I thought that October was going to be my busiest month this year, but it looks like this month is just as busy or busier! I don’t know how this happened. I’m going to talk about what I’m working on later, but for now here are some events, classes and submissions that I’ve been telling people about. It’s just that there are so many that I just want them in one place!
Picture Book Palooza
Price: $20 (or donate more to help this cause!)
Runs Dec 5-7th! It’s a big online event that talks about all aspects of Picture Books. The event is to raise money for diversity scholarships for the Children’s Book Academy. It’s $20 and there are a lot of prizes. All webinars are recorded:
SCBWI Graphic Novel Conference
Turning Writing and Illustrator Ideas into Graphic Novels
10:00 am – 3:30 pm
A one day conference for graphic novel writers and illustrators. When I signed up there were a few spots left with Natascha Morris for a paid critique. Submission opportunity available after the conference!
Black Friday Bootcamp with Storyteller Academy!
Arree Chung is the founder and one of the teachers at the wonderful storyteller academy. Come join in the free event and see if the Storyteller Academy is right for you! I’ve learned a ton at this academy and my son adored the kids classes that were offered!
A YA writing event. Most of the webinars are for YA writers, but there was a talk on MG books. I haven’t watched the events so it could be good for MG writers as well. There is a talk for graphic novelists and one with a queer talk!
This event is now over, but most of the webinars are posted on Youtube!
YallWrite Twitter: https://twitter.com/YALLFest
Youtube Replays: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLuk7vwjbCbcfvt5K22xlF_6HS4WWcCoB
7 Turns – Novel Writing Course
This is an absolutely wonderful course to take for anyone wanting to write a novel for any age. Ksenia teaches the 7 turns of creating a novel giving you an excellent and fully customizable blueprint to make your novel sing. The community surrounding this course is very supportive and I love everything I’ve learned.
7 Turns Vision: To be the world’s first creative healing company, to create a healthy place to work for, and to build a safe, trusted, and uplifting online community where people can share and discover any story they want.
The 2021 Craft & Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books
A wonderful course by the Children’s Book Academy. Work on your writing craft with three fantastic teachers. Submission opportunity after the course with 10 Editors, Agents and Publishers who will look at your work!
I have been in the illustration course 3 times. It is a fantastic learning opportunity. I learn something new every time I’m in a CBA course.
The BIPOC Bookshelf
A list of BIPOC Editors and Agents. Not all agents on this list are open to submissions!
“The purpose of the BIPOC Editors & Agents database is to be used by both literary publishing professionals and potential writers – with the goal of bringing more stories from the perspective of BIPOC writers into the world through traditional publishing.”
The BIPOC Twitter Account:
I haven’t been able to post for over a month. October was busier than expected this year! I have a lot more to talk about, but I want to get started by talking about Picture Book Palooza! https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/pbpalooza2020.html
Join the PB Palooza
Picture book Palooza is going into it’s second year. The cost for entry is only $20 and you get so much great information. This is a fundraising event so that Mira Reisberg can continue to give class scholarships to BIPOC, Disabled, LGBTQIA+, Low Income ect.! These scholarships are designed to help even out the publishing playing field. In many of the Children’s Book Academy classes students get to show their work directly to Editors, Agents and Art Directors. Students are all given an equal chance to showcase their work in front of these industry professionals.
What You’ll Learn
It feels like 100 years since last year’s event, but I do know that it was epic. I just learned so much from taking part of the event. There were so many wonderful presenters. Lots of fantastic conversations and a ton of learning. You’ll get a lot of your industry questions answered. The events are: 21st Century Nonfiction, Fiction From Life, Writing for Social Justice, Kidlit Community Resources, How to Write Funny, Fiction vs. Concept Books, Editor & Agent Panel, and an Illustration & Writing Panel. Plus a break out Zoom room where you can get all of your questions answered!
The information you’ll get in this event is equivalent to an event put on a bigger organization. You will find that the people invited have information that will help you no matter what your level in writing or illustration. The information given in this event is current and relevant to those just starting out and those who have been in the industry for a while. Take a look at the picture below and go to https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/pbpalooza2020.html to see the list of all the wonderful people involved with this event! There is also a full list of what’s happening when there too!
