June 29, 2015

Illustration Contest For Children's Illustrators FINALISTS! - Vote For Your Favorite!!!


The 2nd Annual Pretty Much World Famous
Illustration Contest for Children's Illustrators!

Well, folks!

The moment you've all been waiting for has arrived!

Our judges have closeted themselves with copies supplies of chocolate, looked over the entries extensively and carefully with their artists' eye, and after much wrestling, decided on the following 6 finalists!

Before I show them to you though, I just want to congratulate everyone who entered!  You all did a fabulous job.  There were so many wonderful, creative, beautiful illustrations, and I know I speak for everyone when I say how much we all enjoyed getting to see your work.  You are all winners for showing up and putting your talent out on display!

The judges had a hard time choosing just 6 finalists, but without further ado, here they are!

#1 By Dow Phumriuk

#2 By Michelle Todd


#3  By Cheryl Pilgrim

#4  By Micha Klann


#5  By The Write Laura

#6  By Anna Totten


Amazing, aren't they?  And I know it will be a tough choice!

Please vote for the one you think is best in the poll below by Thursday July 2 at 5 PM EDT.


Can't wait to see who the winner will be on Friday!  Happy voting!!!


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June 22, 2015

The 2nd Annual Pretty Much World Famous Illustration Contest For Children's Illustrators!!!

WOO HOO!  The day has finally arrived!  It's time for . . .


The 2nd Annual Pretty Much World Famous
Illustration Contest for Children's Illustrators!

The ContestDraw/Paint/Create a children's picture book illustration (no text required - art only) the topic for which shall be
discovery

Above all things, these illustrations are meant to evoke story, so it is crucial that they present at least one character, a setting, and ideally hint at/suggest some kind of plot or conflict idea.

Illustrations should be 8x10, horizontal or vertical, any medium, posted in jpg at least 72 px.  Illustrators may enter more than one entry if they're feeling ambitious :)

Post:  Your entry should be posted on your blog between right now this very second and Friday June 26 at 9 PM EDT (contest deadline!)  Please add your post-specific link to the link list below which will remain up all week so that people will be able to come visit and enjoy your amazing artwork.  If you don't have a blog but would like to enter, you will be able to copy and paste your entry into the comments below.  (If anyone has trouble commenting, which unfortunately happens, you may email me and I'll post your entry for you!)

Judging:  entries will be judged by multi-talented, award-winning author/illustrators Iza Trapani, author and illustrator of over 20 gorgeous picture books, and Lisa Thiesing, author and illustrator of 40 beautiful and fun picture books and early readers!   Judging criteria to include:

 - does the illustration evoke a sense of story,
 - is the picture readable to a young audience,
 - how well does it show the character(s) and
 - is/are the character(s) appealing (character development),
 - originality,
 - skill.

They will narrow down the entrants to 6 finalists (or possibly a couple more or less depending on the number of entries :)) which will be posted here on Monday June 29 for you to vote on for a winner.  The vote will be closed at 5PM EST on Thursday July 2 and the winner will be announced on Friday July 3... along with something for the writers in our audience, so stay tuned! :)

The Prizes!:  There will definitely be a 1st prize.  Whether we give prizes for 1st only, 1st-3rd, or 1st-6th will depend on how many entries we get.  We need at least 12 entries to place through 3rd, and at least 20 to place through 6th.

We've got some great prizes lined up including a chance to take Mark Mitchell's fantastic Make Your Marks And Splashes Online Children's Book Illustration Class (a $249 value, but really priceless!)  This class is packed with video lessons on the topics of drawing, painting, and children's book illustration and video interviews with children's illustrators. It also includes three months of online group critique sessions (2 sessions per month, at this point) with Mark and guest instructors, so the winner could also get the equivalent of a portfolio critique if she/he participated in all six of the sessions.  You can read all about it here: http://howtobeachildrensbookillustrator.com/NewCoursehome2/

http://howtobeachildrensbookillustrator.com/NewCoursehome2/


Additional prizes will include:

 - a Wacon Intuos Pen and Touch Small Tablet (see details HERE)

 - a $50 gift certificate to Dick Blick Art Materials (which is online)

 - choices of the following books:
      - Writing With Pictures by Uri Shulevitz
      - 2015 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market by Chuck Sambuchino

  - a Canson sketch pad and a small set of Derwent or Faber Castell colored pencils

and of course the bragging rights to having won or placed in a Pretty Much World Famous Contest! :)

So ready, set, GO! artists!  We can't wait to see what you've created!  We're ready to be inspired! :)

Remember, add your post-specific blog link to the link list below or email your illustration to me for posting here!

Below are 9 entires (so far) in the post, and the link list is down below them.

Entry from Tina Marantette:

illustration copyright Tina Marantette 2015
Entry #1 from Kristeen Mathews: discovery on the farm
illustration copyright Kristeen Mathews 2015

Entry #2 from Kristeen Mathews: discovery in a book
illustration copyright Kristeen Mathews 2015

Entry #3 from Kristeen Mathews: magic discovery
illustration copyright Kristeen Mathews 2015
Entry from Julie Abery
illustration copyright Julie Abery 2015

Entry from Michelle Todd
illustration copyright Michelle Todd 2015
Entry from Abigail Hicks
illustration copyright Abigail Hicks 2015

Entry from Beth Gallagher
illustration copyright Beth Gallagher 2015
Entry from Meredith Pinkstone
illustration copyright Meredith Pinkstone 2015
Entry from Dyann Joyce
illustration copyright Dyann Joyce 2015

Entry #1 from Susan Klein
illustration copyright Susan Klein 2015

Entry #2 from Susan Klein
illustration copyright Susan Klein 2015

Entry #3 from Susan Klein
illustration copyright Susan Klein 2015


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June 17, 2015

Would You Read It Wednesday Double Header! #179 Boys Of Koh Panyee (PB) and How Much Farther (PB)

What with baseball season in full swing (hee hee) I thought we should do something fun and different!

(And when I say I thought we should do something fun and different as if it were intentional, I mean I totally forgot to skip a week of Would Your Read It to leave room for the Illustration Contest next week, so I'm pretending I planned this :))

But let's work with me here.

Is there anything more appropriate than a baseball metaphor on a day devoted to pitches? :)

And can you imagine anything more delightful on a beautiful June day then a sunny bleacher or stadium seat, the prospect of a whole day of fun, hot dogs (which I will refrain from dipping in chocolate after the response to last week's chocolate-dipped corn on the cob... although I bet someone's done it... :)), ice cream cones, and the company of friends at a double header of two picture book pitches?

(See how I snuck that in there?)

In case your answer is yes, I fully intend to bribe you change your mind by offering a prize or two as incentive to everyone who comments on both pitches.  I have some spare copies of friends' picture books lying around (I can't imagine how that happens - it's not as if picture books are my life or anything :)) - Tea Party Rules by Ame Dykeman, My Love For You Is The Sun by Julie Hedlund, Little Miss Muffet by Iza Trapani, What About Moose by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca Gomez, Jeremy Draws A Monster by Peter McArty, Tyranosaurus Wrecks by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, and Me Want Pet by Tammi Sauer, and who knows, maybe a couple of others because it's just possible that my office floor is not entirely tidy :)

So anyone who is kind enough to comment on both pitches by Sunday June 21 will be entered to win one of those awesome picture books!  And Darshana, Johnell and I all thank you a million, billion times for doing two Would You Read Its in one day (bearing in mind that you get Friday off because PPBF is on summer hiatus, and that there will NOT be a WYRI next Wednesday because the Illustration Contest will be running!!!)

Also, I do solemnly swear not to double up pitches ever again (unless I get myself in another scheduling bind at some point and then clearly I will have to up the bribery factor to a publishing contract or something :))

So let's get in a festive mood with Something Chocolate. . .

The 30 Cup Tower of Doom - a gargantuan tribute to Häagen-Dazs -
and definitely what you get at your average baseball stadium... :)
Just a teeny little single-person cone :)

Now then, are you feeling fortified (or possibly comatose :))?

