Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Is everyone ready to "take the leap?"  The big day is TOMORROW!  Yikes.

Good luck!

Lora and Jean


Thursday, January 19, 2012

PBM 2012 -- Take the Leap!

Picture Book Marathon 2012
Take the Leap!

Hello Authors and Illustrators -- Welcome to the 4th annual Picture Book Marathon!

Your Goal: Between February 1 and February 29, 2012, write one picture book a day, until you get to 26. This year, February has 29 days (thus, Take the Leap!), so you get a bonus break day. 

The Basics: We define a picture book as (1) a story or narrative, (2) with a  beginning, middle, and end, (3) for children, and (4) intended to be illustrated. They’re generally, though not always, published in a 32 page format. Given the speed of the marathon, your picture book DRAFTS (for that’s what they’ll be) will be very rough. What you hope to capture is the basic plot, characters, and emotion of each story.

Why Do It:
  • Generate a lot of material in a short amount of time.
  • Get your creative juices flowing by forcing yourself to write daily.
  • Circumvent your internal naysayer - they either won’t have time to criticize, or they’ll be too tired.
  • Practice a writing practice.

Notes on this Year’s Marathon: Many thanks to illustrator Will Strong for this year’s Marathon logo. You can check out his efforts from last year’s marathon here. We'll let you know when T-shirts and mugs featuring the logo are available at CafePress - neither we nor Will profit from these, so only buy them if you actually want one - you’re not supporting anything by doing so.

Due to events in our personal lives, we are scaling back our marathon effort this year. We won’t be blogging daily or keeping weekly tallies. We will be posting a weekly blog entry, and encourage you to post your comments there. 

You can access last year’s training tips here, or post your own tips in the comments section of the blog.

Once the marathon starts, we’ll be adding a weekly blog post on Mondays. Please post comments on your progress and the marathon there.

A Final Note: This year, we encourage you to think about YOUR PURPOSE for doing the Marathon. Is it to generate material that you’ll spend the rest of the year revising? Learn the ins and outs of a new type of story (say, fairy tales)? Get really, really good at writing plot? Learn how to develop characters quickly?
Pick what’s important to you at this juncture in your writing career. Then, Take the Leap!

Lora Koehler and Jean Reagan
Marathon Organizers