NAPIBOWRIWEE DAY 7 – Meet Agent/Writer/Mentor Jodell Sadler & Illustrator Shirley Ng-Benitez!

Oreo guards me in the NAPIBOWRIWEE Writing Batcave, margin sure I don't escape!
Oreo guards me in the NAPIBOWRIWEE Writing Batcave, margin sure I don’t escape!


Yes, it is our LAST DAY! How are you feeling? Sleepy? Exhausted? Cranky? Exhilarated? Shocked? Stunned? Excited? Sad? All of the above? 🙂

Yes, you should be proud of yourselves. Pat yourself on the back for having written Every. Single. Day. this week! For those of you who pushed through and got 6 books done in 6 days – BRAVO!!!!!! One more left! How hard can it be? LOL! For those of you who are “behind” but still fighting to stay in the game – GOOD LUCK! You can do it! Remember – even if you can’t finish 7 books in 7 days, the important thing is that you did not give up and you tried your best and wrote every day. BRAVO!!!!!!!

NOTE: Remember – NAPIBOWRIWEE ends tonight May 7th at 11:59 PM in YOUR time zone. 🙂

For Day 6, I wrote a “Good Night” type book with my music theme. These books are so difficult to do because of so many classic “Good Night” type books already out there. But it was fun and put me in a peaceful mood. I wrote it all in haiku because it at least forced me to have some kind of format. And oddly enough, it worked! 🙂 For Day 7, I’m not sure what I will write. It is Saturday, so thankfully I have a “day off” from my regular TV writing gig, so maybe I will take my time and see if I can craft something a little bit more solid and less rushed. Let’s see what happens!

And to inspire everyone on our final day… today’s blog is a SPECIAL PRIZE ANNOUNCEMENT! We have TWO MORE PRIZES to give away! This is a shorter blog than the previous ones because it’s the LAST DAY and I figure everyone needs as much time as possible to WRITE! So instead of Q&As, this blog features details and bios of our two final guests who are providing special PRIZES for you guys! 🙂

Our guests today are illustrator SHIRLEY NG-BENITEZ and writer/agent/mentor JODELL SADLER. Shirley has graciously donated an original print and Jodell has offered a FREE WRITING CLASS for our NAPIBOWRIWEE participants (starting July 11, 2016). Please visit my blog on May 8, 2016 (9:00 AM EST/6:00 AM PST) to see who won their prizes!


Meet THE CONFETTI KIDS - a new early emergent reader series from Lee & Low Books, illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez!
Meet THE CONFETTI KIDS – a new early emergent reader series from Lee & Low Books, illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez!

SHIRLEY NG-BENITEZ is the illustrator of our Lee & Low Books “Dive Into Reading” early emergent reader series, featuring THE CONFETTI KIDS. It features several authors, including myself and Gwendolyn Hooks, whom you met earlier this week! For more info on our books, go here:

Meet illustrator Shirley Ng-Benitez!
Meet illustrator Shirley Ng-Benitez!


From her website

“I’m an illustrator working in the children’s market with a focus on children’s books. As a graphic designer and lettering artist and I’ve had the great pleasure working in the design field with wonderful clients in the technology, medical, toy, and publishing industries…you can visit my design site, for more of my work.

“I’m a proud member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Picture Book Artists Association, Pacific Scribes, and Friends of Calligraphy, and I love painting with watercolors, creating mixed media pieces, and also creating digitally on the computer. Living in the Bay Area, nature constantly inspires me, but more inspiring are my kids – they keep me silly and young!”

Shirley is generously offering this original PRINT below of her work to inspire our NAPIBOWRIWEE participants long after our event wraps up this year!!!!!

If you're lucky, you might win this beautiful original print from illustrator Shilrey Ng-Benitez!
If you’re lucky, you might win this beautiful original print from illustrator Shirley Ng-Benitez!


And for our final guest… please meet JODELL SADLER! She has generously offered a PICTURE BOOK WRITING CLASS that she teaches for one of our lucky participants!

NOTE: Jodell’s writing class starts JULY 11, 2016. You MUST be available for that.

Meet author and agent and mentor JODELL STADLER!
Meet author and agent and mentor JODELL SADLER!


