Welcome!

This is the blog home of #kidlitart, a live Twitter chat Thursdays at 9:00 pm Eastern, for children's book illustrators, picture book authors, author/illustrators and friends. Check back weekly to read transcripts, comment on previous chats and suggest topics for upcoming chats.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Everything you need to know about the Second Annual Kidlitart #PBDummy Challenge

What is it?
A 25-week-long online group challenge to create and submit a picture book dummy.

Start date: January 9, 2012

End date: July 1, 2012

Who can join?Anyone! Though geared primarily toward author/illustrators, writers who are not artists can benefit from portions of the dummy exercise, and illustrators without an original manuscript can use the process to create a dummy portfolio piece.

Can I participate without attending kidlitart Twitter chats?
Yes, the challenge steps will be posted here on the blog--but we encourage you to take advantage of all avenues for joining in the discussion: leave comments here; drop by #kidlitart at 9 pm Eastern on Thursday nights; and check in with your Twitter colleagues any time via the challenge hashtag: #PBDummy. (Our thanks to illustrator Diandra Mae for again allowing us to use the clever twibbon she designed for the first Picture Book Dummy Challenge! Download yours here.)

Do I have to post my work online?
No! We will be discussing the steps in general terms. If you wish to receive feedback or critiques on specific ideas or artwork, you are free to exchange messages or post images with trusted partners in protected venues. DO NOT post original artwork in comments here: please be mindful of the nature of the internet and use caution when posting art ANYWHERE.

What if I don’t want to create a picture book dummy? Will I be left out of #kidlitart until July?Not at all! This year, most of the challenge activity will take place here on the blog or via the #PBDummy hashtag. We will schedule a progress chat to correspond with each of the nine steps, but the remainder of the chats will cover the entire range of topics of interest to picture book illustrators and friends of the genre.

Are there any rules for the challenge?
No rules at all for participating. The idea is to have a great time while accomplishing something useful. If you’ve ever taken part in a similar challenge, you know the value of community: checking in regularly, encouraging others, allowing yourself to be held accountable to a schedule—all this will help you get the most from the experience.

This year, we have added a sign-up procedure for those of you interested in the endgame (see below). If you want to be considered for the agent review at the close of the challenge, you must register by leaving a comment at the close of this post.

You will have until January 15 to decide if you want to make your participation “official.” This relates ONLY to the query contest outlined below. If you decide not to sign up publicly, or come to the challenge late, you can still participate and enjoy the reward of a finished dummy for your portfolio! Only those who have signed up by January 15, however, will be eligible for the Super Agent Query Review at the close of the challenge.

*STAY TUNED for a special offer for the first 25 participants to sign up!*

Tell me more about this Super Agent Query Review.
At the close of the challenge, you will be given an opportunity to post a query of your project. (This is entirely voluntary!) An agent will review the queries, pick the three most promising, and provide an in-depth critique of each of the corresponding dummies.

Professional feedback! Exciting, yes? And even if you opt out of the query contest, or don’t get picked for the professional critique, you still have the satisfaction of having conquered the picture book dummy challenge . . . plus a valuable addition to your portfolio. Win-win!

So pull out your #PiBoIdMo stash, dust off those concept sketches you’ve been hoarding since art school, and join us as we commit to getting it done!

Oh, one more thing! Remember we asked you to stay tuned for a special offer? Wendy has compiled the wit and wisdom of the challenge posts from the 2011 #PBDummy challenge into an attractive ebook, which she is offering FREE to the first 25 challenge participants to sign up. This pdf download includes transcripts of guest chats with picture book author Tara Lazar and illustrators Ward Jenkins, Dani Jones and Tara Larsen Chang, along with helpful links and suggestions for further research at each step in the dummy challenge.

Full disclosure: The original posts are still up, for those who don’t mind scrolling through the blog archives, but Wendy has distilled the information into a handy package that would make a great addition to your reference library. The pdf is available on Wendy’s site for a modest fee of $5. A portion of each sale will be donated to Brushes for Vincent, a charity providing art supplies to children who would otherwise be without any.

