Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 15, 2019

Book Giveaway: WITCH WASHDAY By C.A. Nobens

Author/Illustrator, C.A. Nobens has a new picture book titled, WITCH WASHDAY. She has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Cheryl!

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


Chore charms and laundry legerdemain
conjure up a cauldron of magical fun!

Witch Washday is a quirky little tale! Every Wednesday is witch washday. Mitchie Witch and her kitten familiar, Kitschy, wake up and pitch in with gusto. Having magical powers is a distinct advantage in getting the job done! Mitchie and Kitschy have some unusual laundry methods: disembodied zombie arms for “hand-laundering” delicates, a dragon who breaths fire to heat up Mitchie’s flat iron, “flying carpet” towels and more!

“Witch Washday is the magic that happens when I have fun with my work,” laughs CA.

“There’s no moral or teaching moment. Mitchie and Kitschy will give readers a smile.”

Pastel crayon inspired illustrations by the Mom’s Choice Honoring Excellence Gold Seal Award winning author are whimsical and fun. Witch world and all the characters in it are charming and a little oddball. And please note that there is diversity among them! Just as mortals are all basically shades and tints of tan, the witches and witchlets in the book have varying verdant complexions and a variety of hair types and colors and hairdos.
There is hocus-pocus humor enchanting the illustration on every page.


I wrote “Witch Washday” as a direct reaction to having spent five years working on my last book. “Snow Day! A Story Told in 24 Poem Forms” is 48 pages long, and written in 24 different poetry forms, all of which required research, and some of which were a challenge to craft. The illustration style is complicated and detailed, with much effort put into creating a feeling of the changing light at different times of the day depicted.

I wanted to blurt out a rollicking story just for the fun of it. “Witch Washday” is the result of a couple of hours of writing and cracking myself up.

Pencil drawings burst from the text quickly and easily. I chose a very loose, pastel crayon inspired illustration style for the color art, in order to make that a playful experience for myself and the reader, as well.

I finished the cover image first, and used it for self-promotion for a while before I had time in my work schedule to complete the interior illustrations.

Finally, this summer, I found myself with uncommissioned days enough to color the illustrations. That’s what it felt like, too–like coloring with crayons when I was little, because I wasn’t trying to create any moody lighting or backgrounds. I got to sit at my computer and simply enjoy myself. I didn’t even worry too much about staying inside the lines. I had a delightful time.

I finished the art at the end of September, which was much too close to October 31st to print copies conventionally. So, I did a quick upload to IngramSpark and offered the book for sale, Print On Demand. This is the first time that I’ve used this publishing option, and it’s exciting to see that the books look great and that people are ordering them for this Halloween! (There will also be an e-book version any day, now. Perfect for late October story time reading under the blankets, you won’t even need your trick-or-treating flashlight!)

“Witch Washday” is a romp. There is no moral of the story, and it can’t be used as a learning tool, unless you want to teach a child to do hand laundry with disembodied zombie hands, or heat his or her flat iron with the help of a dragon. It’s just for laughs (or cackles). And what’s a bigger scream than a charming BOOOOOOOk for Halloween? Go to and click on the Shop button for almost magically easy ordering.


CA (Cheryl Ann) Nobens was born in northern Minnesota. After graduating from Hibbing High School, she went on to earn a BA in Illustration and Graphic Design from The Minneapolis College of Art and Design.She published her first children’s book in 1979, and has been working professionally in the field of children’s literature and educational publishing ever since. She has either written and illustrated or illustrated over 80 titles, to date,bringing humor and heart to both story and pictures.CA works as a writer, illustrator and graphic designer from a studio in her century-old house in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, where she lives with her family and two very crafty cats.

Cheryl has either written and illustrated or illustrated over 80 children’s books, to date. Her book “Snow Day! A Story Told in 24 Poem Forms” was awarded the Mom’s Choice Honoring Excellence Gold Seal in 2018. Midwest Book Review (February 2019) called it “an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, school, and community library poetry book collections”.

Cheryl, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I love the illustrations and I am sure kids will love how they bring to life your funny Halloween book.

Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 14, 2019

Two Art Directors in Action: The How and Why Part 1

Two Art Directors in Action: The How and Why Part 1 by Dr. Mira Reisberg and Andrea Miller

Hi I am Dr. Mira Reisberg, fun-loving, children’s book obsessed Editor and Art Director at Clear Fork/ Spork. And I am Andrea Miller, Senior Designer and Art Director at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. We are also both published illustrators who love making art.

Mira: I’ll go first by talking about how the acquisition process works for books that I edit and art direct at Spork. I usually try and work with my own students from the Children’s Book Academy because I know they are well trained and I love them and have a sense of their abilities, aesthetics, and temperament. If I can’t find a good match there, then I’ll look elsewhere on Facebook, Pinterest, or the Internet in general.

After a manuscript is acquired either by me, or my publisher Callie Metler-Smith, I really pay attention to the tone and feel of the story to get a sense of what I think might be the best fit for it. For example, Melissa Stoller’s Scarlet‘s Magic Paintbrush has a quirky, playful feel to it, so I chose Sandie Sonke, who was perfect. Another book that I’m currently working on is Tina Shepardson‘s and Terry Sirrel’s Walkout, which is about anti-school gun violence – and even though it’s softened by being told through the point a view of a little girl who despite being told by the principal that their school would not participate, in an anti-school violence walkout organizes her younger grade into doing exactly that, it’s challenging subject matter.

Terry Sirrell – Walkout. Written by Tina Shepardson

The story focuses on the strain that puts on her friendship with her best friend Stella who is too scared to join the walkout and the steps Maddie takes to organize it. I wanted to further soften some of the heaviness of the subject matter, so I hired Terry who does very cartoony work, and he’s doing a brilliant job. Andrea how do you go about selecting an illustrator?

Andrea: So, when it comes to finding illustrators for a job, I generally run to one of a few places- my giant list of bookmarked artists, social media, agencies, or my collection of materials that I get from artists that I meet at conferences, portfolio reviews, in my mailbox, or from students like those at the Children’s Book Academy. Our process at HMH works in a way where I generally am given a manuscript from the acquiring editor and a direction that they think might work for the style of the book, which then sets my gears in motion looking for folks to pitch. If an artist has a story that they themselves want to tell, then that’s where I would pass on their dummy for an editor to acquire and we would all work together to refine the story and art. In terms of acquisition in general, though, the editor is the champion of the book who gets the concept approved in-house, and as the book’s art director, I lend my support and advice in making that book as strong as possible, especially if it falls to me to marry a story with an artist!

