napibowriweelogo3-300x284-200x200Well, we survived our seventh annual National Picture Book Writing Week (“NAPIBOWRIWEE”)! I am so proud of everyone. I had a ton of fun. I hope you did, too! More importantly, I hope everyone wrote a lot! Now you have anywhere from one to seven completed first drafts of picture books that you can now spend the rest of the year carefully crafting and revising! Congratulations!

PLEASE NOTE – OUR CONTEST WINNERS ARE LISTED BELOW. I WILL EMAIL ALL THE WINNERS TO GET YOUR ADDRESS INFO SO I CAN MAIL OUT YOUR PRIZES! (FYI: I will use the email address you submitted to register for my website. So check your inbox today!)

snowflakebentleyMY DAY SEVEN EXPERIENCE: For my last picture book, I had already done a ton of research on another potential picture book biography idea earlier this year. Because I’ve been writing picture books all week, I suddenly had this last minute brainstorm of how to write it… like a mystery! The high concept worked and I realized a lot of my research could be used as sidebars. One of my favorite examples of a picture book biography that combines age-appropriate simple narrative writing with more in-depth sidebars is the Caldecott Medal winning picture book biography, SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY, written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Mary Azarian. Lesson learned: Always read picture books in the category/genre you are writing in for inspiration! 🙂 Again, my book idea was very rough and a lot of copy and paste of my research notes into the sidebars, but at least I have a solid rough rough rough draft to work with now. Phew. Out of all my NAPIBOWRIWEE events, there have been a few years where I was unable to finish all 7 picture books in 7 days. I was luckier this year. I think it’s because I’ve been doing this now for seven years so the blogging has become second nature and takes less time. 🙂

Since NAPIBOWRIWEE 2015 has wrapped (sob), please post any final comments you want about your writing journey this week!

And now, on to the exciting part – OUR CONTEST WINNERS!


BeetNapi2015BBeetNapi2015CI put everyone’s names in a hat and picked folks from random.

Correction: Um, I mean one of my three cats, BEETHOVEN, picked your names from a bowl. A salad bowl, to be precise. LOL! 🙂

The prizes range from souvenirs from our NAPIBOWRIWEE STORE as well as autographed books from me and other prizes, plus one lucky winner gets one free critique of his/her picture book from our guest-in-residence, editor and author AMY CHERRIX! (PLEASE NOTE: I will contact the winners by email to make arrangements to send out your prizes!)

If you would like to purchase more souvenirs from our store, please go to this link:

You can follow Amy on Twitter @acherrix Her website:

So without further ado… here are our contest winners! If you won, I will contact you via email to make arrangements to mail out your prize! Congratulations!


Visit Amy Cherrix’s website:

Winner of One Free Manuscript Critique from Editor Amy Cherrix of Slushpile Press:


22 Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank

Winner of  a personally signed copy of Paula Yoo’s picture book, TWENTY-TWO CENTS: MUHAMMAD YUNUS AND THE VILLAGE BANK (illustrated by Jamel Akib, Lee & Low Books, 2014):



Winner of  a personally signed copy of Paula Yoo’s picture book, SIXTEEN YEARS IN SIXTEEN SECONDS: THE SAMMY LEE STORY (illustrated by Dom Lee, Lee & Low Books, 2005):



Winner of  a personally signed copy of Paula Yoo’s picture book, SHINING STAR: THE ANNA MAY WONG STORY (illustrated by Lin Wang, Lee & Low Books, 2009):



Winner of  a personally signed copy of Paula Yoo’s YA novel, GOOD ENOUGH (HarperCollins 2008):



Winner of  a personally signed copy of Erin Eitter Kono’s CATERINA AND THE BEST BEACH DAY(Dial 2015):





















Congratulations and grateful thanks to everyone for participating! I’ll see you next year! The dates are always the same – May 1st to May 7th. So mark your calendars for May 1-7, 2016 right here at (Also – I will post a final blog tomorrow May 9, 2015 with the official announcement of next year’s event.) (Also – I will post a final blog tomorrow May 9, 2015 with the official announcement of next year’s event.)