Why I Love the Children’s Book Academy
I have learned so much in taking the Craft and Business of Illustrating Picture Books! I have taken the class twice and am currently a helper in this past class (and will be a helper in future classes as well). I just love seeing people go from good to great in these classes. Every single person who does the course works ends up with a huge jump in skills from start of the class to end. Also I mentioned that you get to show your work to actual Agents, Illustrators and ADs after class. Not to just any publishing companies, either. These are a range of great companies (that vary every class) that could give you a huge advantage going into or continuing your illustration or writing career! Please join me for this event! If you missed the link before here it is again: https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/pbpalooza2020.html
I was hoping to do a lot of artwork this month for Doodles and Dreams. I did do quite a few drawings, but ended up burning out in the end. A big problem to start was I attempted to keep up with two different instagram accounts. BIG MISTAKE. The drawings weren’t taking very long but they were draining especially after having a summer home with the kids.
Both my kids will be in school full time starting tomorrow morning! I’m so happy about this. I’ve had a hectic schedule these past couple of weeks with the gradual entry my kindergartener had these past two weeks. I guess it’s less painful for the kiddos but it’s a lot of work for a parent.
The thing that really killed everything was those fires! I live just south of Vancouver. We had at least a week ranking with the worst air quality in the world for the week of the 13th. My joints were burning all week. If that wasn’t enough I possibly have CFS. Which means I’m tired all the time. It does make sense with how I’m feeling all the time. I’m not upset, but I’m also not happy when my body doesn’t want to do anything!
So my plan is to just put out the Doodles & Dreams art prompts out for next month. Since there are a lot of people looking for an alternative to Inktober maybe more people will join me! I’m going to try to keep it to 1 piece a day so I don’t burn myself out. I hope some of you will join me, too! Tag your art with #doodledreams
Bird drawing video! Bird is not happy. I won’t say why. Let me know if there is something you’d like me to draw on video!
Quick video of me drawing a cat in Clip Studio Paint. Also showing a few neat tools in Clip Studio! Let me know what else you want me to draw!
This is how I like to draw a quick rose. I did a video like this for a friend, but I think I just posted it on twitter so the quality was bad. Is there anything you’d like to see me draw? I’ll do drawings of general items so please let me know what you want me to make!
I had wanted to say that I was catching up with artwork for Doodles & Dreams this week. Really this is a relaxed event so there is no pressure to finish anything. I do want to draw more so I’m going to make an effort to do more. I’ve been so exhausted this week. Here are some things I’ve been working on for both the booklet and the prompts.
I should admit I did get side tracked. I worked on a new color palette for Clip Studio Paint. I took a red, blue and yellow and mixed them with an almost white, and almost black to make a bunch of nice colors. It took a while, but I finished. It should help the blending of colors later on.
I’ll likely be posting these on Instagram! Some I’ve posted already. I’m posting the book prompts here: https://www.instagram.com/dani_duck_art/
And the daily prompts here: https://www.instagram.com/smart_dummies_challenge/
There is a list of prompts at the bottom of the page! To download the booklet and sign up please go here: https://www.daniduck.com/doodles-and-dreams/
Welcome to Doodles and Dreams! All the fun starts today. If you haven’t signed up for this event please sign up here: https://www.daniduck.com/doodles-and-dreams/ Don’t forget to pick up your free booklet as well.
This is a relaxed event to encourage doodles and fun! I’ll be making posts here so be sure to sign up for my email. If you like what you make during this event please share it with me on Twitter or Instagram using #doodledreams! I’ll RT some work I see. You don’t have to stick with what’s in the book. Please feel free to share any of you work with that tag.
If you have something you really like please mail it to me at daniduck(@)gmail.com. I’ll be posting other people’s work on Fridays (but only if you email it to me). I’m also hoping to post a few other things throughout the month so please sign up to get my emails below!
I just finished editing the Doodles & Dreams booklet so if there are mistakes please let me know. Also if you find accessibility issues in the booklet or on the website please let me know!
If you are an artist or writer please feel free to join my Discord server: https://discord.gg/mEt4PGr This server is meant for adult professionals and those working towards becoming a professional. Right now it’s mostly kidlit and graphic novel people!
Subscribe to my email list so you don’t miss out on any event posts!
I meant to announce this sooner. I’ve been extremely fatigued this past week and before that I’ve been so busy.
Unfortunately, there won’t be any Smart Dummies this year. It’s something I wrestled with a lot. It’s been an extra busy year for me. COVID has really messed things up. Also, I feel like I need a break.