Jodell Sadler, founding agent of Sadler Children’s Literary, owner of KidLit College and Pacing Picture Books to WOW earned her MFA in Writing for Children & YA from Hamline University in 2009 and jumped into agenting in November 2012. She hosts workshops and presents on pacing with Writer’s Digest, is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and remains passionate about helping writers get published.


“I would love to invite one writer into our Regular 4-week Pacing Picture Books to WOW class, which starts JULY 11, 2016, FREE.” 

Pacing Picture Books to WOW:

KidLit College closed group:

Pacing Picture Book to WOW Class: This course shares four online webinar in a series that shares the 10 Ps of pace-writing, and 20+ tools that will allow you to see new ways to move your writing. Plus, we host weekly critique-a-thons to help you activate your pacing! Sign up & really hone it! Writers struggle and cringe at just how challenging it is to hone their text down to the bones of a good story…but not anymore! This intensive shows writers how to move themselves to move stories and readers. Concrete examples will be shared and participants will discover how 20 ordinary tools will create extraordinary magic in picture (as well as middle grade, and YA) books. Attendees will walk away with oodles of editing options and a renewed excitement for just how fun crafting a story can be.


Here’s what writers have to say about Jodell’s Pacing to WOW! material:

“Your Pacing Picture Books material is the best read I have come across in years in regards to picture books.  I am grateful for your incredible talent on writing ‘Pacing Picture Books’. It’s helping me focus on the essentials of how to create good picture book. I am so happy that you give great examples in every section of your work. These concrete examples help me visualize what you are saying. Thank you.” — Lily Erlic,

“Jodell Sadler’s workshop on Pacing Picture Books & Write Your Heart Into It was very comprehensive. She covered an incredible amount of material in a very short time. I wish I the same workshop could have been spread over two days, so we would have had the time to work even more on our own manuscripts using the tools she mentioned. I learned so much even after the workshop, re-reading and studying the picture books she used for examples. I would certainly purchase a book by her containing this information. My thanks to the SCBWI for bringing Jodell to the conference and my thanks to Jodell for such an enthusiastic, eye-opening, and informative workshop.” — Dayne Sislen.

“I found Jodell’s Pacing Picture Books to WOw session to be tremendously valuable! I was so gripped by her every morsel of information! The 20 tools were like a box of the best chocolate. Once you have these examples, you don’t want Hershey’s ever again. I wished there had been an extra hour for discussion and exploring the examples. I would wait in line to attend another seminar with Jodell. I actually went right home and write a sing-dingy picture book manuscript using her suggestions because I was so motivated and inspired by her.” — Donna Warwick.


Well, it’s that time… time to WRITE. You’ve got 24 hours left! Remember – NAPIBOWRIWEE ENDS AT 11:59 PM ON MAY 7TH IN YOUR TIME ZONE!

Good luck, my NAPIBOWRIWEE Writing Warriors!

I will post the contest results on May 8th at 9 AM EST/6 AM PST. I will then contact the winners by email to make arrangements. Please stay tuned for that.

Until our May 8th contest blog… HAPPY WRITING! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! 🙂


  1. Paula,
    NaPiBoWriWe has been a great kick in the pants for me to sit down and get new ideas fleshed out from beginning to end. I just finished my final ms this morning (lucky number 7) and am excited to start revision Monday morning. Thank you for making this past week so fun and invigorating. You rock!

    Thank you Shirley and Jodell for sharing a little insight into your realm of the kidlit community.

    Best of luck to you all!
    #justkeepwriting #justkeepwriting

    Traci Bold

  2. Thank you Paula for an inspirational week. And thank you Shirley and Jodell for offering such great prizes.

  3. Thank you Paula for this NaPiBoWriWee Challenge . It helped me be focus on my writings and taking serious writing as a career! Thank you Shirley and Jodell for your generous offers and tips.
    Happy Mother’s Day week-end!
    Best wishes to all,

  4. This has been a GREAT week for me! I have four drafts done – and plan to do AT LEAST one more yet today (I have twelve hours). May not meet the goal of 7, but it is more than I had before – and it was a great experience for me to focus like that.

    And this class? Sounds AMAZING. May have to save my pennies for it if I don’t win.

    Thanks, Paula!

