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NaPiBoWriWee

April 1, 2014

30 Day Countdown to 2014 NAPIBOWRIWEE & FAQs!

Filed under: NaPiBoWriWee — paulayoo @ 6:00 am
The next NAPIBOWRIWEE will take place May 1-7, 2014

The next NAPIBOWRIWEE will take place May 1-7, 2014

It’s official! We have 30 days until my sixth annual NATIONAL PICTURE BOOK WRITING WEEK (AKA “NaPiBoWriWee”) begins on May 1, 2014!

I started NAPIBOWRIWEE as a fun way to promote my own children’s picture books. I’m so proud and thrilled that this event has gone viral and is a favorite annual event for many veteran published authors as well as aspiring novice writers.

I do have a new children’s picture book being published by LEE & LOW BOOKS this year. It’s called 22 CENTS: THE STORY OF MUHAMMAD YUNUS AND THE VILLAGE BANK (about Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus). I’ll be including some autographed copies of this book as part of the prizes given out at the end of our event. (We have a fun random prize drawing for souvenirs and signed books that everyone is eligible for!)

I’ve posted our official FAQs for our 2014 event in today’s blog.

Also, some quick reminders:

1. NAPIBOWRIWEE will take place May 1-7, 2014.

1. Our NaPiBoWriWee Store is open so you can purchase your souvenirs! Journals, coffee and travel mugs, T-shirts and tote bags galore! Go here: http://www.cafepress.com/paulayoonapibowriweeclassic

2. You are allowed to brainstorm ideas, outline them, research and take notes. But NO WRITING. You will write and FINISH your picture book first drafts from May 1-7, 2014.

3. From May 1 to May 7, 2014, I will post daily inspirational blogs and Q&As with special guest authors and industry folks. This year’s theme will focus on multicultural children’s literature (although your picture book drafts do NOT have to be multicultural, I want to explore this important topic for this year’s event).

4. Follow me on Twitter @paulayoo for further updates.

Please keep reading after the jump for this year’s official 2014 NAPIBOWRIWEE FAQs on how to participate in our event…

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March 3, 2014

2014 NaPiBoWriWee Souvenir Store Now OPEN!

The next NAPIBOWRIWEE will take place May 1-7, 2014

The next NAPIBOWRIWEE will take place May 1-7, 2014

I’m excited to announce that our official 2014 National Picture Book Writing Week Souvenir Store is now open! So now you can get your new 2014 souvenirs to inspire you for the big event which takes place this May 1-7, 2014.

The link is here: http://www.cafepress.com/paulayoonapibowriweeclassic

Our store features T-shirts…

New 2014 NaPiBoWriWee T-shirts!

New 2014 NaPiBoWriWee T-shirts!

… coffee mugs, travel mugs, tote bags…

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… and journals and beach bags!

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Our new NAPIBOWRIWEE logo was designed by the awesome designer Sandy Tanaka.

Stay tuned for more blogs before our event starts May 1-7, 2014. For the latest updates and announcements, please follow me on Twitter @paulayoo. (For those of you not familiar with NAPIBOWRIWEE, here’s a blog from last year explaining what it’s about: http://paulayoo.com/napi/?p=651

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Until the next NAPIBOWRIWEE blog, remember – Happy Writing! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! :)

December 1, 2013

Happy Holidays 2013! Our NaPiBoWriWee Store Is Now Open For All Your Gift Shopping Needs!

Filed under: NaPiBoWriWee — paulayoo @ 4:48 pm
The next NAPIBOWRIWEE will take place May 1-7, 2014

The next NAPIBOWRIWEE will take place May 1-7, 2014

Happy Holidays! Can you believe it’s already December 2013?

As a reminder, for those of you looking for that perfect Christmas stocking stuffer or a Happy Holidays gift for your favorite writer, please check out our NAPIBOWRIWEE 2013 STORE which features tons of great gift ideas! We have coffee mugs, travel mugs, tote and beach bags, journals, and of course, T-shirts!

