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, September 10, 2015

Announcing The #writedummy Challenge

2016 will kick off another round of the Picture Book Dummy Challenge. In anticipation of this, and to help everyone gear up without getting overwhelmed with all that happens at the beginning of the new year, #kidlitart is announcing a writing challenge for Fall of 2015!

Isn't this great? Moderator Rubin Pingk created it.
We'll help you along with getting a picture book story written with a basic schedule and chats covering: basic story elements, writing as an illustrator, and getting feedback from critique groups.

As part of signing up to participate in this challenge, you must read and sign the Honor Agreement linked below. It's mandatory and will help us prevent any misunderstandings about sharing work.

Participants will be sharing drafts and switching critique group partners three times to maximize feedback and to give everyone a chance to revise their stories and get them solidified before the year is over. Your critique group assignments will be emailed to you by #kidlitart moderator Blythe Russo.

In order to be considered for a critique group, you need to email Blythe at: blytherussoillustration (at) gmail (dot) com) state that you want to be part of the critique group, and that you have read the honor agreement, and include your signed copy of the code as well. 

Deadline for participation in this challenge (in order to be part of the critique group formation) is OCTOBER 1, 2015. 

If you would like to ask questions, discuss progress, or anything else outside of the #kidlitart chats and Twitter you are more than welcome to join our Facebook group here.  Please DO NOT post your manuscripts-in-progress in that group as there are folks from previous challenges in there who may not be participating in this current challenge.

Writing Challenge Schedule: (subject to change)

Brainstorm Three Ideas
September 10
Pick Story, Character Interviews
September 17
Outline Story: Plot Chart
September 24
Draft #1/Sign-Up Deadline
October 1
New Crit Group Assmts:
Finish Draft #1
October 8
Swap Draft #1 w/ group, feedback, revise
October 15
New Crit Group Assmts:
 Draft #2
October 22
Finish Draft #2
October 29
Swap Draft #2, feedback, revise
November 5
New Crit Group Assmts: 
Draft #3
November 12
Swap Draft #3, feedback, revise
November 19
Finish Draft #3
November 26
Final Draft.
Homework: Elevator Pitches
December 3
Elevator Pitches
December 10

Honor Agreement Can Be Read and Printed from HERE

And it goes without saying that if you're part of this challenge you will be upholding your end of the deal by reading and providing feedback for all manuscripts you may be sent. It's only fair as you're seeking the same for your own story. Those who consistently fail to uphold the agreement will be removed from the challenge and critique groups.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Howdy #kidlitart-ers! I hope everyone is having a lovely summer. Here at #Kidlitart we're about to hit the end of our calendar of topics, so it's time to hear what you'd like to talk about on our weekly chats. I think we've established a few favorites, so we will definitely be revisiting : Postcard BoostShow N Tell, and Art Crushes.

Do you have specific topics on craft you'd like to discuss? Promotion? Research? Publishing? Agents? Anything and everything to do with being an illustrator in the children's publishing industry is up for grabs. Give us your ideas in the comments, and we'll see what we can do to meet your needs.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Twenty-Eight Day Art Challenge

Howdy, #kidlitart-ers!

We're so happy you're jumping into February's Twenty-Eight Day Challenge with us.

The topic for the chat on January 22nd was all about finding your voice as an illustrator. Our idea is to give y'all a chance to springboard yourselves further into finding the answer to that question.

Here are the guidelines:

1. Draw something every day for the month of February. (Or really, as often as you can.) The medium is up to you: traditional, digital, combined mediums-whatever works.

2. Each day should feature a theme, creature, idea, character, etc. that you LOVE. You are illustrating things that you are ALL ABOUT. Not just as an artist. As a person. What tickles your fancy? What do you geek out about? What stories would you tell if you just had the chance?

b. You can choose to focus on ONE theme the entire month, or do a different theme every day.

3. The finish of each illustration is up to you. It can be a simple pencil or pen sketch, or you can take it all the way to full color.
      b. You can challenge yourself by setting a time limit. Say, 28 minutes? 

4. Post every day (or as often as you can) to tumblr, Facebook, etc., but especially Twitter (so #kidlitart-ers can see) your love of the day. And tag it with #kidlitart28

5. No, you do not have to be an official member of #kidlitart to participate. Everyone is welcome.

Our hope is that at the end of this challenge you will be able to look back at these sketches and see the stories, themes, and characters that appeal to you the most. With a bank of beloved topics, who wouldn't be inspired to then create a new picture book, comic, or novel? Wouldn't you want to take at least one of those illustrations further and see where they take you?

We hope so.

So start brainstorming about what you'd be happy to draw for twenty-eight days straight. Challenge kicks off on February 1st.