  1. Signing the Illustrator

Mira: After I’ve selected an illustrator, I ask them to make sketches of all the major characters showing a range of movement and different facial expressions. These are called character sketches. I also ask them to do one or 2 half or quarter size sketches showing composition with one in color to get a sense of how they’ll handle that. Sometimes there’ll be some back-and-forth to improve these and make them the best that they can be before I take them to Callie, as I really want her to be on board with this selection as well.

Heather Bell – character sketches for Mac and Cheese and the Personal Space Invader. Written by Jolene Guitérrez

I imagine your process is similar Andrea but would love to hear it.


You’re right about that! I think most art directors are focused on character first, wanting to settle on who the story is about, and then how they exist within their environment. Generally we’ll see character sketches- hopefully a full body sketch of the character and details- whether that be other poses or facial expressions. Once a design is accepted, I like to ask for a color study (if the sketches themselves didn’t already address color). I also find that it’s helpful, and perhaps wise, to iron out the style for how the artist will approach the book’s final art by seeing a single spread of final art, but this is subject to what the schedule allows. The more we can agree upon at the outset, the less surprises or unexpected changes we’ll see later.  Having a settled design is useful for us to supply to copyeditors when we want to check for consistency! There’s generally input from the editor, and the author if there is a separate one, so notes and revisions are sure to happen along the way. I’ve been known to supply my own sketches or images for inspiration in the past too when I want to point an artist down a particular path!

  1. The Contract

Mira: Callie takes care of contracts and money stuff. With Spork it’s usually a small advance with more generous royalties after the advance is paid back. Spork advances are usually paid in threes with the first third on signing the contract, the second on completion of sketches, and the final third on completion of the color art, cover and front and back matter, i.e., the book.


Ahh, contracts. This is, thankfully, out of my hands, and is entirely handled by our brilliant Editorial and Contracts staff at HMH. There are, in my experience, lots of different pay schedules and styles of copyright agreements- many of which Mira just detailed- so just be sure you know which rights you’re signing over and that you’re being compensated fairly for them!  This is something we talk about in our upcoming interactive e-course, the Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books, in the business section.

  1. First Illustrating Steps

Mira: this is where the fun begins. First off, the illustrator makes thumbnails, which are very small sketches of the entire book to get a sense of composition, flow, variety, pacing and page turns plus how synchronous or congruent the images are with the story. These can be really rough or more refined depending on the illustrator’s preference. For example, Saki Tanaka’s thumbnails for author Kourtney LaFavre’s If Sun Could Talk, were incredibly tight and quite dazzling while Adriana Hernadez Bergstrom’s thumbnails for Boomer At Your Service were much looser, tightening up as she went along. There’s usually a little back-and-forth where I might re-draw some of the thumbnails to show how scale can make it so much better or just show variety or I might just make some verbal or written suggestions. Usually I make a video so I can show as well as tell exactly what I mean. The vast majority of illustrators that I’ve worked with have had beautiful open minds and hearts understanding that we both want the same thing, which is to make the book as beautiful, understandable, and magical as possible. Andrea I’d love to hear about your first steps after the signing process.

Saki Tanaka – If Sun Could Speak. Written by Kourtney LaFavre.


Adriana Hernandez Bergstrom – Boomer At Your Service. written by Vanessa Keel.

Andrea: Thumbnails are a bit more rare for me; on the whole, I generally see sketches first, though I encourage artists to do thumbnails as they prepare for the sketching of the book. Seeing the structure of a composition at a fraction of the size of the final page can REALLY show you if something is working or not, and well before you’ve committed too much time to something that might not be a good choice for the book! That said, I’ve been working MUCH MORE on graphic novels lately, and we love thumbnails there in instances where the author’s script isn’t super specific about how a page ought to be laid out. The name of the game, in either case, is pagination and composition- making sure that the flow of the text and images are working together to push the reader through the book comfortably.

  1. Sketches

Mira: Next up are the full or half size sketches. This is where the revised thumbnails are enlarged and refined and the text is added. It’s also where we get a much clearer look at how the book is going to look. Often we see where cool details can be added, whether the characters and environment are consistent, and where the illustrators personal voice can shine by adding things that aren’t necessarily in the text to extend the story and make it even more magical. We look for emotion in the spreads (facing pages) and the element of surprise to make it more engaging. For example, in Sherry Howard‘s manuscript for Rock and Roll Woods Anika A. Wolf added some absolutely lovely details that made it even more fun.

Anika A. Wolff – Rock and Roll Woods. Written by Sherry Howard.

At this point the illustrator or I start thinking about font choices that are very legible and suit the feel of the story. Anika did some wonderful hand lettering for this book. I’m ok with type and often like what the illustrator has chosen, but Andrea is brilliant with it. She also does hand lettering so I’d like to ask her to talk about the typographic process.

Stay tuned for more in Part Two.

Bios: Mira Reisberg and Andrea Miller are two art directors who love stories, art making, nurturing others in their careers, and having fun. They live on opposite sides of the United States with their respective partners and cats. Thanks to the marvels of modern technology, once a year they get together to do something wonderful – training very beginning to award-winning illustrators how to make marketable contemporary art and children’s book illustrations for kids. So far, they’ve been very successful. Their 2019 course, the Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books (including board books, picture books, chapter books, illustrated middle grade novels, and graphic novels) starts November 4 for five delicious mentored weeks, plus an extra instant access bonus week. They would love for you to join them: All of the illustrators from Mira’s posts are former illustration students who she has had the honor of continuing to work with. Currently there’s a $100.00 discount (the discounted course cost for a critique with Mira or Andrea) with this case sensitive code 2019ArLove and scholarships are available here:


Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 13, 2019

$500 Halloween 50 Horror Word Story Contest 2019 – Free Entry

The 2019 $500 Halloween Horror 50 Word Story Contest is here. Every year Every Writer runs contests. This one is one of their favorites.

First they will be doing a print issue! They will be doing 2 print issues, and will pick entries from this contest to be in their issue. If you had a 50 word story designated to be in their print issue, from a past contest, please contact them.

Second, they will be giving out a $500 reward for the best 50 word horror story. They believe writers should get paid for their work and wish they could pay all of their writers, but it’s just impossible. So $500 for 50 words, is a unique and valuable statement to their readers. Ten dollars a word is what all writers really deserve.

So here are the rules:

• Story must be scary
• Story must be 50 words
• Story must be original and your own
• Story may not be published elsewhere
• Story must have a title (does NOT count in word count)
Deadline is October 25, 2019
• Enter as many times as you want
• Story must be written in the comments below!
• Be nice or be disqualified

Owner operator of Every Writer, Richard Edwards says, “This is one of favorite traditions of Every Writer. I look forward to this every year, and this year I have extended the time we are going to spend with the contest.”

