Category Archives: Children’s illustrator

Books by the Banks 2016 Highlights

Books by the Banks 2016 Highlights

Books by the Banks 2016 had a stellar line-up of authors and presentations.

Bookseller Alia Jones, authors Zetta Elliott, Greg Leitich Smith and Children’s Librarian Sam Bloom discuss the state of diversity in publishing and ideas to close the gap.

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These guys! Laughed out loud the entire presentation with author-illustrators Greg Pizolli, Bob Shea, and Loren Long. Fun session where they shared personal experiences as well as a bit about their creative process.

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Authors Kerrie Hollihan, Brandon Marie Miller, Michelle Houts, Nancy Poe Pimm, Mary Kay Carson, Carmella Van Vleet, and Jen Swanson talk about science and history – and women in science and history!

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Ohio creatives Tim Bowers, Lana Wayne Koehler, Gloria Adams, Will Hillenbrand and Christina Wald.

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What a fun and creative day! Until next year…

Read and write on!

 

 

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PiBoIdMo – Picture Book Idea Month 2015

PiBoIdMo – Picture Book Idea Month 2015
The most wonderful time of the year for picture book writers is almost here.

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PiBoIdMo or Picture Book Idea Month created by author Tara Lazar, is an annual writing challenge scheduled during the full month of November. Beginning on the first day of the month, participants will receive daily inspirational blog posts and writing exercises by picture book authors, illustrators, and editors. The only thing that would make this event more awesome would be the chance to win prizes. Wait. What? Yes, there will be prizes!

 

The goal is to generate 30 ideas to deposit into a writer’s picture book idea bank. We all know the first step in the process of writing a picture book is coming up with a story idea. And we often hear what Mark Twain said, “There is no such thing as a new idea.” If that is true, how are we supposed to come up with something original that an editor or agent will consider book worthy? One way is to spin and twist old ideas to create new intriguing combinations.

 

Here are a few great examples:

 

Fractured Fairy Tales
Little Red is a fairy tale figure skater who needs to win a paired skating competition. She needs a partner. The other characters are taken. But there’s one with big eyes, sharp teeth, and furry paws available.  Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar
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Bullying
Ginny Louise is a new addition to a class of troublemakers who is so cheerful she is unable to find fault in any of her cranky classmates. And that ultimately changes their bullying attitudes.  Ginny Louise and the School Showdown by Tammy Sauer
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Rivalry
Leftovers Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast engage in a race around other foods in the refrigerator to get to that last drop of maple syrup.  Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast by Josh Funk
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Bedtime
Little pirate Ned will do anything to avoid bedtime. He convinces Papa Pirate there are things he must do before settling in for the night.  Pirate’s Lullaby: Mutiny at Bedtime by Marcie Wessels
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Determination
Percy the Pug finds the perfect puddle but the puddle pigs who inhabit it won’t share. Puddle Pug by Kim Norman
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Each one of these books started with an idea, perhaps a random thought, or a “what if” question. Reading and listening to interviews about authors often give us the story behind their story idea. And you will be surprised how, when, where, and under what circumstances those ideas came to them. That is what PiBoIdMo is about. Finding out what works for others may just work for you too.

 

There will be days during the month when ideas just won’t show up. Like they’re playing a game of ”keep away”.

 

And you’ll feel like this.

 

Hang in there.

 

Other days you’ll be thrilled when they come.
Here’s my PiBoIdMo Pledge.
  1. I will register on Sunday October 25, 2015 by entering my name in the registration blog post.
  2. I will assemble all necessary tools to be available 24/7 for 30 days of November.
  3. I will read every post, comment daily when possible, and complete the exercises.
  4. I will record all my ideas, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  5. I will not beat my head against the computer, but I will do a jig when I think of a story idea.
Hope to see you in November, on Tara’s blog or on the PiBoIdMo Facebook page!

 

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Books by the Banks Book Festival

Books by the Banks Book Festival

Books by the Banks Book Festival proved once again to be a blast! On a beautiful Saturday in the Queen City authors, illustrators, writers, and readers of all ages gathered at the largest annual literary festival in Cincinnati.

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My favorite part of this year’s event was watching picture book author-illustrators showcase their talent inspiring kids with their art. Crazy talent! Watch author-illustrator Jeff Mack below share how he draws the characters of Bear and Skunk from his picture books Who Wants A Hug and Who Needs A Bath? His advice – start small!

And Tad Hills, well known for his books about the dog Rocket (and has a real dog named Rocket) demonstrated how to create art using the letter “M” a young audience member drew. This was definitely ”art in action”!

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In addition to meeting some awesome creatives, there were sessions offered for those interested in learning more about the craft and or the business aspect of writing and publishing. A special moment for me was meeting Tim Bowers, the illustrator of the picture book Pirate’s Lullaby: Mutiny At Bedtime. Me matey, Marcie Wessels is the author.

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These Ohio SCBWI mighty girl authors Mary Kay Carson, Kathy Cannon WiechmanMichelle Houts, and illustrator Christina Wald showcased their publications and talent!

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The King Cake Baby and I walked the halls of the convention center again meeting many picture book characters who came to the event.

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Until next year! Keep reading, keep writing, or both!

 

 

 

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