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
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/
I want to invite you all to a new Twitter chat! The chat is called #QueerKidlit and will be Wednesday nights 5:30pm PT/ 8:30pm ET. It’s hosted by Jenette Bradley (@jeanettebradly) and myself (@daniduck). The very first event will be Wednesday August 12th! All LGBTQIA+ people and allies welcome! This event is for both kidlit writers and illustrators.
There are lots of things we are working out about this chat. Please come with ideas for things you’d like to see!
Logo art by Jeanette Bradley.
I’m going to start doing weekly updates again! I will be posting my own creative goals (and maybe some artwork), my current reads, and any art/writing events and fun stuff that’s coming up. The format and name for this may change a bit, but I’m really excited to have time to do these updates again.
I just got an iPad Pro. I’m currently using it to work on some illustration work! I have a cat book that I think will work well with on the iPad.
I have another cat graphic novel that I’m doing on my desktop. I am almost done with the images for this, but it is taking some time. I’m hoping that the work for this will give me more things to share for Smart Dummies later this year!
I have honestly not had much time for reading in recent years and that’s been very sad for me. I am listening to a TON of audiobooks right now. It’s easier for me to listen to something while I’m working on art or cleaning the house than it is to sit and read. I can read so much faster than I can listen, so I was resistant at first. I found that I do love listening to these books. I’ve had so much fun hearing these stories.
Stories I’ve read in the last little while:
Full Disclosure by Cameryn Garrett
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Tarnished are the Stars by Rosilee Thor
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
A Song Below Water by Bethany C Morrow
The Black Flamingo By Dean Atta
The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus
King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
Most of these are by Black authors other than Tarnished are the Stars and The Henna Wars. These are both queer stories! I highly recommend reading all of these books.
Currently Reading: All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
This book is different from all the books I’ve been reading lately, because it’s nonfiction. It’s a memoir/manifesto. I’d also say there are CW for this book of sexual abuse, general abuse, homophobia, transphobia, racism and repeated use of the f-word and n-word. The writer of this book is Black, queer and does not put the bad things that happened in his life in a good light.
More Fun Stuff:
Just around the corner is the SCBWI Summer Spectacular conference! I’m attending this event. It starts Friday July 31st and runs through August 4th. I’m very excited for this to start. I honestly keep forgetting the start date, so posting the date here is as much for myself as it is for you! https://www.scbwi.org/events/scbwi-summer-spectacular-2020/
The Children’s Book Academy is having their Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books starting August 31st. This is an absolutely fantastic class. You will learn so much in this class. The fantastic Larissa Marantz is a new teacher in this course. She is absolutely fantastic! It will be the best year to take this class. ADs, Editors and Agents will be looking at your work at the end of the course so sign up now! https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/2020-craft–business-of-illustrating-childrens-books.html