Nancy's Books

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Illustrator Alison Davis Lyne/Calls for Submissions

Alison Davis Lyne is back with me today. Alison is an extremely talented illustrator with ten picture books in her resumé, plus she edits the ART TIPS column for the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) newsletter.

We had so much fun Saturday at the Southern Kentucky Book Festival in Bowling Green. Fortunately, Alison and I were seated near each other so we had lots of time to chat about illustrating, writing and publishing, three of our favorite subjects. And we loved meeting and talking with those who stopped by.

Here's Alison surrounded by some of the books she illustrated with her talented touch.

Alison and I are in model mode as her husband snaps the shot. Thanks, Frank.
NKA: Alison, you’re a professional all the way. Tell us about your latest project and how staying busy keeps you out of trouble.   

ADL: Work keeps me busy, but trouble…it sneaks up on me, anyway. My latest alphabet picture book, G is for Grits: A Southern Alphabet by Nikole Brooks Bethea published by Pelican Publishing, is a great example of that genre. In Nikki's text for each letter, she gave me two to four different kinds of items/concepts to illustrate. My job was to sketch images of those items, in a pleasing and informative setting......anything from alligators to yams, in a “southern style” of course.

NKA: You came through with flying colors (pardon the pun) with this illustration. I see so much movement in the book cover.

ADL: Thanks, Nancy. I appreciate your comments. Since I've “said my alphabet in picture book form” three times before (Easter Day Alphabet, Halloween Alphabet and Thanksgiving Day Alphabet, all from Pelican), I was pretty sure that the arrangement of this alphabet book would follow the same style.....25 single pages, one for each letter, with one “double page spread”, all of which start on page 5.
One of the letters I had the most fun with was “O”.  Nikki's lively southern style text called for okra, oak tree, overalls and relating “old ways”. Whew!  That's a LOT of stuff to show in just one scene, plus leave room for the text and the actual letter “O”. You can see how I handled it below:


NKA: It's so interesting to learn how illustrators approach a text. I love how you incorporated the four elements into the illustration in a way that will resonate with young readers.

ADL: Thanks. Illustrating an alphabet book is a wonderful opportunity to “challenge” myself to see just how many different people and settings I can come up with, all within an established format for that particular alphabet book. 

NKA: Congratulations on your most recent books, G is for Grits: A Southern Alphabet and  Little Things Aren't Little When You're Little. These two picture books are available at brick and mortar bookstores and thru Pelican Publishing Company or your favorite online bookseller.   

Illustrations carry the story beyond that of the text, and I love learning how illustrators develop ideas for art based on the text of the writer. You are extremely talented, Alison. I can see why Pelican keeps returning to you for illustrations in their picture books. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I look forward to having you return and wish you the best in your illustrating career.

To see more about Alison's published books please visit 

To see more of Alison's artwork please visit

To see more about Alison's art  and art techniques please visit Alison's blog

Call for Submissions for Young Writers:

Parallel Ink is your friendly international e-magazine for students, by students between the ages of 12 to 18 years old. Besides sci-fi serials and fantasy fables, we welcome poignant poetry, quirky rants, discarded love letters, and offbeat text exchanges with open arms (among many other countless gems of literature teens write). Honestly, anything goes if it's well-written, captivating, and ready for sending out into the world wide web! Take a look at our past issues on the Archives page.

Being open-minded global citizens is a big part of our magazine. Parallel Ink, also fondly called Pi or PI, is a voluntary, non-profit publication. It's run by three high schoolers, each living in a different country, who remain very good friends to this day. 
Submission guidelines at
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Xiaoduo Median, a publisher based in both New York and Beijing is looking for children’s authors. We currently publish three monthly magazines and assortment of book series for age 6 to 14.
For the magazine "Ask You Ask Me":
We are interested in articles rich in scientific accuracy and lively approaches to the subject at hand. The inclusion of primary research (interviews with scientists focusing on current research) are of primary interest to the magazine.

Feature Articles: Up to 1000 words. Includes: in-depth nonfiction articles. (An interactive approach is a definite plus!) Q & A interviews, plays, and biographies are of interest as well

Fiction: up to 1,000 words. Includes: science-related stories, poems, science fiction, retold legends, etc., relating to the theme.

Activities: up to 750 words. Includes: critical thinking activities, experiments, models, science fair projects, astrophotography projects, and any other science projects that can either be done by children alone, with adult supervision, or in a classroom setting. Query should be accompanied by sketches and description of how activity relates to theme.

Submission guidelines at

Next week, I’ll focus on the latest trends in children’s publishing.





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