In the spirit of National Novel Writing Month ("NaNoWriMo") where people across the country try to write a complete novel in one month, the fine folks at www.paulayoo.com have decided to start the first ever National Picture Book Writing Week, affectionately nicknamed "NaPiBoWriWee."
The goal? To write 7 picture books in 7 days.
All NaPiBoWriWee participants should register on my website (http://paulayoo.com/) and comment on my blogs every day with your own progress.
For those of you who participate in the first annual NaPiBoWriWee, I will select a winner at random on the 7th day - that winner will receive an autographed copy of my latest picture book, "SHINING STAR: THE ANNA MAY WONG STORY" (Lee & Low Books, 2009).
(For more info on the book, go here: http://www.leeandlow.com/books/368/hc/shining_star_the_anna_may_wong_story)
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.
Caveat: This is NOT to say 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 plot line, 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!I will be posting a blog every day for seven days with picture book writing tips and encouragement and updates on my own progress, plus links to The Three Silly Chicks (http://threesillychicks.blogspot.com/) who will also be providing similar helpful blog tips.
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 - http://paulayoo.com/.
And 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!
For more info, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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. Please register on http://paulayoo.com/ in order to write comments on Paula's blog every day with your progress and questions.
8. If you plan to blog about your NaPiBoWriWee journey, please include a link to: http://paulayoo.com/
9. A winner will be chosen from random of all the people who comment from May 1-7 on http://paulayoo.com/. That winner will receive an autographed copy of Paula Yoo's latest picture book biography, "SHINING STAR: THE ANNA MAY WONG STORY" (Lee & Low Books 2009) by June 2009 when the book is released.
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!Good luck and I look forward to writing 7 picture books in 7 days with everyone!
This sounds like a crazy challenge, and I am all out of sorts this week, but something is telling me I should do this! How about you? Want to give it a try?