Happy Friday, friends! Perhaps some of you have seen that this week (May 1-7) began NaPiBoWriWee, or National Picture Book Writing Week. Author Paula Yoo started NaPiBoWriWee back in 2009 to celebrate the release of her picture book Shining Star:
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.
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!
Now, 5 years later, aspiring picture book authors from all over the world participate by writing furiously for a whole week and sharing inspiration. Happy 5-year anniversary to NaPiBoWriWee! If you’re an aspiring picture book author participating this year (or thinking about participating) here’s some advice from around the web by authors and editors to help you get started:
Official 2013 NaPiBoWriWee 2013 FAQs, by Paula Yoo
Invisible Playmates: Pre-Writing, by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Breaking the Storytelling Mold, by Laura Backes
Twenty Tips for Writing Picture Books, by Pat Mora
The Voice that Speaks Best, by Elaine Marie Alphin
500+ Things That Kids Like, by Tara Lazar
Is it a story? Knowing When Your Manuscript Is Ready, by the Lee & Low editors
and, finally, when it is ready:
The Submission Process: A Demystification, by the Lee & Low Editors
Good luck, and please do let us know how you’re faring! If you have any additional resources, leave ’em in the comments below and we’ll add them to the list.