Stand on someone’s shoulders. You can travel farther carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And the view is so much better. – Bruce Mau’s incomplete manifesto
Inkygirl: Reading, Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books by Debbie Redpath Ohi. This is an incredible and seemingly endless source of inspiration and insight from a very successful author/illustrator. Her excitement is contagious.
Inkygirl Archives: Have a question? Want to join a challenge group? Just need a humor break? Debbie Redpath Ohi has a well organized blog archive. Fun to peruse when you just need a break.
Organizations for Kid’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators: this organization is a central touchpoint for the Children’s Book World
Regional and International Chapters of SCWBI: when you join SCWBI, you are assigned to your local region. But you can reach out and attend conferences in any region as a member, or just browse their public pages.
Illustrators on Drawing
Children’s Books Live Illustration – illustrators draw, paint, collage, and talk about books with The New York Times’s children’s books editor, Maria Russo.
British author/illustrator Jane Chapman has an extensive Youtube library of videos on how she creates and shares her children’s books. Drawing tutorials and real life advice.
Authors on Writing
One of the greatest parts of the internet is that we don’t have to spend a fortune or travel long distances to hear and see interviews with the inspiring folk. Below are some interview resources that I find useful.
Picture Book Builders: A group of mostly authors, but a few author/illustrators discuss what goes into their creation process for picture books.
Publishers Weekly PW KidsCast: Audio interviews with authors; about 15-25 minutes per interview. Lots of Middle Grade and Young Adult authors
500+ Things That Kids Like: A list from Tara Lazar of the good stuff that gets kids excited. Stuck for inspiration – here’s a jumpstart.
Six Mentors to Help You Plan Your Novel Series – A short list choices to consider while you plan your book series (probably of most interest to chapter book and Middle Grade writers.)
Using Scrivener – Writing Platform
Scrivener is a notecard inspired digital writing tool to help organize and outline a novel or other piece of writing. I love the way you can create characters and define their personalities, plus the scene-building chapter section. I am just learning the software. Below are some tutorials that I am finding helpful:
- Walkthrough – an overview. This seems so simple, but it really helps to know what your options are.
- Series Tips: Characters, Timeline & Plot – Manage a book series using Scrivener.
Conferences, Workshops and Retreats
Highlights Foundation offers more than 40 workshops covering a wide range of topics and offering encouragement for both beginning and published authors and illustrators. (Poconos Mountains, Northeast PA) Held Spring – Fall
Whispering Pines Retreat One of the premiere retreats for children’s writers and illustrators, with presentations, workshops, and critiques with mentor authors, editors and agents. (West Greenwich, RI). Held in the Spring. Sounds incredible and reportedly fill in days. This year the opening date for signup is November 15 (2017).