This year I’m running a relaxed event called Doodles and Dreams! This will be an event much like my Spring into Writing Event. I will be releasing the Smart Dummies booklet again this year. If possible I’ll also do a fun booklet for Doodles &Dreams as well.
Doodles & Dreams wont have prizes, but I’m hoping it will be a lot of fun! We’ll do some art sharing and maybe even have some chats. I’ll be talking more about this before September starts. I hope to see you there!
Sign up here: https://www.daniduck.com/doodles-and-dreams/
The Glowing by Tom Rimer
Nice guys often finish last, but sometimes last is all that’s left. Majestic Mount Greylock always cloaked the small berkshire town of Adams in its shadow…until now. Until the skies illuminated. Until the Glowing began. When Kamryn Coe, her disheveled teacher, and a group of geeks that’d put a comic convention to shame witness the destruction of their hometown, they must combat a land teeming with drooling alien hordes, while Kam faces the truth of her own birth and its connection to the catastrophe unfolding around her. Time travel, extraterrestrials, humanity’s end.
TIME TO SAVE THE WORLD.
Buy the Book: https://shadowsparkpub.com/tomrimer
Tom’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/RimerTom
A Deceitful Evening by Vinisha Panwar
If your love turned out to be the most dangerous part of your life….What would you do to survive?
Three ladies, one guy and a gripping drama of dangerous romance. Here are the characters,
NEERJA – (A corporate employee: a loner, running away from her crazy past to find a new support system in a new city)
AARTI – (A police officer: self made personality with major difficulty in embracing emotions)
RAJESH – (A businessman: a mysterious guy, looking to expand his business in a new city with secrets buried in his heart)
AVNI – (A college girl: a vibrant soul and a free spirit)
Neerja has moved to a new city for a fresh start. In the city, she has attracted someone’s eyes to build up a steamy romance. Being surrounded by two new personalities (Avni, her young vibrant flat mate and Aarti, her landlord who is a police officer), she ends up discovering a dangerous side of her new world. Everyone was living with a grave secret inside. With Rajesh, comes a drastic turn when secrets couldn’t hide anymore.
Once secrets were revealed, a normal event turned out to be a freakish display of life & death. Could Neerja’s love stand the test of time? Who will manage to survive in the end?
A mysterious short story, an extreme romantic delight with moments of life & death.
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088VWYX4Y?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420
Vinisha’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/readersvalley
Lust in the Stacks by Natalie Falkenwrath
In this library, the books aren’t the only thing worth checking out… Alex has a job she likes, doing tech support at Cowling University, and a beautiful – if difficult – girlfriend, Jasmine. Life is good. That is until Alex’s boss reassigns her to work in the university’s saddest little library. Alex feels like she’s been banished to a stuffy, quiet hell. Then Alex meets Cait, a living definition of ‘sexy librarian.’ She’s hot, smart, and her accent is to die for. But Alex has a girlfriend she loves and a job to get done. When the library pushes back on the system updates Alex was sent to implement, Alex must work closely with Cait to find a solution. Can Alex stay professional and maintain her relationship with Jasmine while working side-by-side with the alluring librarian?
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1952057000
Natalie’s Website: https://www.nataliefalkenwrath.com/
There is Gold and Steel by Darklord Swashbuckler
Two colonies orbit an ancient star. On Boskia, a young warrior named Darklord embarks on his first mission. Before he knows it, he is traveling to the sister world, Tharnia, a world ruled by women who have decided technology makes males obsolete. What he discovers about their world, and his own, may change the destiny of both, and, perhaps, save both.
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083WN98LC
Darklord’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/DarklordSwashb1
What May Rise from the Ashes by Susanne Schmidt
Ofronia Mills is far too old to retire. She has spent all her life as a librarian, and when Grand-Director Lorn Van Shipplestorm threatens not only her job, but the integrity of the library itself, she has no choice but to act. Evading her boss and Tess Dingly, it-girl and reluctant librarian apprentice, Ofronia descends into the library’s forgotten fourth basement, which once housed the collection of magic books.
While Van Shipplestorm plots to bar the general populace from even entering the hallowed halls, Ofronia must decide what to do with what she finds. Will she entrust her fate to magic, although she once refused to learn anything about it? Or will she walk away quietly, like she has done all her life?
Susanne’s Website: https://susanneschmidt.me/
Gravity's Heir by Sara Bond
“Legacy is nothing but history, if it doesn’t have a future.”
