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


Coffee with Claudia Osmond and Andrew Tolson

One of the many reasons I'm glad I joined Twitter is because I got to meet the Toronto Middle Grade and YA Author Group. The group was founded by Claudia Osmond (above left), and even though we get together once a month, some of us also meet in smaller gatherings as well.

Fun to hang out with Andrew Tolson (above right) and Claudia this afternoon, talking about kidlit publishing and catching up on each other's writing projects. The photos above & below were taken on my iPhone, and then I tweaked them using the TiltShiftGen app on my iPad. Andrew took the photo below. Andrew's a professional photographer, by the way; his recent photo of Bill Gates is the COVER photo of the current Maclean's magazine!


New comic up on Writer Unboxed

I've posted a new comic over on Writer Unboxed: "The Paperless Office."


How Nelsa Roberto wrote & sold her YA novel debut: ILLEGALLY BLONDE


I met YA author Nelsa Roberto through the Toronto Middle Grade and Young Adult group (a.k.a. Torkidlit). Nelsa's one of those people who makes you feel comfortable right away. She's smart, she's funny, she speaks her mind. Read my interview with Nelsa to find out about how she wrote and sold her debut YA novel, ILLEGALLY BLONDE, and her advice for hopeful writers.

Click to read more ...


Kathryn Stockett's THE HELP rejected by almost 50 agents

I've recently been enjoying the audiobook version of Kathryn Stockett's bestselling book, THE HELP. I tend to listen to audiobooks whenever I'm out for a walk (in a safe neighbourhood) or doing household chores.

A post on Dystel & Goderich Literary Management site about a NYTimes article points out that Kathryn Stockett's THE HELP was initially rejected by almost 50 agents before it was picked up.

From DGLM:

But that's the way the game is played: you win some, you lose some, and the take-away for me from this story for authors is that confidence in your work, persistence, and of course a good dose of luck and timing, can make all the difference. It's a great success story, and in a time where there are so many grim reports about book publishing, it's refreshing to see a story about a book that got it all right, even if it had some stumbling blocks along the way.


Khaled Hosseini likes to read a few lines from a favourite novel before he starts to write

I find reading about other people's work habits inspiring. The Kite Runner author Khaled Hosseini, for example, typically gets up at 4 a.m. Has some coffee and breakfast, reads the paper, then writes for 2-3 hours before going to his other job. He says that reading a few lines from a favourite novel before he gets started helps him get into the flow of things.

Read more in this Red Room profile.


New iPad comic created entirely on my iPad

Click on the image to the left to see a bigger version of the iPad comic I created this morning. If you're curious about what apps I used to create it, you can read the whole post in iPadGirl.


#Kidlitchat tonight on Twitter at 9 pm EST

If you're interested in writing for young people, consider coming to #kidlitchat on Twitter tonight. It's my favourite Twitter chat -- it's always fun, and I always come away inspired.

You can see the transcripts of previous #kidlitchat sessions by browsing the archives.

To find out more about how you can participate (or just to eavesdrop), see my Twitter Chats For Writers FAQ.


Wordcount Challenge Check-in For Writers: 250, 500, 1000 Words/Day


Haven't heard of the Inkygirl Wordcount Challenge? The goal of this challenge is to help provide goal-oriented inspiration, with flexibility to avoid giving up in frustration. Please click on any of the buttons above for more info.

So how did you all do this past week? And what are your current writing goals?

Good luck with your writing, all!


iPad Apps For Writers

I've updated my list of iPad Apps For Writers with a review of Black Mana Studio's Manuscript for the iPad.


Message to my younger self

What I just posted on Twitter this morning:


No one loves their iPad more than I love my iPad

I've been featured on the Padgadget site! You can read the article here:

Padgadget Creative Corner - iPad Artist Debbie Ridpath Ohi



From Jo Knowles on the JoNoWriMo Livejournal community site:

Inspired by NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), JoNoWriMo+1.5 is similar, but allows writers 2.5 months to complete a project(s) of their choice. On September 16, participants will state their goals, and then for the next 2.5 months we will work on those goals together. Our challenge ends on midnight, December 1.
On official check-in days, I will make a post to the group and ask everyone who has signed up to leave comments and report their progress so far. These dates are:

October 14
November 11
November 25
December 1—OUR FINAL CHECK IN! PARTY!!!!! :-)

On these days, we ask that no one else make an individual post so that the check-in post is easy to find. PLEASE REMEMBER: This community is set up for members to post their questions, ask for encouragement, share their progress, and cheer on others. We are here as a supportive community only. This is not a competition in any way.

