Category Archives: Events

PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) sign up!

Sign up started yesterday, Monday October 24th, for Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) so get on over to and enter your name in the comments section of her most recent post to take part in this motivating event!

Great prizes are going to be given away for those that commit to and participate in the thirty-day challenge.

Hope you will join me in this writing adventure.


Workshop Armor

Two of my critique partners and I will be attending a weekend at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival in July. I am excited, nervous and all together petrified to be sharing a manuscript with fifteen other writers in the Picture Book Revision for Non-Celebrities workshop.

I have two critique groups: one multi-genre, the other is picture book. I am familiar with and know what to expect from each group. Their critique style is consistent and I have learned to respond accordingly when they provide feedback. Now I am about to add an intensive weekend of fifteen people I don’t know and a well published author…SCARY! Then again, is this maybe what I need to help focus and hone my next book that I want to send out to publishers?

Do we all need to change things up on a regular basis to help find new perspective? Will this help move us along the path to change? Offering one’s manuscript to the critique gods can often stir up old memories of manuscripts marked in red from beginning to end. Though this happens to me regularly, I do read the suggested revisions through a few time and decide a lot of the changes are a great idea and others are best left behind.

As a newbie, the critique group process has been essential in helping me develop as a writer. I am interested to find out how other people handle going into a new group of people to share work.

How do you apply armor so you don’t come out a wounded writer?

I enjoyed this Writing Workshop Etiquette blog post by Heather Hummel. Great tips on how to critique, receive critique and what you can take away from a workshop/critique group experience.

NaPiBoWriWee Personal Update Day 7

Woo hoo! Day seven manuscript complete. I made sure I finished early in the day Saturday so I wasn’t fretting about it on Saturday night. The time and energy were worth the seven new manuscripts I have to work from for the next couple of months. My critique groups will share in the fun of providing feedback once I have done some much-needed editing. I definitely will be adding this event to my calendar for next year.

And a fun bonus of participating this week: I won a signed copy of Paula Yoo’s picture book Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story (Lee & Low 2009) in the prize drawing that Paula held yesterday for participants!

If you didn’t get a chance to participate this year, then put this awesome event on your calendar for next year and join me (and all the other crazy people) for National Picture Book Writing Week.

Thanks, Paula! What a great idea!

NaPiBoWriWee Personal Update Day 5 & 6

Day five and six drafts complete. National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee) is a grueling challenge! Last night I was up late just to finish day five manuscript. Day six went a little smoother, but I’m still not sure about the story having any true substance. When I begin to edit, it will be the true indicator of what to keep and what to junk. Or, what to turn into a completely different story.

Here’s to writing! If you are working hard to complete the week-good luck on day seven manuscript! If this event inspired you to write just one manuscript–congratulations! You are moving forward and that is what life is all about. Step by step you will see progress and results!

Find out more about NaPiBoWriWee at Paula Yoo’s site.

Good luck!

NaPiBoWriWee Personal Update Day 3 & 4

Whew! I can update both days at once! Day three and four manuscript complete. I am  not sure how or why my brain and fingers are working together, but I can say that I have read some great articles on focus at the Reading For Your Success blog to help get through the week.

Also, check out the National Picture Book Writing Week official blog by Paula Yoo. Awesome stuff! Great motivation! Keeps me writing!

Day four guest author on Paula’s blog is none other than Tara Lazar. Tara is the creator of Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo). PiBoIdMo is thirty picture book ideas in thirty days challenge. I did PiBoIdMo in November last year and ended up with two complete manuscripts. Two of my four ideas for the past four days are from doing PiBoIdMo. I like the challenges that both PiBoIdMo and NaPiBoWriWee offer. They may not be for everyone, but they definitely give me a plethera of ideas to work from!

Write, write and write some more! Only three days left for NaPiBoWriWee!


NiPiBoWriWee Personal Update Day 2

Okay. I made it through day two of National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee). Draft two complete. Fortunately, I had another idea in my head that needed to get on paper. A coherent beginning, middle and end does exist but not sure there is much to work from other than a few lines towards the end. I guess that’s what this process is all about. Get it out and then edit, edit, edit. Feels great to be writing so much.


Today is day three. I am stuck. It’s 2:30pm and I am not sure what I am going to write about. Searching my files, notebooks and all corners of my foggy (sleep deprived) brain…and still nothing. So, a blog post is born and I am back to the creative process to make day three of NaPiBoWriWee a personal success.

check out the official National Picture Book Writing Week blog:

NaPiBoWriWee…Starts today! May 1-7, 2011

Don’t forget National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee) starts today Sunday May 1, 2011. This awesome event runs through next Saturday May 7.

