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? 😛 🙂
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!)
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).
MY DAY SEVEN EXPERIENCE: Who 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! 🙂
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!)
JULIE HEDLUND is a Children’s author and Freelance Writer. Julie’s book, A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS, was released as an interactive storybook app for the iPad in February 2013 by Little Bahalia Publishing. Two additional titles in the series are scheduled for later this year.
Julie is the creator of Julie Hedlund’s Template for Storybook App Proposals and the founder and host of the 12 x 12 picture book writing challenge, with 475 members. She is a monthly contributor on Katie Davis’ Brain Burps About Books children’s literature podcast, a contributing editor on the subject of 21st century publishing for Children’s Book Insider, and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers (SCBWI), the Children’s Book Hub, and the Association of Writers and Writing Professionals. She has been a speaker at AWP, O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing, and SCBWI events.
JULIE HEDLUND’S GUEST BLOG: The Rise of StoryBook Apps & Digital Publishing
I am VERY optimistic about the future of picture books. In fact, I think this is the best time in history to be both a writer and a reader! Yes, I know big publishers are consolidating. I know physical bookstores are closing. I know some parents are pushing their kids into chapter books sooner, and I know that trade picture books are still a hard sell these days, especially for debut authors.
I also know there are very strong opinions on both sides about the impact of digital publishing on traditional books, especially picture books. But to me, there is no “side.” There is only the opportunity to publish more books on more diverse subjects in more formats than ever before. How do I know this? I am my own case study. A year ago, I had no published books, no contracts in sight, and no agent. Today, I have one published app with two more on the way this year alone. What’s more, my publisher has taken the best from each app and is in the process of producing a print book as a compilation of sorts. We’re also looking at adapting the story to be a simple ebook for both the Kindle and iBookstore. Lastly, we’re contemplating producing singalong apps as add-ons to the series. So by the end of the year I will have, at a minimum, three apps on the iTunes store, a print book, and quite possibly the story available in other formats as well. Where in the traditional publishing world can all of that happen so quickly?
Which is not to say I am at all disdainful of traditional publishing. Quite the opposite. Two months ago I signed with an agent with the strong hope of seeing some of my stories published as traditional, hard-back picture books. As both a writer and a mother, there is simply no substitute for snuggling up in a chair with a physical book and a sleepy child. That primal need for story and connection is never going to go away. Picture books fulfill that need, which is why I am optimistic about their future.
In the midst of all this change and debate, I think it is important to remember that there is no one path to publishing anymore, just as much as there is no one way to reach child readers. In the past, we were mostly confined to big publishers, their catalogs, libraries (particularly school libraries), and book clubs. After that came physical and online bookstores, but even those were still tied primarily to publishing houses. We STILL have those outlets, but now we have more. Authors can connect with readers (or their parents) directly via their online platforms and social media. New smaller, independent and digital publishers are popping up every day. Self-publishing is becoming a far more mainstream and viable option for authors who have niche-market books.
Bottom line: Have you ever seen a two or three year old with an iPad? If you have, I think you’ll have to agree with me that these kids are going to grow up with the expectation of being able to consume stories on these and other devices. It’s our job as writers to reach the kids where they want to read. In some cases, that will be in a chair with a paper book. In other cases, it will be on a Kindle or an iPad. To me, which format of book they read is far less important than the fact that they do read.
So for all of you who have finished this amazing challenge – my hat is off to you! You are writing the drafts today that I have no doubt will become the books that will shape our children’s future tomorrow.
Many thanks to Paula for including me in NaPiBoWriWee this year and for conceiving of the challenge in the first place! We are all grateful for the work you do to advance picture books and their authors.
Thanks to JULIE HEDLUND for her very fascinating blog on the bravel new world of digital publishing and storybook apps! Please comment on this blog specifying if you own an iPad and would like to be entered for a special EXTRA contest to win one of her storybook apps. Winners will be announced in a blog to be posted on May 15, 2013.
(NOTE: ALL Winners, I will email you individually to make arrangements for your prize deliveries!)
