Saturday, May 5, 2012

What is NaPiBoWriWee?

NaPiBoWriWee is the acronym for National Picture Book Writing Week.  Paula Yoo began this event in 2009.  She had been promoting her book SHINING STAR - THE ANNA MAY WONG STORY and was procrastinating the start of a new story draft. 

If we think back on any big event in our lives, we know that the human mind and body need to rest.  (Perhaps, this is what occurred to Paula.)  To get back to writing again, she decided to set a fun, short challenge for herself.   Her challenge: to write seven picture book drafts in 7 days.  After announcing her challenge, people from all over the world thought it was a great idea and decided to join her challenge. 

Now, 3 years later, NaPiBoWriWee is here again.  Paula Yoo's (ever increasing) community of writers join her every May 1 - 7 for this event.  This year I am one of them.  The rules are: writers must post a comment each day letting Yoo know how they did on their draft for the day.  While on her site, participants can read her writing advice, interviews with guest authors, and her personal encouragement.

The trick to making this a stress free event is to have a basic idea for each of your seven drafts before the event begins.  Some writers make an outline for each of their stories, but I decided to jot down as many one sentence story ideas as I could.  I ended up with nine; I felt some were duds.

My drafts for days one through three, took less than an hour to complete. I like them; I'm excited about their possibilities.  Giddy at my success with these drafts, I turned to draft four and changed my approach.

For draft four, I decided to skip my pre-formed ideas and came up with a new one.  This one was personal.  Bugs that had been plaguing my tomatoes all week.  I did some bug research and decided that I would write a story about my battle with them.  This was a bad idea.  Instead of a picture book draft, my story stretched into a graphic novel.  I have not finished it, yet!  So today, I decided to move on to draft number five.  I finished it in about 30 minutes.  (I think I've learned my lesson.)  Now, I'm  going back to finish draft number four. (The bug battle scenes in my head are getting pretty graphic.) 

If your interested in reading more about Paula You and NaPiBoWriWee, go to  .  It's too late to join this year, but challenge yourself anyway and be ready for next year's event.

Happy Writing!


  1. Good luck with the physical and literal bugs!

    1. Thanks Julie. I finished the draft in warp speed. In other words, skipped the middle and finished with the ending. Now, I think I'll go back every day and fill in. Then, this'll be renamed to draft # 7. Sneaky but legit. I see you're still in the game! Wish you well in finishing the PiBo week. :)