  5. I cannot thank you all enough for providing some much needed motivation! I am proud to say I have completed the challenge and feel more prepared than ever to become a published children’s author 🙂

  6. I’m living within the spirit of the challenge if not exactly within letter of the law. I have seven stories started (like the alliteration?). All have themes, characters, locations and – I think – voice. I did the themes first, next the locations and then the characters. Will pull them altogether today; my mind works in strange ways. 😀 Thank you for the opportunity, the challenge and the brain-stirring. Cheers, BJ

  7. Thanks to Jodell and Shirley for offering these giveaways. Unfortunately, summer will be hectic for me so I won’t take part in the class giveaway. Oh well!

    Big thanks to Paula! I love that you do this challenge every year and keep the challenge fun and fresh. I got a lot out of it, as usual. See you next year!

  8. What a fabulous week!
    Thank you, Paula, for providing the kick-in-the-behind I needed to stop THINKING and start WRITING.
    I will be forever grateful 🙂

  9. Paula, Thanks for nudging me to write more first drafts. I enjoy your sense of humor and cat pictures (and I’m a dog person).

    Shirley, I like the tiny details in your artwork.

    Jodell, I would love to win your 4 week class. I’m sure the 20 tools would take my writing to the next level.

  10. Thank you Paula, Jodell and Shirley. It’s been an interesting week and I loved it. Back to writing to make sure I get my seventh done.

  11. Thank you, Paula, for another amazing NaPiBoWriWee!! I really look forward to taking some of my ideas that I came up with during PiBoIdMo and turning them into rough drafts during NaPiBoWriWee!

    And thank you Shirley and Jodell for offering such terrific prizes.

  12. Thank you Shirley and Jodell for the wonderful prizes offered. And thank you Paula for my first NaPiBoWriWee – five and a half drafts down and still four hours until midnight! What a great week for turning vague ideas into bankable manuscripts ready for revising. I need this kind of inspiration and I’ve loved reading about everyone’s journeys. Looking forward to next year’s already, although I’m tempted to do this for the first week of every month 🙂

  13. It’s people you who gives us the extra push. Thank you for the BIG push and to wake us up from the writing hibernation. Cheers to the writers and illustrators who donated their energy and time in the special features.
    Many thanks, Paula Yoo for hosting another great year. Cheers to you!

  14. Paula and guests! Thanks for making this a great week! I really pushed myself and I can now review the manuscripts to see what I think (at least I will give myself a day or two and revisit them).
    Great inspiration this week!

  15. Thanks so much, Paula! And thanks to Shirley and Jodell for offering these great prizes! I know first hand that the course is amazing, a truly wonderful prize.
    By the end of today, I will have completed 7 drafts, at least one or two of which hold revision potential and one that will never see the light of day. Thanks again for a great kick to get the BIC! 🙂

  16. What a super fun post. I’ve followed Shirley for some time now and love her work. It’s so filled with heart and love – perfect for children. I’ve heard of Jodee before but didn’t know much about her, so I appreciated this post very much! All of the blog posts this week have been wonderful and inspiring. Thank you for all of your time dedicated to this special week to ensure we were motivated, educated and encouraged along the way! I’m already looking forward to next year. 🙂


  17. Shirley, your illustration is adorable! Jodell’s class sounds amazing! Paula, please add me to Jodell’s class drawing if it isn’t too late! And thank you Paula for the motivation and encouragement this week. It felt so great to just write each day and not worry about revisions for a little while. I was able to complete my 7 drafts today and feel like 2-3 will see the light of revision. The others, maybe not. Thanks again!

  18. What an interesting week…thanks Shirley and Jodell for this final blog! It’s just the final inspiration I need to finish today! I’m actually starting to fantasize about soaking in a hot bath with candles and wine, and resting my poor fingers (even though I’m sure I’m typing 100 words per minute now!). I’m confident my eye sight will return in a few days!!

    …just in time for me to re-read the 7 manuscripts I worked so hard on this week!
    Thanks for the memories!!

  19. Paula’s Comment as of 5/7/16 at 2 PM: Thanks again everyone for all your kind comments! Appreciate it! 🙂 Glad this was a good “kick in the pants” as one writer put it for motivation everyone to write every day! 🙂 Super excited to hear that everyone is happy with their progress, no matter how many books they finished. Yay! Thanks again to awesome Shirley and Jodell for offering these wonderful prizes for our participants. Stay tuned for the contest blog being posted tomorrow May 8 at 9 AM EST/6 AM PST! Me off to finally get some writing done… Wish me luck, too!

