Illuminated MyStory

In the spring of 2009, as part of the online celebration called “Fifteen Weeks of Bees,” Ms Mary Russell posted a series of fifteen blogs on her MySpace page telling how she had come to send her memoirs to one Laurie King. At the end, the fifteen episodes were arranged for printing into a booklet called “MyStory”: here.

To mark the 2010 celebration—“Twenty Weeks of Buzz,” which led up to the April publication of The God of the Hive—we turned “MyStory” into an illuminated manuscript. In the end, all five submissions were so gorgeous that Laurie couldn’t choose, and awarded a five-way tie. Congratulations and thank you to all the participants!

The contest is now over, but if you feel inspired, you can still submit your own. For instructions, details, and inspiration, download the PDF. Once you’ve illuminated Russell’s words, you can scan the pages and email them to

The submitted MyStory illustrations are below. You can either enjoy them on the site as is, or download the PDF version, print them out, then follow the instructions for making your very own illuminated book!

MyStory, as illuminated by Rori Shapiro

Click on the pictures below to enlarge, or download a printable high-res PDF of Rori’s MyStory here.

Illuminated MyStory by Valerie J.

Valerie says, “I was excited to try out the book-binding stitch I learned in class, so I couldn’t help but put this story in a cover.” You can click on each photo below to enlarge, or download each page in high resolution here:

Pages 1-2
Pages 3-4
Pages 5-6
Pages 7-8
Pages 9-10
Pages 11-12
Pages 13-14
Page 15

Illuminated MyStory by Shaela B.

Download Shaela’s MyStory here:

Front page
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15