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, November 21, 2013

2014 Picture Book Dummy Challenge FAQ:

You can participate in the #Kidlitart 2014 Picture Book Dummy Challenge here on the blog or on Twitter via the #PBDummy hashtag, or on Facebook via this group.

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

Start date: January 13, 2014

End date: July 17, 2014

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. (Starting in January, you can also download the twibbon created by Diandra Mae to show your participation.)


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! Starting in 2014, 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.

Part II: Brass Tacks
What is a picture book dummy, anyway?
A picture book dummy is a facsimile of a printed book: text and images laid out on paper cut into pages which are then gathered and “bound” to approximate an actual book. A dummy can be extremely simple or very elaborately produced—but the defining characteristic is the page turn.

A physical dummy allows you to simulate the experience of reading a book. For the author/illustrator, a dummy aids in establishing and editing the visual context into a series of isolated page spreads viewed the way a reader will experience them. It can also be an important tool for exposing flaws in the pace of a manuscript or help to establish natural dramatic breaks in the story line.

Who should create a picture book dummy, and why?
There are three reasons to create a picture book dummy:

a) As mentioned above, a dummy is an important tool for structuring a picture book, and is a recommended exercise for polishing any manuscript. A writer who is not an illustrator can benefit from creating a simple dummy, but should NOT include it as part of the submission.

b) An illustrator who is not an author might consider creating a picture book dummy of a fairy tale or some other familiar text in the public domain, as a portfolio piece. A successful dummy will demonstrate that the illustrator understands how to structure a story within the constraints of the standard picture book format.

c) An author/illustrator should consider including a picture book dummy as part of the submission package for any original manuscript he or she wishes to illustrate. This will give the editor, art director or agent reviewing your submission the clearest idea of the viability of the project. For the purposes of this challenge, we will assume that this is the goal. If you are producing a dummy for any other reason, you may find that some of the challenge steps don’t apply to your project—but we hope they will be enlightening, nevertheless.


HOW WE BREAK THIS DOWN
Each step in the challenge will be introduced* by a post here on the kidlitart blog.   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 12-18

STEP 2: Draft the story (4 weeks) Jan 19-Feb 15

STEP 3: Develop the characters (2 weeks) Feb 16-Mar 1

STEP 4: Storyboard text and art (2 weeks) Mar 2-Mar 15

STEP 5: Render tight, full-size sketches (8 weeks) Mar 16-May 10

STEP 6: Produce final art of two spreads (4 weeks) May 11 - June 7

STEP 7: Assemble the dummy (2 weeks ) Jun 8-Jun 21

STEP 8: Research submissions; prepare dummy package(1 week) Jun 22-Jun 28

STEP 9: Submit (1 week) Jul 6- Jul 12 (Because of the July 4th holiday)

STEP 10: Celebrate! July 17 #kidlitart chat Wrap Party

That’s it! Ten 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 13.

Good luck!

58 comments:

  1. Yay! Sign me up! I was lucky enough to be picked to send my last #PBdummy in, still revising the same manuscript but can't wait to start a new dummy idea!

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  2. I'm all in! Can't wait to get going, the wheels are already turning!

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  3. Count me in. Perfect timing and I can't wait to do this. My pencil misses me.

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  4. I'm in too! Love the ten step program.

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  5. Seems like a good way to put the PiBoIdMo ideas to good use! I'll bite!

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  6. A new challenge to try...should be fun.

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  7. What a great idea, I'm definitely in! :)

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  8. I'll do it! I have trouble keeping on track, so this will help. :)

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  9. Can a foreign participate too? I'm Brazilian.

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    1. Absolutely! Everyone is welcome.

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  11. Sounds like a wonderful thing - I'm in!
    Please sign me up. Thanks for this opportunity :)

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  12. I've been wanting to do this for a few years now - this is the year! Please add me to the list :)

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  13. I already have two stories in mind. This is a great challenge. I'm signing up!!!!!!

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  14. Yay exited! Hoping this will help me finally get my idea out.

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  15. I have so much to learn! Please sign me up!

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  16. Can't draw but still want to have a go!

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  17. I have several dummies to produce this year, so I'm excited to do one here! I'm in.

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  18. Throwing my cap in the ring. Thanks!

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  19. Count me in. Looking forward to working through Dummy #2 with all of you.

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  20. Pencils sharpened; computer is warming up. I'm ready! Sign me up :)

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  21. Just polishing my first book dummy, so this is great timing to jump into a new one!

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  22. I'm giving it a try this year! I always plan to, but never do!

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  23. I've been waiting for this since the end of PiBoIdMo! I'm in :)

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  24. Looking forward to this! Count me in!

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  25. I'm in! Is it required to write the story or can we use an old fairy tale that is not under copyright? If not I can come up with something....just wondered.

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  26. I would like to join in this! I am not a writer either so how do I draft a story?

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  27. I want in! Thanks for the opportunity. I can't wait to get started.

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  28. Requested to join the fb group, just waiting for a response. Looking forward to it! Wonderful opportunity :)

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  29. I joined the Facebook group already, but just to be sure, I'll confirm that I need a picture boo dummy challenge here as well!

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  30. I signed up for the group on facebook but didn't see the part about commenting below. Hopefully I'm not too late!

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  31. Hi! I am late too, but ready to go! Twitter ID= @okie_elliott

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  32. Hello. I read the last #kidlitart chat and realized I almost missed the boat! Please count me in...this was a great learning tool the last time i did it and i want to do it again!

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  33. Yes, I just found this and I want to participate. I've got the schedule, so I have a story so I can do this!

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  34. I would love to join as well! Hope I'm not too late.

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  35. I am also following along, I had just started my dummy process and "lo and behold!" Gotta love serendipity! Thankyou, kidlit community!

    Heather Hatch at wordpress blog of same name

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  37. Would live to join if not too late!

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