Did you survive the first day? What a way to kick off the weekend, huh? 🙂 Thanks for all your comments and for participating!
My DAY ONE EXPERIENCE: Right now, I’m working full-time during the day as a TV writer/producer for the show DEFIANCE on SyFy. Our third season debuts this Friday June 12, 2015! We also had a post-work dinner event to attend, so I did not get a chance to write until I got home at 9 PM. I decided it would be a NAPIBOWRIWEE Late Nite Owl Writing Session! Fortunately, I had already prepared for this year’s event by doing some research for potential new non-fiction picture books I wanted to write. (When I’m not writing for TV, I’m a published children’s book author. I have a YA novel with HarperCollins and three non-fiction picture books with Lee & Low Books.) I’m also a Crazy Cat Lady, so one of my picture book ideas was a non-fiction book about real-life cats who made significant historical contributions. For those of you who are new to NAPIBOWRIWEE, one of the “rules” is that you can research, brainstorm and even outline your picture books before May 1st. You are NOT allowed to write a draft until May 1st. So I printed out my research (mostly some articles on the Internet and one book I had bought) and wrote my draft in poem form. It doesn’t scan, the meter’s off and not everything rhymes. But I have my basic draft down, so now I can revise after this event is over.
Thank you for all your comments. I’m so glad many of you were able to finish your first draft! For those of you still writing, don’t give up! Keep writing and post your comments about your Day 2 experience here!
NOTE: For all the newcomers, please feel free to browse through my archives (look specifically in the months of May of course) for tons of interviews with published picture book authors and illustrators for information on the writing process, publishing, and other inspirational tidbits.
In the meantime, I am posting daily blogs from May 1-7, 2015 at 6 AM PST (9 AM EST) here at https://paulayoo.com/category/napibo/ Our contest drawing results will be posted on May 8, 2015 featuring fun prizes from our NAPIBOWRIWEE STORE (link: http://www.cafepress.com/paulayoonapibowriweeclassic), autographed copies of my books, other surprise prizes as well as ONE free picture book manuscript critique from professional editor/author AMY CHERRIX, who is also our guest-in-residence for this year’s event! (You can follow Amy on Twitter @acherrix and her website is here: http://slushpilepress.com)
The theme for this year is EDITORIAL NUTS & BOLTS as Amy answers our questions about writing and the publishing industry. For today’s blog on “The Editorial Eye,” I asked Amy what a typical day was like for her as an editor. I also asked her what made for a good picture book pitch for an editor. Here’s what she had to say:
QUESTION: Can you talk about what a typical day is like for you as a book editor and what makes for a great picture book pitch for you?
AMY CHERRIX SAYS: “Getting paid to read is great work if you can get it, but finding time to actually do the reading required to publish books is notoriously difficult (keep those pitches brief, I beseech you!). A typical workday for me as a freelance editor: I read early in the morning, on my lunch break, and as much as I can at the end of the day. In between those reading sprints, I check email, write pitches, and correspond with authors and illustrators, all while my email *dings* with the next thing I need to read. But when my exhausted email account yields a little gem of a picture book, the rest of the world falls away. It’s a high I liken to what those people on Antiques Road Show feel when they find out some dirty old sea trunk is worth thousands of dollars – equal parts disbelief and satisfaction. It has a voice! It has clever word play that’s spare and not too on-the-nose. And if I’m really lucky, it makes me feel something—or better yet, more than one thing! It’s a fresh take on a timeless theme like friendship, growing up, or hope—something that has me squealing with glee over how darned clever and charming human beings can be. Great picture books make us want to be better people. If you don’t think it’s possible, just read ME, JANE, by Patrick McDonnell. Yeah, it’s kind of a high bar to set, but when you reach it, that feeling is there every time you turn the page and emerging readers deserve nothing less.”
I love what Amy says about how “great picture books make us want to be better people.” Let’s set the bar way high for NAPIBOWRIWEE! As Amy says, “our readers deserve nothing less.” 🙂
Okay, back to the Writing Batcave! Remember to follow me on Twitter @paulayoo for updates. I will post tomorrow’s Day 3 Blog on May 3, 2015 at 6 AM PST/9 AM EST here with thoughts from our guest AMY CHERRIX about interesting trends and topics for today’s picture book market.
Until then, remember… HAPPY WRITING! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! 🙂