Please note: For all FAQs, go here:

For my REGULAR blog postings, please bookmark and visit here often:

Remember to follow me on Twitter @paulayoo for more fun updates. And if you want, you can also follow my CAT Oreo and his brother and sister Beethoven & Charlotte here: @oreothecatyoo

Finally, I always attend the annual Summer Conference of the Society of Book Writers & Illustrators ( It usually takes place in the first week of August. For more info on it, you can check out their live blog page here: If you attend the conference, please let me know! Maybe we’ll have a NAPIBOWRIWEE reunion. That has happened in years past.

Until our next May 1-7, 2016 NAPIBOWRIWEE event, remember… HAPPY WRITING! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! 🙂



  1. Thanks again for NaPiBoWriWee, Paula! Happy to hear you were able to finish all seven this year too! Your mystery NF picture book sounds like a cool idea and format. Good luck with it!

  2. Paula, Thank you for this writing week. And I’m thrilled to win a signed copy of TWENTY-TWO CENTS. I checked it out from the library this week and loved your writing.
    Yesterday evening, I was listening to my younger son’s band concert when it struck me how to plot out PB draft #7. My characters always come first and they told me how the story should be shown. Yes, I hear voices. 🙂

  3. Tell Beethoven he’s on my kitty litter list! Just kidding– congrats to all the winners! 🙂
    Thanks again, Paula. It’s been fun and I really needed to do this to push myself. So happy I tried writing a NF PB and a retting of a folktale.

    See you next May!

  4. Thanks to everyone this was real fun! And thank you Paula & Amy for your advice and encouragement, you may make an author out of me yet.
    Also a special thank you to Beethoven; winning a notebook is a writers dream!

    • Thank you Seth for your awesome posts and keep us posted on your writing. I will email you to get your address for the journal that you can keep jotting down your ideas! 🙂

  5. Beethoven, you are looking pretty svelte there! That diet kitty food must not be so bad after all. Meow!

    Thanks again Paula and congrats to all the winners! See you again in 2015.

    • LOL Cathy! Beet says meow and thank you! See you next year and keep me posted on how your writing goes! 🙂

  6. Hooray! Congrats everybody! Thanks again, Paula and Amy. Great theme this year. Paula, you are an incredibly busy person, but sometime we’d love to hear what happens to your drafts after May 7. Maybe a success story or steps you take to reshape or edit. Also, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is interested in nf pb writing. I have chosen a nf manuscript for the mentorship program I’m in now, and hope to take a nf class later this year. But anytime you want to post on your regular blog about specifics of nf pb writing, we’d love to hear about it! Thanks and best wishes.

    • Thank you for your kind words Joanne. I will keep you posted as well on what happens with my writing. That’s fantastic you will be doing a mentorship program as well as a class. I’ll keep everyone posted on my next blogs. Good luck rewriting and keep me posted! 🙂

  7. Thanks Paula! I love my prize! 🙂 The best part about the challenge was that I wrote seven new picture book drafts.

    Zainab Khan
    P.S. I love your cat. 🙂

  8. YAY!! Thank you so much for a wonderful challenge, Paula! I am THRILLED to win the manuscript critique from Editor Amy Cherrix! WOWZA! I’m so excited!!!

  9. Yes! I LOVE tote bags! You can never have enough! Thanks so much for hosting this. I got so much accomplished this week that I never would have otherwise.

    • Congrats Linda! I sent you an email to make prize arrangements. So proud of your hard work this week!

  10. Hurray! Thanks, Paula, for this awesome event! And I’m excited about my mug! Now I can get inspired while drinking my morning (and sometimes afternoon) coffee!

  11. Thanks for another great your Paula. You rock. This is one of the most inspiring events of my year. It really gets my juices flowing.
    Thank you and see you next year.

  12. Congratulations to all the winners! Thank you again, Paula for hosting NaPiBoWriWee! I can’t wait for 2016!

  13. Thanks Again! I managed 4/7 for my first year, so i’m still pretty happy about that, and have a few new ideas that came out of the process. I will definitely be trying again next year!