Conference Challenge #4: Writers illustrate and Illustrators write!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Despite it saying Laura Bowers, (that’s me,) is posting this entry, the following challenge is actually being provided by the latest member of our blogging team, Chieu Urban. (We still need to work out the technical hoo-ha’s for her to post.)

Take it away, Chieu!


Oh my, we’re already into the third week of February and that means our fourth pre-conference challenge.  Woo hoo!

Is that excitement you’re sending my way?  Awww, shucks.

Let’s mix things up a bit and make it a little interesting.  After all, you just expressed feelings of being super pumped!  Writers, how about illustrating this week?

Yes… really, why not?  You put so much love and creative energy into your words and I’m guessing you must visualize your story as well, right?  Who is your character, what does he look like?  I’m sure you can see him and definitely have a good feel for who he is.  Illustrating helps relate to my characters, and we all know a picture says a thousand words.  So how about giving this a try…

Okay, just kidding…  no one is expecting this level of skills.

Pick a character from your previous, present, or future work and do a quick sketch of him.  Seriously, you don’t have to be an artist to do this and you may be surprised.

[Note from Laura: Chieu Urban is sweet and kind. She did not forbid the use of stick figures. Laura Bowers, however, is not sweet and kind. She says drawing measly stick figures is not allowed. She’s also raising the ante by saying that anyone who submits their drawing for a future post will get a goodie at the March conference!

See. Laura isn’t all that mean. 🙂

End of Note from Laura.]

Illustrators’ Challenge #4!

Illustrators, you know where I’m going with this and your drawings are fabulous.  Have you taken a jab at writing? Last week, writers were given the challenge to write a pitch.  It’s our turn.  If you’re like me, I visualize and sketch first, then work in my story.  Who says form follows function?

Oops, did I say that out loud?

Well, I’ll work backwards and put words down before sketching.  So set aside your drawing pencils and let’s pitch that NY Times best seller picture-book idea!

Fantastic!  Have fun everyone… you may discover a new, hidden talent.

And if you’ve missed our previous challenges and need to catch up, use these links!

Challenge #1: Failure

Challenge #2: What’s Your Pitch?

Challenge #3: Poetry

Challenge #4: Writers illustrate and Illustrators write!

Challenge #5: Grip, Click, LEAP!


About Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger/vlogger at Write, Run, Rejoice and Joyful Miles, mom of two awesome boys, wife of one fantastic husband, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She loves run-on sentences and adverbs. She also still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.
This entry was posted in Writing & Drawing Exercises. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Conference Challenge #4: Writers illustrate and Illustrators write!

  1. Those techinical hoo-has’ll get you every time. I’m loving this stream of challenges. What a team!!

  2. OK – I drew my sketch, and thank goodness we’re not in classroom so I don’t have to share. Boy do I appreciate illustrators! But I did find myself saying: What should she be wearing? Oh, no, that nose isn’t right. Her chin wouldn’t be that big. Hmmm, and now what do I do with that hand I drew out there? Fun – thanks for the challenge.

  3. I am enjoying these challenges, too!
    Okay, Chieu, here’s my pitch for a picture book:
    “Maddie goes on vacation to the seashore; she is too shy to make new friends, so she plays all by herself until magic happens on the very last day.” Now comes the hard part — writing!

  4. Valerie – I’m so glad you did the illustration, great! Susan – Love your pitch. If it was up to my four year old, Maddie would turn into a mermaid, of course.

  5. Cathy Sledz says:

    Hiya Chieu! Well, this was something … fun, revealing, and awe-inspiring (as in inspiring awe of illustrators and the skill and magic they bring!). I first sketched a tea kettle — a minor character — and then, um, went back to read the challenge more closely. Got my girl down on paper — a composite character, too old, and neckless, poor thing — so I decided to do up her surroundings to compensate. Which got me wondering: maybe I do the same thing in my writing sometimes … Hmmm.

    I’m tackling these challenges in reverse at the moment, so will post backwards. In the meantime, being a huge fan of “goodies,” I’d be willing to submit my drawing/s …

  6. I did it! Scariest challenge so far, but I drew my main character. I even posted the portrait on my blog for all the world to see 🙂

    Thanks for these challenges! I love the weekly push to try something new.

  7. Shirley Menendez says:

    I often think how great it would be to have the talent to be both an author and illustrator. If you could see my pitiful drawing you would know there is no hope of my realizing such a dream. I envy illustrators.

  8. Sue Poduska says:

    Hey! I drew a dog that looks like … wait for it … a dog! I wrote a short piece about one of my grandfather’s hounds a while ago. It’s still little more than a character sketch, but now I have a picture of him for when I want to write the rest of the story. 🙂


  9. Lona Queen says:

    I drew one of my characters. Not much better than a stick figure, but I will send it in, so that I can get a goodie. 🙂


  10. Pingback: Conference Challenge Wrap Up! « As the Eraser Burns

  11. Ann McCallum says:

    I don’t have a scanner at home. Can I bring you my sketch as proof?

    • Laura Bowers says:

      We trust you, Ann, so that’s not necessary, but please bring it if you’d like to share! We can scan and post it next week: 🙂

      • Lona Queen says:

        Ann, I didn’t have a scanner available, either. I took a picture of it, and uploaded that. 🙂

  12. Beth Blevins says:

    This was my favorite challenge so far–because it made me realize I was having difficulty picturing the heroine of my book. It wasn’t just because I can’t draw humans very well, but because I was only picturing her with a couple of attributes–curly hair and glasses. Freckles? Color of shirt? Shoes? I couldn’t see them. It’s given me a wonderful door to my next revision!

  13. Miranda McClain says:

    Inspired by our family’s recent acquisition of a hermit crab I decided to illustrate my character Henry the hermit crab. I sketched him first and then since I’m a stay at home mom and always have crayons, construction paper, and glue sticks handy I did a Steve Jenkins inspired rendition. His would be way superior of course but Henry turned out kinda cute. I’ll bring him to the July conference to share. This was my 4th challenge. Yay! Nothing like waiting till the last minute!

  14. Miranda McClain says:

    My clock says 11:11pm March 30th.

  15. This was fun. Fleshy little children’s bodies are really hard to draw if you haven’t been practicing. I’ll have mine tomorrow for anyone who wants to see.

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