  20. Thank you, Paula, for organizing this week! I have been inspired and encouraged by you and all of the guests to keep persevering in writing! It has been fun!

  21. I am so excited, sleepy and exhilarated with all the writing, THANK YOU PAULAfor this tremendous opportunity to test my self, write more, explore the community, discover how energizing is to get inspiration from any trivial or funny situation!
    Thank you Shirley and Jodell for giving us the chance to know you. I feel really wonderful having made so many friends feeling so close to the writing community than ever before, i do mean it! I have my 7 rough drafts to work with, get more inspiration, add or cut! NaPiBoWriWee is my lucky charm! Be always happy and busy writing! That’s the beauty of books!
    Greetings to all participants from Greece,

  22. Thank you so much to you Paula, and all of the contributing guests this week! It’s been an intense, rewarding week. I feel so motivated, and supported by this fabulous community of storytellers. My new wish is for my laptop to make fun tappity-tappity, clickity-click sounds as in the sweet illustration above!

  23. SHIRLEY: I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the illustration you generously donated! SO ADORABLE!!! (I’m keeping my fingers AND toes crossed!!!!). I LOVE your work! THANK YOU!

    JODELL: Your workshop sounds AMAZING! As someone who writes and writes and writes, I could definitely use the guidance of how “to hone . . . text down to the bones of a good story.” THANK YOU for offering such AMAZING wisdom!

    TO EVERYBODY: HAPPY WRITING! It has been a WONDERFUL week, pushing me out of my comfort zone and in front of my computer. I was sick and couldn’t quite make the 7 books, but as of right now I have FOUR books I didn’t have at this time last week (and there’s still time to write before the deadline, so I might end up with FIVE!!!!)! That I wrote at all — that I stared my dream in the face and said “LET’S DO THIS, ALREADY!!! — that is what this week has been about for me, it is what this week has given me in return for my hard work. PAULA: THANK YOU for this GREAT PUSH! I am going to keep at it — one day at a time, one letter at a time. I will be back next year, ready to roll my sleeves up and get to work! THANK YOU!!!

  24. Wow is all I can say for the week of writing, stack of drafts done, such wonderful inspiration from your blog, & the vhance at the glittering array of prizes! I already can’t wait until next year! 🙂

  25. What generous prizes! Paula, I so appreciate this week-long kick-in-the-pants to write a draft everyday. And I did it! I feel like the tailor in Seven at One Blow! I better be careful how much boasting I do or I might have a bigger challenge on my hands!

  26. It has been my busiest day today….but made it through. My many thanks to Paula. Have to say it again and again, this week is the biggest motivation I have all year.

    Thank you,

  27. Thanks Paula. This week was a bit of a whirlwind, but happy I got 7 drafts down and a few other ideas waiting to be drafted. Congrats to all participants and guests.

  28. The end of #napibowriwee is always a bit bittersweet for me, as a part-time writer I am excited to have this week to really write and explore. But now that it’s over I need to dig my nails in and start to revise and rewrite. Thank you all for your encouragement and support. This really is my favourite week of the year (shhh! Don’t tell my wife).
    Looks like I’m only getting 6 books this year, it’s 20:15 and I’m still over an hour away from home and am being held hostage in Michaels (a craft shoppe) by my wife. So no writing for me today ?

  29. Thanks Paula for hosting this event. I signed up thinking it would be nice to do but probably wouldn’t do it. But I have and I have got many other ideas ready and waiting for my next self guided and self motivated NaPiBoWriWee frenzy in the not so distant future. Now to slow the pace down for a bit and revise, critique, pitch and submit (not so much fun as writing)

  30. What wonderful prizes! I am so thrilled that I participated in this. I have written six manuscripts so far and three of them seem like they could really turn into something! So excited to get started on revisions!

  31. Great week! Your encouraging posts got me out of a funk & back into writing new PBs. I even wrote two in my phone while waiting in a doctor’s office (for two hours!). Thank you so much!