When her father threw her out, sacrificing his only living daughter for the good of his shipping conglomerate, Lena Lomasky swore she could make it on her own. But now she’s broke and desperate, and pride won’t fuel her spaceship. Her latest job is simple: carry a datastick of state secrets home to her father. The same man who cut her off without a cent. Whatever. She can do this. Pass the whiskey.
An ill-timed royal assassination ignites a war and Lena’s crew is blamed. When she thinks to use her cache of state secrets to save them, Lena discovers she’s actually smuggling the only known plans for her father’s invention: a gravity bomb that can vaporize entire cities.
Lena must decide: continue on and hope her father can design a defense to save millions of lives, or leverage the plans to save the only people who really matter.
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084HLKVNJ/
Sara’s Website: https://www.saratbond.com/
Porphyry & Blood by Peter Sandham
The Republic of Venice.
Nine years on from surviving the fall of Constantinople, Anna Notaras now lives an empty life of luxury on the lagoon.
But the Ottoman empire has not ceased its relentless expansion and now Sultan Mehmed plans the conquest of Italy – and to stable his horses in St Peter’s Basilica.
When the Venetian Senate ask Anna to help stop her old Turk enemies, she quickly agrees. The mission seems simple: join an embassy to Wallachia to cement an alliance. But there is nothing straight forward about the ruler Anna is to meet: Vlad Dracula.
Moreover, Anna’s status among her fellow Byzantine refugees is built upon a lie, and not everyone among her travelling party has Anna’s best interests at heart.
Worse still, Anna’s embassy is not the only group heading for Dracula. A Turk army is closing in, intent on placing Vlad’s brother on the Wallachian throne.
Caught in a bloody web of intrigue, Anna will need the same wit and courage that allowed her to survive Constantinople if she is to return from her mission alive.
Recommended for fans of Bernard Cornwell, Dorothy Dunnett and Michael Jecks.
Peter’s Blog: http://porphyryand.blogspot.com/
Vampire Blood & Iron Bullets by Lily Luchesi
One vampire. One Fae. Countless assassins. Challenge accepted.
Energy vampires make excellent rock stars. Changelings make excellent actors. It’s been that way since time out of mind, and the best way to discover an actor is a changeling? Look at the awards they haven’t won.
Perry Gold is one of the most brilliant changeling actors out there, and one award has always eluded him. Until now. And now that’s he’s won it, he’s a wanted man on a hunter’s hit list. As a celebrity, he can’t run forever. He needs the type of protection only a vampire can provide.
If the world’s most successful special agent Angelica Cross can’t save him, no one can.
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0848KTMN9
Lily’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/LilyLuchesi
Unholy bu Austin Valenzuela
Lord Jericho, the leader of the church of St. Damascus, trains students in the art of killing dragons and harnessing their magic.
Unholy tells the story of a boy named Isaac, a student of the church, as he is called to perform his final test of the year. For the last five years, Isaac has gone against the ways of the Lord and refused to sacrifice the sacred creatures his father had always taught him to love.
He doesn’t belong.
But when test day comes around, Isaac finally gives in to the pressure and sacrifices an innocent peach-colored dragon in front of the class.
Appalled with himself and bullied by the others for caring, Isaac seeks redemption by breaking Lord Jericho’s most important rule—never leave church grounds—and he stumbles into an adventure that will change his view of dragons forever.
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/Unholy-Gothic-Fantasy-Austin-Valenzuela-ebook/dp/B08DVDG7ZD/
Austin’s Website: https://www.austinvalenzuela.com/
Slumberland by Derra Nicole Sabo
How do you dream? Are your dreams in color or black ‘n white? Do they feel surreal or all too real?Well, I’d like to introduce you to my little slice of bittersweet. These subconscious woods hold every fear and my anxieties masked are as wolves. Nightmares that play on a loop for weeks, even months at a time. Symptoms of waking in cold sweats and shaking. The only moments of peace are found in the sporadically studded dreams that happen every now and again. These woods house every past demon as well as certain past versions of who I once was. This place is worse than death, yet it inspires. So……Before my alarm goes off, before I take the last train out of here, I take one last glance back, one last glance at all of the Polaroids, pinned to every tree branch, Polaroids of every dream and nightmare that have stolen my nights since ’95……These dreams…these woods…this place…it’s my upside-down. This is my Slumberland…
Derra’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/derra_nic