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Storystorm 2020 Day 3: Tammi Sauer Goes Back Home

by Tammi Sauer I have been doing this Storystorm business since the very beginning. Oh, people. I have loved the experience, and it has served me well. More than a dozen of my books got their start in Storystorm. These are just a few of them: Over the years, I have not only participated in […]

Storystorm 2019 Day 4: Tammi Sauer’s Post of Storystorm Past

by Tammi Sauer (from 2012) In past PiBoIdMo posts, I’ve encouraged you to… celebrate the weird stuff in life, put a twist on the familiar, and use setting as a takeoff point. This time around, I want to focus on structure. Just like houses and dinosaurs, every story needs an underlying framework.    Most of my […]

Storystorm 2019 Day 3: Tammi Sauer Celebrates the Weird Stuff

by Tammi Sauer Back in 2009, Tara first prompted us to join her on her challenge to generate 30 ideas in one month’s time. That year, I wrote a blog post about an idea-getting strategy that worked for me, and I have written about a different approach every year since. In the spirit of Posts […]

STORYSTORM 2018 Day 2: Tammi Sauer Chants and Sings

by Tammi Sauer Over the Storystorm years, I have shared many of my idea-getting strategies. This time around, I want to focus on using a familiar song, nursery rhyme, or chant as a starting point. While I had heard of this writing exercise many times before, it wasn’t until I saw it presented in Linda […]

Storystorm Day 4: “What’s the Big Idea? Ask the Big Question!” by Tammi Sauer

by Tammi Sauer I am a huge fan of Storystorm (formerly known as PiBoIdMo). Many of my books started right here! YOUR ALIEN, my book with Goro Fujita, for example, first appeared on my 2012 PiBoIdMo list. That year, I decided to step away from the classic picture book structure which has served me well […]

PiBoIdMo Day 6: Tammi Sauer Fills in the Blanks (plus prizes!)

by Tammi Sauer A few months ago, I introduced a new character—Ginny Louise. In Ginny Louise and the School Showdown, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger, it’s clear that Ginny Louise’s defining characteristic is that she is irrepressibly cheerful. No matter what comes her way, she is happy, happy, happy.   Soon afterward, another character of mine […]

How to Create Irresistible Picture Book Characters by Tammi Sauer (plus a giveaway on her book birthday!)

by Tammi Sauer Psst. Hey, you there. Yes, you. Do you want to wow an editor with your next picture book manuscript? Great! It only takes one thing. Come up with the next Fancy Nancy, Olivia, or Skippyjon Jones. Editors are wading through their slush and/or agented submissions in the hopes of finding an irresistible, […]

PiBoIdMo Day 11: Tammi Sauer’s How To “How To” (plus prizes!)

by Tammi Sauer                                                              For PiBoIdMo 2012, my blog post focused on a variety of ways a writer can structure a picture book. This time around, […]

PiBoIdMo Day 1: Tammi Sauer Starts with a Title (plus prizes!)

by Tammi Sauer For me, the absolute hardest part about the picture book creating process is coming up with a good idea. A wow idea. An irresistible-to-editors idea. One approach that has worked for me is to brainstorm a list of potential titles before I even know a single word of a manuscript. I keep […]

PiBoIdMo Day 7: Every Day Tammi Sauer is Structurin’

In past PiBoIdMo posts, I’ve encouraged you to… celebrate the weird stuff in life, put a twist on the familiar, and use setting as a takeoff point. This time around, I want to focus on structure. Just like houses and dinosaurs, every story needs an underlying framework.    Most of my books follow the Classic Picture […]