Official registration for STORYSTORM 2021 is now closed.

You can still participate by reading the daily posts and creating story ideas, but you will not be eligible for prizes.

(But you will be eligible for a pile of brand new story ideas to keep you writing through the year!)

Every year when Storystorm rolls around, I like to pick a theme for this registration post.

This year’s theme will come as no surprise…


And that’s all I have to say about that.

Welcome to STORYSTORM 2021!

Four years ago I changed the name and month of my annual writing challenge, from Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) to STORYSTORM. Why? Answer’s here.

Although this challenge begun as a picture book writer’s event, any writer interested in brainstorming new story ideas in January is invited to join the STORYSTORM challenge of 30 ideas in 31 days. Any genre, any style; student, amateur, hobbyist, aspiring author or seasoned professional.

How does STORYSTORM work? It’s simple…

  • Register.
  • Read the daily posts on this blog, beginning January 1st.
  • Write down one (or more) story idea daily.
  • At the end of January if you have at least 30 new ideas, you can sign the STORYSTORM PLEDGE and be eligible for PRIZES.

So are you ready? Follow these steps:

  1. Register ON THIS BLOG POST by signing your name ONCE in the comments below. Full name, nickname, whatever name you’ll use for the entire event.
  2. Teachers participating with a class can register under the teacher’s name.
  3. Please leave ONE comment ONLY. Do not reply to say “hi” to a friend. Do not comment to fix a mistake. ONE COMMENT. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect.
  4. Registering makes you eligible for prizes.

Visit this blog daily ( in January for inspirational essays by guest bloggers—professional authors, illustrators and experts in creativity.

Instead of visiting the blog directly, you can receive the daily posts via email by entering your address and clicking the “Follow Tara’s Blog” button in the left column—look under my photo for it.

At the end of January, if you have at least 30 ideas, sign the STORYSTORM PLEDGE (to be posted on January 31) and qualify for prizes.

Prizes include agent feedback, signed books, original art, writerly gadgets and gizmos.

Remember, do not share your ideas publicly in January. They are YOURS. No need to prove that you have them at the end of the month. The pledge you will sign is on the honor system.

Are you in? Awesome. Optionally, pick up your Official Participant badge (by Mike Ciccotello) below and affix it to any social media account you wish. (Right click to save to your computer, then upload it anywhere.)

You can also opt to join the STORYSTORM Facebook discussion group. Everyone needs writing friends!

(Your writing pals this year are our lightbulb mascots, Earl and Pearl!)

The Facebook group remains a year-round source of writing information and support, mostly focused on picture books, I admit, because that is where this all began.

STORYSTORM registration will remain open through JANUARY 7th.

In the meantime, head over to STORYSTORM SWAG CENTRAL to pick up your official journal. All proceeds from sales ($4 per item) will be donated to children’s hunger charity Blessings in a Backpack. There are mugs and shirts, too!

Thank you for joining, and let’s have a month filled with creativity and joy!