Please go to this link for all your holiday shopping needs! :)

http://www.cafepress.com/napibowriwee2013

Stay tuned for more blogs in 2014 as we gear up for our annual National Picture Book Writing Week event which will take place May 1-7, 2014! For more info on this event, check out all my blogs here: http://paulayoo.com/napi

Happy Holidays and as always, Happy Writing! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! :)

May 31, 2013

Stay Tuned for 2014 NAPIBOWRIWEE – May 1-7, 2014!

The next NAPIBOWRIWEE will take place May 1-7, 2014

The next NAPIBOWRIWEE will take place May 1-7, 2014

Hi! Please mark your calendars… the 6th annual NATIONAL PICTURE BOOK WRITING WEEK (AKA “NaPiBoWriWee”) will take place May 1-7, 2014.

For the past five years, NAPIBOWRIWEE has celebrated the art and craft of writing picture books by challenging writers to attempt to write 7 picture books in 7 days. We feature fun Q&A blogs with guest authors plus lots of fun prizes and souvenirs. The goal of NAPIBOWRIWEE is to encourage writers to fight procrastination by trying to write AND finish a first draft of a picture book every single day for seven straight days. You are allowed to brainstorm, research, and outline your picture books all year-long until May 1st, when you are to write full drafts of each picture book through May 7th.

For more information and FAQs, please visit these blog links:

http://paulayoo.com/napi/?p=474

and

http://paulayoo.com/napi/?p=543

In addition, we have souvenirs available at our NAPIBOWRIWEE 2013 store, including coffee mugs & travel mugs, journals, T-shirts, and tote/beach bags! Please visit our store here:

http://www.cafepress.com/napibowriwee2013

We will debut a NEW store for 2014 in early Spring 2014, so please stay tuned for that.

You can also read the archives here with previous event Q&As with guest authors and craft writing advice:

http://paulayoo.com/napi/

I will post blogs about 2014 NAPIBOWRIWEE in early 2014. Until then, you can follow me on Twitter @paulayoo and also read my REGULAR blog here: http://paulayoo.com/blog

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Until the next NAPIBOWRIWEE…  as always… HAPPY WRITING! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! :)

 

 

May 15, 2013

NAPIBOWRIWEE 2013: Extra Contest Winners Announced & Final Wrap-Up!

NAPlogoFBHi! Welcome to our final official NAPIBOWRIWEE 2013 blog. This is an extra blog to announce the winners of a special EXTRA contest we held last week with author JULIE HEDLUND (link here: http://paulayoo.com/napi/?p=613)

(Keep reading after the jump to find out who won!)

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May 8, 2013

NAPIBOWRIWEE 2013: Day 8 – Guest Blogger Julie Hedlund, Wrap-Up Thoughts, & Contest Winners Announced!

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Welcome to Day 8 of our fifth annual 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE (National Picture Book Writing Week) where we attempt to write 100 picture books in 100 days. It’s only Day 8 out of 100 days. I hope you are pacing yourself. Burn-out and fatigue usually happens around Day 32 and…

HAHAHAHA! LOL! :) I AM JUST KIDDING! DID I SCARE YOU? :P :)

Seriously… NAPIBOWRIWEE 2013 is OVER. Done. History! We all survived! Some of us managed to cobble out 7 picture book first drafts in 7 straight days. Some of these manuscripts are inspired diamonds in the rough that promise to become polished revised final drafts ready for potential submission and even publication. Other drafts might be a bit more, um, questionable. And yes, there are at least one or two clunkers in the bunch that we will cringe at and stick in the bottom drawer of our desks, never to be seen again.

BUT… the whole point of this writing exercise was how to learn and train your brain to WRITE A STORY EVERY SINGLE DAY. A story with a hopefully interesting character and compelling storyline with a beginning, middle, and end and lots of conflict in which our characters conquered with clever and creative solutions.

(NOTE: This is a super long blog chock full of fun surprises, so please bear with me… thanks for your patience and reading through this super duper long blog!)