  32. Paula . . . for day 6, I also wrote a good-night book in haikus!!! NaPiBoWriWee synergy at its finest? Thanks to you, thanks to every single fabulous guest, and thanks to all of us for sharing in NaPiBoWriWee together. This week is testimony to the advice, “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” ― Jodi Picoult
    Thanks for helping us put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. I may not like much of what’s on my pages, but I have a lot more to work with than I did back on April 30, and good advice to lead me through revisions. I wish I were able to enter the drawing for the class, but I’ll be out of town :-(. It’s great to learn about it, though, and add to my wish list for the future :-).

  33. What an invigorating week! I wrote ms #7 this morning. I’m going to have to look into these “good night” books; that term is new to me.
    Thank you, Paula, for your encouragement all week. I love reading about how others work on their writing, whether it’s been you or the interviewees.
    Thank you Shirley and Jodell for your generous prizes!
    I want to keep going!!

  34. Thanks for the wonderful prizes! And thanks, Paula, for this motivational challenge. I finished 5 stories–fewer than I had hoped, but not bad for my first time around. I can’t wait to try again next year! Thanks, too, to the members of this group for your support and inspiration. Happy writing, everyone!

  35. Thank you so much for all your hard work, Paula. This was EXACTLY what I needed! It was a hectic week, and I probably wouldn’t have carved out tons of writing time without the motivation of NaPiBoWriWee. I’m so excited to have 7 new drafts written, and can’t wait to see where they lead! xoxo

    Thank you so much for donating generous prizes, Shirley and Jodell. They both look amazing! 🙂

  36. Thank you so much Paula for this wonderful opportunity to MAKE MYSELF (how ridiculous really, that it has to be a designated week- procrastinator plus, present) write everyday! I’m off to write an Alphabet book on time/time pieces. A is for analog…. Thank you guests, both prizes would be wonderful to win.
    Happy Mother’s Day to all NaPiBoWriWee participants and guests who are Mum’s- what a great present you’ve just given yourself!

  37. Paula, I was feeling ho-hum about trying this challenge…but I’m so glad I did! It’s been pure inspiration. I can’t believe it worked! Thanks so much for providing this writing kick-start. It’s been a blast. I’ll just add a glowing recommendation for KidLit College courses. Jodell brings in so many fantastic industry professionals to share their expertise–in a way that you’ll rarely find elsewhere. KidLit College classes are affordable and almost always have a critique option, where you can submit a manuscript to a top-notch editor, agent, or author. Go take a class. It’s a writer’s gold mine!

  38. What an incredible week of writing..I am incredibly grateful to Paula for this incredible opportunity to join in on NaPiBoWriWee and for the honor of being one of your guests. I have pushed myself tremendously this week and am so incredibly excited to move forward with my seven drafts. These last two days were quite challenging and as of almost 3am (I’m a little late and missed the deadline), I can say that I’ve got some work to move forward with that at least it’s on paper and I can start making major revisions to. It’s wayyy more than I ever thought I could do and so thank you so much to all of you, the wonderful community and the incredible guests and for Paula’s heartfelt and motivating words of wisdom this week. I’ll be visiting often to re-read these posts. Thank you SO much, everyone, for your lovely comments about my’s really wonderful to “meet” you creative and motivated souls, and I thank you so much. Thank you also to my wonderful friends here (you know who you are) as I am so supportive of your work in return!

    Jodell, thank you for your generosity and the opportunity to possibly win a chance at your course!

    Cheers to everyone! Wishing you all the best post NaPiBoWriWee..I can’t wait to hear all about your journeys and accomplishments! Thanks again so very much, Paula!!

  39. Thanks for the inspiration of NaPiBoWriWee, Paula! This was the first year that I did not complete seven drafts, but I am happy to have two additional drafts. 🙂 Have a great year of writing!

  40. Hugs everyone, I am catching up on comments and wish I had time to respond to everyone individually but my work schedule makes it hard. But I read everyone’s comments and am so happy you guys got so much out of this week. As for those of you who wrote about how you were surprised by how much MORE work you actually accomplished than you original anticipated due to either feeling a little scared/intimidated or not sure you could even truly participate due to your busy schedules, I’m so glad that you got way more done than you thought! YAY! This is again another fun outcome of this event – no matter how busy we are etc., you just NEVER know how much writing you might get done if you don’t at least try! I’m so proud of everyone! Sniff, gonna miss everyone until next year! xoxoxox Paula