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Preview: Inkygirl: Daily Diversions For Writers

Inkygirl: An Illustrated Guide For Writers

Last Build Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:59:07 +0000

Copyright: All content (c) Debbie Ridpath Ohi unless otherwise noted.

Celebrating Judy Blumesday in NYC....WITH JUDY BLUME!

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:46:00 +0000

Things have been crazybusy lately, so I've only had a chance to post about this now. And of course I NEED to post about this, because how often am I going to have a chance to say that I shared a stage with the amazing JUDY BLUME?!? Needless to say, I was a wee bit excited: Thanks SO much to Drew Richardson and Symphony Space's Thalia Kids' Book Club for inviting me to help celebrate Judy Blume's 80th birthday last month in New York City - you can read the Publishers Weekly coverage here and School Library Journal article. I participated in the afternoon event for young readers along with Rachel Vail (Well, That Was Awkward), Soman Chainani (The School For Good and Evil), Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Colby Minifie (actor in Jessica Jones, Glee and other productions) and (of course) Judy Blume herself.  Symphony Space, by the way, is such a great venue. If you're ever in NYC, do check out their events.  But back to Judy Blumesday. I arrived SUPER early because I didn't want to take the chance of not being able to find a cab or getting lost on the Metro. I immediately spotted the Judy Blume poster: And LOOK! My name's on the poster, too! Here's a selfie I took with Colby, Rachel and Soman just before Judy arrived (Jackie Woodson was delayed but she arrived just in time, yay!): In case some of you didn't know, I illustrated some of the reissued Judy Blume chapter books and middle grades published by Atheneum/Simon & Schuster back in 2014. Here's how I became a Judy Blume illustrator and you can read how I worked with Simon & Schuster to create a new look for Judy Blume classics like Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. I am delighted to report that THIS time, I did NOT burst into tears upon meeting Judy in person again. We even had a chance to chat for a bit in the Green Room, and she told me that she's carrying SAM & EVA in her bookstore!!!!!  My favorite part of the event: seeing Judy talk to the young readers during the Q&A. It was the first time I had seen her interact with kids and what struck me most was how she answered their questions as if they were grown-ups. No talking down, no changing her tone or how she expressed herself.  Rachel Vail was a wonderful moderator, leading the initial discussion between Soman Chainani, Jacqueline Woodson and me about Judy's work. Colby Minifie did SUCH a good reading from Otherwise Known As Sheila The Great. Now I want to reread that book! I talked about how I created the illustrations for Judy's books. Then Rachel gave the kids a writing prompt for them to work on. After about five minutes, some of them volunteered to read aloud their work -- I was SO impressed, wow. Another highlight of an evening packed with highlights: having my agent (Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown Ltd) in the audience during this event, plus I got to meet her husband: Another familiar face in the audience: Mindy Yuksel. It was great to meet her sons (one of whom had entered my Look Again Found Object Art Challenge last summer), who presented me with a box of Turkish Delight (yum). I was honored to be interviewed by Scholastic News Kids reporter, Josh Stiefel: Such an amazing day. Drew Richardson of Symphony Space was also kind enough to give me comp tickets for the evening event, so I took my writing critique partner, Carmella VanVleet. Here's the program: So many hilarious and moving readings, observations, video birthday greetings. And we ran into my Simon & Schuster editor and his wife in the green room! Also glimpsed Molly Ringwald but didn't have the nerve to approach her. What I loved: that so many of us were from different backgrounds, had different experiences growing up, but we were all there because we adored Judy Blume and her work. You can find out more about Judy at her website, (lots of content for adults as well as young readers!). You can read more about the Judy Blumesday celebration at Symphony Place in Publishers Weekly and School Li[...]

Punctuation Is Important

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 18:09:17 +0000


THE MAGIC WORDS: Writing Great Books For Children and Young Adults

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:01:42 +0000

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I rarely post about books on the craft of writing because I was being inundated by requests from publicists and authors to review their books for Inkygirl readers. To reiterate: I lack the time or inclination to be an official book reviewer, so please do NOT put me back on your lists. Thank you. :-)

I do, however, sometimes post about books I like, and I had to post very briefly about THE MAGIC WORDS: Writing Great Books For Children and Young Adults by Cheryl B. Klein (W.W. Norton). SUCH a wonderful resource for children's book writers!

Not only is this a great book for a beginner, but it also has so much wisdom and insight for more experienced writers. I like it because it's straightforward, explains things clearly and makes sense. As I work on my own middle grade novel projects, I sometimes get a bit muddled and discouraged -- revisiting sections in THE MAGIC WORDS helps me get back on track.

Formerly an executive editor at Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, Cheryl is now editorial director at Lee & Low Books. You can follow her on Twitter at @chavelaque.