Here comes the Double Header!

Today's first pitch comes to us from Darshana.  Darshana's special talents by day are solving engineering problems, creating activities for her kids, and concocting ways to spend time with her husband. By night she reads and writes picture books, so one day she can realize her dream of becoming a published author. Check out her book reviews at Flowering Minds, and keep up to date on the latest in the kidlit world by "Liking" her on FaceBook or "Following" her on Twitter.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Boys Of Koh Panyee
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8) - Fiction based on a true story
The Pitch: The boys of Koh Panyee, Thailand dream of becoming football champions, but they live on a floating village with no space to play. Through sheer gumption, the boys withstand the villagers’ jeers to create their own football pitch and become champions.

Today's second pitch comes to us from Johnell.  Johnell is a former PR exec. who now moves around the globe with her family. She blogs with her writing group at: http://dewdropsofink.blogspot.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: How Much Farther
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: In this all-dialogue story a child tries to convince his dad to carry him, but Dad finds creative ways to show the child that he can make it on his own. Between sightings of butterflies, robins and troll holes the child speeds closer to the anticipated destination until he can’t. go. another. step. When Dad offers to carry him, the child realizes his big-kid legs might be strong enough after all. 

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Darshana and Johnell improve their pitches.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in October so you've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Darshana and Johnell are looking forward to your thoughts on their pitches!  I am looking forward to seeing the illustrations for the Illustration Contest next week!  I expect to have my socks completely knocked off... if anyone actually enters... which I'm a little worried they might not...  So please feel free to share the Illustration Contest around the blogosphere and twitter etc. because if we don't get any entries that will be so sad :(

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!  An thank you so much for helping Darshana and Johnell on the same day instead of on two different days!  And Happy Father's Day this weekend, since I won't be posting again beforehand!

P.S. I looked on google images and there ARE pictures of chocolate-dipped hot dogs!  But they were too revolting even for me to post! :)




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June 12, 2015

Perfect Picture Book Friday - What About Moose?

Well, dearies, here we are again, about to wade into summer!

And you know what that means.

It means Perfect Picture Books will go on hiatus until September.

I know.  It's sad.  But luckily we have a big list of books to tide us over (if I ever finish updating it, it will be REALLY big!)  And a little break is good for us.  It means we'll come back refreshed and filled with renewed enthusiasm :)

For the last PPBF before summer hiatus, I have a fantastically fun book to share!  You will probably all want to rush out and read it immediately :)

Title: What About Moose?
Written By: Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez
Illustrated By: Keika Yamaguchi
Atheneum Books For Young Readers, June 2015, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: teamwork, behavior (bossiness), language fun (rhyme), forgiveness

Opening: "Fox met her friends with her toolbox in hand.
'Time to start building!  Now here's what I've planned.'
She divvied up jobs and then Moose trotted in.
'I'm HERE!' he announced.  'Let construction begin!'"


Brief Synopsis: The forest animals are working together to build a tree house... all except Moose who is so busy being in charge that he fails to perceive exactly what's happening.  When he finds himself in a tight situation, his kind-hearted friends help him out in spite of his previous bossiness.

Links To Resources: Team Building Games; design your own treehouse - draw the kind of treehouse you'd love to have, including amenities :); moose coloring pages; recipes for lemonade (to drink while you're building or playing in your treehouse :))


Why I Like This Book: As you've probably all gathered by now (due to the fact that I'm always adding her books to Perfect Picture Books list :)) I am a die-hard Corey Rosen Schwartz fan.  Her books are always clever and fun with fabulous rhyme that is a pleasure to read aloud.  This new addition is no exception.  Moose is delightful in his bossiness, hollering commands through a megaphone, oblivious to the predicament he's getting himself into.  His friends are forgiving, willing to help him out even though he's been a pain in the backside.  The illustrations are appealing and engaging.  The story is light-hearted and fun while still getting the message across that it's best to work together - one all ages will enjoy!

