Writing Picture Books

Photo by Annie Spratt

Several months ago, writer Paula Yoo contacted me to see if I’d like to be interviewed as one of the guest authors for NAPIBOWRIWEE (National Picture Book Writing Week). Of course I said yes! I’ve admired Paula’s career as a children’s book author and also as a writer for TV shows such as The West Wing and Mozart in the Jungle. She also founded and has been running NAPIBOWRIWEE for a decade. How does she do it all??!

In full disclosure, I’ve never participated in NAPIBOWRIWEE before, but if you’re like me, you may have a bunch of ideas floating around in your brain matter, but the challenge is to actually sit down and develop the ideas into satisfying stories. So I’d like to encourage anyone out there who’s ever wanted to write a picture book to participate. Whether you: a) can’t seem to find the time to write, b) have had a number of false starts or c) are stuck on a draft, NAPIBOWRIWEE will provide that extra dose of motivation and inspiration. And wouldn’t we all like some of that?

The event starts on May 1, and the challenge is to write 7 picture books in 7 days. The rule is to brainstorm/research/plan out your stories prior to the start date, and once May 1 arrives, you GO! Write. Create. Fly. For 7 days.

It’s a brilliant exercise for anyone who needs a deadline to get started and to keep going. Paula has inspired an entire community of folks to comment and provide support, so you’ll hear from writers working on the same fun challenge.

My Q&A will appear sometime during that week, with some insights into my own picture book writing process. I state this in my interview, and will write it here as well: For me, picture books are a beautiful art form. And a well-executed picture book can resonate not only with the young, but the young at heart. There are picture books I read as a child that stay with me today, and that I still pick up again and again just to get that sense of wonder, adventure and inspiration. And there are picture books I read for the first time as an adult, stories that make me laugh or cry and that I must add to my collection.

May we never lose touch with the kid in each of us.

So…pencils ready??

Photo by Neven Krcmarek

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