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Today’s blog will feature my Day 7 Experience, wrap-up thoughts, a final guest author blog with writer JULIE HEDLUND, and the announcement of our 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE contest winners. Julie addresses the alternatives to traditional publishing for our theme of The Future of the Picture Book. She tells us about her success with storybook apps and digital publishing. It’s absolutely fascinating. Even if you are still interested in traditional publishing, Julie’s blog is a refreshing take and point of view of the Brave New World of Digital Publishing that we should all be aware of. :)  Her blog fits this year’s theme of “The Future of the Picture Book” to a T! :)

SPECIAL NOTE: Julie Hedlund is also offering two copies of her story book app called A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS. Link on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id601767840?mt=8) It is the first in a trilogy coming out this year from Little Bahalia Publishing (http://littlebahalia.com/). The second app, A SHIVER OF SHARKS, will be out at the end of May.

Julie’s prize is an EXTRA CONTEST PRIZE. Because you MUST own an iPAD (or mini iPAD), this is a special prize for you. The rules for Julie’s prize? Please write a comment on this blog specifying that you would like to be considered for this prize BEFORE May 15th. Julie will then choose two winners. The two winners will receive her storybook app as a gift through iTunes. I will post a blog announcing the Julie Hedlund winners on Wednesday May 15th (by 6 AM PST).

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MY DAY SEVEN EXPERIENCEWho knew what a rough 7 days this would be? I was juggling TV staffing season meetings, maintaining and updating these website blogs, writing my own 7 books, and dealing with an emergency roof leak on Day 6. Yet another memorable NAPIBOWRIWEE! LOL! (BTW thanks everyone for your kind words re: our emergency roof leak. Thankfully it was a quick and not too expensive fix. But New Roof 2.0 looms in the near future! LOL!) For my Book 7, I decided to finally write a rough draft of some research I had done on another historical figure. This historical person was one I had been wanting to write a picture book biography of for a few years but never got around to it. So I wrote a very rough draft. The writing wasn’t too hard only because I have read like four books on this historical person and have a bunch of notes already in my computer files. But in writing it in picture book prose form, I started thinking this might sparkle more as a potential middle grade historical novel in verse. I got carried away and started thinking about chapter ideas and topics for narrative poems. The result? I have a rough draft of a picture book prose biography that will now serve as a template for me to use later IF I decide to go with the novel-in-verse idea. So all in all, I’d say this year’s NAPIBOWRIWEE was successful for me. I haven’t always been able to write 7 picture books in 7 days every year, especially recently. So I was happy that I DID achieve my goal this year – 7 for 7! YAY!  :)

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NOW WHAT? WHAT’S NEXT? For those of you who are wondering what to do now that NAPIBOWRIWEE 2013 is over, here’s another suggestion. Obviously you will revise your NAPIBOWRIWEE drafts to perfection. You will then have to get a second opinion. I know many of you have trusted friends, writing class teachers/students, and critique groups who help you with their critiques. But if you are interested in professional critiques, I highly recommend the amazing editor AMY LIN who runs one of the best professional editorial critique services in the kid lit world. Her website is here: http://www.editomato.com

I also recommend joining the SOCIETY OF CHILDREN BOOK WRITERS & ILLUSTRATORS (http://scbwi.org) if you haven’t already. They have great resources, including a PDF file for members only of all the professional freelance editorial services out there in case you want to pursue professional editorial critiques for your work as well.

Finally, you can always find a fun souvenir at our 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE Cafe Press Store, featuring special notebooks, mugs, travel mugs, bags, and T-shirts! Link here: http://www.cafepress.com/napibowriwee2013

(Please keep reading after the jump for our Q&A with JULIE HEDLUND plus a list of our CONTEST WINNERS who will receive special autographed books and store souvenirs! And if you would like to be considered for Julie’s special iPAD app contest, please indicate so in a comment to this blog. Winners for Julie’s prize will be announced on May 15, 2013. Thanks!)