Write one picture book manuscript draft every day for one week! Crazy? Yes! Fun? Absolutely! Working your butt off? No question!

Have fun!

Check out all the details at Paula Yoo’s website and blog:

National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee) May 1-7, 2011

National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee) starts this Sunday May 1st and runs through Saturday May 7, 2011. Each day you are to write a full picture book manuscript with a complete beginning, middle and end.

This is the year! It might be tough and grueling…but think of the manuscripts you will come away with!

I hope to find one shining star in this process.

Prepare the workspace, gather your writing tools and tell the world you are busy doing NaPiBoWriWee so everything else will have to wait!

Write like you mean it!  ~Tia

All the details can be found at Paula Yoo’s blog. She is getting ready to put up a new site for the NaPiBoWriWee in the next few days, so hang tight. Here are the details you need at her blog or see below.

from Paula’s blog:

In the spirit of National Novel Writing Month (“NaNoWriMo”) where people across the country try to write a complete novel in one month, the fine folks at have decided to start the first ever National Picture Book Writing Week, affectionately nicknamed “NaPiBoWriWee.”
The goal? To write 7 picture books in 7 days.

The basic rules? Just write 7 complete and separate picture books in one week. Each picture book must have a clear beginning, middle, and end. There is no required minimum word count because picture book lengths can vary from 50 words to 2000 words, depending on the genre.

Caveat: This is NOT to say writing a picture book is easy. On the contrary, it’s EXTREMELY difficult and challenging to write a?complete story with a beginning, middle, and end, an original plotline, and a unique character with a compelling voice for the picture book genre. Every word has to count. Every image and every action has to speak volumes in terms of theme and deeper meaning… while still being kid friendly, fun, and appropriate for the tone of the book (be it a quiet literary picture book or a hilarious, laugh out of loud funny picture book).

Having said that… I want everyone to have fun with this! I’m not expecting Shakespeare or “Goodnight Moon.” This is an attempt to encourage people to finally write that picture book they’ve been dreaming of… please think of this as a fun opportunity to brainstorm and finally write that first rough draft that you can go back to later and revise and improve upon. So often we  procrastinate or convince ourselves that our idea for a picture book is not “good enough.” So NaPiBoWriWee is a fun way to have everyone GO FOR BROKE and write 7 picture books in 7 days and see what happens!

For everyone who has a website or blog – you are encouraged to promote NaPiBoWriWee on your blog/website/myspace/Facebook/Twitter. I only request that you provide a link to my website – My Twitter page is here: and my cat Oreo’s page is here:

And for those of you attending the national Society for Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators ( conference in August, let me know and I’ll arrange for an informal gathering during the conference so we can meet in person and celebrate our first NaPiBoWriWee!

To summarize, the basic rules:

1. Midnight May 1st to 11:59 p.m. May 7th: Write 7 separate and complete picture books.

2. You are NOT allowed to write the same picture book in 7 variations. Each book must be complete and separate.

3. No minimum word count. Instead, each book must have a clear beginning, middle and end.

4. You are allowed to brainstorm and research book topics before May 1st. Outlines are acceptable. First draft writing is NOT. Do NOT write your books before May 1st – only brainstorming, taking notes, and outlining are allowed.

5. You are NOT allowed to write a single word of your draft until midnight May 1st.

6. There is NO minimum word count required. The fine folks of NaPiBoWriWee require nothing but your word of honor. We will embrace the Honor Code. If you say you have written 7 complete picture book drafts in 7 days, we will believe you. Besides, why would you lie to us? You’re writing picture books for little children! Picture Book Authors are nice, honest people who would never lie!

7. If you plan to blog about your NaPiBoWriWee journey, please include a link to:

8. Please comment on the soon-to-debut NaPiBoWriWee WordPress blog or email me at paula at paulayoo dot com and I will include your name in the prize drawing. Several winners will be chosen from random. Winners will receive an autographed copy of my books “SHINING STAR: THE ANNA MAY WONG STORY” (Lee & Low Books 2009)  and “SIXTEEN YEARS IN SIXTEEN SECONDS: THE SAMMY LEE STORY” (Lee & Low ’05), along with items from our NapiBoWriWee Store and a couple of surprise autographed book prizes from special guest authors!

9. Please do NOT send me your manuscripts. This is NOT a writing contest. Think of NaPiBoWriWee as a writing support group where we can cheer each other on! Smile