Here's the trailer:


For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

I know we will all be reading picture books throughout the summer, but with so many wonderful outdoor things to do (and the kids all home from school :)), our time for writing posts, reading reviews, and visiting one another's blogs will be limited.  And summer is all about spending time with our families.  So go forth and enjoy - we'll be here when you get back to start up PPBF again on Friday September 11!

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!

Have a wonderful summer, everyone, and those of you who only visit for PPBF, we'll see you in September!  Everyone else, we'll still be here with Would You Read It Wednesdays, the pitch picks, and Straight From The Editor, the upcoming Children's Illustration Contest to be followed by some other high jinx for writers, and maybe a few surprises... depending on whether I manage to get things done :)  I've got at least three new things I'm hoping to share soon :)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!  And I hope to see some of you in New Jersey! :)


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June 10, 2015

Would You Read It Wednesday # 178 - The Sunflower Traveler (PB) PLUS The May Pitch Pick Winner!

Happy National Corn On The Cob Day!

Really!

I'm not making this up!

I think it's a great idea for a holiday.  I love corn on the cob.  It is so delicious and summery!

I'm sure it's a completely genuine holiday and definitely not an elaborate ruse thought up by Oral B or Johnson&Johnson to increase sales of dental floss! :)

But here's what I'm thinking: the Tooth Fairy ought to cash in on this day.  Seriously, the number of teeth under pillows must skyrocket on a day when the world's 6 year olds are all eating corn on the cob :)

What, you may ask, does this have to do with Would You Read It?

Well... as I see it... absolutely nothing :)  But I still think it's important that you know the historic significance of the day!

Now then, if you could all kindly stop comparing corn on the cob recipes and arguing over the exact number of seconds required to perfectly cook corn on the cob, we could get down to the business at hand!

First, I'm thrilled to announce that the winner of the May Pitch Pick was Jason with his pitch for Barnabas Is NOT A Ninja!!!  Congratulations, Jason!  Your pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for her comments!

And congratulations to our other brave pitchers who took the time to write, polish and perfect their pitches and summoned the nerve to put them out there for commentary.  You are all winners in my book!  Even if you didn't win the pitch pick, you should still all have pitches that are worthy of telling famous editors you happen to meet in elevators.

I think a little pick-me-up is in order before we tackle today's pitch and I have the perfect thing for our  Something Chocolate.  Get ready for it...
YES!  It IS chocolate-dipped corn on the cob!!!
If you google it, ye shall find it!  Chocolate-dipped corn on the cob!  Who (besides me) would have thought of such a thing?  Obviously someone!  I believe I even see chocolate sprinkles on there!  I have no idea how it tastes, but I'm game to try.  And think how healthy we're being, eating vegetables for breakfast!  Our moms will all be so proud :)

And now that we're all fortified with brain food, today's pitch comes to us from Michelle who says, "My idea for The Sunflower Traveler began a long time ago via my love of gardening and growing sunflowers. I’m an artist, writer and art instructor. The majority of my writing and art involves nature, critters, endangered species, and our environment. I enjoy including a bit of fantasy to draw my viewers in. I'm an active member of SCBWI. You can find my art and poetry at my blog: http://www.moreart4all.wordpress.com, art at my website: http://www.michellekogan.com, and in my Etsy shop http://www.MichelleKoganFineArt.etsy.com. Thanks for reviewing my pitch!"

Here is her pitch: 

Working Title: The Sunflower Traveler
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 6-10)
The Pitch: Ten-year-old Rhea’s growing sunflowers for Petal Path’s Magazine Contest. Her Dad lost his job, and the prize money would help her family.  But to win she’s got to find something new to share about her sunflowers.  A goldfinch thinks he can help. Together they mysteriously time-travel through one of her sunflowers. They eventually arrive in Past Times, where a new gardener needs help with his own garden woes. There she also has to conquer squirrel antics and deal with a rambunctious raven. Will she solve her sunflower problem, or get back home in time to enter the contest and help her family?