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May 7, 2013

NAPIBOWRIWEE 2013: Day 7 – Guest Blogger Erin Eitter Kono! (May 7, 2013)

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Welcome to DAY SEVEN of our 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE event where we are ALMOST DONE writing 7 picture books in 7 days! For the past six days, we have somehow managed to write and finish six picture book drafts. And some of us may be behind – some folks have only written one book, or some folks have maybe gotten a few drafts under their belt. But guess what? You folks ROCK, too! Because you are fighting to write every single day no matter what! So give yourself a pat on the back for not throwing in the towel! :)

(For those of you who just happened to stop by and have no idea what’s going on, check out the official 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE FAQs here to get caught up on on all the action! http://paulayoo.com/napi/?p=474)

I just want to say how proud I am of everyone’s efforts. It’s been so much fun to reunite with NaPiBoWriWee alumni (from the Classes of 2009 to 2012) and to meet NEW NaPiBoWriWee participants from the Class of 2013! I have enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and thoughts and had a blast getting to know everyone.

You can also find some souvenirs at our store: http://www.cafepress.com/napibowriwee2013 And don’t forget to come back tomorrow when I will post a follow-up blog after NAPIBOWRIWEE ends with some post-game thoughts and a list of the winners from our 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE contest drawing. :)

And now, my update on my Day Six which was a DOOZY of a day…

MY DAY SIX EXPERIENCELet’s just say Day Six could be summed up as “PAULA AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY.” LOL! (And if you’re not familiar with the classic Judith Viorst picture book that I’m referencing, check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Alexander-Terrible-Horrible-Good-Very/dp/0689711735)

Basically, it rained in Los Angeles last night. And we have been postponing re-roofing our house because well, it costs a lot of money. We’ve had problems with one leak in our house for the past few years, so we have used temporary patches until we saved up enough for a full re-roofing.

Well, I think we’ve hit the last of the temporary patch solutions. Our hallway was FLOODED! It leaked ALL NIGHT. I had to keep putting down towels on the floor and empty out pots and pans every half hour from midnight until 5 AM. I couldn’t go to bed, it was that bad of a leak. :( (Picture below…)

leakyroof

AUGGGGGHHHH. I had about 90 minutes of sleep and then had to stay up from 7 AM onwards for the roof repair guys to do one final temporary patch on our roof! But the good news – they fixed the leak! We’re safe from leaks for a few months, but hello new Roof 2.0 later this year. LOL! :)

I was REALLY TEMPTED to write a picture book about a leaking roof and other home ownership troubles. How about a picture book on refinancing? LOL!

And then a line popped into my head about a mouse living in a house with a leaky roof. And then I wondered about a fish dealing with a leak in his castle. And so on… And voila… Book No. 6! It was just a fun exercise in writing another picture book poem. Again, I look at my “7 Picture Books in 7 Days” as a way to sharpen my brainstorming skills. A lot of the drafts I written over the past five years will never become published books, but they have been fantastic writing exercises that have led to OTHER ideas that turn into real submissions. And honestly, this was such a cute poem. I am trying to become a better poet, so writing more poetry is a great exercise to improve in the craft of poetry writing. :)

I then took my very very VERY rough poem and laid it out in a “dummy” book form as I had suggested in my Day 6 Blog.

I look forward to your comments on Day 7! :)

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So ready for our final day? We’ve still got another 24 hours left. So here’s our last guest author/artist Q&A blog about The Future of the Picture Book with author/illustrator ERIN EITTER KONO (http://www.eekono-illustration.com). Please comment on today’s blogs with your thoughts about Erin’s Q&A and/or giving us an update on your progress on our final day together! :)

And remember – our contest winners and a final Q&A author blog with writer JULIE HEDLUND (http://www.juliehedlund.com) will be posted by 6 AM PST on May 8th.

(Keep reading after the jump for our interview with Erin Eitter Kono!)

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May 6, 2013

NAPIBOWRIWEE 2013: Day 6 – Guest Blogger Tania McCartney! (May 6, 2013)

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Welcome to DAY SIX of NAPIBOWRIWEE! It’s National Picture Book Writing Week, blah blah blah, we’re trying to write 7 picture books in 7 days, etc. etc. Oh go here for all the FAQs: http://paulayoo.com/napi/?p=474

Sorry. Do I sound cranky or grumpy? LOL! :) :P I’m just SUPER TIRED. I think I have had maybe three hours sleep in the past five days. How is everyone else doing?