The winners will:

• Be announced on October 31, 2019
• Will get $500
• Will be published in our digital and print issue.
• Will get an author page on our site

There is no entry fee for this contest. It would help Every Writer greatly if you would donate 1$ or more, if you can.

If you want to keep up with Richard on Twitter, you can follow him at @everywriter. He follows back all writers.

Good luck, and let the writing begin.

Looks like you enter your 50 words in the comment section. Here is the Link:

Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 12, 2019

Illustrator Saturday – Larissa Marantz

Marantz is recognized for her illustrations in several children’s books, including the Nickelodeon Rugrats series. Marantz began her professional career as an animation artist with Klasky Csupo Studios working as a Character Designer and continued her interests in animation while teaching at the Animation Academy in Burbank. She currently teaches Figure Drawing for Animators at Laguna College of Art + Design. She formed her own company, OC Art Studios, to bring art education to the many schools in the Orange County area and has taught hundreds of children over the last several years.

Larissa says,”I received my BFA from California State University Fullerton, graduating with Honors. My emphasis was in Drawing and Painting, but in my last year, I caught the animation bug and became involved in the first ACME program. I continued my studies in animation by becoming one of the founding students at the Animation Academy in Burbank. Shortly thereafter, I was hired as a Character Designer at Klasky Csupo studios, working on The Rugrats and Rocket Power. But becoming a mother changed my path in animation. Wanting to be home for my family, I left the Hollywood studio and began working from home as a children’s book illustrator and muralist. Working with Nickelodeon, I have illustrated several books for Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and Random House. Many of my murals grace the walls of businesses and homes in Orange and Los Angeles counties. I began a new direction as a gallery artist after becoming a finalist in a national competition to create Obama Art. After exhibiting my work with Manifest Hope during the Democratic National Convention, I was invited to create a new painting specifically for the Manifest Hope: DC Gallery during the week of the inauguration of Barack Obama. Since then, I have started my own company, OC ART STUDIOS, teaching art enrichment classes to elementary school aged children in the Orange Unified School District.”

My Illustration Process for “Bathtime”:

How does an artist go from an idea to a finished painting?

It’s a bit of a process that I thought I’d outline in this post.
First off, I will usually draw what’s called a Thumbnail Sketch, rightly named because they are small (like your thumbnail). The reason to start out with a thumbnail sketch is to visually plan your idea out with not a lot of pencil mileage or detail. This way, if the idea isn’t working, you don’t have to feel like you’ve wasted your time, you can scrap the drawing and start on another drawing for the same idea.

In my thumbnails I usually work out the best POV or Point of View that my drawing will be seen. I like to do interesting perspective shots since I find those fun and challenging, as well as a lot more interesting to look at. This means that I will rough in some perspective guidelines to assist with the layout of the scene.

In the above drawings are my rough perspective lines and my tight perspective lines. It’s absolutely key to get the perspective guidelines accurate at this stage before continuing so that there are no errors down the road. I’ve completed a few paintings without taking the time at this key step and found myself fighting with my improperly drawn guidelines throughout the process. It’s not fun to have come so far in the process of a painting only to realize that your perspective is off. Learn Perspective. It’s boring and tedious, but it’s your friend in the long run.

Once I’m done with the serious business of orthogonals and horizon lines and vanishing points, I get to start tightening the key elements of the drawing. I’ll construct my characters with 3 Dimensional shapes to make sure they are properly laid out in the world I’ve imagined for them, then I add their details. When I’m happy with that, I move on to the additional elements in the scene. It was fun adding all the clothes and mess around the bathroom floor in this scene. Two little kids really do make a big mess, even when you’re trying to clean them.

Next, I’ll do a tonal value sketch on top of my drawing and then do a few color comps to see what kind of color palette I want to use. Once I’m happy with that, then it’s the best part… the details. Rendering.

I ended up cropping the image to get the narrow feeling of being constrained in a bathroom with these characters. I kept the image brightly lit and made the highest area of contrast around the main character — the exhausted mother.

How long have you been illustrating?

The first book I illustrated was “Eggnapped! Easter with the Thornberrys” while I was working as a Character Designer on The Rugrats in 2002. The book was released in 2003. Although that was 18 years ago, I haven’t been illustrating all that time. There was a long period of time when I stopped illustrating books because I was trying to get an agent so I could illustrate my own work. I only began illustrating full time this year.

What and when was the first painting or illustration that you did where someone paid you for your artwork?

In my high school art class, a substitute art teacher bought a woodcut print I did. At the time, I didn’t understand the value of artwork in terms of the successful execution of an idea, or the emotional impact it could have on the viewer. I simply saw the work as paper and ink—commodities used in a homework assignment that took less than 5 minutes to print. I asked for $5 and he gave it to me! I sometimes go back to that moment in time and ask for $100. That makes me feel better.

What made to you go to California State University Fullerton to get you BFA?

A community college teacher advised me to go to CSUF because he felt the art program there was strong. He told me that if I stayed curious, my education would be great no matter where I went in life. I also wanted to avoid paying the high cost of tuition at a private art school, so I studied at CSUF and got a great education in the arts.

What types of classes did you enjoy the most?

I loved all my art classes, except I was terrible at ceramics. I thought I’d be a pro at throwing pots, but my instructor said “maybe you should just do coil pots instead” because I was an absolute disaster at the wheel. I started sculpting portrait busts and made several that I exhibited my senior year.

My favorite art classes were taught by my mentor, Don Lagerberg, and another instructor who is now a colleague and friend, Marshall Vandruff.

You say you caught the animation bug during the last year at CSU and got involved in the first ACME program. Could you tell us a little bit about what is involved in that program?

The ACME program involved learning from professional animators at Warner Bros on a weekly basis through a satellite feed that was broadcast to a few schools. It was an incredible opportunity for young animation students to work with seasoned professionals.

Did the college help you get work when you graduated?


When did you decide to illustrate children’s books?

While I was working on Nickelodeon’s The Rugrats, some of my co-workers were freelance illustrating for Simon & Schuster, basically drawing the same characters we were working on during the day but in book form. The style of the characters is very difficult to do, and the publisher wanted to make sure the characters were drawn accurately. When I was approached by an editor at Simon & Schuster to do a Thornberry’s book, I jumped at the chance. After that, I continued illustrating for Simon & Schuster with a few Rugrats books and The Rugrats All Grown Up books.

Was EGGNAPPED you first picture book?


How did you get the contract to illustrate that book?

I didn’t have an agent at the time, so they just mailed me a work for hire contract, and I signed it. All the work I did for the Nickelodeon properties were “work for hire.”

Do you think your time working in animation has influenced you style?