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Michelle improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in October so you've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Michelle is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to sampling some chocolate-dipped corn on the cob :)  Just for kicks, we should take an informal poll: would YOU be willing to try chocolate-dipped corn on the cob?

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! :)





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June 5, 2015

Perfect Picture Book Friday - My Side Of The Car

Happy 2nd-to-last Perfect Picture Book Friday before the summer hiatus, everyone!

Princess Blue Kitty and I have been spending A LOT of quality time together.

(You all remember Princess Blue, right?)
Sorry she has her back to you.  She's a little camera shy :)
Seriously.

I can't seem to get out of the car.

Every time I think, "Okay, maybe this week I'll do a little less driving," I turn out to be wrong!

Today, Princess Blue and I are heading north, and in honor of yet another 5+hours-in-the-car day (at least the third this week) I have chosen a book I love that has a car on the cover, in the title, and as the setting for the story... even though it's not specifically Princess Blue Kitty... and actually not even blue :)

Ready?  Fasten your seat belts because here we go! :)

My Side Of The Car
Written By: Kate Feiffer
Illustrated By: Jules Feiffer
Candlewick, April 2011, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 4-8

Themes/Topics: patience, imagination, father-daughter love, optimism

Opening:  "My dad and I are going to the zoo.  We've tried to go to the zoo before.  But we never get there.  Something always happens."

Brief Synopsis:  Sadie and her dad are going to the zoo.  Their plans have been thwarted three previous times, but this time they're really going.  Except... on the way... it starts to rain.  They can't go to the zoo in the rain.  But Sadie's not about to let the fact that her dad sees rain deter her.  "I look out my window, and the sun is shining on my side of the car. People are putting on their sunglasses and heading to zoos all over the world on my side of the car." While her dad sees nothing but rain, Sadie sees people mowing their laws and eating ice cream.  Is it raining or not?  Will Sadie and her dad get to the zoo this time or will they have to wait for another day?

Links To Resources:  Fun Zoo-Related ActivitiesZoo Lessons And Activities, a page in the back of the book tells the true story of what happened (which is always fun :))

Why I Like This Book:  Anyone who has lived with kids knows that their perception of reality is not necessarily the same as yours... especially when they really want something! :)  What's wonderful about this book is both Sadie's determined optimism and her father's patience and his loving understanding of how she needs to cope with her disappointment.  This book is also delightful because it's written and illustrated by a father-daughter team about an incident that actually happened.  I'm not going to tell you whether they get to the zoo or not, though.  You'll have to go read the book :)

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!

Have a super-fantastic weekend, everyone!!!  And feel free to share in the comments how much quality time you'll be spending with YOUR cars :)



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June 3, 2015

Would You Read It Wednesday #177 - The Sun, The Moon, And Eve (PB) PLUS The May Pitch Pick!

Now that the Illustration Contest has been announced, I'm all excited to see what our talented illustrator friends are going to come up with!  How, oh how!, will we wait 3+ whole weeks?

But they don't call me Clever Sus for nothing!  Nosireebob!  I am a master of distraction technique!

For starters, we can distract ourselves by voting for our favorite pitches in the May Pitch Pick.

Our intrepid pitchers have taken all your good advice to heart and reworked their pitches so that I fear you're going to have quite a job picking a favorite to vote for!

Here they are:

#1 Zainab - A Case Of Cane-Syrupy-Sugar-A-Bitus (PB ages 4-8)
Samantha's dream of becoming THE pirouetting star of the school talent show may be shattered when she contracts a case of cane-syrup-a-bitus (a.k.a. the Sugar Bug). Will Samantha be able to rid herself of this high fructose bug or will she be sent home and miss her moment on stage?

