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

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:

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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