Welcome to National Picture Book Writing Week May 1-7, 2011!

Welcome to Paula Yoo’s third annual National Picture Book Writing Week (aka “NaPiBoWriWee”)!

This year’s NaPiBoWriWee event officially begins at midnight on Sunday May 1, 2011 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday May 7, 2011.

For all things NaPiBoWriWee, please visit this NaPiBoWriWee-centric blog daily for updated live blogging, writing advice and encouragement, and interviews with special guest published picture book authors.National Picture Book Writing Week

Today’s blog is a list of all the information you will need to know how to participate in this year’s event. In a nutshell – just write 7 picture books in 7 days! This is NOT a writing contest. There is no need to submit anything to me. Just write! And post comments here to let me know how you are doing! I will collect a list of names and email addresses of all participants to be included in a random drawing for special prize giveaways. Keep reading for more details…

THE HISTORY OF NAPIBOWRIWEE: In the spirit of National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org/) where people across the country try to write a complete novel in one month, I decided to start the first ever National Picture Book Writing Week, affectionately nicknamed “NaPiBoWriWee,” back in 2009.

The goal? To write 7 picture books in 7 days.

The first NapiBoWriWee 2009 was a staggering success. I was shocked by how many excited and enthusiastic picture book writers – both novices AND published veterans – participated! We had several hundred participants from all over the country AND the world – from from Hong Kong to Japan to Korea to England, France, and even Australia!

PRIZE GIVEAWAY RANDOM DRAWING INFORMATION:

For those of you who participate in this year’s NaPiBoWriWee, I will select several winners at random on the 7th day – those winners will receive an autographed copy of my picture books, “SHINING STAR: THE ANNA MAY WONG STORY” (Lee & Low Books, 2009) and “SIXTEEN YEARS IN SIXTEEN SECONDS: THE SAMMY LEE STORY” (Lee & Low ’05).

Winners will also receive fun prizes from our NaPiBoWriWee Store and some autographed books from famous picture book published authors to be announced soon!

If you would like to participate in the random prize drawing, please send your full name and email address to paula at paulayoo dot com. I will include your name for the prize drawing.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE:

Simply bookmark this NaPiBoWriWee blog and check back daily for updated blogs featuring writing advice and blogs from special guest authors. Please feel free to comment on the blogs – I want to encourage a forum in which we all support each other and keep each other updated on our NaPiBoWriWee progress!

NAPIBOWRIWEE STORE:

Don’t forget to check out our NaPiBoWriWee Store. The link is to the right of this blog. We have specially designed NaPiBoWriWee T-shirts, notebooks and coffee mugs to encourage you to keep writing!

NAPIBOWRIWEE RULES:

The basic rules? Just write 7 complete and separate picture books in one week. Each picture book must have a clear beginning, middle, and end. There is no required minimum word count because picture book lengths can vary from 50 words to 2000 words, depending on the genre.

NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME YOUR MANUSCRIPTS. This is NOT a writing contest. It’s Β just a fun community project in which we all band together to encourage each other to write 7 picture books in 7 days! (Much like the famous NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month where everyone tries to write a novel in 30 days.)

CAVEAT: Just because I want us to write 7 picture books in 7 days does not mean I think writing a picture book is easy. On the contrary, it’s EXTREMELY difficult and challenging to write a?complete story with a beginning, middle, and end, an original plotline, and a unique character with a compelling voice for the picture book genre. Every word has to count. Every image and every action has to speak volumes in terms of theme and deeper meaning… while still being kid friendly, fun, and appropriate for the tone of the book (be it a quiet literary picture book or a hilarious, laugh out of loud funny picture book).

Having said that… I want everyone to have fun with this! I’m not expecting Shakespeare or “Goodnight Moon.” This is an attempt to encourage people to finally write that picture book they’ve been dreaming of… please think of this as a fun opportunity to brainstorm and finally write that first rough draft that you can go back to later and revise and improve upon. So often we procrastinate or convince ourselves that our idea for a picture book is not “good enough.” So NaPiBoWriWee is a fun way to have everyone GO FOR BROKE and write 7 picture books in 7 days and see what happens!

For everyone who has a website or blog – you are encouraged to promote NaPiBoWriWee on your blog/website/myspace/Facebook/Twitter. I only request that you provide a link to my website – https://paulayoo.com/ My Twitter page is here: http://twitter.com/paulayoo and my cat Oreo’s page is here: http://twitter.com/oreothecatyoo

For those of you attending the national Society for Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (http://scbwi.org/) conference in August, let me know and I’ll arrange for an informal gathering during the conference so we can meet in person and celebrate our first NaPiBoWriWee!

