Great Things for Graphic Novel Kidlit Creators
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post any events or opportunities. It’s been a busy summer for me and there hasn’t been much time to write anything. Also so much going on that I haven’t been able to think to write. Just now I’ve started 3 different blog posts. 2 of which I may never finish. But maybe soon.
I want to let you know of a few things I’ve heard about recently! These just happen to all be in the realm of Graphic Novels (though the first is for more than just graphic novel people!).
Creator Advisor on Twitter regularly posts job & contract work opportunities. These are not all kidlit jobs, and are mostly related to comics. I believe the person running it may be from Canada, but I’ve seen jobs from the US and remote jobs. https://twitter.com/CreatorAdvisor
Graphic Novel: Nuts and Bolts with Ken Lamug, award-winning author & Illustrator
October 9th, 2022 2:00-4:00pm PDT.
Award-winning & Multi-published Ken Lamug will be talking about everything Graphic Novels! He will be talking about how his book Mischief and Mayhem started as a picture book and became a graphic novel! Ken is a teacher, filmaker, KidlitGN organizer and former SCBWI Illustrator-Coordinator for the Nevada Chapter of the SCBWI. https://nevada.scbwi.org/events/graphic-novel-nuts-and-bolts-with-ken-lamug-award-winning-author-illustrator
KidlitGN is having their annual pitch event on October 5-7th. You can pitch your GN on both Twitter and their website! https://kidlitgn.com/ There have been a lot of people who have found success from this wonderful event!
Life Changing LGBTQIA2s+ Kidlit Mentorships Now Open!
An absolutely wonderful opportunity has arrived for LGBTQIA2s+ kidlit creators. Applications for the Queer Kidlit Mentorships is now open until June 15th. This opportunity is for both writers and illustrators! The amazing Jeanette Bradley has gathered 14 awesome Mentor volunteers for this event! You can apply here: https://queerkidlit.weebly.com/mentors-2022.html This event is brought to you by #QueerKidlit chat Wednesday nights on Twitter at 5:30pm PT/8:30pm ET and organized by Jeanette Bradley.
We have: Adib Khorram, Aida Salazar, AJ Irving, Alex Gino, Chris Tebbetts, Elizabeth Lilly, Jenn Reese, Kaylani Juanita, Keisha Morris, Lee Wind, Megan Dowd Lambert, Rebecca Kim Wells, Rob Sanders and Robin Stevenson! Bios for each of the mentors is here: https://queerkidlit.weebly.com/mentors-2022.html The artwork for our logo was created by the fabulous Anne Appert.
The mentorships are for pre-published writers and illustrators. There are no fees in applying to or receiving a Queer Kidlit mentorship. Sign up here before June 15th: https://queerkidlit.weebly.com/mentorships.html
If you were mentored in 2021 we ask that you don’t apply again until 2023 (if you applied and didn’t get a mentorship, please apply again). Queer Kidlit chats are run by @KatjaBookDragon, @KiannaShore, yours truly and various kidlit creatives!
Amazing Kidlit Graphic Novel Master Course
I want to introduce you to a wonderful new course from the Children’s Book Academy! This course is for anyone interested in writing and/or illustrating graphic novels. Classes start May 9th! I absolutely love Mira Reisberg and her classes. I will be taking this course, and I would love if you could join me! You can sign up for the course here: https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/2022graphicnovels.html There will be submission opportunities following the course they are called Golden Tickets, and just take a peak and see all the fantastic people waiting to see your work!
Also there will be a Clip Studio class that comes with the class. It will be available soon! I’m an instructor for the Clip Studio course and hope that it will help you with your graphic novels. If you don’t have Clip Studio yet — look it up. When it goes on sale it’s very inexpensive!
If you just want to learn more about graphic novels there will be an absolutely free Masterclass on April 24th at 4pm PT. Sign up is here: https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/free-graphic-novel-masterclass.html
Until April 10th there are scholarships available for this course! The Larissa Marantz Merit and Need Based Scholarships are for underrepresented writers and illustrators who want to take Mastering Graphic Novels. BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, Disabled, Low-Income and more can apply for these scholarships. Please apply, especially if you are a BIPOC because Mira wants to make sure that most (if not all) of these go to BIPOC! https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/larissa-marantz-merit–need-scholarship.html
If you have any questions about Mastering Graphic Novels or for the scholarships, please let me know!
