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 archives, 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


Lois Peterson: Wrote 3 Drafts Of A Book In 5 Days (Interview)

Lois Peterson is a children's author and creative writing teacher living in B.C. Canada. Her books include 101-and more-Writing Exercises to Get You Started & Keep You Going (Metta), Meeting Miss 405 (Orca Book Publishers) The Ballad of Knuckles McGraw (Orca), and Silver Rain scheduled for publication in October. More about how Lois works in the interview.

Click to read more ...


Time management and writing...and a poll

Apologies for the sporadic schedule of my blog posts lately. I'm finding it much easier to post regularly in my inkyelbows Twitter account, if you're interested in writing tweets...I usually post there at least several times a day.

Since the SCBWI Summer Conference, I've been approached by a number of publishers interested in my illustrations and/or writing. While it's wonderful to have the attention after years of trying to get publishers to notice me, I'm now scrambling to get my projects finished so I have something to send.

Which brings me to time management. There's a fine balance between working on building up a strong author platform and not spending enough time creating the content for that platform to support. But where do you draw the line? I'm still figuring that out myself.

Meanwhile, however, I'm about to send off one mss today (yay!) and aiming to finish a nonfiction book proposal to send out by the end of next week.

What about the rest of you? How do you balance social networking and blogging with your writing time?


Wordcount Challenge Check-In: 250, 500, 1000 words a 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!


New comic up on Writer Unboxed

Inspired by a Wall conversation I had with kidlit author Arthur Slade on his Facebook wall, I've posted a new comic on Writer Unboxed. I post new comics for writers over there on the first and third Saturdays of each month.


Ginger says I can post the news, so here goes...

How I'm feeling today

I am pleased to announce that I will be illustrating a picture book written by author/actor/comedian Michael Ian Black for Simon & Schuster. Tentative publication date: Spring 2012.

More (MUCH more) later.



Still waiting...

An update to those who saw post earlier this week: Yes, I'm still waiting until my good news is official before posting about it.

On a related note, I LOVE MY AGENT. I know I don't have to stress about contractstuff, knowing that Ginger is   looking out for my interests.

Meanwhile, I've been approached by two other publishers interested in my work (writing and/or illustrating). After the long dry spell I've had in terms of submissions, this is all a tad overwhelming. And very, very exciting.

More coming soon, I hope!


Morning Pages

Helia Phoenix has a great post about Morning Pages. In case some of you haven't heard the term before, Julia Cameron proposed the exercise in her book, The Artist's Way, where you write three pages of stream-of-consciousness every morning.

Read more about this in this Write For Your Life post.


Wordcount Challenge Check-in + Writing Goal Round-Up


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.

For added motivation, here are a few useful posts I've found online about setting writing goals:

What Are Your Goals For Writing? - by Joanna Penn

Setting Effective Writing Goals - by Moira Allen

Setting Goals For Your Writing Career - by Lee Masterson

Five-Step Plan To Setting & Achieving Goals For Your Freelance Writing Career - by Jennifer Mattern

Five Steps To Goal Setting (writing nonfiction) - by Jennifer Minar

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

Good luck with your writing, all!


Lee & Low Books Announces Contest For Writers Of Color

Lee and Low has asked me to remind you all that the entry deadline for their New Voices Award for unpublished writers is coming up soon. "Established in 2000, the New Voices Award encourages writers of color to submit their work to a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new talent."

You can find info about the New Voices Award online as well as a contest FAQ. Contest is only for U.S. residents. No entry fee.

Deadline: Sept. 30th, 2010

Length: Max 1500 words




Just a heads-up that the good news I'm hoping to share soon isn't public yet. I promise to post on this blog as soon as it is. :-)



I have some exciting news I am dying to share, but I want to make sure that all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed first.

But for now...just...



My interview on Ink Spells, by Susan Kaye Quinn

Many thanks to middle grade author Susan Kaye Quinn for interviewing me for her blog, Ink Spells, as part of her Art Appreciation Week. I enjoyed meeting Susan at the SCBWI conference, where I also found out that she has a ROCKET SCIENCE background!

For those not familiar with the site, here's a description:

Ink Spells talks about books for kids ages 8-12 who are advanced readers. Finding books kids love, that spark their curious minds, but still let them be kids, well . . . Ink Spells is all about that. Smart Kids. Smart Books. What's not to love?


Seeking inspiring/upbeat advice or observations on writer rejection for my book

As some of you already know, I'm working on a book that is both a compilation of my writer comics as well as nuggets of writerly wisdom I've found in blogs, organized by topic. I don't have a contract yet, but I'm confident enough in its saleability that I've started putting it together anyway.

The chapter I'm working on now: REJECTION.

If you've written a blog post on rejection that you think might contain some quotable advice or observation, please do post the URL in the comments below. I'd also love to hear if you've recently read a post or quote on rejection made by someone else. If it's not your post, please include the name of the author of the quote/post as well as the URL.

Ideal length: one sentence (but I'm open to longer).

If I decide to include your quote in the book, I will contact you for confirmation of the info. I'll be including a brief bio and URL of any writer quoted in the book.

I may also include your link/quote in a Writer Rejection: Don't Give Up! page that I'm revamping for Inkygirl.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


Linda Sue Park on writing middle grade novels

Adventures in Children's Publishing has a great SCBWI Conference Round-up from Linda Sue Park's workshop on middle grade novels.


The great mission of middle grade novels is to show young people that the world isn’t fair, but that doesn’t mean it has to be miserable.


Before you believe all the "The publishing industry is doomed!" hype...

Donn Linn in his most recent blog post:

The hyperbolic predictions and bombastic punditry will always be with us. The trick for people and companies trying to navigate through this time of change is to sort fact-based opinion and observation from uninformed assumptions and agenda-biased commentary.

Yay, Donn! I follow Donn's Twitter and blog for his insightful comments about digital publishing and industry news.


Digital magazines aren't quite there yet

For those interested, I've posted some of my thoughts on digital magazines over on my iPadGirl blog:

Diamond Age Lust and Thoughts On Digital Magazines


Never too late to find writing success

I found out about Mary L. Tabor through a recent blog post by Jane Friedman. Mary published her first book after the age of 60, and Jane's Q&A with Mary is full of fascinating insights.

Not only did Mary's writing success come later in life, but blogged her second book on Sex After Sixty.


Wordcount Challenge Check-In: 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.

Ray Bradbury quote on writing:

Ray Bradbury

"You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world."
Ray Bradbury


So how did you all do this past week? Good luck with your writing, all!


Deborah Halverson: Ultimate Checklist for Submitting to Publishers

One of the biggest challenges of attending an event like the SCBWI Summer Conference, I found, was having to pick between simultaneously scheduled workshops.

I wasn't able to attend Deborah Halverson's workshop but Adventures In Children's Publishing did, and has generously shared a conference round-up.

A former editor at Harcourt, Halverson already had a wealth of editorial experience when she began writing her first novel while pregnant with her triplet sons. In her Ultimate Checklist workshop, she consolidated years of expertise into ten simple tests.


New post up on Writer Unboxed

I've posted a new comic on Writer Unboxed today. My comics appear on this site on the first and third Saturdays of every month.