice for writers and illustrators

It's so important for writers and illustrators to develop a thick hide in this business. If you don't, chances are good that you won't be able to handle the critiques (solicited or not) and bad reviews. Learn how to take negative feedback gracefully.

And never EVER publicly respond to a negative review. This applies to friends of authors as well as authors themselves.

Tuesday
Mar282017

Interview with Vijaya Bodach, who sold her TEN EASTER EGGS picture book mss to Scholastic through an Inkygirl post

Back in 2013, I posted an interview with Scholastic editor Celia Lee, who invited Inkygirl readers to submit picture book manuscripts for a limited time. Two book contracts came out of that, including Josh Funk's PIRASAURS! story (see my interview with Josh Funk and the illustrator, Michael Slack).

I'm delighted to interview the author of the other book that sold. Vijaya Bodach's story, Ten Easter Eggs, illustrated by Laura Logan, published by Scholastic in 2015. For those in the Mt. Pleasant, SC area, Vijaya Bodach will be doing a Ten Easter Eggs Reading at the local Barnes & Noble.

Click to read more ...