The strange thing is that despite the lack of sleep, I’m still having fun. :) I’m excited that I MIGHT have 7 drafts done by the final day. Who knows if ANY of these drafts will end up becoming a submission-ready picture book for my book agent, but at least I’ve got some pages to work with! It’s better than NOTHING. Which again is the WHOLE POINT of this event – it’s to encourage us all to KEEP WRITING and to actually FINISH DRAFTS. :)

For fun, I would suggest everyone who is a writer to try and create a picture book dummy for Day Six. See if you can write your Book No. 6 as a picture book dummy. It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw at all. Stick figures are fine. But see if you can create a picture book dummy. This might be a fun and fresh way to write your latest draft.

For more info on how to create a picture book dummy, go here:

http://taralazar.com/2009/02/22/picture-book-construction-know-your-layout/

I also recommend this link as well:

http://taralazar.com/tag/how-to-make-a-picture-book-dummy-in-9-easy-steps/

(PS. If you already ARE an illustrator/artist and you make picture book dummies all the time, I would suggest you do the opposite. Why not just WRITE a picture book manuscript with NO pictures and no layouts? Try a simple double-spaced Word document of text ONLY. (Which is what us only-writers do anyway.) Keep the word count to 1000 words or less.)

I’m curious to see what everyone comes up with today if you attempt the picture book dummy layout for Day 6! :)

And now some updates on my own progress…

MY DAY FIVE EXPERIENCEI woke up on Sunday and had absolutely NOTHING TO DO. For the first time in several weeks. No book deadlines. No TV meetings to prepare for. So what did I do?

This picture pretty much sums it up…

Sleepy Sunday for me & Oreo! :)

Sleepy Sunday for me & Oreo! :)

Yeah. That’s right. I SLEPT! I SLEPT IN LATE! I DIDN’T WAKE UP UNTIL AFTER 10 AM! HA!

It was like a typical Sunday morning in college when I would sleep until noon and then shuffle over to the cafeteria for food. LOL! :)

But boy did I need that sleep. And you know what? Sometimes we HAVE to sleep in order for our subconscious to gestate all the ideas floating around in our heads. I’m being very serious here. I have learned that over the years. Sometimes, it’s best just to walk away from the computer and take a real nap. Get some serious REM sleep going. Let your subconscious gestate – it’s like putting your laptop to sleep mode. ;) When you wake up, suddenly you might have a solution to a creative writing problem or a brand new idea might pop into your head.

Like the idea that popped into my head when I woke up after 10 AM. Okay, really, I woke up after 11 AM. :P But the thought that popped into my head was an idea for another non-fiction book. I realized no one has done a biography on this person, and realized… this could be a great idea for another LEE & LOW book! So I spent most of Sunday researching this historical figure and putting together a rough outline. Then I had to think about what would be a great opening scene. With children’s picture book biographies, which is my specialty, you usually try to start with an important incident or event that happens in the person’s childhood that is a turning point for him/her, something that inspires them to take those first steps on their journey to becoming an important person who contributes something to our society.

Once I came upon the perfect setting, I started writing. I wrote a very very VERY rough draft with a lot of notes to “get extra details here” etc. I still need to do more research, but by cobbling together this rough draft and finishing it, I realized this could definitely work as a future submission for publishers. But it’s going to take a LONG time to deepen this first draft and take it to the next level. But I was pleased with what I had done so far.

Again, I haven’t had time to respond individually to comments, but I’m reading them all and may write a few comments later this week, so stay tuned. I’m soooooo proud of everyone. You guys are doing a fantastic job. KEEP IT UP! And remember, we’re having a contest where lucky winners will receive autographed books from me and some of our guest authors plus souvenirs from our store (http://www.cafepress.com/napibowriwee2013)! (Winners will be posted on May 8th in a future blog.)

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In the meantime, let’s welcome author TANIA MCCARTNEY (http://www.taniamccartney.com) for Day Six. She will answer our Q&A on The Future of the Picture Book in today’s guest blog. Please comment on her blog today and/or also update us on your progress for Day 6!

(Keep reading after the jump for our guest blog with TANIA MCCARTNEY!)