#2 Linda - Poindexter's Particular Procedure For Cold Feet (PB ages )
Poindexter’s Particular Procedure for Cold Feet.  This play on the letter “P” pops the story along as it addresses two-year-old Evan’s problem of cold feet.  Evan is befuddled as his mother puts his socks on, yet no shoes.  Of course he promptly takes the socks off.  Only after consulting Poindexter’s Purple Book of Particular Procedures for Peculiar Problems does the mysterious solution produce toasty warm feet.
#3 Kirk - When Your Best Friend Wants To Be Your Girlfriend and Other Horror Stories (MG)
12-year-old Jared Hoover and Cassie Arnold have been friends since they ate sand together. They’ve attended the same schools, shared family camping trips and even visited Disneyland. Inseparable friends forever, right? Maybe not when Cassie begins experiencing “changes” Jared doesn’t understand. Jared can’t figure out if she hates his guts or (gulp) might actually "like" him in a weird way. Who knew girls were so complicated?

#4 Jason - Barnabas Is NOT A Ninja (PB ages 4-8)
Barnabas is not a ninja.  He wears buccaneer boots, sings sea shanties, and shouts “avast!” at passing strangers. So when his parents enroll him in Ninjagarten, he must contend with a shushing sensei, 19 know it all ninjalings, and an uncontrollable urge to raise a ruckus.  After recruiting the other students to join his pirate crew, Barnabas leads them in a mutiny.  Either he will conquer the classroom, or his first day of Ninjagarten will be his last.
Please vote for the pitch you think most deserves a read by editor Erin Molta in the poll below by Sunday June 7 at 5 PM EDT.  Many thanks!

Next, we can indulge in Something Chocolate which will surely take our minds off the Illustration Contest at least while our mouths are full...!  Since it's breakfast time, and breakfast is the most important meal of the day, how about some chocolate waffles???!!!


Mmmm!  Great idea!  Not only chocolate!  Not only delicious!  But we've got the basic food groups covered: chocolate, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and fruit (for you breakfast purists out there :)).  Yum-MY!

And now, we can focus on today's pitch which comes to us from Lavanya whom you will remember from last July with her pitch for Sophie vs. The Monster.  She says, "I'm a software engineer by day, and an avid reader of fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and literature by night. I'm also mother to a young girl who has just discovered the magical ability to make meaning out of the printed word. I started putting my own words down on paper last November, and when I went to my regional SCBWI conference in April, I confirmed a suspicion that I had long harbored - writers are the nicest people in the world, and I want to be one of them. :-)"

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Sun, The Moon, And Eve
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: In the dawn of the world, a child called Eve sings out her love for her siblings, the Sun and the Moon. But when Eve's songs reveal her favorite, the Sun and the Moon unleash their fury. Eve must dispel the terrible shadow that follows, and restore their harmony.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Lavanya improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in October so you've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Lavanya is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the Illustration Contest!  Aarrgghh!  There I go undoing all that fabulous distraction, putting the contest right back in your minds!  Oops! :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!!! :)

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June 1, 2015

And Now, That Announcement You've All Been Waiting For...!

Hi there, everyone!  Happy Monday!

Look at us: throwing routine to the dogs and showing up here on a Monday when (thanks to this crazy busy year) I no longer post hardly EVer!  We are such rebels! :)

I know why you're here.  It's because I told you on Friday I had something to tell you...

And I do!

And just wait until you hear what it is, because it's SO AMAZING!

Are you ready?

You must be.

I feel like life has fallen into monotony and we're all just going through the motions.  We need something to shake things up!  And I have just the thing. . .

Wait for it . . .

I'm considering getting my hair trimmed.

I know!  Earth-shattering, right?

It's true.

After two plus (2+!) years of avoiding all institutions where shampoo and scissors coexist after the Great Hair Debacle of 2013, I'm thinking that maybe the situation is getting just a wee bit out of hand and I may require an eensy weensy teeny tiny little itty bitty bit off the bottom.

Just a smidge.

Nothing too drastic.

Nothing to recall the horror of April 2013!  *shudder*

But something.

Aren't you glad you all came over here?  I mean, it's not every day that news like this hits the world wide web!

Thanks for taking time out of your busy Monday to stop by and hear about my possible hair plans - the drama, the dilemma, the dream!  And hey!  This takes hair-brained scheme to a whole new level!

So really, thanks for stopping by.

