NaPiBoWriWee 2012: Rules & Info for May 1-7, 2012 Event!

National Picture Book Writing Week is this May 1-7, 2012!


Hi. FYI some folks have asked about this, so just some quick reminders…

1. To comment on my blog, you must log in. To log in, use your same account name and password that you used on myΒΒ blog last year. If you can’t remember your old account/email,Β WordPress has a built-in “lost password” feature: under the login box is the option “Lost your password?” If that link is pressed, users are prompted for their email address and a new password is sent to them by the system.

For those of you who have never participated, then it’s simple – just follow the prompts to create your own account and password to use every time you want to comment.

2. How to “register” for the event: There is NO official registration. I just collect everyone’s names of people who either email me individually and/or comment on the blog. I then include your names for a fun prize drawing at the end of the week! πŸ™‚

3. How to participate in this event: I will post daily blogs with advice, author interviews etc. to encourage folks and you just post comments about how your day went!


Hello! Welcome to a pre-NaPiBoWriWee blog! Our fourth annual National Picture Book Writing Week will happen this May 1-7, 2012.

For those of you unfamiliar with National Picture Book Writing Week (aka “NAPIBOWRIWEE”), it’s a fun event I started to encourage people to stop procrastinating and actually write and FINISH a rough draft of a picture book. But to challenge everyone, I made it an entire week. So from May 1st to May 7th every year, you must write 7 picture books in 7 days!

Please note… I do NOT think you can write a perfect, publishable picture book draft in one day. Writing and revising and perfecting a submission-worthy picture book draft takes weeks, months, and even years to accomplish. It’s a labor of love. My event is just a fun way to encourage people to stop procrastinating in order to produce several first rough drafts that they can then revise for the rest of the year.

The rules are simple:Β 

1. We begin at MIDNIGHT on Tuesday May 1, 2012.

2. We end at 11:59 PM on Monday May 7, 2012.

3. The goal? Write 7 picture books in 7 days. I advise participants to try and pace yourselves at one picture book per day. But it’s okay if you are blocked and then are able to write 7 books on the 6th day. It’s also okay if it takes you 7 days to write ONE book. The whole point is to try and finish at least one book, and hopefully more (ideally 7 drafts total).

4. Why do this? I hope that by creating a focused marathon week where you eat, live, sleep, and dream about picture book writing for 7 straight days will help inspire you to write more every day. I believe successful writers write every single day or at least on a consistent basis. Being a writer is like being an athlete – you can’t let your “writing muscles” go slack! πŸ™‚

5. You do NOT need to submit your manuscripts to me. This is NOT a writing contest. We work on the Honor Code. I believe you are truthful. I have NOT always succeeded in writing 7 picture books in 7 days because I also have to run this event and sometimes I am also working. But I am hoping this year to achieve my 7 book goal because I haven’t been able to in the past!

6. How to participate? Every day I will post daily blogs about my own NaPiBoWriWee experience as well as provide writing advice and hopefully some fun Q&As with published picture book author/illustrators. You are invited to comment frequently and keep us posted on your own progress. The whole point is to create a community of writers where we support each other during this crazy week.

7. Prize Contests: I will be giving away signed copies of my picture books, SIXTEEN YEARS IN SIXTEEN SECONDS: THE SAMMY LEE STORY (Lee & Low ’05) and SHINING STAR: THE ANNA MAY WONG STORY (Lee & Low ’09), as well as special signed books from other celebrity published picture book author/illustrators! Plus other fun prizes, including the 2012 NaPiBoWriWee souvenir T-shirts, coffee mugs, and journals! All you have to do is sign up on my blog, comment on a post and/or email me to have your name included in the prize contest drawing that will take place on the last day of NaPiBoWriWee.

8. Success Stories & Reunion: Please comment on our blogs to let us know if you have any success stories from previous NaPiBoWRiWee years as well. And I hope to meet many of you at the annual SCBWI (Society of Children Book Writers & Illustrators) National Conference on August 3-6, 2012. (For more info on that conference, go here:Β

9. What you are allowed to do before May 1st: You are allowed to brainstorm ideas, do research, take notes, and even write outlines. But NO WRITING of the DRAFTS until May 1st!

