Hi! Here is an official 2013 NAPIBOWRIWEE (National Picture Book Writing Week) FAQs I’ve put together to answer all your questions about this year’s annual event as well as to inform of the “rules.”
This year’s event will take place May 1-7, 2013. (It begins at midnight in YOUR time zone on May 1st and ends at 11:59 PM on May 7th in your time zone.) I will post a new blog every day from May 1st to May 7th by 6 AM (West Coast Time). You are encouraged to post comments about your daily progress for each blog. We will feature guest author blogs as well with encouraging advice!
NOTE: Technical FAQs Part 2 on how to “register” on the website and post comments posted here: http://paulayoo.com/napi/?p=543
(Keep reading after the jump for the FAQs!)
1. When is NAPIBOWRIWEE?
NAPIBOWRIWEE (National Picture Book Writing Week) takes place every year from May 1st to May 7th. It starts at midnight of your time zone on May 1st and ends at 11:59 PM on May 7th.
2. Where does NAPIBOWRIWEE take place?
3. What is NAPIBOWRIWEE?
NAPIBOWRIWEE stands for National Picture Book Writing Week. Every year, from May 1st to May 7th, we attempt to write 7 picture books in 7 days.
4. How do I sign up for NAPIBOWRIWEE?
a) Just comment on my blog at http://paulayoo.com/napi to let us know how you are doing from May 1-7! In fact, you can even start by posting a comment to THIS VERY BLOG RIGHT NOW.
b) When you post a comment on my blog, you must fill out the prompts asking for your name, email address (which will not be published to the public), website (if you have one), and then type the “RED MOVING LETTERS” (which is a SPAM filter).
c) Once you do this, you are automatically registered to my WordPress blog and you can just post comments in the future no matter what. (You still have to fill in the prompts each time, but your comment will get posted immediately instead of you having to wait for approval.)
d) ANOTHER OPTION: You can email me at paula at paulayoo dot com to let me know you would like to be included in the contest drawing at the end of the event. Please give me your email address. I will keep track of everyone’s comments and email addresses and include them in the contest drawing.
e) I will also continue to post updates about the event here as well as on Twitter. You can follow me here: @paulayoo
f) PLEASE NOTE: You are allowed to join us even after May 1st. You can join us on May 7th if you want! (But it might be hard for you to do 7 picture books on the last day, though! LOL!)
5. What am I allowed to do BEFORE NAPIBOWRIWEE starts?
You are allowed to brainstorm ideas, do research, and even write up an outline. But NO DRAFT WRITING AT ALL. You can ONLY write the actual first draft starting May 1st.
6. Am I supposed to send you my picture book drafts as proof that I successfully wrote 7 picture books in 7 days? Or do I post them in a comment on your blog?
NO! Please do NOT email me your drafts. Do NOT post your picture books in a comment on my blogs. This is NOT a writing contest. You do not have to prove to me you wrote 7 picture books in 7 days. We work on the Honor Code here. You say it, I believe you.
7. Will you critique my books later after the event is done?
Unfortunately, I do not have the time to critique anyone’s work. I’m a full-time book author and TV writer/producer, so I no longer have the time to critique people’s works. However, you can consider joining the wonderful Society of Children Book Writers & Illustrators (http://scbwi.org) which has great resources. Many members meet and form their own writing critique groups.
SCBWI also has a resource link listing professional book editors who will critique your work for a professional fee:
I have also worked with editor Amy Lin and highly recommend her as a professional critique resource. You can contact her here:
For more info about my thoughts on writing and critiques, please check out my website’s FAQs here:
8. Can you tell me more about the NAPIBOWRIWEE contest drawing?
Sure! I also have a fun contest drawing where I pick names at random from a hat at the end of our event. Prizes will include autographed copies of my books (SIXTEEN YEARS IN SIXTEEN SECONDS: THE SAMMY LEE STORY, SHINING STAR: THE ANNA MAY WONG STORY, and GOOD ENOUGH) plus autographed books from our guest author bloggers as well as souvenirs from our store!
Our store link is here if you want to purchase souvenirs: http://www.cafepress.com/napibowriwee2013
At the end of NAPIBOWRIWEE, I will put everyone’s names in a hat and pick winners at random for special prizes. I will post a blog announcing the winners on May 8, 2013. I will then contact the winners to make arrangements for the prize deliveries.
