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

Entries in awards (7)


Inkygirl in The Write Life's "Best Websites For Writers In 2018" list!

Thanks to The Write Life for including Inkygirl in their list of 100 Best Websites For Writers 2018!


Kudos and Thanks

I'M BORED is 2013 ITC March Madness Champion!

Thanks to the Kindergarten and 1st Grade students at Avoca West Elementary in Illinois for choosing I'M BORED as their 2013 ITC March Madness Champion. :-)

For more info about Avoca as well as winners in other categories, see this blog post. Thanks to Susan Geidner for alerting me to this news via Twitter.


Thanks to Writer's Digest for choosing Inkygirl.com as one of its 101 Best Websites For Writers in the May/June issue!


Nominations Open For The 2012 Cybils

Screen Shot 2012 10 04 at 8 37 33 AM

Nominations are open for 2012 Cybils, the seventh annual Children's And YA Bloggers' Literary Awards:

Here's info about how you can nominate.


I'M BORED is A Junior Library Guild Selection!

Last week, I was tickled to get a package from  Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers that contained a letter of congratulations from the Junior Library Guild (see bottom of post) as well as a certificate….

JuniorLibraryGuildCertificate 500

... and a cool lapel pin:

Closeup JLG LapelPinsm

I had seen "A Junior Library Guild Selection" on book covers before but confess that up to now, I didn't know that much about the designation. So in addition to asking my editor and publisher (Justin Chanda at Simon & Schuster Children's), I also did some research online.

What I found: Having your book selected by the Junior Library Guild  is a BIG DEAL.

Apparently the JLG editorial team reviews thousands of new titles each year, in manuscript or prepublication stage, and end up choosing what they say is "the best of the best."  According to the Junior Library Guild website, nearly 95 percent of their selections go on to receive awards and/or favorable reviews. 

JLG's mission: to help libraries wade through the mass of books published every season and pick what’s best for their collections. You can read about different ways that schools and libraries have been using JLG to cope with staff and budget cuts, etc.

What does all this mean for an author and illustrator? Good things. It means that JLG orders a bulk quantity of your book from your publisher, then includes your book in their recommend lists…and these lists are used by schools and libraries. When I posted the announcement on my personal Facebook Wall, one friend said:

"Excellent! That means that there is a high probability that my school district will buy it for all of our elementary schools; they rely on the JLG lists for purchases!"

Yay! :-)

ScannedJLGCongratsLetter 600

In summary:

I am absolutely thrilled to have I'M BORED chosen as A Junior Library Selection, and am grateful to the JLG for the honor.

More more info about the Junior Library Guild:

Junior Library Guild website

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/JrLibraryGuild

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Junior-Library-Guild/329843906949

Wikipedia entry on Junior Library Guild


Congrats to Marilyn Hilton, winner of the 2011 Sue Alexander Award

A while back, I posted about being nominated for the 2011 Sue Alexander "Most Promising Work" Award.

The winners of the award were announced yesterday (I just found out):

First prize: Marilyn Hilton

Runners-up: Pati Hailey and Karen Bonner

Congrats to all the winners!

Though I didn't win, I'm still hugely motivated to finish my YA novel. Many thanks to all involved in nominating for and judging the Sue Alexander Award. Just being nominated is a great honor, and gives me hope for eventually getting my novels published. Who knows? Maybe this one will be my first. :-)


Sue Alexander Award Nomination!


I know I've been scarce on Inkygirl recently, but it's been craaaazybusy around here with travel, work and prep for the SCBWI Summer Conference.

I attended as both a writer and illustrator, and have been posting my kidlit illustration info and reports over on the Where The Sidewalk Begins blog for children's illustrators (SCBWI Illustration Portfolio Mentees blog). I'll be posting writing-related reports here on Inkygirl when I have a chance, but first I need to announce that...

My new YA manuscript has been nominated for the Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award!

Selected from manuscripts submitted for individual critique at the SCBWI Annual Conference in Los Angeles, the Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award is given to the manuscript deemed most promising for publication.

I feel deeply honoured to be nominated for an award named after such an amazing woman. Here's info about Sue Alexander from the SCBWI site:

Sue Alexander was the first member to join SCBWI and was vitally involved with the organization from its inception to her death in 2008. Her responsibilities for SCBWI included, among others, serving as Chairperson of the Board of Advisors (33 years), managing the office (20 years), coordinating -- with Lin Oliver -- the August conference in California (25 years), and coordinating the Golden Kite Awards (25 years). She was the author of more than twenty-five books for young people, including World Famous Muriel; Small Plays for Special Days; Witch, Goblin and Sometimes Ghost; Sara’s City and award-winners Lila on the Landing; Nadia the Willful; and Behold the Trees. In addition to her books, she wrote stories for magazines and for the Los Angeles Times "Kids’ Reading Room" several times a year. Sue passed away suddenly on July 3 at her home in West Hills, California. She was 74. For more about Sue, visit www.sue-alexander.com.

(Photo, ©1998 Marilyn Sanders.)

Many thanks to the MiG Writers Critique group, Torkidlit, Jeff and Sara for helping me get my submission into shape before the conference.


Versatile Blogger Award

Thanks to Lydia LeRoy-Williams for giving me The Versatile Blogger Award!

Here are the rules:


  • Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)
  • Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

Here are seven of the most random things about myself I could come up with:

1. I have a love-hate relationship with the squirrels in my garden.

2. I painted a tree on my office wall.

3. My first writing mentor: Lee Wardlaw Jaffurs (Lee Wardlaw back then). I will always be grateful to Lee for her encouragement and advice.

4. I don't mind spiders but despise centipedes.

5. I dislike clothes shopping.

6. I attend virtual writing sessions on Second Life (I'm "Inkygirl Omizu" on SL).

7. I have Ray Bradbury's autograph.

Next, here is my list of the fifteen outstanding blogs YOU should visit:

1. Cheryl Rainfield

2. Claudia Osmond

3. Adrienne Kress

4. Nelsa Roberto

5. Megan Crewe

6. Christina Farley

7. Jo Swartz

8. Hélène Boudreau

9. Mahtab Narsimhan

10. Marina Cohen

11. Patricia Storms

12. Author2Author

13. Okay I cheated because #12 actually has

14. five authors contributing to it

15. which is one over my limit. :-)