Absolutely. Especially working on The Rugrats and having my own babies while working on the show. When I wasn’t working at the studio, I was working at home and my I spent plenty of time on a rug, playing and rolling around with my toddlers. That perspective of a big world from a little person’s point of view had a big impact on me. I think at the time I was working on the show, I was the only person who had a “rugrat” of her own.

Charlie and the Octopus was published by the Center for Responsive Schools. Could you tell us a little bit about this publisher and how they found you?

Sera Rivers, the former editor at CRS, was building their booklist and approached me for the project. CRS provides curriculum for schools and I believe they began their publishing branch Avenue A to directly provide the kind of content they were seeking to offer their teachers.

It looks like you have three picture books coming out with Penguin Workshop: Clyde Likes to Slide, Clyde Lies, Clyde Goes to School, all written by Keith Marantz. Is this an imprint in the Penguin Group?

Penguin Workshop is one of the 275 imprints under Penguin Random House publishing.

Do you have an agent? If so, how long have you been with them and how did they find you? If not, would like to find representation?

My husband and I are represented by Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency. I had researched and submitted to different agencies off and on for about 6 years. In 2016, I realized that I needed some guidance because I was constantly getting rejected even though I had already illustrated almost a dozen books. Soon after taking Mira Reisberg’s online course The Craft & Business of Illustrating Picture books, I was offered representation. Her course filled in the gaps for me and I learned how illustrations for picture books were very different than drawing animated layouts. I learned about story-telling and writing, and the importance of developing the character, not just from the design aspect which I was already familiar with, but from the writer’s perspective.

Finding an agent who would represent me and my husband as an author-illustrator team was a challenge. Rachel was kind in offering me feedback on my submission, and I worked hard to make all the changes she asked of me. I think she saw my determination to improve at my work and saw our potential, so she gave us a chance and for that I am eternally thankful.

How did that contract come your way and how long did they give you to illustrate the books?

Keith and I wrote and illustrated the dummy for Clyde the Hippo 6 years before it was sold to Penguin Workshop. It was one of our first submissions to Rachel and she shopped it to several publishers. The waiting game is hard because you can’t do anything but have patience and perhaps work on another project. One publisher was interested but asked to see it as a series of books that dealt with milestones in a child’s life, like going to school for the first time. Keith and I developed story ideas and put together a pitch package. That publisher passed on it, but it was inevitably bought by Penguin Workshop. The first two books in the Clyde the Hippo series will be out April 14, 2019. The third book, Clyde Lied, will be out in June 2019. I am still working on the final art for the fourth book in the series, Clyde Likes to Ride. From start to finish, I will have been working on the illustrations for a full year.

How did you end up teaching figure drawing for animators at Laguna College of Art + Design?

The head of the Game Art department at the college was a good friend of my former boss who was unable to substitute for a class.  She recommended me and I jumped at the chance. I fell in love with the school and told the staff to keep me in mind for any future opportunities. When another figure drawing instructor needed a substitute, I filled in for him and I’ve been there ever since. I’ve taught figure drawing for animators for 11 years. This year I switched to teaching digital painting which I also love because I share my illustrative process with my students.


How excited were you to be a finalist in a national competition to create Obama Art?

I had always felt that my art would make an impact somehow, but I wasn’t sure how. So, when my artwork was selected as top 12 out of thousands of submissions, I felt like the universe heard me. When the curator of the DNC show asked me to create a piece specifically for Manifest Hope: DC, the image for the work I created came instantaneously. I had only 10 days to paint it and ship it to Washington D.C.

It was by sheer miracle that we were able to find a place to stay in DC during the inauguration since hotels had been booked for months in advance.  It was an incredible honor to be included with artists like Shephard Fairy and Michael Murphy and dozens of others. After the opening of the exhibition I was so filled with adrenaline that I didn’t sleep at all that night. The following day we toured the capitol and though we were unable to stay for the inauguration, we did see Obama drive by the White House with his presidential cavalcade.

Did exhibiting your work with Manifest Hope during the Democratic National Convention and getting invited to create a new painting specifically for the Manifest Hope: DC Gallery during the week of the inauguration of Barack Obama, inspire you to start your own company, OC ART STUDIOS, to teach art enrichment classes to elementary school aged children in the Orange Unified School District?

No, I started OC Art Studios after being asked by a friend to teach an after-school art program at my kid’s school. I was hesitant to do it because I had only been teaching in my garage to a small group of kids prior to that. Forming a company was a daunting task that I wasn’t sure I was ready to take on. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my husband and his business sense. He came up with the name of the company, guided me through the process of coming up with a business plan, and helped me to understand how to manage the company. OC Art Studios has been in business for 15 years now and we still offer art classes to hundreds of students throughout the school year.

Do you have any desire to write and illustrate a book?

I have personally written two books that I would love to illustrate in the future. One is a wordless picture book, and another is based on my own childhood. I’m currently tied up with upcoming unannounced projects for the next few years, so I don’t see getting a chance to do those anytime soon.


Have you taken any online courses that were valuable to your career? 

I enrolled in Dr. Mira Reisberg’s online course with the Children’s Book Academy: The Craft and Business of Picture Book Illustration. This class was invaluable in terms of the content that was provided, the community that was available to the students and the access to professionals in the industry. I can’t speak highly enough about this course. It was a game changer. I went all in with learning everything I could about picture book creation, writing, story telling and how the business works. Following along with the lessons each week and getting feedback from others was integral to my growth as an illustrator. Having access to a community of creatives and industry professionals each week showed me what is expected of authors and illustrators. This course helped me to refine my submissions in seeking an agent and inevitably led to finally becoming a published illustrator.

Do you have a studio in your house?

Yes. It’s a small space where I have used to offer art classes and painting lessons. I currently only offer private lessons and spend most of my time working on book projects now.

Would you illustrate a book for an author who wants to self-publish?


Have you done any illustrating for children’s magazines? Which ones?

I’ve done three illustrations for Highlights magazine and am currently working on an illustration for Ladybug magazine.

Have you ever thought about illustrating a wordless picture book?

Yes, (see above) I love David Wiesner and Aaron Becker’s wordless books and would love to do my own someday.

What do you think is your biggest success?

The unannounced project that I’m working on with my husband right now is my biggest success. I’m sorry I can’t say more than that. The speed and ease in which the project came about was as though the universe moved mountains for us and I believe it’s because we are both tapping in to our truest creative selves. Whether or not it is received well is yet to be seen, but I think that being able to collaborate with my life partner on a project that we both feel we were meant to do is a huge success and is bringing a great deal of joy to my life right now.

What is your favorite medium to use?