HOW WE BREAK THIS DOWN
Each step in the challenge will be introduced* by a post here on the kidlitart blog. Greg Matusic has started things off with a great inspirational post on why you should consider joining the fun, and we will be hosting other talented folks from the picture book community at intervals throughout the challenge.

You are invited to check in via the comments section at any time to share your progress or ask questions . . . and there will be a “How’s it going?” chat scheduled at the close of each step in the process, to keep us on course.

*To avoid repeating ourselves, you will be directed to either the archived post from last year, or to the pdf compilation, for links and tips associated with each step.

THE SCHEDULE

STEP 1: Pick your project (1 week) Jan. 9-Jan. 15

STEP 2: Draft the story (4 weeks) Jan. 16-Feb. 12

STEP 3: Develop the characters (2 weeks) Feb. 13-Feb. 26

STEP 4: Storyboard text and art (2 weeks) Feb. 27-Mar. 11

STEP 5: Render tight, full-size sketches (8 weeks) Mar. 12-May 6

STEP 6: Produce final art of two spreads (4 weeks) May 7 - June 3

STEP 7: Assemble the dummy (2 weeks ) Jun. 4-Jun. 17

STEP 8: Research submissions; prepare dummy package (1 week) Jun. 18-Jun. 24

STEP 9: Submit (1 week) Jun. 25-Jul. 1

That’s it! Nine easy steps to dummy success. Ready to get started?Sign up in the comments section below and bookmark this site: Step 1 launches Monday, January 9.

Good luck!

140 comments:

  1. Woo hoo! Looking forward to another PBDummy Challenge!

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  2. My sleeves are rolled up and I am ready to go! Thanks for doing this!

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  3. I'm IN!!! i'm ready to play again :)

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  4. This should be really fun! Can't wait to get started!

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  5. Okay. I should have my head examined, but I'm in!

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  6. Ok here goes, I just found out about this but I was planning on doing a dummy anyway! This will be great to kick me in the butt and get it done! I'm In! :-)

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  7. Can't wait to get started! I'm in too. :) Good luck everyone

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  8. I'm in! It's going to be fun

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  9. I'm ready to start a new dummy. Thanks for the challenge. It sounds like a fun.

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  10. This sounds amazing! Count me in

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  11. oooh!! this is really awesome!! I'm definitely in!!! :D

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  12. Thanks for doing this again, I'm in!

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  13. Please count me in!

    Cali Davidson

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  14. I'm looking forward to participating this year! I'm in!

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  15. I've been working on a dummy. It's awesome to have a deadline! I'm in!!!

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  16. Okay. Am I doing this? I'm doing this!

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  17. This sound great, gulp. I am in.

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  18. This will keep me motivated and on track. Thanks.

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  19. I'm in again this year! I got a new idea ready to roll. I also need this right now.

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  20. i am in, all sounds great
    Heidi M :D

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  21. This sounds great! Just what I need to get motivated! I'm in!!!

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  22. This is a new challenge for me, I am totally in!

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  23. This sounds like a great challenge for the coming New Year. Count me in!

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  24. I remember kicking myself last year for being too much of a weenie to try this challenge. I am going to commit to it this year. I am in and motivated and dusting off an idea I've had in the hopper for years.

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  25. I'm in!! (Thank you to Greg for the inspiring article/push!)

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  26. Hi! I'm in too, but I may be adapting the challenge to the illustrated chapter book I'm currently working on.

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  27. I am totally in! Sign me up please!

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  28. Yay! Perfect timing! I'm in!

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  29. I am excited to give this a try!

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  30. I'm in! and looking forward to it!

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  31. I'm in! Can't wait to get started!

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  32. I've already gotten one started, but it needs plenty of work. I'm in!

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  33. I'm in! Can't wait to get started!

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  34. Inspiration, accountability, deadlines? Just what I need! Thanks Bonnie, Wendy and all. I’m in too.

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  35. Count me in too! Challenges help to keep me moving forward.

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  36. Count me in! I'm ready for the challenge.

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  37. I'm chompin' at the bit! Woo hoo!

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  38. Sign me up please! I hereby confess that I did your PB challenge no.1. After the date, though. And got stuck halfway step 7. So we'll see where it takes me this time. Thanks for hosting this!!