For more info, sign up at JoNoWriMo+1.5.


For those who liked the Apostrophe Song...

Shaun McNicholas from Cool Rules posted the following comment in response to The Apostrophe Song video I posted a few days ago:

 Thanks for posting this Debbie. You might like to know that it relates to an iPhone App, The Apostrophe Song, that has hip hop, rock, acoustic and dance versions of the song. The App also has quizzes that test users' knowledge of apostrophes, and classroom ready materials for teachers.There is also an opportunity for schools worldwide to be included on the next update of the App. You can buy it for only $1 (see www.coolrules.com ). Hope you don't mind this blatent self-promotion :-). The Apostrophe Song has been a labour of love...


Multi-talented speculative fiction writer Maya Bohnhoff sings on video

A while back I interviewed speculative fiction author, Maya Bohnhoff. Some of you may not know that Maya also sings and performs with her husband, Jeff Bohnhoff, and that they have CDs available. Well, they took their song Midichlorian Rhapsody (from their Grated Hits album) and created this highly amusing video:

Yes, that's Maya singing lead. Wow, what a voice!

You can hear samples from their other parodies on their Grated Hits CDBaby page. And while you're there, be sure to check out Track 5. Heh. :-)


Comic: Back To School


Promote A Friend's Book! It's Random Acts Of Publicity Week (Sept.7-10, 2010)

The creation of Darcy Pattison, Random Acts Of Publicity Week is a week where everyone is encouraged to post a review of a friend's book on Amazon, Goodreads, Library Thing, or elsewhere online. WONDERFUL idea!

To those of you who aren't on Facebook, I've posted what Darcy said at the end of this post.

If you DO participate and post a review of a book somewhere during the week, feel free to use this badge of honor I created this morning specifically for the event:

I've also created a bit.ly shortcut, http://bit.ly/RAPweek, which points to Darcy's Facebook page about the event.

From Darcy Pattison:

September 7-10, 2010

WHAT? I always promise myself that today I’ll write a review of my friends’ books and actually post them on Amazon or Library Thing or GoodReads or somewhere. But do I? No. That’s about to change! We're going to help publicize our friends' books during the Random Acts of Publicity Week.

...Why? I know how wonderful it is to see new reviews on Amazon of one of my books. I know that it’s better to give than to receive. During the Random Acts of Publicity Week, I vow to put these two things together and give friends some support for their books.

Why this week? We all know that the holiday shopping season is when people buy things, including books. Especially books! We want our Amazon pages and other publicity in place before that season starts. So, September is a great month to help others by reviewing their books and doing other Random Acts of Publicity.

How? See darcypattison.com each day of this week for tips on helping publicize your friends' books.

Who? Anyone and everyone can join in this week of paying-it-forward.


New comic up on Writer Unboxed

I've posted a new comic up on Writer Unboxed: "Not An Old Wives' Tale After All...."


Nonfiction Childrens' Writers Critique Group seeks new members

From Inkygirl reader Deborah Amadei :

I am starting up an online Nonfiction only childrens' writers critique group. The following categories are eligible: magazine articles, PB, middle grade, as well as proposals for middle grade nonfiction.  We have our own google group, which is  by invitation only. Starting the end of September/early October I will post  the first  invitation  to submit.  I will be requesting submissions every three weeks  (one week for submission and two weeks for the critiques. ) For now I will limit submissions to a maximum of 10  pages.
If you are interested please e-mail me with a writing sample, which should include their categories to d_amadei@hotmail.com.
Deborah Amadei 


The Apostrophe Song

Found this video via the HarperKids video channel.


SCBWI Illustration Mentees Blog Launched

I'm pleased to announce that the SCBWI Illustration Mentees Blog is now ready for visitors! In it, you'll find info and resources for those interested in children's book illustration as well as updates about our own illustration projects. I'll also be posting from the viewpoint of a writer venturing into children's book illustration for the first time.

Please do come visit, and tell your friends. :-)