Storystorm 2023 Day 28: Kirsten Pendreigh Cooks Up Ideagrients™
Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)
by Tara Lazar
18h ago
by Kirsten Pendreigh It’s Day 27, Storystormers! Phew! Feeling over-ideated? Need a breather? Today, let’s forget about trying to cook up one big, delicious IDEA and instead  focus on the tasty tidbits that, when mixed into idea bowls, make ideas deliciously irresistible to write. I’m talking about Ideagrients, a totally real, and not-made-up term for the specific details that move our ideas from Maybes to compelling concepts we can’t wait to begin writing! Ideagrients: distinctive fragments and descriptive sparks that elevate ideas. May include—but not limited to—gorgeous words, evocati ..read more
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Storystorm 2023 Day 27: Ebony Lynn Mudd Scrolls for Stories
Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)
by Tara Lazar
2d ago
by Ebony Lynn Mudd We’re in the home stretch, Storystorm friends!! Look at us, go!! Maybe you’ve been here getting inspiration all month. Maybe you’ve popped in and out, or maybe this is the first post you’ve seen since this challenge began. Wherever you fall on the Storystorm participation spectrum, I’m so glad you are here investing in YOU. You deserve it. Your work is worth it. Now, let’s figure out some new book ideas! Anybody else get their best book ideas when you’re one deep breathe away from dozing off to sleep? Or in the shower when there is no paper or pen around? SAME. But do you kn ..read more
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Storystorm 2023 Day 26: CK Malone Can’t Follow Instructions
Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)
by Tara Lazar
2d ago
by CK Malone Omigosh. Imagine being a middle school teacher and a K-12 literacy coach and being unable to follow directions? Me. Alllllllllll me. Heck, I don’t even follow the grammatical rules I was taught or teach (most of the time) when writing blog posts and the like. I’m a big fan of informal writing. In 2019, I wrote the book of my heart. It is how I wish my coming out WOULD HAVE happened in elementary; but, alas, it did not. And guess who still didn’t follow directions when querying the agent of their dreams? Yup, you got it. I queried Dan Cramer, then at Flannery Literary, and forgot t ..read more
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Storystorm 2023 Day 25: Marzieh Abbas Mines Her Memories
Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)
by Tara Lazar
3d ago
by Marzieh Abbas I have been kicking off every new year (since the past three years) with awesome Storystorm blog posts! I’m happy to report, at least three of my upcoming picture books began as idea that were sparked from January blog posts! I’m super excited to be a guest blogger today. Let’s get right to it! You’ve probably heard: “Write what you know” several times, as have I. But when I sit to write what I know, I usually draw a blank. That’s when I dip into my memories, especially photographs from my childhood and my phone’s gallery. Childhood memories are great for recalling important m ..read more
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Storystorm 2023 Day 24: Louise M. Aamodt Squeezes Time from a Rock
Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)
by Tara Lazar
5d ago
by Louise M. Aamodt Welcome to Day 24 of Storystorm! If you’re like me, pretty soon your gleeful Storystorm inspired so many fantastic new ideas! will crash headlong into the reality of When can I possibly develop them? Don’t despair! Instead of squeezing water from a rock, as the saying goes, you must squeeze time from a rock. Here are three tips for fitting more writing into your already-full schedule. Tip #1: Writing is about trade-offs. Be at peace with letting some things slide. ‘Time’ is a tricky concept. My so-called “instant success story” of signing with my agent in June 2021 and l ..read more
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Storystorm 2023 Day 23: Lauren H. Kerstein Reads Her Emails
Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)
by Tara Lazar
6d ago
by Lauren H. Kerstein You’ve made it to Day 23 in 2023. That has to be lucky, right? First, a confession: I look forward to Storystorm every December. After all, Tara Lazar is one of my all-time favorite funny kidlit writers and an all-around generous soul. When the new year begins, I know I can expect 31 insightful and inspiring posts from phenomenal creators. But… on January 1st, I ALWAYS find myself derailed from my excellent intentions. Day after day, posts pop into my inbox and remain unread. And then, miraculously, somewhere during week two, I recalibrate, regroup, and read them. And the ..read more
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Storystorm 2023 Day 22: Jackie Azúa Kramer & Jonah Kramer Collaborate (It’s All in the Family)
Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)
by Tara Lazar
1w ago
Jackie Azúa Kramer, interviewed by Jonah Kramer How did MANOLO AND THE UNICORN come to be? Ah, peeling the onion of inspiration isn’t always straightforward. I believe I was reading mentor texts about odd friendship stories and bouncing around ideas like what if a koala and a kangaroo met. When Jonah shared that as a young boy he was teased for coloring with a purple crayon. I never knew this. It upset me to think that at such a young age, he navigated questions of his identity. I remembered that Jonah, as a child loved mythology, especially unicorns. Keeping in mind the idea of the odd frie ..read more
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Storystorm 2023 Day 21: M.O. Yuksel Plays with POVs
Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)
by Tara Lazar
1w ago
by M.O. Yuksel I love using writing exercises to generate story ideas. One exercise I find especially useful is trying out different points of view (POV). For example, when I started writing my new picture book RAMADAN KAREEM, about the Muslim holy month of fasting, I wrote it from the fast-breaking meal, iftar’s POV. A story from a meal’s perspective? At first, it seemed crazy. But I went with it anyway. I was trusting the process of creating and giving myself permission to play. This exercise allowed me to put my creative hat on and think about all kinds of fun possibilities like how iftar m ..read more
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Storystorm 2023 Day 20: Jill Davis Shapes Words
Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)
by Tara Lazar
1w ago
by Jill Davis I am an editor. I acquire projects from writers and help them shape and mold and yes, snip, their words and art into picture books. I like to work on books in the 32- to 80-page range and I adore every part of the process. Sometimes it’s fun and easy and other times it can feel puzzling and painful and wake me up at 3am—but the good news is that I think I know how to do it now. A focus in the books I find the most interesting to work on is voice. What is voice? Hard to describe, I know. And why should a voice feel unique or special? I remember asking a writing mentor how to go ab ..read more
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Storystorm 2023 Day 19: KidLit in Color Offers Diverse Inspirations
Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)
by Tara Lazar
1w ago
KidLit in Color is a group of traditionally published BIPOC creatives who write picture books, early readers, chapter books, and middle grade novels. We nurture, amplify diverse voices, and advocate for equitable representation in the publishing industry. Some of our members have  decided to share the ideas and inspiration that sparked their stories, featuring BIPOC characters. Whether you’re writing about BIPOC characters or not, you’ll gain new story ideas to add to your Storystorm list.   Valerie Bolling: Focus on Family RAINBOW DAYS: THE GRAY DAY, illustrated by Kai Robinson (S ..read more
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