SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Program Overview

WHAT IS IT?

The Carolinas Picture Book Dummy Challenge for Illustrators is a 25-week challenge (March 3-August 24) to create a polished picture book dummy, either for submission or as a portfolio sample.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

SCBWI-Carolinas will set up a password-protected blog for participants. At each of the seven steps of the challenge, we will publish a post introducing the tasks associated with that step. This post will include a brief tutorial plus resources (book lists and links) for further study. Participants must “sign in” at each step by leaving a comment to that step’s post. Participants will be given author status in order to post questions, comments or images (See “Do I Have to share my work?” below) to the blog.

SCBWI-Carolinas will also host a series of three craft webinars with guest professionals to enlarge upon the basic information provided via the blog posts. These webinars will be open to dummy challenge participants ONLY, and will provide an opportunity for Q&A with the visiting professional.

At the close of the challenge, participants will have an extra two weeks to complete their dummies, at which time an agent will be assigned to each eligible participant for a critique of his/her finished dummy. Please note that only participants who register and check in at each step and who have a finished dummy will be eligible for a critique.

WHO SHOULD REGISTER?

Illustrators who are interested in writing and illustrating original picture books, or who wish to demonstrate their understanding of the picture book format.

The challenge will be limited to 20 participants. If the challenge fails to attract a minimum of 12 participants, the challenge will be canceled and deposit checks shredded.

DO I HAVE TO BE AN ILLUSTRATOR TO PARTICIPATE?

Yes. Although writers may certainly benefit from dummying their manuscripts as a tool to improve the flow of the text, the goal of this challenge is to create a submission-worthy illustrated dummy either to pitch an original story or to demonstrate an artist’s understanding of the picture book form in order to be considered for future assignments.

DO I HAVE TO SHARE MY WORK?

Sharing your work-in-progress with other challenge members is NOT a requirement of the challenge. Discussion among challenge participants will be encouraged, however, and if you choose to do so, you MAY share your work with the group for informal critique on the challenge blog. This blog will be password-protected and accessible only to challenge participants and the SCBWI-Carolinas Regional Advisory team. All extra material will be taken down at the close of the challenge, including participant posts, comments and images, if any.

WHAT IS THE COST, AND WHY SHOULD I PAY TO PARTICIPATE?

There is a fee of $50 to enroll in the Carolinas Picture Book Dummy Challenge for illustrators. This fee covers access to the online tutorial, the password-protected blog, three craft webinars, and the agent review at the close of the challenge.

This fee is due at registration and is nonrefundable, so please make sure you intend to complete the challenge before enrolling. You must fill out the registration form, enclose your check, and mail in order to be received by the registration deadline of March 1, 2014. If we do not receive a minimum enrollment of 12 participants by March 1, your check will be shredded.

Please also note: only participants who log in at the seven specified checkpoints during the challenge (See Challenge Schedule), and who have a finished dummy to submit by the challenge end date (August 24, 2014), will be eligible for the agent review.

We are aware that similar challenges exist free online.* What makes this challenge unique is the three craft webinars which will allow participants to interact with industry professionals at strategic points during the challenge. Also, at the close of the challenge, not only will participants have a submission-ready dummy, but they will be guaranteed a critique from a literary agent who works with authors and illustrators. If you are not interested in creating a dummy based on an original story, the agent reviewing your work will comment on the marketability of your artwork and your understanding of how a picture book works (composition, pacing, etc.).

*Full disclosure: The original #PBDummy challenge on Twitter was created by #kidlitart co-founders Bonnie Adamson and Wendy Martin. Much of the original material remains available on the kidlitart blog, and has been revived by the current Twitter hosts for their own annual  #PBDummy challenge.

DO I HAVE TO BE AN SCBWI-CAROLINAS MEMBER TO PARTICIPATE?

Carolinas members will have first crack at registering. Registration begins January 1, 2014. If there are still slots left by February 1, SCBWI members in other regions will be invited to register. If we have not met our minimum by March 1, registration checks will be destroyed un-cashed.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

Download the Registration Form and mail with your check for $50 to the address provided. You will receive confirmation of your registration via email. Once we have reached our minimum enrollment (12 participants), each participant will receive a password for the challenge blog, which will post the first step on Monday, March 3.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?

Contact SCBWI-Carolinas Picture Book Dummy Challenge Coordinator Bonnie Adamson at carolinas@scbwi.org.