I love using all mediums! That is why I love digital painting so much because I have a thousand different brushes that mimic the look of paint, charcoal, pastel, ink, graphite and oil, all in my laptop. It’s incredible. But nothing will ever beat the feeling of pushing paint around on a canvas, squeezing moist clay between my fingers, or rubbing charcoal onto a textured surface. Creating art in any medium makes me feel alive and I could probably be happy drawing on nothing but crayon and paper if given that option for the rest of my life. If I’m tangibly creating images, I’m fulfilling my life’s purpose.

Has that changed over time?


Do you try to spend a specific amount of time working on your craft?

I used to devote a good deal of time improving my craft. Now that I have projects to work on, I spend my time working to do the best work I possibly can do for each project I work on.

Do you take pictures or research a project before you start?

I always use reference photos for anything I’m unfamiliar with. I am currently studying bicycles for the fourth Clyde book. Bikes are hard to draw. My challenge is designing a bicycle for a character who has short stubby legs.

Do you think the Internet has opened doors for you?

Absolutely. My work wouldn’t be seen by those who can hire me without the internet.

Do you use Photoshop or Painter with your illustrations?

I use Photoshop and Adobe Sketchbook.

Do you own or have you used a Graphic Drawing Tablet when illustrating?

I use a Yiynova graphic drawing tablet and a Windows Surface Pro to illustrate my books.

Do you have any career dreams that you want to fulfill?

First, I would love to see Clyde the Hippo become a long running book series. Second, I would love to see our stories become animated television series or feature films.

What are you working on now?

I’m finishing up the 4th Clyde the Hippo book, Clyde Likes to Ride. I’m also working on an unannounced project. 😊

Do you have any material type tips you can share with us? Example: Paint or paper that you love – the best place to buy – a new product that you’ve tried – A how to tip, etc.

Try new materials and play with them. Art should be fun. My favorite tool right now is a Uni Kuru Toga mechanical pencil that has a rotating led which keeps it constantly sharp.

Any words of wisdom on how to become a successful writer or illustrator?

Always carry a sketchbook and a pencil or pen. Be unafraid to draw bad drawings. Get the bad drawings out of your system. Enjoy the process and don’t worry about the result. Through the act of constant creating, documenting your observations on life, capturing the bits about life that strike your fancy, you will discover which subjects/objects/ideas bring you joy. Through that process, you find your style. Be open to learning and open your heart to sharing your joy through your art and your art will resonate with people. Illustrating and writing is about successfully communicating an idea and if you can do that while staying true to who you are, you’ll find success.

Thank you Larissa for sharing your talent and expertise with us. Make sure to let us know your future successes. To see more of Larissa’s work, you can visit her at: 




If you have a minute, please leave a comment for Larissa. I am sure she’d love to hear from you and I enjoy reading them, too.

Talk tomorrow,





Born and raised in Pennsylvania and Virginia, Charlotte grew up with a bookish, editorial mind but was first drawn to publishing work in college. She then worked for a publishing services company in Philadelphia until shipping up to Boston to earn her MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons. Prior to joining Prospect Agency, she was an associate editor for just over two years with Page Street Kids, where she acquired and edited more than twenty picture books and grew relationships with authors, illustrators, agents, and other editors.

As an agent, she loves working with debut talent and building relationships with the authors and illustrators she represents and the industry professionals she works with. She has mentored Simmons MFA students and also serves on the national advisory board of the Mazza Museum, the world’s largest collection of original children’s book art, in Findlay, Ohio.

She is interested in working with authors and illustrators of children’s books—board books through YA, but especially picture books—as well as adult nonfiction, particularly biographies and memoirs. She brings the same mindset to agenting that she did as an editor, valuing the developmental and relational work that goes into creating successful stories and fostering long-lasting collaborations.

Charlotte’s open to representing writers and illustrators of children’s books—board books through graphic novels and YA, but especially picture books—as well as adult nonfiction, particularly biographies and memoirs.

Picture books:

Sports narratives
Global stories
Performing arts
Social awareness and justice
Informational fiction

She is looking for authors and author-illustrators with strong writing skills and distinct art styles. In narrative picture books (fiction and nonfiction), she looks for well-developed characters with distinct voices; a strong plot with an earned resolution; and a clever, unexpected, yet satisfying ending. She is always open to stories that break formula and just work – that have that special something that you can’t quite put your finger on – either in the art or the words. She likes both prose and poetry, but she is typically not a fan of rhyme unless it feels authentic to the tone of the story.


Sibling and family stories, especially those with nontraditional or underrepresented family structures
Magical realism and contemporary fantasy
Historical fiction

Young Adult:

Contemporary with strong female characters, complex relationships
Novels in verse

She is always on the lookout for what hasn’t been done yet – stories that haven’t been told and voices that haven’t been heard.

She’s NOT the best fit for:

Military/war nonfiction

Submission Guidelines:

Please use the submission form on the Prospect Agency website: All fields required unless indicated otherwise.

What to Submit:

For picture books, we request a query letter and the full manuscript or dummy. Illustrators should provide a link to their URL. For middle-grade, young adult, and adult nonfiction memoir and biography texts, we request a query letter, three chapters and a brief synopsis.

Your query letter should include your name, the date, contact information and a brief description of the work. Include only relevant personal information: previous publications, writing education, etc. For previously published authors, please also give a brief overview of your career thus far and your goals for the future.

Because we request more than just a query letter, we spend a lot of time with every submission. We consider character development, plot, voice, and most importantly, the writing. Please make sure the work you submit is edited, proofread, and at a mature stage of development. We do not accept re-submissions, edited or otherwise.

Electronic Submission Guidelines:

We accept Word (.docx, .doc), PDF (.pdf), HTML (.html, .htm), and Text (.rtf, .txt) formats.

Important: submit all material in a single document. Be sure to include a synopsis and query letter with your email and contact information at the beginning of the manuscript body (3 chapters or first 30 pages). If you are submitting a picture book, please include the entire picture book.

Please submit no more than one (1) manuscript at any given time. Submitting multiple manuscripts to this agency will invalidate your submission. This includes submitting to more than one agent.

They welcome new manuscripts; however, unless requested, we do not accept revisions. Do not resubmit declined manuscripts (to any agent), revised or otherwise.



What made you decide to switch from editor to literary agent?

I first considered the possibility of agenting when I learned more about it in grad school during Anita Silvey’s publishing class, but my enthusiasm for editorial work was stronger than my interest in agenting at the time. I did intern with a literary agent for my first year out of grad school, and while most of my work was geared toward my editorial interests, I gained some wonderful experience that year. In addition to the opportunity to still do editorial work as an agent, the relational aspect of agenting drew me in. I love that I get to meet a wide array of people who love books as much as me as well as build long-term relationships with clients and editors.