Wonderful Kidlit Illustration Course
I wanted to let you know about a a fabulous illustration class I took a few years ago. Make Your Marks and Splashes with Mark Mitchell is a great way to get started in Illustration. I’ve been so busy that I know I’m posting this late. Go here to join this great course: https://illustratechildrensbooks.com/ms-spring-2022/
In this course you will learn all of the basics for illustration along with lots of advanced techniques as well. No matter where you are in your illustration career you will benefit from Mark’s class!
I feel like explaining this course is a little strange, because it’s very intense and involved. Having said that it also was very laid back and fun. Yes, both at the exact same time! Probably because the course material is easy to get into even though there is a lot to learn. Plus the whole class is a low stress environment, which helps me out a lot!
There are a ton of videos to watch for class. Having taken university courses, I’d say this is like a whole degree’s worth of art classes in one course! If you missed out on university art courses, don’t worry! You’ll get caught up on it all here!
Probably the most exciting part of this class is meeting with Mark your classmates online for the huddles! Mark is an excellent teacher who will help guide you every step of the way through illustrating.
Sign up here, but hurry as classes start on the 24th! https://illustratechildrensbooks.com/ms-spring-2022/
New Kidlit Resources
I meant to update sooner, but I was having trouble with the WordPress editors I use. I think blogging is okay, but updating the resource page was a pain! Here are some new events and resources to help you out. If you have a resource you want to share please contact me here: http://ngi.c96.myftpupload.com/contact/ I’m especially looking for resources for BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, Disabled, people from underrepresented religion/cultures ect.
Here are the updated resources I’ve collected since my last post. You can see them all here: http://ngi.c96.myftpupload.com/kidlit-events-and-resources/ There are a few here. There are some things that I know about that I’ll be able to announce soon!
Feb 12 – Registration opens for the Indiana Graphic Novel Conference Opens: https://indiana.scbwi.org/events/graphic-novel-101/ (June 9th event)
Charlesbridge is looking for Editors and BIPOC Creators (authors and Illustrators): Charlesbridge editors are offering free, 30-minute sessions to participants who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC) to discuss their manuscripts. During these sessions, the editor will offer specific constructive feedback on manuscripts, cover letters, and the submissions process, as well as guidance about the publishing industry if requested. These sessions are designed to help you refine your manuscript and prepare for submission to publishing houses or agents. https://www.charlesbridge.com/pages/connections
Cake Creative is looking for writers. WFH – They help writers develop their writing and you write their stories: https://cakecreativekitchen.com/contact-us
100 Black Mentorships with Larissa Marantz
When I had started this post a few days ago Larissa Marantz had a goal to mentor 100 Black students in honor of Black History Month. As I’m writing this now on the 6th, Larissa has already achieved her goal! It’s not really enough because that’s just one month’s worth of scholarships, so let’s try to to get more than just 100 scholarships for Larissa. These Open Studio Sessions are absolutely wonderful! You can donate here: https://larissamarantz.com/sponsor-a-student.html This is Larissa’s original tweet so you can be sure to follow her on social media: https://twitter.com/LarissaMarantz/status/1489032777584373760?s=20&t=0_mSL3ZotGwDv_vMp3Mm3Q
Maybe you’re saying well I’m Black, where do I sign up for these mentorships? Just go here: https://larissamarantz.com/scholarship-application.html It’s a quick and painless application and filling it out can change your life! Larissa mentors illustrators (I believe mostly kidlit illustrators), animators, comic/graphic novel people and those working on developing a portfolio! My fingers are crossed for you to get a scholarship!
These mentorships are absolutely priceless! You can see more about what Larissa offers here: https://larissamarantz.com/oc-art-studios.html I have learned so much by signing up for her classes. Larissa gives one on one feedback, and is very knowledgeable. These Open Studio Sessions are a safe space and I do not say that lightly. Larissa has this magical way of making people feel good about themselves, while gently pointing out the right direction for their art. I’m one of those people who can’t make it every week to her sessions, but I find if I can make it to one session out of the month it’s well worth the cost.
Please join me in donating to Larissa’s scholarships here: https://larissamarantz.com/sponsor-a-student.html
Join the Open Studio Sessions: https://larissamarantz.com/store/p43/OC_Art_Studios_Open_Studio_Session.html
Apply for a scholarship: https://larissamarantz.com/scholarship-application.html
All images in this post are the work of Larissa Marantz. All of the images in this post were used with her permission.
My Writing & Illustration Goals for 2022
It’s 2022, and I haven’t blogged in a long period of time! What better time to start blogging than when I make a goal list for the year? No, seriously, tell me so I get it right the next time I take a break from my blog. If you know me, you know that I don’t like making resolutions. To me resolutions feel too much like a pass/fail situation. I do like to make a lot of lofty goals that I know I wont achieve them all.
1. Finish sketching my PB & GN dummy. Normally, I wouldn’t make a dummy for a graphic novel, but this particular graphic novel is picture book length so it makes sense.
2. Finish a draft of my MG kitty novel. Cats are in most of my stories. While this is a specific novel it’s could be almost any MG book I write
3. Draft 2 GN scripts. This is the minimum amount of GN scripts I want to write this year. I’m sure I will get more ideas, but I want to draft two this year.
4. Put together a new graphic novel package for one of the new scripts.
5. Submit my polished work to agents.
6. Write 12 picture book manuscripts. I’d like to draft at least 12 decent picture book manuscripts. I’m in the 12×12 and I’d like to win this year! https://www.12x12challenge.com/
7. Make sure I make use of critique groups and other resources.
8. Interview authors & Illustrators and post about BIPOC, Disabled and LGBTQIA+ books.
9. Keep up with my list of resources on my blog.
10. Blog at least once a month about the books I’ve read and other updates!
11. Edit at least one of my novels for submission.
I think that’s a good list of things. I doubt if I’ll get to them all, but it’s good to have a list of goals up. What are your goals for this year?
Upcoming Kidlit Events and Classes
I’ve been meaning for some time to update this blog with upcoming kidlit events. These events will mostly be focused on BIPOC, Disabled, LGBTQIA+ ect. resources. I will try to update this as much as possible, but only will post updates once or twice a month on the blog. I have added a resource tab on my website. You can also see the list of resources here: http://ngi.c96.myftpupload.com/kidlit-events-and-resources/
Author Mentor Match for MG- Adult novels: https://authormentormatch.com/ Jan 12-14
Windows and Mirrors Scholarship for New England SCBWI Annual Conference. Submission window Jan 1- 31st https://newengland.scbwi.org/new-england-scbwi-scholarships/nescbwi-windows-mirrors-scholarship/
DV Con – From the creators of #DVPit. This free conference is for self identifying marginalized book creators. Excellent conference! January 22 – 23 https://www.dvpit.com/register-2022
Annick Press Mentorship – The deadline for the first round of submissions is February 8, 2021
Mastering Graphic Novels Live is happening in May 2022 for the Children’s Book Academy. There are scholarships for all of the big courses. Mira Reisberg rarely gets enough BIPOC applying. Sign up for the newsletter to be informed of scholarships and other events the CBA has to offer: https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/2022graphicnovels.html
The Queer Kidlit Chat Mentorship for LGBTQIA+ people will be happening again this year! There will be an announcement on #QueerKidlit chat when this happens.
A list of calls for submissions sorted by month: https://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/p/calls-for-submissions.html
OC Art Studios – Open Studio sessions where Larissa will critique illustration work (I highly recommend these). https://larissamarantz.com/oc-art-studios.html Larissa offers scholarships to her classes for Black and AAPI students.
Queer Kidlit Chat – On Twitter #Queerkidlit chat is Wednesday nights at 5:30pm PT/8:30pm ET. LGBTQIA+ people and allies welcome!
Kidlit Art Chat – On Twitter #KidlitArt chat is Thusday nights at 6:00pm PT/ 9:00pm ET. A fantastic chat for kidlit illustrators!
The Brown Bookshelf – A website dedicated to create awareness for Black stories: https://thebrownbookshelf.com/
Editors of Color – A website to hire BIPOC editors. Search for an editor in a huge number of categories or post a job. BIPOC can join the database. https://editorsofcolor.com/
Diverse Picture Books – A list of picture books created by diverse authors/illustrators https://bookshop.org/shop/diversepicturebooks
Kidlit 411 – a website dedicated to kidlit. Events, classes and tons of resources: http://www.kidlit411.com/
Events, Classes and Submissions!
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!
Storyteller Academy Black Friday Bootcamp
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:
Picture Book Palooza!
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