National Picture Book Writing Week Starts May 1st!

7 Picture Books in 7 Days!
May 1-7, 2011

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 have decided to start National Picture Book Writing Week, affectionately nicknamed “NaPiBoWriWee.”

The goal? To write 7 picture books in 7 days.

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.

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. Outlines are acceptable. First draft writing is NOT. Do NOT write your books before May 1st – only brainstorming, taking notes, and outlining are allowed.

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. If you plan to blog about your NaPiBoWriWee journey, please include a link to:

8. Please comment on the soon-to-debut NaPiBoWriWee WordPress blog or email Paula at paula at paulayoo dot com and she will include your name in the prize drawing. Several winners will be chosen from random. Winners will receive an autographed copy of Paula’s books “SHINING STAR: THE ANNA MAY WONG STORY” (Lee & Low Books 2009)  and “SIXTEEN YEARS IN SIXTEEN SECONDS: THE SAMMY LEE STORY” (Lee & Low ’05), along with items from the NapiBoWriWee Store and a couple of surprise autographed book prizes from special guest authors!

9. Please do NOT send Paula your manuscripts. This is NOT a writing contest. Think of NaPiBoWriWee as a writing support group where we can cheer each other on!

10. For those of you attending the national Society of Children Book Writers & Illustrators ( conference in August, let Paula know and she’ll arrange for an informal gathering during the conference so you can meet in person and celebrate NaPiBoWriWee!

Are any of my writing chums participating? If you are, do you know what ideas you’ll be working with yet? NaPiBoWriWee is coming soon! Hope you’re ready.

Good luck!

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11 thoughts on “National Picture Book Writing Week Starts May 1st!

  1. Wonderful idea. This is so worthwhile, and if I were not in the middle of a virtual tour and putting the finishing touches on a manuscript that needed to be finished yesterday…

  2. I think I could spit out 7 roughdrafts. I’ve had several churning in my mind, but I’m writing 2 bfull length novels and marketing a new picture book. I haven’t got the time, but I’ll blog about it.
    J. Aday Kennedy
    The Differently-Abled Writer & Speaker
    Children’s Author of Stella the Fire Farting Dragon (April 2010)

  3. What a great and fun idea! I’m excited to participate in this challenge and learn and grow in the picture book arena. Thanks for this great opportunity.
    C.K. Volnek

  4. Pingback: National Picture Book Writing Week Starts May 1st! « The … | Children Picture Book

  5. Good luck to all who participate and thanks for spreading the news. Mayra, I don’t know how I’m going to do it either. We’ll see what happens.

    Thanks for the comments everyone!

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