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May 5, 2013

NAPIBOWRIWEE 2013: Day 5 – Guest Blogger Paul Collins! (May 5, 2013)

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Welcome to DAY FIVE of NAPIBOWRIWEE 2013! By now, I bet you’re wondering why you even signed up for this crazy event where we attempt to write 7 picture books in 7 days. The burn out really kicks in around Day 5. We all see talking animals in our sleep. We can’t help but speak in rhyme every time we pick up the phone. We are starting to hallucinate and think that a picture book about house mortgage payments might actually be a good idea…

LOL! HANG IN THERE! Today is the day that you should treat yourself to something special for having made it to Day 5. Treat yourself to a favorite icy cold drink at your local coffeehouse. Go ahead, buy that guilty pleasure candy bar at the check-out counter at the grocery store. Order a pizza or your favorite food from a nearby restaurant instead of cooking tonight! Or go to your favorite independent bookstore and buy yourself a beautiful picture book! Or just veg out in front of the TV and watch a guilty pleasure show. :)

By giving yourself a little treat or pat on the back, you will have lifted your spirits and refreshed your energy to DIG IN FOR THESE LAST FEW DAYS! I am very proud of everyone and have enjoyed reading your comments. I’m sorry I haven’t had a chance to reply individually to your comments because of my work schedule, but trust me, I’ve read every single one! You guys are amazing!

MY DAY FOUR EXPERIENCEHopefully most of you had Saturday off. That way, you could sleep in and then have the luxury of spending a lazy Saturday working on Picture Book #4.

For me, I did have one last work deadline to finish before I could start Book 4. I had to some line edits for my next picture book that will be published by LEE & LOW BOOKS. (This book is still top secret and under wraps, but I will be able to reveal some details about it soon, so stay tuned.)

Doing line edits on this book was a humbling experience. Every time I think I’ve “nailed” the whole Writing A Picture Book process, my brilliant genius editor offers a revision suggestion or does an amazing cut that takes the book to the next level. I’m this close to banging my head against the wall, wondering, “Why didn’t I come up with that genius idea?” Lesson Learned: You Will Always Learn And Grow As A Writer, No Matter How Many Books You Write (And Hopefully Publish). I was stunned today by my editor’s insights and thoughtful revision cuts and simplifications.

Writing a picture book is like writing a haiku – not one word should be wasted. Every word is a jewel. The simplest text often reveals a rich and deep verbal picture that is enhanced by the artist’s illustrations. I’m honored and privileged to work with my editor whose editorial critiques are helping me become a better writer.

Unfortunately, my genius editor was not around today to help me when I started writing the rough first draft of a new picture book for Day Four of NAPIBOWRIWEE. LOL! :P :) So what I wrote is really, really, REALLY ROUGH.

But now I can apply what my editor taught me when I return to Book No. 4 for revisions. :) And what was Book 4 about? Let’s just say that I posted this picture of one of my three cats (Oreo) lounging around all day on Twitter and it totally inspired a fun little poem. (You can follow Oreo on Twitter @oreothecatyoo).

Oreo lounges around on Caturday! :)

Oreo lounges around on Caturday! :)

The only problem with Book Four? POETRY. IS. HAAAARD!!!!!

So to inspire those of you who are doing poetry picture books, here’s a link to some amazing articles for writers on how to write poetry and picture books acclaimed picture book author and poet HOPE VESTERGAARD (http://hopevestergaard.com). She has done past guest blogs in the past in earlier NAPIBOWRIWEE years, too.

Please go here to check out her articles on how to write poetry and picture books here:

http://hopevestergaard.com/writers/articles/

I especially recommend this one on RHYMES AND MISDEMEANORS:

http://hopevestergaard.com/writers/articles/rhymes-and-misdemeanors/

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In the meantime, to keep us inspired and on our toes, today’s guest blog is with Ford Street publisher and author PAUL COLLINS (http://www.paulcollins.com.au). He is one of TWO Australian authors we are interviewing this year. We have an international contingent of writers who participate every year in NAPIBOWRIWEE, including a fantastic group of writers from Down Under. So I’m thrilled we have Paul on board for this year. Please comment on today’s blog with your thoughts on Paul’s Q&A as well as your own progress reports of your picture book writing efforts!