9. Do I have to finish 7 picture books in 7 days in order to qualify for the contest drawing?
Absolutely not! Just by participating and signing up for the event (either via the instructions above or by emailing me), you are automatically included in the contest drawing.
10. When will you announce the contest winners?
I will post a blog on May 8th featuring the list of winners!
11. How do I get my prize?
If you win, I will contact you via email to make the necessary arrangements to have your prize mailed out to you.
12. What if I can’t finish 7 pictures in 7 days? Am I a failure?
NO! You are NOT required to finish 7 picture books in 7 days. I’m happy if you even write 7 sentences in 7 days. The purpose of this event is to just challenge everyone to write 7 picture books in 7 days as way to fight off procrastination and insecurity. I just want people to write and finish a first draft of 7 picture book ideas you have as a way to help people learn how to write every single day no matter what. Writing on a regular (and hopefully daily) basis is a big part of becoming a stronger writer. Practice makes perfect! This is supposed to be FUN. Do NOT stress yourself out. I am proud of you no matter how much or how little you write, just as long as you TRY! 🙂 Remember, there have been some years where I myself have not been able to do 7 books in 7 days either! I’m human, too! 🙂 Everyone is a WINNER at NAPIBOWRIWEE! 🙂
13. Isn’t this event an insult to the craft of picture book writing? You can’t write a picture book in one day. Isn’t that demeaning to published picture book authors who spent months and even years crafting their books to perfection?
No! I am NOT saying you can write a book in one day! That’s crazy! 😛 🙂
Of course you cannot write a picture book that is submission ready and publishable in one day. Picture books are HARD. This event does NOT believe that a picture book can be written in one day. That’s pretty much impossible.
BUT… a rough first draft of a picture book can be written in one day if you force yourself not to quit. So the goal of this event is to discourage PROCRASTINATION. Just write and FINISH a first draft of a picture book each day. That way, you will have seven rough drafts to choose from – which one shines the most and has the potential to be revised thoroughly into a wonderful submission to an agent or editor? Writing is rewriting – and you can’t rewrite if you don’t have a first rough draft to begin with! 🙂
This is just a fun event to promote picture book writing and to encourage newbie and veteran writers not to give up and to keep writing! 🙂
14. How did NAPIBOWRIWEE get started?
I created this event, National Picture Book Writing Week, in 2009 as a fun way to promote the publication of my second picture book, SHINING STAR: THE ANNA MAY WONG STORY (Lee & Low ’09).
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. I was also inspired by NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month), hence my name for NAPIBOWRIWEE. 🙂
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!
15. Can you tell me more about your store?
Of course! I have a Cafe Press hosted store featuring fun souvenirs from our event. The latest NAPIBOWRIWEE 2013 store link is here:
This year’s store features a specially designed 5th anniversary logo from website and graphic designer SANDY TANAKA. We feature T-shirts, coffee mugs, journals, and now three new items – travel mugs, beach bag, and tote bag!
(NOTE: I will be opening a new store in 2014 that will be the permanent store for NAPIBOWRIWEE.)
16. I participated in previous NAPIBOWRIWEE years and want to get a souvenir from those years as well. Do you still have those store links?
Yes! If you participated in previous NAPIBOWRIWEE events and want a souvenir commemorating that year, please go to these stores:
2012 STORE: http://www.cafepress.com/npbww2012
2011 STORE: http://www.cafepress.com/napibowriwee
2010 STORE: http://www.cafepress.com/npbww2010
2009 STORE: http://www.cafepress.com/paulayoo
17. Do you have any words of inspiration or advice before the big event starts?
Of course! Below is a list of inspirational how-to writing books that I find very helpful for inspiring my writing process. (Please click on each title for the Amazon link.)
Okay, that’s it. If you have any other questions, please post them in the comments below and I will answer them. I will post a daily blog every day from May 1st to May 7th by 6 AM (West Coast Time). You can post a comment on each blog with your progress, questions, etc. Follow me on Twitter, too! @paulayoo
I can’t wait to see everyone for our fifth annual NAPIBOWRIWEE! Until then – remember – HAPPY WRITING! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! 🙂