In addition to the traditional avenues of promoting our work with postcard mailings, online portfolios and sample submissions, many of us have original picture book ideas we'd like to develop. The notion of combining our art and writing talents received support recently from this post, which suggests that the picture book market is uniquely receptive to the author/illustrator. And several of us got an extra boost by participating in Tara Lazar's PiBoIdmo challenge last month. Add all this to the fact that #kidlitart's first anniversary (!) is coming up January 6th, and we've got a great reason to celebrate with our very own kidlitart picture book dummy challenge!
This is all still in the discussion phase--which is where we need your help. Here are the ideas so far:
1) host an online challenge, either here at the kidlitart blog or elsewhere, that would include a schedule of checkpoints to creating a finished dummy and a mechanism for posting your progress (not the work, just a comment on where you are in the process).
2) create a hashtag for keeping up with/encouraging each other via Twitter
3) establish a closed blog or Flickr account for participants who wish to disuss specific ideas or post work in progress for critique (this would be voluntary--you would not have to post work to participate in the challenge)
4) the challenge would be open to everyone: non-illustrator friends are welcome to join in (making a dummy is a great exercise for polishing any picture book manuscript)
5) the challenge would begin after the first of the year--kickoff January 6th--and run through May or June.
6) At each stage, the host site would post reference material for participants: links to online resources; pdf downloads of storyboard templates, etc.
7) the goal for illustrators would be to have a finished dummy ready to submit as part of an author/illustrator package. In other words, no prizes other than the satisfaction of accomplishing an objective.
Obviously, there are still lots of details to work out. If you're interested, we need your feedback to make this work! Please use the comment field below for questions, concerns and suggestions, or just to let us know you're interested. We won't hold you to it, but it will help in the planning if we have some idea of how many might be participating.
Thanks to all for your input so far, and for your support of #kidlitart every week: the energy and enthusiasm is wonderful!