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  39. Sign me up, please. What an exciting opportunity. Can't wait!

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  40. Wow, this sounds great. I'm in! Can't wait to start, thanks!

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  41. Please count me in, too! Sounds like great fun. NM Kuem

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  42. Please count me in. It sounds like a blast!

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  43. Sounds crazy, but... Count me in! Thanks!

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  44. Would LOVE to do this!! Bring it on =)

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  45. I'm in. Let the good times roll!

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  46. Count me in! I can't wait to participate this time around!

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    1. Ok so I spelled my own name wrong. I'm a dufus....
      REBECCA EVANS! I need more sleep...

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  47. Sounds like Great fun, count me in too!!!!

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  48. Fantastic! I'm up for the challenge.

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  49. Hi! I would like to join as well! Sign me up.

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  50. Here we go! Gonna give this a shot!

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  51. I tried last year and fizzled. I'm going to try again! I'm in!

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  52. Looking forward to this. Great way to start the year!

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  53. Ok, I'm in! This challenge will dovetail nicely with the 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge.

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  54. Already on it!

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  55. Sounds challenging but fun... I'm in!

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  56. I'm so excited! This is just what I needed to get going!!

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  57. Sign me up, please. I'm going to give it a go.

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  58. I am so excited and thankful that someone told me about this.
    Mary Jo Tannehill

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  59. Count me in! The challenge I actually needed!!

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  60. OK Here I finally am.... I guess I posted on the wrong kidlit post.... but I am here now. ;-)

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  61. I'm looking forward to participating.

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  62. I'm in!!! Lord give me strength!

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  63. Great timing! I'm committed. (mission impossible theme music starts). I can't think of anything I would rather do! (music swells to months-distant crescendo)

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  64. Sign me up... excited to get started!

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  65. Sounds like fun and a challenge. I'm in.

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  66. After mentioning this challenge to my mom she decided she wanted to do it too and asked if I would sign her up for it. So here we are- Melanie Boudwin and Gayle Terry checking in. :)

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  67. Count me in, I look forward to the challenge :)

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  68. sounds like a good challenge to me, get me working. Count me in!

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  69. Magical Moonbeams this sounds like a great idea. I can't wait to start!

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  70. Sounds like just the push I need to get a dummy done! Thanks!

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  71. I'm joining late but really want to do this! How do you sign up? I'm in!

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  72. Wow, great challenge! I'm not able to participate but have cross-posted this on my blog Illustration Station

    http://illustration-station.blogspot.com/2012/01/picture-book-dummy-challenge-jan-9th.html

    Have fun!

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  73. Ready to get started!

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  74. I am so doing this, this year. Count me in and sign me up!

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  75. Replies
    1. I am redoing a dummy - would love to have it part of the 'show'! I'm in!

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  76. sounds like fun! I suppose this "public" declaration will hold me accountable to finally put my ideas into action :)

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  77. Count me in too! Looking forward to it.

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  78. OK, I AM TOTALLY DOING THIS!!! Awesome Idea! I'm in!

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  79. Okee dokee, I'm in! What a really great challenge. Thanks for inviting us.

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  80. Just what I need! Thanks for doing this.

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  81. I'm in! Thank you so much for organizing this.

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  82. Sounds fun! I'll give it a try. :)

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  83. I'm a little late to the party, but I'm in! Awesome idea!

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  84. I write. My daughter illustrates. Sounds like a perfect opportunity to me. I'm in.

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  85. I'm in, and need to motivation sign me up!

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  86. Hope I'm not too late? Please count me in too!

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  87. I'm ready for a challenge. Sign me up.

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  88. I want to sign up for the challenge.

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  89. Charles Vincent Antonsen
    (signed up by Wendy cause he was having trouble)

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  90. I only heard about this today. Talk about last minute! But I have a PB story I'd like to try this challenge with.

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  91. Snorklebum and Sneeezleweesal are busy with the space rocket. Magic Moon Beams are on the way.

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  92. Looking forward to being part of the challenge :-)

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  93. Sign me up! I need a good kick in the rump...

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