Writers, editors, illustrators, publishers aim to create a book in 8 hours

"It’s another kind of art which we’re trying to do.”

Photo of woman on the bed with old book and cup of coffee (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Photo of woman on the bed with old book and cup of coffee
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
How long does it take to create a book from start to finish? For 44 authors, 33 illustrators and 29 editors, publishers and marketers gathering in Jerusalem Thursday night, they’re hoping the answer is eight hours.
The project, being hosted at the JVP Media Quarter, is the brainchild of tech entrepreneur Uriel Shuraki.
“Writing a book usually takes months or years,” Shuraki told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. “And I decided to do it in one day – in eight hours, the length of a normal working day.”
Shuraki said he first dreamed up the idea four years ago, when he was one of the founders of Made in JLM, a Jerusalem nonprofit which helps develop and connect startups in the capital.
“We met a lot of entrepreneurs and we saw how sometimes they have a hard time making their dreams come true,” he said. While he shelved the idea for a while, “about three months ago I met a friend, and he asked me what my dream is.” When Shuraki recounted his plan to create a book from start to finish in eight hours, his friend pushed him to make it a reality.
The evening is slated to begin Thursday at 5 p.m., with a meet-and-greet and snacks, before the authors and illustrators pair up to begin work.
According to the schedule, they will work until 8:30 p.m., break for dinner, and then keep writing and illustrating until 11 p.m., when their work will be transferred to the waiting editors. By 1:30 in the morning, the product is slated to be handed over to the layout and publishing team, which will ready it for printing by 3 a.m.
While all the work will take place within those eight hours, Shuraki acknowledges that many of the writers will have been doing mental work in preparation for the event.
“The rules are that they can’t write about it, but they can think about it,” he said. The book, which does not yet have a title and will be written in Hebrew, is a non-fiction collection of essays “about life insights,” said Shuraki. “Think of it as TED talks written down.”
And while Shuraki found plenty of people excited about his all-night project – he had to turn away collaborators when it was full – he also some received negative responses.
“I had some reactions, people who said ‘It can’t be. It can’t happen. Literature is something very serious, and you have to take your time,” he said.
“I agree with them. But I’m bringing something else. It’s another kind of art which we’re trying to do.”