How did you find the job as agent with Prospect Agency?

When I was an editor, I had the pleasure of meeting Prospect agent Rachel Orr in 2018 at Whispering Pines Writers’ Retreat, where we were both on faculty. Then as I was considering transitioning from editor to agent, I talked with several agents I had met who had also made the change, and Rachel was one of them. I was able to get together with her during a quick visit I made to NYC. What I thought would be an informal info chat over coffee turned into a wonderful 3+ hour conversation and Rachel inviting me to join Prospect.

Do you work out of your house, or go into Prospect offices in North Jersey?

Although Prospect is based in NJ/NY, I work remotely from home in Somerville, Massachusetts. One aspect of making the change to agenting that appealed to me was that I wouldn’t have to relocate; my preference was to stay in the Boston area, where I’ve lived for a little more than five years now. Boston is a great city for children’s book publishing, and I can still get down to NYC easily when I’m able.

It looks like you are open to all types of books. Is there anything you would love to see come across your desk? 

My Manuscript Wish List is probably the best place to find this information, and I aim to update it every few months.

Do you have a limit on how many clients you will represent?

No, I don’t have a number limit, but I do only have so much time in a day… Being new to agenting, I am actively growing my client list, but I want to be able to give my clients the time and attention they deserve from me. The number and rate of new clients I take on will depend on whether or not I feel I have the time to support them and their work. 

Would you be open to a picture book that is over 500 words?

Yes, particularly if it’s narrative nonfiction or a picture book biography. For me, it’s more about the pacing of the story than word count. But word count can often be one indicator that there might be areas of the manuscript that could be trimmed and tightened.

What are your feelings about manuscripts with prologues? Should an author avoid at all costs?

As atypical as it might seem, I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other about prologues. I really think it depends on the story. I’d say that, more often than not, prologues don’t end up being necessary, but then sometimes they are. 

What would you like to see in the query letter? Should writers try to keep it short?

I definitely prefer query letters that are no longer than a page. I also appreciate when writers indicate why they picked me to submit to. In other words, why did they think I might be a good fit for their story / them? A strong log line also catches my attention.

Should the word count for your manuscript be included in the query letter?

Yes, please! For novels, a rounded number is fine.




In the subject line, please write “OCTOBER FIRST PAGE CRITIQUE” Example: Paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it’s a picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top on both the email and the Word document (Make sure you include your name with the title of your book, when you save the first page).

PLEASE name the word document file by putting 2019 October – Your Name – Title of first page. Thank you. 

REMEMBER: ATTACH THE WORD DOCUMENT AND NOT GET ELIMINATED! Your First Page Word document should be formatted using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines – only one page.

Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES: Your submission will be passed over if you do not follow the directions for both the pasted email and the attached Word doc. This is where most people mess up.

DEADLINE: October 24th.

RESULTS: November 1st.

Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 10, 2019

AGENT Jessica Sinsheimer

Jessica Sinsheimer at Context Literary

Manuscript Wish List Favorites 

I’m officially open to all genres–I know how that sounds, and yes, I know, YIKES, I’ll be getting a lot of mail–but I’m particularly interested right now in the following:

Whatever the age group, I tend to love contrast–highbrow sentences and lowbrow content, beautiful settings and ugly motives–the books that are beautiful and scary, heartbreaking and hilarious. I love secrets, scheming, revenge, plotting–and stories that have to be written forward and backward to make sense (I LOVE discovering a very cleverly planted clue that makes sense in retrospect). I love watching powerful people navigate their public and private lives. As you can probably imagine, I’m totally addicted to House of Cards (I love that Frank is both warm AND evil), Scandal, Revenge, and Pretty Little Liars. And also The Avengers from 1965 onward. Everyone should watch that show.

More underrepresented characters, please–especially those with power, agency, and happy endings. Wish fulfillment, romance, specialized skills (especially tech), taking over the world. We need to see more of that.

Upmarket genre fiction (whether for YA or adult) usually works for me.

For YA: Any subgenre. I’m serious.

I’m into the books that are mostly in our world–but then that veer slightly into surrealism (like Aimee Bender) or genre fiction–that really works for me.

But if the voice is wonderful, I can love just about anything.

I have a particular interest in retellings (of classic movies–I’d LOVE a book version of, say, Arsenic and Old Lace or, better yet, Gaslight–or fairytales), and characters who are genuinely flawed but (usually) well-meaning.

Also welcome: fictionalizations of historical events. I’d love to read about, say, John Snow and The Broad Street Pump.

And new twists on familiar stories. A female James Bond, for example.

I also love characters in love–who try to deal with it all intellectually (like The Rosie Project, Kurt in The Truth About Alice–and one of my books, Love And Other Unknown Variables). I really hope someone writes a book version of the movie Her. Similarly, I loved The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. 

I love the sort of mischief that appears in Paper Towns, too. (That poor smashed fish!) Also good: I Love You Beth Cooper. I admit I have a soft spot for boy humor, if it ultimately comes from a good place.

I’d love a lot more humor in general in my inbox. To give you a sense of my humor–I think My Drunk Kitchen, Broad City–someone should write a NA version!, and Mindy Kaling are hilarious. Speaking of, I’d love something like Late Night in women’s fiction.

Just about anything with food is welcome. I think someone should go around to all of the world’s seasonal festivals (the tapping of maples in Vermont, the asparagus/Father’s Day festival in the Netherlands, the releasing of the Beaujolais, the Gilroy garlic festival, the mushroom hunts in Italy) and write about it. Mostly because I want to do that, and don’t have my own personal Eat, Pray, Love budget, so I want to read about it.

For pop culture–I’d love another How Beautiful It Is And How Easily It Can Be Broken. Smart writing on something familiar. I’d also rather enjoy a smart retelling of, say, The Bachelor.

I’d love more books about business and psychology (perhaps with a hint of politics) like Lean InWhat Works for Women at WorkLove Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends, and Babygate: How to Survive Pregnancy and Parenting in the Workplace. Or a book version of this article on The Confidence Gap: I love their tone, too.

Books at the intersection of psychology and self-help like Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Dr. Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly–and also books like The Power of Habit, The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves, and  Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

Books having to do with an addiction or mental illness. I loved reading Dry by Augusten Burroughs, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeOCD Love Story, Appetites: Why Women Want and Drinking: A Love Story. I wish someone would write about someone with The Truman Show Delusion (yes, it’s real!).

I’d love more works on love and relationships–but that have a new take on perennial topics. Same with health/diet books.

