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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Debbie Ridpath Ohi

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Debbie Ridpath Ohi is a writer and illustrator based in Toronto, represented by Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown.

Although Debbie has been writing for years, she never seriously considered illustrating children's books until the 2010 SCBWI Summer Conference, when she won an Honor Award and a Mentorship Award in the Illustrator Portfolio Showcase. Debbie only entered the Showcase after being strong-armed into it by her illustrator friend, Beckett Gladney. Here is Debbie's report of the event.

"Oh, The Horror!" - part of my Little Nightmare series

After seeing Debbie's portfolio, a publisher from Simon & Schuster approached her during the conference and asked if she'd be interested in illustrating a picture book (!). The book, written by writer/comedian/actor Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie, will be coming out from Simon & Schuster in 2012. Debbie owes her friend Beckett big-time.

Debbie's first nonfiction book, THE WRITER'S ONLINE MARKETPLACE, was published by Writer's Digest Books in 2001. She has also had many nonfiction, fiction and poetry pieces published in both print and online venues. Debbie was the founder and editor of Inkspot, one of the first sites for writers on the Web. The site was sold and (sadly) shut down when the Internet bubble burst.

Debbie writes a daily publishing industry news column for Writersmarket.com. She has several webcomics, including Will Write For Chocolate. She is obsessed with her iPad and uses it for writing, drawing, reading and composing songs. She posts writer comics, interviews and information in Inkygirl: Daily Diversions For Writers.

Debbie writes songs for and performs with a filk trio called Urban Tapestry. Her group has performed in Canada, U.S., England and Germany, and Debbie's songs have aired on national radio. You can listen to sample tracks and buy her group's CDs on Urban Tapestry's MySpace page. She plays the flute, piano, Celtic harp, tin whistle and numerous bangy percussion instruments.

Debbie enjoys boardgaming, and posts a weekly boardgaming comic caption contest on BoardGameGeek.

In addition to the SCBWI Mentees Group, Debbie is also a member of the Toronto Area Middle Grade/YA Writers' Group and MiG Writers. Debbie's current projects include:

- Illustrating a picture book by Michael Ian Black for Simon & Schuster. Tentative publication date: Spring 2012.

- A graphic novel for young people, illustrated by Beckett Gladney and written by Debbie.

- A middle grade humor-mystery novel, illustrated with doodles and cartoons.

- Will Write For Chocolate: a compilation of Debbie's comics for writers as well as writer advice quotes.

Debbie lives in Toronto with her husband Jeff, and admits that she feels very odd talking about herself in third person.

You can also find her on Twitter at @inkyelbows (writing) and @ipadgirl (iPad, digital publisher, e-books).

"Monster Bunny", part of my Little Nightmare series