10. NaPiBoWriWee Store: Please visit our Cafe Press store which features the new 2012 souvenir coffee mugs, T-shirts, and journals. This year’s beautiful logo was designed by professional designer Sandy Tanaka. You can order these items now so you can wear your NaPiBoWriWee 2012 T-shirt as you sip coffee/tea from your NaPiBoWriWee 2012 coffee mug and jot down your drafts in your NaPiBoWriWee 2012 journal. πŸ™‚ The store link is here:Β

Finally, below are some NaPiBoWriWee 2011 blogs I posted featuring writing advice on craft issues. They are posted here for your review before NaPiBoWriWee 2012 begins!







Stay tuned for next week’s blog featuring NaPiBoWriWee 2011 links to our Q&As with published authors/illustrators. And remember – NaPiBoWriWee 2012 begins May 1-7, 2012!

Please comment below to let us know how you are preparing for this year’s NaPiBoWriWee 2012!

Until the next blog, HAPPY WRITING! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! πŸ™‚


    • LOL! I find that pressure – and fear – are great motivators to keep me organized! πŸ™‚

  1. Yippee! Look at all these comments and participants! You are all entered in the prize drawings! Stay tuned for another blog next week & we have a store of souvenirs too! Also – how are people preparing for this event? Any return participants or newbies? Any questions, too, ask away!

  2. Hi everyone! Thanks for posting comments and you are all included in the prize drawing at the end of our event. I just updated this blog with more info to answer some questions, so check it out! πŸ™‚ cheers, P.

    • Thanks Alison, my friend designer Sandy Tanaka did the redesign this year of the logo. πŸ™‚

  3. I’m looking forward to NaPiBoWriWee 2012! I have a vacation day tomorrow, and I plan to do a lot of brainstorming! Thanks for hosting this!

  4. Paula –
    Thanks for updating the page with more information for newbies like me! I’ve been looking forward to NaPiBoWriWee 2012 since I heard the first buzz about it during WriteOn Con 2011!
    – Cathy

    • Welcome newbie Cathy! Hope the blogs and links are helping you find good writing info on your journey!

  5. I have never done this challenge before, but it sure looks like fun! And I’d love to arrive at May 8 with 7 new mss, so I’m in!

    • Thanks Madeline for the blog link. Glad you are crazy enough like me to do this again! πŸ™‚

  6. I’m in again this year- had to skip last year. Making notes of ideas for now and I’m determined to get seven full drafts this time. Someone hold me to that!

  7. I’m in and excited. I just heard about this in The Writer yesterday and now we’re days away from the marathon. I’m thinking up ideas and getting pumped.

  8. I’m in! I’m a newbie who has been staring at an index card above my computer that says “Paula Yoo, NaPiBoWriWee” for a year, waiting for May 1st to roll around again and ACT on it this time! Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. OOOO—-I’m new, I’m scared, but I’m in. 7?? Really? 7 in 7 days? I’m looking forward to the group life support.
    Thanks, Paula for the incentives.

  10. I’m jumping on board just before the Ship Of Stories sails. How rough will the writing waters be for me? Since this is my maiden voyage…I hope I don’t sink to the bottom.

  11. Is it too late to sign up? I’d like to jump on board. Though I’ll have to double up because I skip town Sunday. Debbie LaCroix.

  12. I’m so excited about this year’s NaPiBoWriWee. I’m really not starting until tomorrow, though.. But I have a vacation day tomorrow!

  13. Special shout to all the folks who wrote a comment on this blog – your names are included in the prize drawing. I will try to reply to as many comments as I can but I might fall behind cuz there are so many of you. But please know I have read all the comments! Yippee! Happy writing to: JHedlund33, Dana Carey, LeslieG, kkarsnerclarke, PoeticLouise, stacysjensen, saputnam, Nicole Zoltack, Julie Rowan-Zoch, Alison Hertz, michellewrite, Dena, cathymealey, Susanna Leonard Hill, MadelineBarr, Emily Schoenfelder, Sandy, eburr, Rob Sanders, integrativethought, NanTan, Laura Miller, Romelle Guittap, Cheryl Manning, littleb, Robyn, Beth Gallagher, Kristi, Dena, Donna Koppelman! best, Paula