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


Rejection is part of publishing process, before & after publication. Develop a thick skin, don't take things personally, move on & up!


Writers and illustrators: Be aware when reading advice online turns into a crutch and excuse to procrastinate.


What would YOU do if you were a character in a fairy tale? A fun character-generating exercise for young writers from Josh Funk

A Guest Post by Josh Funk

What would YOU do if you were a character in a fairy tale?

That’s what I thought about as I wrote It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk. If I were Jack, I’d have a little more common sense than to sell my cow for a handful of beans, or climb an enormous beanstalk (how do you even climb a beanstalk?), or steal from a giant!

But how did I really get into character? By reading my writing out loud. By actually being the character. Along with some friends (er- my family), the cast was as follows:

The Storyteller: Me

Jack: My daughter

The Giant: My son

Cinderella: My wife

We would read this out loud for friends and at family gatherings. We’d see which parts got laughs and which parts didn’t connect. And sometimes we’d improvise - and really get into character. Later, I’d often add the best of those improvised lines back into the actual story.

So next time you’re trying to write from the perspective of a character - actually become that character. Read your story out loud to your friends. Maybe what you thought your character would do, doesn’t really jive when the story is put into action!

Also see Three Questions With Josh Funk (includes his advice for young writers).


Josh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as books - such as Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast and its sequel The Case of the Stinky Stench along with It's Not Jack and the Beanstalk, Pirasaurs!, Dear Dragon, and the forthcoming Albie Newton, How to Code a Sandcastle (in partnership with Girls Who Code), Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience and Fortitude (in partnership with the New York Public Library), and more coming soon!


To you cat-owning writers out there: do you think cats do this on purpose?


Writers/illustrators: Focus on enjoying your OWN journey instead of comparing yourself to others. You may be luckier than you think.



Advice to writers/illustrators: Take the long way. Shortcuts rarely pay off. 


A comic for Oxford comma haters/fans


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


Launching today: RUBY ROSE, BIG BRAVOS by Rob Sanders & me (HarperCollins Children's)

Hurray!! Ruby Rose, Big Bravos by Rob Sanders and me launches from HarperCollins Children's Books *today*!!!

Click to read more ...


Another writer's success doesn't diminish your chance of success. Cheer on other writers. - Debbie Fuhry


Anonymous 4Q multiple-choice survey for children's book agents, editors and art directors (plus a doodle giveaway)

A few years ago, I posted a poll for children's/YA book agents, editors and art directors to find out if they researched potential clients, authors and illustrators online before signing them on.

As part of my research for a Social Media Master Class I've giving at the SCBWI Northern Ohio Conference next month, I'm checking for updated stats.

In addition to sharing my results in the workshop above, I'll also be posting summary results here on Inkygirl.com after the conference.

If you are an agent, editor or art director who works with children's book creators, I would very much appreciate it if you could answer my quickie anonymous multiple choice (four questions) survey.

****If you are a children's book creator on Twitter and would like to help gather data, you can retweet this post (the URL shortcut is Inkygirl.com/2017poll)....and thank you! First three people to retweet will get an original mini-doodle from yours truly. Partly for reading all the way to the bottom of this blog post. :-)


Video: Desiderata Daedalus Drawing Demo (Dip Nib On A Fountain Pen!)

As some of you know, I am hooked on fountain pens (it began at a photo shoot for the Toronto Public Library, but I'll save that for another post). Anyway, I'm totally loving my new Desiderata Daedalus! To artists using dip pens: you might want to check this pen out - you can use certain types of dip nibs, but with the convenience of a fountain pen (e.g. avoid having to constantly dip).


Comic: Book Sommelier


My RUBY ROSE, BIG BRAVOS book trailer debuts on Mr. Schu's blog today!


Writers/illustrators: You only fail if you quit. Don't let go of your dreams. Take a break if you need to, but DON'T GIVE UP.

Everyone feels overwhelmed and discouraged sometimes. Or sometimes life gets in the way, with circumstances out of your control.

Take a break if you need to, but don't give up hope. Put your half-finished mss or picture book dummy in the drawer for now and find other ways to keep that part of your creative soul on simmer. Maybe have a small notebook with you all the time, and keep track of story idea snippets? Quick notes about title ideas? Character traits? Settings?

Just don't give up.


Noel Coward quote on writer professionalism


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

One of my favourite pieces of advice for writers and illustrators is from literary agent Jenny Bent: "...Be brave. Fail. Try again. Succeed. Rinse and repeat."

It applies as much to the published as well as pre-published.

In fact, this advice is good for life in general.

Thank you, Jenny!


Comic: Punctuation Party Crisis


Video: Trying out Animation Desk Ultimate app for the first time on my iPad Pro

I admit it: I'm an app packrat. ("Ooo, shiny app! Must get!")

Last night I decided to go through my iPad Pro apps and decide what to keep, what to cull. I had never actually trying Animation Desk Ultimate on my iPad Pro yet, so decided to give it a shot.

Super-easy to use! I created the animation bit of the above in around 30 minutes. This morning, I used Adobe Premiere Pro (which I am gradually learning how to use) to insert the opening slide and add the end text titling. Going to play around some more with this app! I want to experiment with some of the brushes, colour and other features.

I've started uploading more art process videos to my YouTube Channel, by the way! Feel free to check them out.


Comic: Don't "abuse" those "quotation marks"!

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