Smart Dummies

Smart Dummies is now over. Join us September 2018 for more Dummy fun!

2018's event will start with a pre-event in August. More details to come soon.

Be sure to follow this blog by email to get reminders and read other great posts.

Smart Dummies is a whole month dedicated to helping Illustrators to create their picture book dummies! This is a FREE EVENT!

When is it? Smart Dummies starts September 1st. 2018 will feature pre-event in August to help you plan your dummy!

Where can I find more info? Join the group on Facebook! This group is for anyone interested in making picture book dummies! You do not have to participate in the event to join.

How do I sign up? Sign up is closed!  Official sign up will start Mid August and through September 7th. Be sure to follow my blog by email so you can keep up to date with any announcements. Registration is absolutely free for this event!

What's the goal? The goal is to complete the basic images for your picture book dummy in one month. We work on the honor system, so you don't need to post any images to win. 

Are there prizes? Absolutely! Below is the list of last year's prizes.

What do I need to bring? A polished manuscript, a story/rhyme in the public domain (think Grimm's Fairy Tales), or an idea for your book. You do not have to be a Writer to join. If you want your story to be wordless, that's okay!

How can I help? If you are a published Illustrator and would like to do a guest post, please email me at daniduckart[at] or using my contact form.  For this event I'll be mostly approaching people who have published work, have worked in Illustration for years or those who have special insight into creating picture books. You are also welcomed to contact me if you have a prize to donate!

Who are the guests? A list of guests will be posted in August! See the list of guest from last year below.

Smart Dummies 2017 guests


Arree Chung - A copy of "Out" by Aree Chung
Mira Reisberg - A free Photoshop course and a separate prize of a Hero's Art Journey course
Sharon Chriscoe - An Autographed Copy of "Race Car Dreams" and Swag
Mark Mitchell -  1 Year Subscription to Guest Group Critiques
Teresa Robeson - Scripta Note Book  (Ruled and Blank Pages) and Fiber Castell Pitt Artist Pen
Becky Fyfe A Copy of "Teapot Tales"
Emmeline Forestal - Portfolio Review
Elizabeth Rose Stanton - copies of Henny and Peddles, one each, signed (and will throw in a copy of Bub,too, if the winner is willing to wait until January).
Jennifer Adams - Books "My Little Cities London" and "My Little Cities NY"
Ben Clanton  - blank book from and copy of Narwhal
Yvonne Mes - Picture Book Critique
Sophia from Rate Your Story - A Free Speed Pass (1 Time Submission)
Chieu Ahn Urban - two copies of "Color Wonder Hooray for Spring!"
Jennifer Thermes - "Charles Darwin Around the World" book
Leila Nabih An Adaptation of "Little Red Riding Hood"
Susan Eaddy "My Love for you is the Sun", by Julie Hedlund and illustrated by Susan Eaddy and "Poppy’s Best Paper", written by Susan Eaddy and illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
Shawna Tenney A copy of Brunhilda's Backwards Day

Smart Dummies 2016 Guest List:


Photoshop or Hero's Art Journey course (your choice) - Mira Reisberg
Make your Marks & Splashes course. 
A one-year subscription to Guest Group Critiques- Mark G Mitchell
Drawing - Tim Egan 
A review copy of "Toby"Hazel Mitchell
Torn tissue illustration - Toni Yuly
"The Egg Thief" - Lauren Gallegos
"If Kids Ruled the World" and "Manners are Not for Monkeys" David Huyck
"Get the Wiggles Out" and "Let's Cooperate" books and a signed A4 print. - Tom Heard
"Ring Around the Rosie",  and an original Buddha painting on paperGina Perry

2015 Guests: 

2015's Prizes:

Photoshop Course - Mira Reisberg
Portfolio Review - Mary Reaves Uhles
Cedric and the Dragon by Nina Crittenden
Two Girls Want a Puppy - Maple Lam
Three sets of 2 art postcards - Stephen Maquignon
The Mermaid’s Gift - Traci Van Wagoner 
Dummy Critique - Lauren Eldridge
How to Promote Your Children's Book Katie Davis
2 copies of Zebrafish (hard and soft cover), SPF 40 (Zebrafish), Cloverleaf pack of 3 - Be Aware!: My Tips for Personal Safety, Move Your Body!: My Exercise Tips and Keep Calm!: My Stress-busting Tips - Renee Kurilla
Mae and the Moon - Jami Gigot
2 books from the Puppy Pirate series, a Freddy Frogcaster book and a drawing - Russ Cox


  1. Hello! It's now September 9th. Where does one sign up? Thank you. :)

    1. Hi Alexandra, I'm so sorry! The sign up will start September 15th and run through October 7th. For some reason I wrote the 1st. I'm so sorry about that!