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To summarize, the basic rules:

1. Midnight May 1st to 11:59 p.m. May 7th: Write 7 separate and complete picture books.
2. You are NOT allowed to write the same picture book in 7 variations. Each book must be complete and separate.
3. No minimum word count. Instead, each book must have a clear beginning, middle and end.
4. You are allowed to brainstorm and research book topics before May 1st. Outlines are acceptable. First draft writing is NOT. Do NOT write your books before May 1st – only brainstorming, taking notes, and outlining are allowed.
5. You are NOT allowed to write a single word of your draft until midnight May 1st.
6. There is NO minimum word count required. The fine folks of NaPiBoWriWee require nothing but your word of honor. We will embrace the Honor Code. If you say you have written 7 complete picture book drafts in 7 days, we will believe you. Besides, why would you lie to us? You’re writing picture books for little children! Picture Book Authors are nice, honest people who would never lie!
7. If you plan to blog about your NaPiBoWriWee journey, please include a link to: https://paulayoo.com/
8. Several winners will be chosen from random of all the people who participate. Winners will receive an autographed copy of my books “SHINING STAR: THE ANNA MAY WONG STORY” (Lee & Low Books 2009) Β and “SIXTEEN YEARS IN SIXTEEN SECONDS: THE SAMMY LEE STORY” (Lee & Low ’05), along with items from our NapiBoWriWee Store and a couple of surprise autographed book prizes from special guest authors! Please email me (paula at paulayoo dot com) with your full name and email address so I can include you in the drawing.
9. Please do NOT send me your picture book manuscripts. This is NOT a writing contest. We are just supporting each other as we attempt to write 7 picture books in 7 days! I encourage everyone to visit my NaPiBoWriWee blog every day for blogs filled with writing advice and special guest author editorials. You are encouraged to comment each day on my NaPiBoWriWee blog as we form a fun community of friends encouraging each other to keep writing!
10. For those of you attending the national Society of Children Book Writers & Illustrators (http://scbwi.org/) conference in August, let me know and I’ll arrange for an informal gathering during the conference so we can meet in person and celebrate our first NaPiBoWriWee!

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Good luck and I look forward to writing 7 picture books in 7 days with everyone!

Happy Writing! Write Like You Mean It! πŸ™‚

37 Comments »

  1. Hi Paula,

    I’m very excited for NaPiBoWriWee this year. Last year was great fun. Any chance you will eventually post the archived articles from last year? They were really helpful. Thanks for running this challenge.

    • Hey Lynda! Re: your question ” Any chance you will eventually post the archived articles from last year?” – I did save them all, so I will try to post a few “flashback” posts this year for the newbies. Good idea!

  2. I am so looking forward to this year. It will be my third year doing NaPiBoWriWee.

    Thanks Julia for such a wonderful way to amp up everyone’s productivity and creativity.

    Nina

  3. Sorry about the mistake. Here is the real comment.

    I am so looking forward to this year. It will be my third year doing NaPiBoWriWee.

    Thanks Paula for such a wonderful way to amp up everyone’s productivity and creativity.

    Nina

  4. Caz, Robyn, Erin, Sarah, Nina, Melly – welcome to 2011’s NaPiBoWriWee! Let’s conquer that fear of the first draft together! 7 books in 7 days! πŸ™‚ I’ll be posting new blogs soon…. stay tuned! best, Paula

  5. I’m in!
    Life got in the way of my writing for awhile and I needed someone or something to get me going again. I think this might be the ticket!
    Thanks, Paula.

  6. I’m so excited to join you! Hoping I can do it with the crazy lot life is tossing my way at the moment…. but I still love it! AND, I’ll be at the SCBWI conference in LA so YES, let’s get together there!!!! πŸ™‚

    • Welcome!!!!! You can do it! Even if you can write 1 paragraph, that’s something to be proud of. We are TRYING to write 7 pic books in 7 days, but there are no losers in this fun event. Only winners. πŸ™‚

  7. I’m in!

    Been waffling on it for a few days because I know life is crazy right now and only really have three outlines, but hey, never a better time to forget to look before leaping than when things are nuts anyway, right?! πŸ˜‰

    • Be nuts with us! πŸ™‚ Also, I’m happy if people write 7 paragraphs in 7 days. Or 7 sentences in 7 days. LOL! πŸ™‚

  8. I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo, but this is more my type of writing. I’m looking forward to joining all of you.

    I have a blog for writing children’s books (and featuring kids’ writing) called Polliwog Pages. I will promote this challenge next week.

    • Welcome Michelle! Don’t be nervous! We’re all going to hold hands. NaPiBoWriWee is filled with happy people and lots of sunshine and rainbows and cute puppies and kittens and bunnies. LOL. πŸ™‚ Good luck and see you on day one! πŸ™‚

  9. Hi Paula,

    I’m in!! I’m afraid that once again life got in the way of my writing and I’m hoping that this will be the kick in the pants that I need to get going again.

    Sharon

    • Yay! Welcome aboard. BTW, I think that life never gets in the way of our writing… life IS our writing, so when u are too busy to write, think of your life experiences and busy-ness as part of what will later inspire some writing. πŸ™‚ Welcome aboard! πŸ™‚

  10. I’m very late, but I’m here! I wrote my first PB today, so I’ll aim for at least 2 more. Three is better than none, I say.

    Meanwhile, hi everybody! Can’t wait to catch up on the posts and chat with you all.

    Julie

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