Now, finally… THE CONTEST WINNERS! FYI… Names were drawn AT RANDOM from a hat. By my cat Oreo. Seriously. 🙂 He says you will not receive your prize unless you follow him on Twitter: http://twitter.com/oreothecatyoo
2013 NAPIBWOWRIWEE CONTEST WINNERS
WINNER OF A PERSONALLY SIGNED COPY OF PAULA YOO’S PICTURE BOOK, “SHINING STAR: THE ANNA MAY WONG STORY” (illustrated by Lin Wang, Lee & Low Books, 2009):
KATHY BERMAN (AKA “KathyB”)
WINNER OF A PERSONALLY SIGNED COPY OF PAULA YOO’S PICTURE BOOK, “SIXTEEN YEARS IN SIXTEEN SECONDS: THE SAMMY LEE STORY” (illustrated by Dom Lee, Lee & Low Books, 2005):
WINNER OF A PERSONALLY SIGNED COPY OF PAULA YOO’S YA NOVEL, “GOOD ENOUGH” (HarperCollins 2008):
RACHEL HAMBY (aka “RachelH”)
WINNER OF KATIE DAVIS’ PICTURE BOOK, “LITTLE CHICKEN’S BIG DAY” (illustrated by Jerry Davis, Margaret K. Elderberry Books, 2011):
TRACEY M. COX (aka “Tracey”)
WINNER OF VARSHA BAJAJ’S PICTURE BOOK, “HOW MANY KISSES DO YOU WANT TONIGHT?” (illustrated by Ivan Bates, Little, Brown Books, 2004):
2 WINNERS OF THE 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE T-SHIRT:
MEG S. JACKSON (aka “Meg”)
LAURA WYNKOOP (aka “Wolfie172”)
2 WINNERS OF THE 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE COFFEE MUG:
SARA THERESE (aka “saratheresebooks”)
SHARALYN EDGEBERG (aka “Sharalyn”)
2 WINNERS OF THE 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE TRAVEL MUG:
4 WINNERS OF THE 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE NOTEBOOK:
ROBYN CAMPBELL (aka “Robyn”)
BECKY HALL (aka “Becky”)
JOANNE ROBERTS (aka “Bookish Ambition”)
WINNER OF THE 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE TOTE BAG:
LAURA RENAULD (aka “LauraR”)
WINNER OF THE 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE BEACH BAG:
JANET SLINGERLAND HAMMOND
2 WINNERS OF THE JULIE HEDLUND STORYBOOK APP FOR THE IPAD (TO BE ANNOUNCED MAY 15, 2013):
Two winners will be announced in a future blog to be posted on Wednesday May 15, 2013. PLEASE post a comment on this blog specifying that you would like your name to be put into a special drawing before May 15th.
CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN TO OUR WINNERS! ALL WINNERS WERE CHOSEN AT RANDOM FROM A HAT BY MY CAT OREO. SERIOUSLY. THIS IS A FAIR RANDOM DRAWING. Oreo wishes he could have chosen ALL of you. But we need to pay for a new roof, so not this year. LOL! 🙂
Well, that’s it for this year’s 5th Annual NAPIBOWRIWEE (National Picture Book Writing Week). Grateful thanks to all our Guest Authors – LAURI MEYERS, KATIE DAVIS, VARSHA BAJAJ, MARTHA BROCKENBROUGH, PAUL COLLINS, TANIA MCCARTNEY, ERIN EITTER KONO, and JULIE HEDLUND – for your participation and generosity. HUGS to all NAPIBOWRIWEE participants. I’m so proud of you! I’m sorry I could not reply individually to your comments, but I read all of them and was truly honored and touched by your hard work and kind comments.
Please stay tuned for one last blog to be posted on WEDNESDAY MAY 15, 2013 listing the two extra winners of the iPAD storybook app from JULIE HEDLUND. I will also probably have a few more post-game thoughts and wrap up stuff in that blog as well.
I also post blogs regularly on my non-NaPiBoWriWee normal blog here: http://paulayoo.com/blog (You can also comment on my regular blog but you don’t have to go through a whole registration process like you do for NaPiBoWriWee. The SPAM filters are pretty user friendly on my other blog.)
For fun cat videos of my Oreo, Beethoven, and Charlotte, please follow me on YOUTUBE here: http://youtube.com/paulayoo
Now… everyone, you must take a long nap and NO WRITING for at least 24 hours. You need to rest. Because after today, I expect everyone to write every day… HAPPY WRITING! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! 🙂
Sincerely and with much love,
Paula Yoo 🙂