During February 2013, children's writers and illustrators worldwide will be striving to complete a picture book marathon. A marathon goes approximately 26 miles. We’ll be writing 26 picture book drafts, or illustrating 26 covers/spreads.
There is no cost to join, and you don’t need to publicly post your work (though the illustrators have sometimes found it useful to do so). The marathon is designed as a motivational tool to jumpstart your writing and/or illustrating.
How it works:
Write one picture book each day, starting February 1.
Continue for 26 days.
However, since February has 28 days, this leaves you two rest days. We suggest you save at least one of those days to "treat" yourself during the last week.
Some days, all you'll be able to scrape together is five writing minutes - so make them five productive ones. And, if they're not, well, some days are like that.
A picture book is here defined as (1) a story or narrative, (2) with a beginning, middle, and end, (3) for children, and (4) intended to be illustrated. Remember, these are likely to be rough, rough drafts. (Very rough!)
You need to get enough down each day to capture the plot, characters, and feeling you're trying for, so that when you come back to it in March, you have a good basis for rewriting.
Set up a tracking system that works for you - a calendar that you can cross off (and tally each week) works well.
You can connect with and encourage others through comments on the marathon blog and facebook page. Share your tips for getting ready for the marathon, for instance, or encourage others who may be dragging that day.
And that's it. Plain and simple, hopefully without much to distract you from your picture books!