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.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ready, set . . . go!

Kidlitart Picture Book Dummy Challenge

Scroll down to yesterday's post for #PBdummy schedule and FAQs.

STEP 1: Pick your project
January 6-January 13

Consider the market, consider your strengths, then go with your gut: what idea makes you want to grab someone by the arm and make them listen to your pitch? What are you so excited about that you’re doodling images right now? What do you care enough about to spend the next six months refining?

Join #kidlitart on Thursday, January 6, at 9 pm EST, to discuss “Picking a picture book project you can live with.”

Come prepared to share tips on how you brainstorm new ideas; how you choose a winner; and how put your own spin on it to come up with the project only you could create.

For inspiration:

Caldecott winners, 1938-present

SCBWI Golden Kite winners, 1974-present
Note: Awards for picture book text were added in 1997.

Horn Book Fanfare list for 2010

Publishers Weekly Fall 2010 Children’s Announcements

New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2010

Struggling to find an idea?
Check out the series of posts hosted by Tara Lazar during the PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) Challenge (November, 2010), and the posts during last year’s NaPiBoWriWee (National Picture Book Writing Week), hosted by Paula Yoo.

Start building your resource library
Here are three that have excellent overviews on what makes an engaging picture book:

Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children’s Books, by Uri Shulevitz

Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication, by Ann Whitford Paul

The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Childen, by Nancy Lamb

And . . . we’re off!

Have your super-fantastic, one-of-a-kind picture book idea ready to go by January 13, when we'll begin drafting the text.

Check back often for challenge updates. Leave questions/comments below, or DM @BonnieAdamson or @WendyMartinArt.

Good luck!


  1. I was registered for a class on making a dummy picture book at a local art center last year. Turns out I was the only one interested, so class was dismissed before it even started. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), I'm completely psyched for this challenge. Huge thanks to Bonnie and Wendy for putting this together for the #kidlitart community.

  2. I am so excited about this! I am unable to make the live twitter-chat this Thursday but I will read the transcript and start a "PB Dummy Diary" page this week on my blog to kick-start this challenge.

  3. Glad to be of service, Greg--we'll do our best to make up for the missed class!

    And, Carla, welcome aboard! A PB Dummy Diary is a fantastic idea.