Behind The Scenes: Illustrator Andrea Offermann and the cover of THE YIN-YANG SISTERS AND THE DRAGON FRIGHTFUL

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 14:08:46 +0000

Don't you love the gorgeous cover of The Yin-Yang Sisters and the Dragon Frightful? Written by Nancy Tupper Ling, this upcoming picture book is illustrated by my friend, Andrea Offermann, and it comes out from G.P. Putnam's Sons Books For Young Readers on Sept. 18, 2018.   Andrea was kind enough to give a bit of behind-the-scenes info about what went into the making of the cover: I enjoyed working on the cover for this book especially because it was a very close collaboration with art director Cecilia Yung, editor Susan Kochan and the designer of the book, Jaclyn Reyes. We went back and forth multiple times to make sure the poses and expressions of the dragon and the girls were just right. The dragon had to be imposing and it had to be clear that he could be fearful, but we wanted to add a bit of swagger, too, to hint at possibilities in his character. The poses of the girls had to show their opposite characters and at the same time reflect their weariness of the dragon and their brave resolve to stand up to him. You can see from the sketches how the poses and expressions change ever so slightly in each version. One thing I love about the cover design is that, thanks to Jaclyn's suggestion, the curves of the dragon's body ever so slightly suggest the lines of the yin yang symbol. I also love Wei's pose ( the girl in red ). If you look at the sketches you can see that we went with a different pose first, but felt that it was not quite right yet. I went back to my research and found this kung fu pose that to me shows perfectly the courage and audacity in Wei's character, and her resolve to protect her loved ones. Oh, and another thing I am very happy about is that we were able to make it a wrap around cover! So on the back you'll get to see a bit more of the dragon, the landscape, and also some of the townspeople on the bridge. ----- You can find out more about Andrea Offermann and her work at her website, on Facebook and on Twitter (she JUST joined Twitter, yay). Find out more about The Yin-Yang Sisters and the Dragon Frightful on the Penguin Random House website. ------ For more interviews, see my Inkygirl Interview Archive.[...]

Comic: Valentine Rejection

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 15:26:31 +0000


Free picture book templates, how-to guides and other resources

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 13:05:26 +0000


Over the years, I've been accumulating all the "How Was Created" guides for young writers and illustrators, advice from children's book creators I've interviewwed, plus a few tips for not-so-young book creators. Feel free to browse all this info as well as my free picture book thumbnail templates at my <a href=""><strong>CREATING PICTURE BOOKS</strong></a> resource.</p> <div class='clearbothFix'></div> </div><br /> <hr /><br /><div class="item"> <a href="" rel="nofollow">Common source of writer's block amongst cat owners.</a><br /> <p>Sat, 10 Feb 2018 13:49:47 +0000</p> <p><span class="full-image-block ssNonEditable"><span>(image) </span></span></p> <div class='clearbothFix'></div> </div><br /> <hr /><br /><div class="item"> <a href="" rel="nofollow">Comic: The Four Stages Of Writing</a><br /> <p>Sat, 10 Feb 2018 13:37:57 +0000</p> <p><span class="full-image-block ssNonEditable"><span>(image) </span></span></p> <div class='clearbothFix'></div> </div><br /> <hr /><br /><div class="item"> <a href="" rel="nofollow">Comic: Kidlit Restaurant</a><br /> <p>Fri, 09 Feb 2018 13:04:55 +0000</p> <p><span class="full-image-block ssNonEditable"><span>(image) </span></span></p> <div class='clearbothFix'></div> </div><br /> <div class="item"> <center> <h3><a href=''>Comments (0) - Read and Add your own Comments</a></h3> </center> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> </div> <div class="col-md-3 hidden-sm hidden-xs"> <script type="text/javascript"> ( function() { if (window.CHITIKA === undefined) { window.CHITIKA = { 'units' : [] }; }; var unit = {"calltype":"async[2]","publisher":"marksavoca","width":120,"height":600,"sid":"Feed_preview_right"}; var placement_id = window.CHITIKA.units.length; window.CHITIKA.units.push(unit); document.write('<div id="chitikaAdBlock-' + placement_id + '"></div>'); }()); </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="//" async></script> </div> </div> <div class="row"> <!-- FOOTER --> <div id="footer" class="col-md-12"> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- post_view(638255); //--></script> <!-- google_ad_section_start(weight=ignore) --> <div> Copyright 2006-2015 <a href=""> LLC</a><br /><br /> <a href="">Privacy policy</a> - <a href="">Sitemap</a> - <a href="">Press</a> - <a href="">Terms of Service</a> - <a href="">Copyright information</a><br /> <a href="">Contact Us</a> - <a href="">About Us</a> - <a href="">Feedage</a> - <a href="" target="_blank">Search Engine Consulting</a><br /><br /> <small>Language Detection Powered by</small><a href=""><img src="" width="51" height="15" title="دعم فني" alt="دعم فني"/></a><br /><br /> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> </div> <!-- END FOOTER --> </div> </div> </body> </html>