(Keep reading after the jump for our Q&A on the Future of the Picture Book with Paul Collins!)

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May 4, 2013

NAPIBOWRIWEE 2013: Day 4 – Guest Blogger Martha Brockenbrough! (May 4, 2013)

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Welcome to DAY FOUR of our 5th annual NAPIBOWRIWEE (National Picture Book Writing Week) 2013 where we try to write 7 picture books in 7 days!

We are officially at the HALFWAY point of this marathon writing event where we are trying to write 7 picture books in 7 days. Day Four is the make-or-break day. If you can get through this day, you can definitely survive the final brutal days of this event! Hang in there, everyone! WE CAN DO IT!

Since Day 4 falls on a Saturday – most of you have the day off. You might have some social obligations, house errands, or family duties, but at least it’s the weekend!

BUT… HOW TO AVOID FATIGUE AND BURN OUT?

ANSWER: Find a new place to write! Get out of your comfort zone! Write at the museum! A library! Your favorite coffeehouse! A fancy hotel lobby! The park!

My favorite place to write when I get burned out at home is at the Beverly Hills Public Library. They just remodeled the children’s library – it is BEAUTIFUL. Here’s a link where you can see some videos of the breathtaking renovation: http://www.beverlyhills.org/exploring/beverlyhillspubliclibrary/childrenslibrary/

And here’s a great blog with some photos of the children’s library remodel: http://redtri.com/los-angeles/kids-and-parents-weigh-in-on-the-new-beverly-hills-childrens-library/

I understand the burn-out, fatigue, and depression and frustration that can take over during Days 3 and 4. This NAPIBOWRIWEE event can get brutal. Writing 7 picture books in 7 days is a RIDICULOUS IDEA. LOL! :) But again, it’s just to celebrate writing and disciplining ourselves to WRITE EVERY DAY NO MATTER WHAT. Who cares if some of the 7 books end up in the recycle bin? The whole point is that this is a writing exercise that will hopefully result in a rough draft that COULD have the potential to become a future publishable book. Or a magazine article. Or a really cool blog. Or it could inspire a better idea down the road. And so on. You don’t know unless you try.

I am passionate about getting everyone to write every day because I WRITE EVERY DAY. I have to. I’m a professional writer. This is what I do for a living. I started out as a full-time newspaper reporter (The Seattle Times and The Detroit News) before going to magazines (PEOPLE Magazine). Then after almost ten years of journalism, I got my MFA in creative writing and started pursuing novels and children’s books. During that time, I also fell into TV drama writing. So since 2002, I have been writing full-time as a book and TV writer. I write. all. the. time.

Not everything I write works. A lot of it ends up in the recycling bin. But learning to write every single day has helped strengthen my writing skills. It’s like being an athlete and exercising every day – you build up a lot of stamina. Because you need stamina in this brutal creative industry filled with rejection, rejection, rejection. So I’m trying to help everyone learn how to write every day no matter what so you grow as a writer! :)

So how did my Day Three go?

MY DAY THREE EXPERIENCE: Today was ROUGH. I had another work meeting that was very far from my house, so yes, I was caught in L.A. traffic for most of the day. AND it was unseasonably warm – almost 95 degrees in the Valley! Once again, I didn’t have a chance to start working on Book 3 until after dinner.

Instead of a writing a book from scratch this time, I decided to use research for a feature spec screenplay that I’m currently working on for a picture book. My feature spec is a biopic (biography). And since my three published picture books with Lee & Low Books are biographies, it hit me that this historical subject would also make for a very good picture book. So I started writing a biographic picture book.

The end result? Not bad! It’s a little long but the basic structure is there. And the bonus? I sort of now have a rough outline for my script! YAY! Once again… NAPIBOWRIWEE WORKS! :)

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Now, on to our Day Four Guest Blog Q&A about The Future of the Picture Book with YA novelist and debut picture book author MARTHA BROCKENBROUGH (http://marthabrockenbrough.squarespace.com). Please post a comment about today’s blog and/or let us know how your progress went for Day Four! :)

(Keep reading after the jump for our Q&A with Martha Brockenbrough!)

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