I’m interested in evolutionary psychology–but more books like Sex at Dawn than books about how our biology says we’re basically doomed as a species (or doomed to hurt each other). I need each book I read to have some, well, hope.

Narrative nonfiction is particularly welcome.

Biographies on literary people are always welcome. I loved Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953. And I fully intend to track down the lipsticks mentioned in the book. (Also, on the fictional side, I loved Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath.) Also great: Emily Post: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners and Virginia Woolf by Hermione Lee. Would also love something like Max Perkins: Editor of Genius or Hothouse: The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America’s Most Celebrated Publishing House, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. And also MFA vs NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction. 

I also love books at the intersection of food, science, and environment–like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World.

Also, pandemics. I want to read about pandemics.

In general, I’m really interested in books that deal with the small details of how the world works–and how we perceive it.

I also love history (especially single subject) and straight-up popular science. I spend far too much time watching Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, Cosmos (made my whole book group watch it once), and James Burke’s Connections. If they’d show it in school as an educational video, I’d probably like it.

Fun facts about me:

Ravenous reader, lazy gourmet, literary agent + cheese-obsessed human. Co-creator of #PubTalkTV#MSWL and Manuscript Wish List®!

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

Query letter and first 10 pages pasted in body of email to QueryJessica at ContextLit dot com, please.

Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 9, 2019

Book Winners and Reminder: Free 4 Day Illustration Course


Ashley Congdon won FANTASTIC YOU by Danielle Dufayet

Steph M Ward won RANDALL AND RANDALL by Nadine Poper


Betty A Vanderwielen won Angie Quantrell won WINTER CATS by Janet Lawler

Marie Marshall won SAVE THE CRASH TEST DUMMIES by Jennifer Swanson

Please send your name, address, title of the book you won to kathy.temean(at) – PUT BOOK WINNER and the name of the book in the subject line.

Thank you!


Reminder – This Thursday Oct 10th – Sunday Oct 13th the Children’s Book Academy is hosting the most generous FREE course or kid’s book writers and illustrators that you’ll ever take with these People and more!

  • Dr. Mira Reisberg gives an introduction and overview of Picture Books, Board Books, Chapter Books, illustrated Middle Grade Novels, and Graphic Novels
  • Heather Bell demonstrates how to break up a manuscript to make thumbnails
  • Polina Gortman POV and the element of surprise
  • Larissa Marantz brings fresh ways of creating memorable characters
  • Miri Leshem Pelly shares insights on why anthropomorphizing rocks and how you do it
  • Mira Reisberg sings out Let’s get funky with quirky art -hey let’s Play
  • Sanne Dufft offers drawing tips for making your human and animal characters move
  • Adriana Hernandez Bergstrom shares the lowdown on how setting changes everything
  • Daria Peoples tells the FASCINATING tale of how she landed her agent
  • Saki Tanaka discusses how to deepen a story with added layers (specifically for non-fiction) – Intrigued? We hope so!
  • Sarah Momoharo Romero shares how an illustrator personalizes the text through their illustrator’s voice
  • Mike Malbrough shares fun ideas with Watercolors, Photoshop or Procreate
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Art Director Andrea Miller shows and tells how to draw people and animals using shapes with additional tips on how to keep your characters consistent!
  • Art Director and Editor Dr. Mira Reisberg will do LIVE mini-crits for participants before wrapping up this amazing event!

Over these fantastic four days we’ll be having fun, interacting, learning, and enjoying each other! You don’t want to miss this one. Register now, it’s free! Just click here to join!

Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 8, 2019

Two of Our Own Need Help: Home Invasion

If you follow my blog, you probably recognize Chantelle & Burgen Thorne. I featured them on Illustrator Saturday in 2017 and featured their book, THE REAL FARMER IN THE DELL in March. You might remember the illustration below.

Tragedy stuck the other week, when 3 men with knives burst through their glass door of their home and slashed and stabbed Burgen so many times in the back that it left him paralyzed. They beat Chantelle to a pulp, trashed their home and tried to steel their car. The three young men also repeatedly told Chantelle that they would kill her after they finished off her husband. They are in the hospital in South Africa with no health insurance or other sources of income, and completely traumatized. They are in serious financial and health trouble from this. Dr. Mira Reisberg created and set up a US GoFundMe page right here: Please help spread the word with this link. This could happen to anyone and they truly are wonderful human beings who deserve help from our community.

From News24 in south Africa:

A distraught Chantelle told The Witness on Sunday that Burgen had sustained damage to his spinal cord and is unable to feel his legs.

He will see a neurosurgeon and needs stitches to his eye. “My husband was in the kitchen preparing supper and I was in another room. I heard him screaming and I ran to the kitchen to see what was happening.”

Chantelle said three young men had smashed through the glass doors entering into the kitchen and attacked Burgen. “I ran and thought of locking myself in the bedroom, but then I thought they may hit him more. I grabbed a crowbar and tried to hit one guy but I missed.” She said one man then grabbed her and held a knife to her throat and asked, “do you want to die?”

She said she saw her husband lying in a pool of blood and screaming, “you’ve broken my back”.

The men then asked for their belongings and car keys. “I took one of the car keys and they grabbed me and took me outside. They were asking me to open the [main] gate but I told them the keys I had had no gate remote.”

She said the intruders got agitated and began hitting her on the head and back. “They wanted me to get in the car and start it, but I pleaded with them to start it themselves and leave.”

She said she thought she was going to die. The car’s alarm went off and that may have spooked the men. She then managed to run off into the darkness. She said the men left through the forest without taking anything.

Chantelle then ran into the house and found Burgen trying to crawl to another room. She then called for help.

Early career illustrators don’t make a lot of money, and while their careers were starting to take off, all that is on hold while they struggle to recover. 

Please donate whatever you can, no matter how small, and let everyone you know know about this. 100% of the proceeds will be going to Chantelle & Burgen.


Thank you.

Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 7, 2019

Interactive Online Illustration Course

Writers and Illustrators!

Join Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Senior Designer and Art Director Andrea Miller, and the Picture Book Whisperer Herself, Dr. Mira Reisberg (AKA the Fairy Godmother, and Clear Fork Publishing/Spork Art Director and Editor) for our highly interactive Illustration Course complete with fab fresh Submission Opportunities!

THE FIRST LIVE TRAINING STARTS NOVEMBER 4TH 2019 FOR FIVE FAB INTERACTIVE WEEKS PLUS A BONUS CONFERENCE WEEK! And when we say 5 weeks, that’s not a lesson a week – but five jam-packed, time-flexible mentored weeks followed by an instant access week of awesome instruction!

