National Picture Book Writing Week (“NAPIBOWRIWEE”) This May 1-7, 2015! FAQs Here!

napibowriweelogo3-300x284-200x200Hi! Please mark your calendars… the 7th annual NATIONAL PICTURE BOOK WRITING WEEK (AKA “NaPiBoWriWee”) will take place May 1-7, 2015.

IMPORTANT: To keep up with my NAPIBOWRIWEE event, please bookmark this URL and visit it daily from May 1-7 for new blogs!


For the past six years, NAPIBOWRIWEE has celebrated the art and craft of writing picture books by challenging writers to attempt to write 7 picture books in 7 days. We feature fun Q&A blogs with guest authors plus lots of fun prizes and souvenirs.

The goal of NAPIBOWRIWEE is to encourage writers to fight procrastination by trying to write AND finish a first draft of a picture book every single day for seven straight days. You are allowed to brainstorm, research, and outline your picture books all year-long until May 1st, when you are to write full drafts of each picture book through May 7th.

In addition, we have souvenirs available at our Official NAPIBOWRIWEE Souvenir Store, including coffee mugs & travel mugs, journals, T-shirts, and tote/beach bags!

Please visit our store here:



1. NAPIBOWRIWEE will take place May 1-7, 2015.

2. Our NaPiBoWriWee Store is open so you can purchase your souvenirs! Journals, coffee and travel mugs, T-shirts and tote bags galore! Go here:

3. You are allowed to brainstorm ideas, outline them, research and take notes. But NO WRITING. You will write and FINISH your picture book first drafts from May 1-7, 2015.

4. From May 1 to May 7, 2015, I will post daily inspirational blogs and Q&As with special guest authors and industry folks. This year’s theme will feature a one-on-one Q&A with advice from a special guest book editor.

5. Follow me on Twitter @paulayoo for further updates.


NAPIBOWRIWEE (National Picture Book Writing Week) takes place every year from May 1st to May 7th. It starts at midnight of your time zone on May 1st and ends at 11:59 PM on May 7th.

2. Where does NAPIBOWRIWEE take place?
Right here at my website: Please click the “NaPiBoWriWee” link or simply bookmark the link here:

NAPIBOWRIWEE stands for National Picture Book Writing Week. Every year, from May 1st to May 7th, we attempt to write 7 picture books in 7 days.

4. How do I sign up for NAPIBOWRIWEE?
(NOTE: Please scroll to the bottom of this blog to see a more specific TECHNICAL FAQs list as well.)
a) Just comment on my blog at to let us know how you are doing from May 1-7!
b) When you post a comment on my blog, you must fill out the prompts asking for your name, email address (which will not be published to the public), website (if you have one), and then type the “RED MOVING LETTERS” (which is a SPAM filter).
c) Once you do this, you are automatically registered to my WordPress blog and you can just post comments in the future no matter what. (You still have to fill in the prompts each time, but your comment will get posted immediately instead of you having to wait for approval.)
d) ANOTHER OPTION: You can email me at paula at paulayoo dot com to let me know you would like to be included in the contest drawing at the end of the event. Please give me your email address. I will keep track of everyone’s comments and email addresses and include them in the contest drawing.
e) I will also continue to post updates about the event here as well as on Twitter. You can follow me here: @paulayoo
f) PLEASE NOTE: You are allowed to join us even after May 1st. You can join us on May 7th if you want! (But it might be hard for you to do 7 picture books on the last day, though! LOL!)

5. What am I allowed to do BEFORE NAPIBOWRIWEE starts?
You are allowed to brainstorm ideas, do research, and even write up an outline. But NO DRAFT WRITING AT ALL. You can ONLY write the actual first draft starting May 1st.

6. Am I supposed to send you my picture book drafts as proof that I successfully wrote 7 picture books in 7 days? Or do I post them in a comment on your blog?
NO! Please do NOT email me your drafts. Do NOT post your picture books in a comment on my blogs. This is NOT a writing contest. You do not have to prove to me you wrote 7 picture books in 7 days. We work on the Honor Code here. You say it, I believe you.

7. Will you critique my books later after the event is done?
Unfortunately, I do not have the time to critique anyone’s work. I’m a full-time book author and TV writer/producer, so I no longer have the time to critique people’s works. However, you can consider joining the wonderful Society of Children Book Writers & Illustrators ( which has great resources. Many members meet and form their own writing critique groups.

NOTE: For more info about my thoughts on writing and critiques, please check out my website’s FAQs here:

8. Can you tell me more about the NAPIBOWRIWEE contest drawing?
Sure! I also have a fun contest drawing where I pick names at random from a hat at the end of our event. Prizes will include autographed copies of my books (SIXTEEN YEARS IN SIXTEEN SECONDS: THE SAMMY LEE STORY, SHINING STAR: THE ANNA MAY WONG STORY, and GOOD ENOUGH) plus autographed books from our guest author bloggers as well as souvenirs from our store!

Special Note: I will also be including signed copies of my latest picture book biography, TWENTY-TWO CENTS: THE STORY OF MUHAMMAD YUNUS AND THE VILLAGE BANK about 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus from LEE & LOW BOOKS.