Oh, and by the way, before you leave?

WE'RE HAVING A CONTEST!!!!!!!  Because it's been ages and it's high time we had some high jinx and shenanigans around here! :)

The 2nd Annual Pretty Much World Famous
Illustration Contest for Children's Illustrators!
Yes!  It's true!  We had so much fun with it last year, running the Illustration Contest on the back of the Writing Contest, that we're doing it again!  Only this time, because we in the picture book world love, admire, and depend on our illustrators, we're doing it the other way around - the illustrator's are up first! :)

The ContestDraw/Paint/Create a children's picture book illustration (no text required - art only) the topic for which shall be
discovery

Above all things, these illustrations are meant to evoke story, so it is crucial that they present at least one character, a setting, and ideally hint at/suggest some kind of plot or conflict idea.

Illustrations should be 8x10, horizontal or vertical, any medium, posted in jpg at least 72 px.  Illustrators may enter more than one entry if they're feeling ambitious :)

Post:  Your entry should be posted on your blog between Monday June 22 and Friday June 26 at 9 PM EDT (contest deadline!)  You will be able to add your post-specific link to the link list on my Monday June 22 post which will remain up all week so that people will be able to come visit and enjoy your amazing artwork.  If you don't have a blog but would like to enter, you will be able to copy and paste your entry into the comments below.  (If anyone has trouble commenting, which unfortunately happens, you may email me and I'll post your entry for you!)

Judging:  entries will be judged by multi-talented, award-winning author/illustrators Iza Trapani, author and illustrator of over 20 gorgeous picture books, and Lisa Thiesing, author and illustrator of 40 beautiful and fun picture books and early readers!   Judging criteria to include:

 - does the illustration evoke a sense of story,
 - is the picture readable to a young audience,
 - how well does it show the character(s) and
 - is/are the character(s) appealing (character development),
 - originality,
 - skill.

They will narrow down the entrants to 6 finalists (or possibly a couple more or less depending on the number of entries :)) which will be posted here on Monday June 29 for you to vote on for a winner.  The vote will be closed at 5PM EST on Thursday July 2 and the winner will be announced on Friday July 3... along with something for the writers in our audience, so stay tuned! :)

The Prizes!:  There will definitely be a 1st prize.  Whether we give prizes for 1st only, 1st-3rd, or 1st-6th will depend on how many entries we get.  We need at least 12 entries to place through 3rd, and at least 20 to place through 6th.

We've got some great prizes lined up (and are still working on them...) including a chance to take Mark Mitchell's fantastic Make Your Marks And Splashes Online Children's Book Illustration Class (a $249 value, but really priceless!)  This class is packed with video lessons on the topics of drawing, painting and children's book illustration and video interviews with children's illustrators. It also includes three months of online group critique sessions (2 sessions per month, at this point) with Mark and guest instructors, so the winner could also get the equivalent of a portfolio critique if she/he participated in all six of the sessions.  You can read all about it here: http://howtobeachildrensbookillustrator.com/NewCoursehome2/

http://howtobeachildrensbookillustrator.com/NewCoursehome2/


Additional prizes will include:
 - a $50 gift certificate to Dick Blick Art Materials (which is online)

 - choices of the following books:
      - Writing With Pictures by Uri Shulevitz
      - 2015 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market by Chuck Sambuchino


  - a Canson sketch pad and a small set of Derwent or Faber Castell colored pencils

and of course the bragging rights to having won or placed in a Pretty Much World Famous Contest! :)

So artists, get out your pencils, paints, brushes, crayons, collage materials, magic markers - whatever it is you create with! - and see what you can dream up!  We will all be waiting with great anticipation for the fruits of your talent - to admire, share, and enjoy!  You've got 3 whole weeks - almost 4 if you post on the last day - so ready, set, draw/paint/create! :)

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone!

(Oh, and P.S. - if anyone feels like sharing this around to spread the word, that would be great.  I want to be sure illustrators hear about it so they can join the fun and be in the winning for fabulous prizes!  Many thanks in advance!)



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