(NOTE: For this entire week, I will post a new blog every day by 6 AM PST here. So check back daily! Also – I will post fun Tweets live each day! Follow me on Twitter @paulayoo)
WELCOME TO DAY ONE OF NAPIBOWRIWEE!!!!
I can’t believe I’ve been hosting this event every year since 2009. This year marks our SIXTH YEAR together where we attempt to write 7 picture books in 7 days!
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 TWENTY-TWO CENTS: THE STORY OF MUHAMMAD YUNUS AND THE VILLAGE BANK (about 2006 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.
IMPORTANT: All your questions about how to participate, the history of NAPIBOWRIWEE, the technical computer website questions, info about our prize contest etc. are ALL answered here in my FAQs blog listed below…
NAPIBOWRIWEE FAQs BLOG: https://paulayoo.com/napi/?p=689
And our NAPIBOWRIWEE SOUVENIR STORE is here: http://www.cafepress.com/paulayoonapibowriweeclassic
Also – PLEASE COMMENT on this blog to let me know how your DAY ONE goes. This is a community blog where I encourage participants to post about their writing progress every day on my blog. I look forward to hearing how you do!
(Keep reading after the break for more info on this year’s theme for NaPiBoWriWee and other updates!)
Every year, I try to have some type of theme. In the past, I’ve had my blogs focus on everything from writing craft issues to the current publishing industry trends.
This year, I’m going to focus my blogs on MULTICULTURALISM and DIVERSITY IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE. This is a theme close to my heart because my three picture books are non-fiction biographies about important Asian Americans as well as one native Bangladeshi who helped change the world through their accomplishments. My first YA novel also features an Asian American main character and deals with racial issues.
I’m also published by LEE & LOW BOOKS, an award-winning independent multicultural children’s book publisher. They’ve been very active in the past few years in promoting more awareness of diversity in the media – not only in children’s books but in other forms of media including social media and Hollywood.
I’ve noticed a lot of blogs recently decrying the lack of diversity in children’s literature. These recent disappointing statistics were compiled by LEE & LOW BOOKS and went viral throughout the media:
These sobering statistics showed that only 10% of children’s books published in the past 18 years contained multicultural content.
Although I’m disappointed by these statistics, I am NOT discouraged.
Because there are SO MANY AMAZING BOOKS out there that DO feature multicultural content and characters. Let’s not forget all the amazing books that HAVE been published in the past 18 years. Look at LEE & LOW BOOKS’ own catalogue! Look at my books and the books my friends have written and published that I have featured on my own blog!
Ultimately, ALL stories are universal. That is the point of multicultural children’s literature – the stories may be told from a different point of view, but it’s still a HUMAN and UNIVERSAL point of view that all children can identify with.
For NAPIBOWRIWEE, I hope you will write from YOUR heart and that you will even write about YOUR own life experiences and interests. I want you to think a bit about how YOUR story can be universal for ALL children. Because that is something I have to think about whenever I sit down to write a story that involves a child of color – how can children of ALL backgrounds relate to my character? What is the universal heart of my story that we can all identify with?
I’m so excited to begin the dialogue. Stay tuned for some interesting statistics, thoughts from my publisher, as well as some fantastic perspectives from my author friends.
And of course, don’t forget, when you sign up to post comments on my blog, you are automatically included in our annual RANDOM PRIZE DRAWING GIVEAWAY CONTEST! (You can also email me at paula at paulayoo dot com to request to have your name included in the contest.) I’ll pick winners at random who will receive fun souvenirs from our NAPIBOWRIWEE STORE as well as autographed books from myself and our guest authors! (More info in our FAQs blog!)
Thanks for reading my DAY ONE blog. Now it’s YOUR turn. Please comment below on how your writing went for Day One. Don’t be scared! You can do it! 🙂 Until tomorrow’s blog, remember… HAPPY WRITING! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! 🙂