  • Are you a writer wanting to illustrate your own books or would you like to become a better writer by fully understanding how to leave space for the illustrator and how the process works?
  • Or maybe you are a beginning or professional illustrator wanting to update your skills to move into new markets?
  • Whether you’re at the stick figure stage or have won awards – you will wildly increase your chances of publication with this course!!!

“Don’t think you can draw? Lack confidence? Feel like giving up? That was me. Taking the Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books course has given me all the tools I need to take myself towards my dream of publication… [The instructors] are industry professionals with priceless knowledge that is shared openly and enthusiastically with all participants. The broad course curriculum is well-structured with plenty of participant interaction to encourage and support one another. I highly recommend this course to anyone, at any artistic level, who wants the best chance of developing their skills in the picture book industry. Big thanks!” – Kris Sheather (Now Published)

In this course you will learn and practice fun and easy contemporary drawing and color art making techniques while deepening conceptual understandings to create either a picture book dummy (we will help with your story if needed or suggest a public domain story) or wonderful fresh new portfolio in this updated INTERNATIONAL course that has helped launch so many student’s careers!!!

Your Loving Co-Teachers

Our 2019 CBICB course is co-taught by 2 acquiring Art Directors, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Senior Designer and Art Director Andrea Miller, and Clearfork/Spork Editor and Art Director, Dr. Mira Reisberg. Both of them are also published illustrators with MANY years of experience in the field.

Andrea has worked on some wonderful books including these:
And here are some of the books Mira has worked on:

Andrea and Mira have created some AMAZING content and will be co-leading the weekly LIVE critiques for students. Each week students have the opportunity to present their work and each week a lucky group will receive a critique from either Andrea, Mira, or one of the many WONDERFUL guests in the LIVE (and then recorded) webinars. To be honest, they’ve got some STELLAR content and talent in this course and are extremely excited!! So stay tuned for a peek at the LIVES and ALL THE GOLDEN TICKET JUDGES who will be revealed soon!!!

Meanwhile, here’s a peek at some of your many START TODAY BONUSES!!!

Bonus Trainings at Children's Book Academy

  • FREE Fun with Photoshop Course Parts 1 & 2 for the FIRST 20 STUDENTS TO REGISTER!
  • FREE Fun with Social Media Course!
  • The Craft & Business of Illustrating Children’s Picture Books e-Book
  • The Little Book of Children’s Book Illustration Techniques & Definitions
  • FREE Awesome Web Design with Weebly
  • FREE 5 Ways of Making Dummies!!!
  • FREE Hand Lettering & Calligraphy Course
  • BONUS CONTENT for Creating Your Own Graphic Novels

PLUS! An EXCLUSIVE Insider Video Tour!

Led by Brilliant Chronicle Books Editor Melissa Manlove Who Shows and Tells What Really Goes on in a Major Children’s Book Publishing House!

More Fabulous BONUSES Include:

  • Exclusive Opportunities to Submit to Children’s Book Editors, Agents, and Art Directors
  • Lots of Worksheets, Handouts, Instructions, and Videos for Learning How to Draw (Beginners) and How to Develop New Moves for More Experienced Artists
  • Children’s Literature Art Lesson Plans for Teachers, Moms, and Homeschoolers
  • Wonderful Technique Demonstrations and Studio Visits From Artists Such as Julie Downing, Ashley Wolff, Yuyi Morales, and Lisa Brown
  • A FREE Easy Website Building Course
  • Half-Off Our Upcoming Writing and Illustrating Graphic Novels Course

And more, which will be revealed after you register! Wahoo!!

Here Are The 3 Level and Right Now SAVE $100 with this code 2019ArLove (there is not t in the code)

Big Bonus

The BIG BONUS comes with EVERYTHING ABOVE, TONS OF HELP IN OUR INTERACTIVE COMMUNITY AND MUCH MORE and Is Available for the Adventure of a Lifetime! It’s normally $557 but for a limited time, if you use the 2019ArLove code exactly as spelled with no t – it’s only 457.

Success with Andrea

How often do you get to take an incredibly comprehensive course with a ton of bonuses plus a one-hour intensive hands-on critique with a fantastic major house Art Director?

You don’t want to miss out on this amazing opportunity! Just click on the image above. It’s normally $657 but if you use the 2019ArLove code exactly as spelled with no t – it’s only 557.

Success with Mira

If You Are Up For a Wild Adventure With the Course, Bonuses and a fantastic one-hour intensive hands-on critique with Mira, (AKA the Picture Book Whisperer and the Fairy Godmother) click the rocket! It’s normally $657 but if you use the 2019ArLove code exactly as spelled with no t – it’s only 557. ***There Are Not a Lot of These Critique Options Available, So, Sign Up Soon if You Want One!

More details:

Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 6, 2019




WOW! is proud to introduce our newest essay contest! The mission of this contest is to inspire creative nonfiction and provide well-rewarded recognition to contestants. The contest is open globally; age is of no matter; and entries must be in English. Your story must be true, but the way you tell it is your chance to get creative. We are open to all styles of essay—from personal essay to lyric essay to hybrid essay, and beyond! Please make sure you download our Contest Terms & Conditions PDF below for complete guidelines. Get creative and let’s have some fun! We look forward to reading your work!


Maximum: 1000

Minimum: 200

The title is not to be counted in your word count. We use MS Word’s word count to determine the submitted entry’s word count.



You can write about any subject you want to explore, as long as it’s within the word count and nonfiction. If you’re feeling inspired, write something new, or dig out those essays you started way back when and tailor them to the word count.

Click to Download the CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST Terms & Conditions PDF


October 31st, 11:59 PM (Pacific Time)

ENTRY FEE: $12.00

This is not a reading fee. Entry fees are used to award our winners as well as administrative costs.

We are limiting the number of entries to a maximum of 300 essays. Please enter early to ensure inclusionIf we reach 300 entries, we will disable the PayPal buttons.

Buy Entry Only: $12.00

What’s your essay’s title?




ADDITIONAL OPTION: Due to popular demand, we now have two options for your entry. For an additional $13.00 you can purchase a critique of your contest entry.

What’s your essay’s title?


Upon the close of our contest, and after the winners are announced, you will receive a critique from one of our round table judges on three categories:

  • Subject
  • Content
  • Technical

You will be provided with your scores (1-5) in each category, and personal editorial feedback as well. There’s also an additional category that does not get scored: Overview. That is the general impression your story had on the reader. Please be patient upon the close of our contest and allow time for our editors to thoroughly critique your piece. We send out critiques after the contest winners are announced.







Click to Download the CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST Terms & Conditions PDF

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF. Download the latest version at

Please read the contest terms & conditions in full before submitting your entry. Please make sure you read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) before sending us an email.

Best of luck!

Talk tomorrow,


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