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 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 Thanks for visiting! -- Debbie Ridpath Ohi


Comic: Hamster Writers


Comic: Bibliophile Breakup



Quickie Anonymous Poll For Agents, Editors and Art Directors


To agents, editors and art directors out there: please take a few minutes to answer a short anonymous poll to help up-and-coming writers and illustrators?

Results will be discussed at the SCBWI-Florida Regional Conference, SCBWI Metro NY Chapter (Feb event) and SCBWI-LA Writer's Day as well as summarized in later this year.

For editors and art directors, I'm looking for those who are involved in the decision-making process re: book contracts or initial talent-scouting. Thank you SO MUCH!

You can find results to previous surveys in my Inkygirl Survey Archives.


A comic for parents who work from home


Comic: New Year's Resolutions (or not)

I have actually broken my resolution not to make resolutions and am going to make a resolution! See my blog post on New Year's Resolutions and Realistic Goal-Setting For Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Happy New Year's, everyone!


In memory of Debbie Alvarez, The Styling Librarian

Deeply saddened to hear that teacher/librarian Debbie Alvarez has lost her battle with cancer. Though we don't know each other in person, Debbie and I have emailed each other as well interacting on social media. She has been so generous in her support of me and work on her blog, including a post just last week

Click to read more ...


Advice For Young Writers, Minecraft Books and Cute Office Dogs: Three Questions With Danica Davidson

Danica Davidson started writing at age three and never stopped. Before selling her first book, she wrote for such places as MTV, CNN, The Onion and Los Angeles Times. Among other publications, she was recently featured by Forbes for her Minecraft writing. She’s represented by the James Fitzgerald Agency. Attack Of The Overworld is the second book in Danica's Minecraft series, which is geared toward ages 7-12.

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Comic: The Writer and Santa


Comic: Snowman Writer Resolution


Book-combo holiday gift idea: THE TRUTH ABOUT TWINKIE PIE by Kat Yeh

Rereading my friend Kat Yeh's debut middle grade book THE TRUTH ABOUT TWINKIE PIE makes me think how great a holiday gift this book would be. Twinkie Pie is my favorite kind of book: a wonderful voice, characters I care about and an unexpected but thoroughly satisfying ending. See my interview with Kat on Inkygirl earlier this year.

Anyway, here are a few fun gift packaging ideas:

- Combine this book with the ingredients for one of the many excellent recipes in this book for a middle grader who likes to cook/bake.

- Great hostess gift for your favorite librarian or kidlit book lover: a copy of this book along with a a yummy baked Twinkie Pie (or No-Peek Chicken, Maybe Even Better Soup, Madder'n Heck Smashed Potatoes, Special-Occasion Fancy Sandwiches, Pull-Aparts, Easier-Than-Pie Pudding, Impossible Pie, Tangled-Up Pie, Heartbreak On Toast, Pick Me Up, Cherries In The Snow or one of the other recipes)

- Other combo gift items you could include: baking or cooking utensils or tools, a cookbook, Twinkies :-))

You can find out more about The Truth About Twinkie Pie and Kat Yeh on her website.


Writing Challenges Should Inspire Motivation, Not Guilt


Did you attempt NaNoWriMo this year and have to bow out because you simply didn't have enough time? Are you looking for a year-round writing challenge with some flexibility? 

Try my 250, 500 or 1000 words a day challenge.



Creativity tip: Take the time to look at the world a different way

Tip for writers and illustrators: Every so often, take the time to look at things around you differently than you normally would. Doing so can help you solve creative problems in your work. Here's why and how...

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Graphic novel love: SUNNY SIDE UP by Jennifer and Matthew Holm

Not only is SUNNY SIDE UP a wonderful graphic novel for middle grade, but you can also find out tons of behind-the-scenes info about how it was made in THE YARN. I met Jenni Holm at NerdCampMI earlier this year and found her super-friendly and down-to-earth. 

Found out more about Jenni at, about Matthew at and SUNNY SIDE UP at Scholastic.


Need a gift for a reader, writer or illustrator but have a small budget? Give them some TIME

Click the image above for a print-ready PDF or download the "Gift Of Time" gift certificate here.

Looking for a gift for a friend but don't have the cash? Give the gift of TIME.

Depending on your relationship with the recipient, you could offer to do dishes for a week, pick up the kids from school, x number of hours of running, grocery shopping, babysitting and so on. If your friend complains about not having time to read, combine this certificate with a book.

Some suggestions for presenting the gift:

- Slip the certificate into a white envelope and then decorate the envelope with holiday stickers, sparkles, doodles, etc.

- Roll up the certificate and tie a color ribbon around it. Present it as is, or wrapped in gold tissue paper.

- Combine the certificate with themed gift, like with some packaged soothing chamomile or mint tea, chocolates in a mug, or other "it's time to spoil yourself" items.

- Combine the certificate with one of your favorite books.


For more free, print-ready goodies, see Debbie's Print-Ready Archives.


Advice For Young Writers, Thumbnail Dummies, Office Cats and BIGFOOT DOES NOT LIKE BIRTHDAY PARTIES: Three Questions with Jaime Temairik

Jaime Temairik is an illustrator and author based in Seattle and is actually quite fond of birthday parties. You can find Jaime at and on Twitter at @jaimetem. BIGFOOT DOES NOT LIKE BIRTHDAY PARTIES! is a new picture book written by Eric Ode, illustrated by Jaime Temairik, published by Sasquatch Books in October 2015.

Get a peek into Jaime's illustration process, her office cat decor (with a live cat!), advice for young writers and illustrators, and more.

Click to read more ...


Comic: Snowman Want Ad

Thanks to David Lubar for the caption!


Will Write For Chocolate Updated

For more WWFC strips, visit

And in case anyone's curious, Esme is reading Teresa Toten's SHATTERED GLASS, just like I am. Such a good book!


Advice for young writers, office cats and UP IN THE AIR: Three Questions With Ann Marie Meyers

Ann Marie Meyers grew up in Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies. She has a degree in languages and translates legal and technical documents from French and Spanish into English. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and daughter. Meyers is an active member of SCBWI and facilitates a children's writing group twice a month.

Read Ann Marie's advice for young writers, her office cats and what she's excited about now...

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Keiko: Thanksgiving


Advice For Young Writers, Emergency Chocolate and A MOOSE GOES A-MUMMERING: Three Questions with Lisa Dalrymple

Lisa Dalrymple is the author of Skink on the Brink and many other books for children. She loves to travel. In Thailand, she shared her bath towel with a gecko that thought it was his bed. Lisa now lives in Ontario with her husband and three kids–but no lizards.

Also see my interview with Lisa Dalrymple and Suzanne Del Rizzo about how they created SKINK ON THE BRINK, a wonderful plasticine art book from Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

You can find out more about Lisa and her work at, Facebook, Twitter.

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