At the end of NAPIBOWRIWEE, I will put everyone’s names in a hat and pick winners at random for special prizes. I will post a blog announcing the winners on May 8, 2015. I will then contact the winners to make arrangements for the prize deliveries.

9. Do I have to finish 7 picture books in 7 days in order to qualify for the contest drawing?
Absolutely not! Just by participating and signing up for the event (either via the instructions above or by emailing me), you are automatically included in the contest drawing.

10. When will you announce the contest winners?
I will post a blog on May 8th featuring the list of winners!

11. How do I get my prize?
If you win, I will contact you via email to make the necessary arrangements to have your prize mailed out to you.

12. What if I can’t finish 7 pictures in 7 days? Am I a failure?
NO! You are NOT required to finish 7 picture books in 7 days. I’m happy if you even write 7 sentences in 7 days. The purpose of this event is to just challenge everyone to write 7 picture books in 7 days as way to fight off procrastination and insecurity. I just want people to write and finish a first draft of 7 picture book ideas you have as a way to help people learn how to write every single day no matter what. Writing on a regular (and hopefully daily) basis is a big part of becoming a stronger writer. Practice makes perfect! This is supposed to be FUN. Do NOT stress yourself out. I am proud of you no matter how much or how little you write, just as long as you TRY! 🙂 Remember, there have been some years where I myself have not been able to do 7 books in 7 days either! I’m human, too! 🙂 Everyone is a WINNER at NAPIBOWRIWEE! 🙂

13. Isn’t this event an insult to the craft of picture book writing? You can’t write a picture book in one day. Isn’t that demeaning to published picture book authors who spent months and even years crafting their books to perfection?
No! I am NOT saying you can write a book in one day! That’s impossible!

Of course you cannot write a picture book that is submission ready and publishable in one day. Picture books are HARD. This event does NOT believe that a picture book can be written in one day. That’s pretty much impossible.

BUT… a rough first draft of a picture book can be written in one day if you force yourself not to quit. So the goal of this event is to discourage PROCRASTINATION. Just write and FINISH a first draft of a picture book each day. That way, you will have seven rough drafts to choose from – which one shines the most and has the potential to be revised thoroughly into a wonderful submission to an agent or editor? Writing is rewriting – and you can’t rewrite if you don’t have a first rough draft to begin with!

This is just a fun event to promote picture book writing and to encourage newbie and veteran writers not to give up and to keep writing! 🙂

14. How did NAPIBOWRIWEE get started?
I created this event, National Picture Book Writing Week, in 2009 as a fun way to promote the publication of my picture books.

I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to write 7 picture books in 7 days. I had been procrastinating writing another new picture book draft for the longest time. So I thought, “What if I force myself to try and write 7 different picture book manuscripts in one week?” Sure, the drafts would be sloppy rough drafts. But at least I’d have 7 FINISHED drafts to choose from when it came to serious revisions and possible submission to my book agent. I was also inspired by NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month), hence my name for NAPIBOWRIWEE. 🙂

To my surprise, HUNDREDS of people from all over the world (including places as far away as Hong Kong, Egypt, and Australia) participated. It led to the creation of a NaPiBoWriWee Souvenir store and to a wonderful community of writers who bonded as future friends and joined SCBWI (Society of Children Book Writers & Illustrators). Some participants even won writing contests with the drafts they had created from this event!

15. Can you tell me more about your store?

Of course! I have a Cafe Press hosted store featuring fun souvenirs from our event. The latest NAPIBOWRIWEE store link is here:

We feature T-shirts, coffee mugs, journals, and now three new items – travel mugs, beach bag, and tote bag! The logos were designed by Sandy Tanaka Design.

16. Do you have any words of inspiration or advice before the big event starts?
Of course! Below is a list of inspirational how-to writing books that I find very helpful for inspiring my writing process. (Please click on each title for the Amazon link.)






How do I comment on your blog?


1. Go to

2. Click on the title of a blog to read.

3. Read blog.

4. At the bottom of the blog, you will see the words, “LEAVE A REPLY. You must be logged in to post a comment.” (Pic below)


5. Please click the link “logged in.” You will be taken to this WordPress page prompt. (pic below)



6. FOR RETURNING PARTICIPANTS: If you have already participated in a previous NAPIBOWRIWEE, that means you have already registered on my website. So just plug in your User Name and your password.

7. If you have already registered but have forgotten your password, click on the link that says “Lost your password?” It will take you to this window. (pic below) Please follow the instructions by entering your username or email address. You will then receive a link to create a new password via email. Then you can log in and comment on my blogs.


8. FOR NEW USERS: If you are a NEW user and have not participated in the past, then please click the link that says “Register” to create a profile. (pic below)


9. You will then be taken to this prompt. (pic below)


Please create a User Name and put in your email address. A password will be emailed to you. You are officially registered! You can now post comments on all the blogs.


I can’t wait to see everyone for our seventh annual NAPIBOWRIWEE! Until the next blog – remember – HAPPY WRITING! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT!