by Sharon Giltrow

Seven years ago, I decided to fulfill my childhood dream and write a picture book.

Hey, that couldn’t be too hard!

Luckily the writing community is filled with many helpful writing challenges. With the help of these challenges and many, many hours of hard work, my debut picture book BEDTIME DADDY will be released May 12, 2020. A heartfelt thanks goes to these writing challenges, especially Storystorm.

Challenge Number One: Coming up with a good idea

Enter Storystorm (formerly known as PiBoIdMo). The challenge? To create 30 story ideas in 30 days. Storystorm 2017, Day 7’s post Be Big! Be Small! Be Any Size at All! by Jennifer Arena inspired Idea number 7, BEDTIME DADDY.

Challenge Number Two: Writing the first draft

Enter 12 x 12, a year-long writing challenge to write 12 complete picture book drafts. BEDTIME DADDY was my June 2017 draft which was written 5 months after Storystorm 2017.

Challenge Number Three: Revising

The two previous challenges had helped me to write BEDTIME DADDY but my next challenge was to take the first draft and revise, revise, revise. Enter ReFoReMo, which helps writers to learn how to use mentor texts. I went back in time to 2016, Day 5’s post “Tammi Sauer Models HOW TO do the structure strut”. Bingo—I had all the mentor texts I needed to transform BEDTIME DADDY from a meh first draft to a published story.

Here is how the start of Bedtime Daddy changed through revising:

How to Put a Grown-up to Sleep: Version 1

A grown-up can get grumpy.
A grown-up can get tired.
A grown-up sometimes needs to be put to bed.
And this is how you do it.
When your grown-up starts rubbing their eyes and yawning.
Announce “It’s time for bed!”
Your grown-up will start crying immediately.
HOW TO CONSOLE YOUR GROWN-UP
Give your grown-up a cuddle.
Wait for them to stop crying.
Explain that bedtime happens every night and that it isn’t a punishment.
And wait for crying to stop again and say, “still bedtime”.
Then watch your grown-up move at a snail pace to their bedroom.

Bedtime, Daddy!: Version 10

When you see your daddy rub his eyes and stifle a yawn.
Announce, “Bedtime, daddy!”
Your daddy will start crying immediately.
Give him a cuddle until he stops.
Tell your daddy, “it’s still bedtime.”
Watch as he moves as slow as a sloth to his bedroom.

Here are the final first two-page spreads of BEDTIME DADDY.

The challenges continued even after writing and revising Bedtime Daddy.

Challenge Number 4: Getting Published

Unfortunately, there are no helpful writer’s challenges for this, but there are some great Twitter pitch parties. Thirteen rejections and fourteen months after writing the first draft, I found the perfect publisher, EK Books. SUCCESS!

Challenge Number 5: The Publishing Process and Marketing

Again, there are no helpful marketing challenges. However, in 2019 I joined a group of debut picture book authors and illustrators, 2020 Debut Crew. Together, we are facing new challenges.

Challenge Number 6: BEDTIME DADDY a best-seller

I’ll need reviews for this and I know the perfect challenge enter the Debut Review Challenge.

Success comes from challenging yourself. If I hadn’t participated and embraced these writing challenges, my dream of becoming a published picture book author would never have come true.


Sharon Giltrow grew up in South Australia, the youngest of eight children, surrounded by pet sheep and fields of barley. She now lives in Perth, WA with her husband, two children and a tiny dog. When not participating in writing challenges and writing, Sharon teaches with children with Developmental Language Disorder. Sharon was awarded the Paper Bird Fellowship in 2019. Her debut PB Bedtime Daddy is due to be released May 12th 2020 through EK books. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @sharon_giltrow.

 

And with this post, we officially conclude Storystorm 2020!

I hope you are continuing to practice daily idea generation. Has the Storystorm practice become a habit? It has for me, even though I notoriously don’t participate in my own challenge! But I continue to collect and record my ideas in a single file, and I return to that file on a regular basis to flesh some out. It’s great exercise for my creative mind, which is always itching to be creative. Is that you, too? I feel positively out-of-sorts if I haven’t been creative in a while, and then it will finally dawn on me—I haven’t done my creative work! And I sit down and get to it. (But first, there is always Earl Grey tea. I’m a bit obsessed.)

Ah, if only it were that easy. And caffeinated.

I have to once again thank Urania Smith of KitLit Nation for helping to randomly select the winners. KidLit Nation is the place for authors and illustrators of color to get their publishing info. Check it out if that describes you!

And without further ado…here are the winners! I will be contacting you shortly via email to arrange delivery of the prizes.

Day 1. Heather Bell (heatherbell37)
Day 2. Shannon Hall
Day 3. Kariail2013
Day 4. Cindy C
Day 5: Jolene Ballard Gutiérrez
Day 6: Bruce Benson
Day 7. Beth Charles
Day 8. Dea Braydon
Day 9. Shirley301
Day 10. Betlw
Day 11. Jim Chaize
Day 12. Maria Marshall
Day 13. Heather Rowley
Day 14. Judith Snyder
Day 15. Thelia Hutchinson
Day 16. Lisa Riddiough
Day 17. Laurel Ranveig Abell
Day 18. Jennifer Weisse
Day 19. Dea Lenihan
Day 20. Elizabeth Brown
Day 21. Leeann Rizzuti
Day 22. Sheri Radford (Sheriradford)
Day 23. Colleen Kosinski
Day 24. Leslie Leibhardt Goodman
Day 25. Susan Schade
Day 26. Eileen Mayo
Day 27. Dina Ticas
Day 28. Darlene Koppel
Day 29. Chelle Martin
Day 30. Wendi Silvano

Thank you, all! I can’t wait until Storystorm 2021, can you?

 

by Sue Fliess

Now, I know what you’re thinking. The last time I blogged about picture book ideas here, I talked about how I got the idea for my new book Flash and Gleam: Light in Our World through a conversation I had with my handyman…this is different. Sort of.

I was in Laguna Beach on a ladies weekend years ago. Sigh. It was a gorgeous spot. Perfect weather for drinking wine on the beach with good gal pals and taking in the views. Sitting on our hotel deck watching the sun set on the ocean, my sister Christine asked me about my book stuff. I told her that I’d just finished a mermaid book to go with my fairy book (A Fairy Friend), but I was trying to think of another mythical, fantastical creature to write about, so that I’d have 3. She almost immediately suggested unicorns. My eyes lit up, but then my logical brain kicked in. “But I have to write it in rhyme,” I said. “And unicorn is going to be a tough one.”

But I went home after a soul-enriching weekend and decided to at least try to write it. I mean, who doesn’t love a unicorn? And to write about the chance to meet one was too tempting. So I wrote it—and it was good and sweet and magical. My agent sent both the mermaid and unicorn stories to my editor. She loved them. Then she held on to both for a long, long, long time. Did I mention it was a long time? As you know, or soon will know, there’s no such thing as a sure thing in publishing. She eventually turned them down and released them back to me. Huge bummer. Now what? Had the window for mermaids and unicorns passed? My agent and I were beginning to think so.

In the meantime, I’d published some books in my Magical Creatures and Crafts series with Sky Pony Press: How to Trap a Leprechaun, How to Track an Easter Bunny and had How to Trick a Christmas Elf queued up. And I got the idea that maybe this publisher would like my mermaid and unicorn stories from long ago…but when I pulled them out, I knew I was in for big rewrites. But the stories themselves were still compelling. I added a craft element to both (not easy when you have to work it in in rhyme!), and before too long I had How to Meet a Mermaid and How to Find a Unicorn. We sent them to my Sky Pony editor and hit a home run. This was where these stories were meant to land, I just didn’t see it at the time. (maybe it was the wine?)

I think my point is, that often I will have an idea, or have it gifted to me when I’m not even looking for it. When I least expect it. A handyman, a perfect setting with great people, a couple three glasses of vino… Also, aren’t sisters grand? She is my unicorn in the mist.

And now…the trailer premiere for HOW TO FIND A UNICORN!

Sue is giving away TWO copies of HOW TO FIND A UNICORN, illustrated by Simona Sanfilippo, upon its release (March 3, 2020).

Leave one comment below to enter.

A winner will be randomly selected in March!


Sue Fliess is the author of dozens of children’s books, including How to Trap a Leprechaun, How to Track an Easter Bunny, How to Trick a Christmas Elf (all Sky Pony Press titles), Mary Had a Little Lab, Flash and Gleam, Ninja Camp, and more. She’s also written for Walt Disney. Sue lives with her family and two dogs in Northern Virginia. Visit her at suefliess.com.

 

For years I’ve dreamed of hosting a Storystorm Workshop. Back when the event was still PiBoIdMo, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and I researched what we needed to make it happen—venue, faculty, meals…and found we couldn’t make it work unless we had a hundred attendees or more.

No. I wanted an intimate group in a cozy setting, where everyone could have access to the faculty and truly feel supported in every way. It would be special, small, and elevate every attendee’s career.

Then I discovered the Highlights Foundation! The location! The private cabins! The Barn! The FOOD!!! (I’m a huge fan of Chef Amanda!)

With the help of the Foundation staff—Alison Green Myers, George Brown, Jo Lloyd—we pulled it all together for March 5-8. I reached out to the best picture book author-teachers I know and we had our faculty:

  • Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
  • Heidi E.Y. Stemple
  • Courtney Pippin-Mathur
  • Josh Funk

Now all that’s missing IS YOU!

We have just a few spots left!

Here’s a sneak peek at our schedule:

Storystorm 2020 Picture Book Retreat & Workshop

Thursday, March 5, 2020
3:00pm Arrival
4:00pm Orientation—learn about the Highlights campus
5:30pm Appetizers (Barn)
6:00pm Dinner (Barn)
7:00pm Tara Lazar Welcome and “Stuff No One Tells You!” Presentation

Friday, March 6, 2020
6:30am Yoga in the Loft (Optional)
7:45 – 8:45am Breakfast (Barn)
9:00 – 11:00 Tara Lazar “Elevate Your Picture Book Game” + Q&A
12:00 – 1:00pm Lunch (Barn)
1:30 – 2:30pm Josh Funk “What Rhymes with Storystorm?”
2:45 – 3:45pm Optional Walk with Heidi Stemple: Gathering Ideas for Texture in Stories
4:00 – 5:30pm Story Ideas Roundtable Discussion: Four Groups w/Faculty Leader
5:30 Appetizers (Barn)
6:00 Dinner (Barn)
7:30 Evening Creative Activity with Tara & Courtney (Optional)

Saturday, March 7, 2020
7:45 – 8:45am Breakfast (Barn)
9:00 – 10:30am Courtney Pippin-Mathur “How to Write by Drawing First”
12:00 – 1:00pm Lunch (Barn)
1:30 – 3:00pm Sudipta Bardan-Quallen “7 Revision Tips to Take Your PB from WAH to WOW”
3:30 – 5:00pm Heidi Stemple “Finding Your Non-Fiction Voice”
5:30 Appetizers (Barn)
6:00 Dinner (Barn)
7:30 Open Mic with Josh, Sudipta & S’Mores (Optionally Mandatory)

Sunday, March 8, 2020
7:45 – 8:45am Breakfast (Barn)
9:00 – 10:00am Tara Lazar “Humor Trends in Picture Books”
10:30 – 12:00pm Q&A with Faculty (Barn)
12:00 – 1:00pm Lunch (Barn)
1:00 Closing Remarks
1:30 Check-out

You can sign up at Highlights Foundation and room with a friend for a discount.

We hope to see you there soon!

Thank you to Melissa Sheperd for the photos of the Highlights Foundation Campus.

Hello Storystormers! Here is the news you’ve been awaiting!

These are the Grand Prize Winners and the agents with whom they’ve been paired! They’ll receive feedback on their best 5 story ideas…

Michele Meleen → Erin Murphy

Natasha Garnett → Joan Paquette

Amy Cory → Holly McGhee

Kristen Rashid → Lori Kilkelly

Amy Harding → Liza Royce Agency

Brinton Culp → John Cusick

Linda Mitchell → Alyssa Eisner Henkin

Juliana Lee → Stephen Fraser

Melissa Mwai → Kat Rushall

Michelle Kashinsky → Jennifer March Soloway

Congratulations! I will be contacting you via email shortly.

Many thanks to Urania Smith of KidLitNation who helped pull the winner’s names. 

If you’re a writer of color, please check out KidLitNation for support and resources!

More daily prize winners to come soon!

Today we’re revealing the cover for ONCE UPON ANOTHER TIME, illustrated in bright, bold colors and soft edges by Andrés F. Landazábal. It immediately takes me back to another time in picture books! The tale, co-written by Charles Ghigna (a.k.a. Father Goose) and Matt Forrest Esenwine, came to be via a blog post and a subsequent comment. Let’s have the authors share the story behind the story…

CHARLES: The genesis for this book began when I posted the first 9 pages of the manuscript on my Father Goose blog, along with a summary of the entire picture book. Here’s a link to my original blog post. Matt responded with 4 stanzas and some great ideas for the narrative. I was surprised how compatible our styles were and how easily our ideas fit together. I began submitting the finished manuscript about the same time Matt did. I submitted it to Beaming Books via Submittable and he submitted it via #PBPitch, a Twitter event that connects picture book authors with editors and agents. And it worked! Beaming Books picked it up! Matt and I were thrilled with our editor’s choice of illustrator, Andrés F. Landazábal, whose colorful style perfectly captures the lyricism of the text.

MATT: Bouncing manuscripts back and forth was actually very educational for both of us, seeing what each other thought of the other’s writing, as well as discovering new perspectives and ways of describing things. And by the way, tenacity was the name of the game with this book: the manuscript went through nearly 15 revisions and more than 25 different publishing houses before our editor at Beaming Books told us she loved it and wanted to buy it! Even with Father Goose’s name attached to the project, it took an awful lot of persistence and positive energy to get our book to this point! I’m not only thrilled about the illustrations, I’m also thrilled that I got to write a book with my friend, Father Goose himself, the inimitable Charles Ghigna! Seeing our names together on the cover is a real treat.

The illustrations are a real treat, too! Thanks, Charles, Matt and Andrés!

ONCE UPON ANOTHER TIME will be released by Beaming Books on August 18, 2020.


Charles Ghigna – Father Goose® lives in a tree house in the middle of Alabama. He is the author of more than 100 award-winning books from Random House, Disney, Hyperion, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Abrams, Charlesbridge, Capstone and Orca. His poems appear in magazines from The New Yorker and Harper’s to Cricket and Highlights for Children. For more information, please visit: FatherGoose.com.

Matt Forrest Esenwine has published nearly 30 children’s poems in anthologies like The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry (N.G. Children’s Books, 2015) and Construction People (Wordsong, 2020), as well as Highlights for Children magazine. His nationally-acclaimed picture book, Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press, 2017) was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the Best Picture Books of 2017. More information is at MattForrest.com.

Andrés F. Landazábal is an illustrator and art director based in Colombia. His work has appeared in animation films, tv shows and print companies. Andrés’ love for drawing and painting was instilled at a young age reading classic illustrated children’s books. He is represented by The Bright Agency.

I was planning to announce the Storystorm Grand Prize Winners today, but I was unable to get to it. This gives you more time to polish your ideas, though! I’m posting this so no one thinks they missed it! The Grand Prize will be announced later this week instead. So as Willy Wonka says…

 

Over 800 of you have signed the Storystorm Pledge affirming you have at least 30 new ideas to write into stories! Congratulations! Download your Winner’s Badge and proudly display it anywhere fine badges are displayed!

If you’re a Storystorm WINNER, begin fleshing out your best 5 ideas into elevator pitches…because if you’re randomly selected as one of 10 GRAND PRIZE WINNERS, you’ll be paired with a kidlit agent for feedback on your ideas.

I will be selecting Grand Prize Winners randomly over the weekend. Then those folks will have a few more days to hone their ideas. (But it doesn’t hurt to get started now!)

Here are the Storystorm 2020 Agents!


Erin Murphy, President & Founder, Erin Murphy Literary Agency

Erin was born and raised in Arizona, and founded EMLA in Flagstaff in 1999. She cut her teeth in regional publishing at Northland Publishing/Rising Moon Books for Young Readers, a beloved decades-old Flagstaff company that was bought out in 2007, where she was editor-in-chief. As founder of EMLA she has focused not just on publishing books, but on building careers—and creating a sense of community, as well. In 2016, she relocated the agency headquarters to southern Maine.

Erin represents writers and writer-illustrators of picture books, novels for middle-graders and young adults, and strong nonfiction. Her favorite reads feel timeless, have strong voices, and express unique creative visions. Because of her full client list, she rarely signs new writers or illustrators, but she is particularly interested in adding cultural diversity to her client list. In addition to reading, her interests include traveling, knitting, walking, kayaking, watching movies, and figuring out How People Work.


Ammi-Joan Paquette, Senior Agent, Erin Murphy Literary Agency

Joan is a Senior Agent with EMLA, working from her home office in Massachusetts. She represents all forms of children’s and young adult literature, but is most excited by a strong lyrical voice, tight plotting with surprising twists and turns, and stories told with heart and resonance that will stand the test of time.

An EMLA client herself, Joan is also the author of numerous books for children, most recently he magical adventure The Train of Lost Things, the Princess Juniper series, the picture books Ghost in the House, Elf in the House, Bunny Bus, and The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies, and the “non-fiction with a twist” series Two Truths and a Lie. When she is not on the phone, answering email, or writing, you will most likely find Joan curled up with a book. Or baking something delicious. Or talking about something delicious she’s baked. Really, after books and food, what else is there worth saying?


Holly McGhee, Founder and Creative Director, Pippin Properties, Inc.

Holly McGhee still carried MADELINE around in 3rd grade—until Mrs. Carrier, her school librarian, tricked her into reading longer books by giving her one with her name on it, HOLLY IN THE SNOW. After college, Holly headed straight into the book world of New York City, where she has enjoyed being a secretary, an advertising manager, a sales rep (for one month), and in the six years prior to opening the doors at Pippin, an executive editor at HarperCollins.

Now, as the President and Creative Director of Pippin she is dedicated to shepherding books that make a difference into the world. Someone once told her, “If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life,” and that has proven true for her.


Lori Kilkelly, Founder, LK Literary Agency

Credit: Maia Rosenfeld

In 2008, after a number of successful years in advertising and sales, Lori aspired to combine her talents in these areas with her personal passion for children’s literature. Ultimately, this led to her decision to pursue a career change, and she attended the post graduate program, ‘The Denver Publishing Institute’ at The University of Denver. Subsequently, she spent nearly a decade at boutique children’s literary agency Rodeen Literary Management, headed by Paul Rodeen—a George Nicholson protégé.

During her tenure at RLM, Lori rose through the ranks, eventually representing her own clients, and assembled a list of talented, best-selling, and award-winning authors and illustrators. Having worked independently for much of her career, she also began to lay the foundation to eventually open her own shop. Then, with the full support of Rodeen Literary, she formally announced LK Literary Agency in the fall of 2018 and was joined by all of her clients in the new endeavor.

Now, with more than 100 books under contract and titles with every major trade publisher, she is dedicated to continue bringing meaningful, funny, informative, and moving children’s and young adult literature to market, created by an incredibly talented group of authors and illustrators.


Liza Fliessig & Ginger Harris-Dontzin, Partners, Liza Royce Agency

Liza Fleissig, with her partner Ginger Harris-Dontzin, opened the Liza Royce Agency (LRA) in early 2011. A cross-platform company providing development, representation, and strategic career management for clients in all media, their goal is to represent clients in all stages of their careers, from the most established to those developing their craft, as well as debuts. Both former partners in NYC based litigation law firms, Liza and Ginger bring a combined 40 years of negotiating experience to the field. This background, along with connections rooted in publishing, movies and television, allowed them to focus and build on a referral based clientele.

From picture books through adult projects, fiction and non-fiction, screenplays to stage works, LRA welcomes strong voices and plot driven works. Their inaugural books became available in stores January 2013.  Their first was an Edgar nominee, another was an Indie Next Pick, and two others were optioned for film. LRA’s success began right out of the gate.


John Cusick, Vice President and Agent, Folio Jr.

John graduated Wesleyan University in 2007 with a double major in English and Russian Literature—a degree one professor called “fun but useless.” After working as a freelance writer, bookseller, dog walker, cashier, and radio host, he became a literary agent’s assistant and quickly began building my own list. Around the same time I also became an author; my young adult novels, Girl Parts and Cherry Money Baby, were published by Candlewick Press. His middle-grade, Dimension Why, is coming from Harper Collins in 2020.

As a writer himself, John brings both a creative and commercial sensibility to his agenting style. He’s an editorial agent who works closely with my clients, whether it’s developing a debut project or helping a seasoned author take that next step. His goal is to match writers with their dream editor, secure the best deals possible, facilitate the exploitation of dramatic (film and TV) rights in my clients’ work, and grow authors’ readership over long careers.

He is passionate about helping clients achieve their full potential, and I’m looking for dedicated, original, fervent, visionary creators.


Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Executive Vice President, Trident Media Group

After earning her Bachelors from the University of Pennsylvania, Alyssa fulfilled a childhood dream that she professed on a home video at the age of six: move to New York and work with books. In 1999, Alyssa began her career in editorial at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Here she found “kindred spirits” who loved Anne of Green Gables as much as she did and a kids book space that was rapidly growing. In late 2006 Alyssa headed to Trident to expand the firm’s children’s book business. She works hard to ensure each book’s longevity from brainstorming the perfect editor, title and jacket to overseeing successful foreign, merchandising, audio, film and theatrical partnerships.

Alyssa is seeking emerging authors and illustrators in all genres. Feisty picture book protagonists, whether real or imagined, tend to intrigue. Alyssa looks to spice up the canon with projects that break new ground.

Read my interview with Alyssa here.


Stephen Fraser, Senior Agent, The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Stephen joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as an agent in January 2005. He worked most recently at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where he edited such creative talents as Mary Engelbreit, Gregory Maguire, Michael Hague, Ann Rinaldi, Kathryn Lasky, Brent Hartinger, Stephen Mitchell, and Dan Gutman. He began his career at Highlights for Children and later worked at Scholastic and Simon & Schuster. A graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, he has a Master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Simmons College in Boston. He represents both children’s and adult books in a wide range of genres. He’s always looking for good, original writing, like picture books with delicious words.


Kat Rushall, Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Kathleen joined the Andrea Brown Literary Agency in 2016 after agenting for five years with the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. She represents writers and illustrators for picture books (both fiction and nonfiction), middle grade, and YA.

When it comes to picture books, Kathleen loves to laugh, have her heartstrings pulled, and enjoys quirky, character-driven stories with heart. She would be happy to find more biographies and what some call “ficinformational” picture books (books with a fictional story that ties into the Common Core). She’s always interested in picture books that inspire emotional intelligence, self awareness, and empathy.


Jennifer March Soloway, Associate Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Jennifer represents authors and illustrators of picture book, middle grade, and YA stories, and is actively building her list. Although she specializes in children’s literature, she also represents adult fiction, both literary and commercial, particularly crime and psychological suspense projects.

For picture books, she is drawn to a wide range of stories from silly to sweet, but she always appreciates a strong dose of humor and some kind of surprise at the end. When it comes to middle grade, she likes all kinds of genres, including adventures, mysteries, spooky-but-not-too-scary ghost stories, humor, realistic contemporary, and fantasy.


GOOD LUCK, EVERYONE!

The Storystorm 2020 Pledge is now closed! Thanks for participating!

If you’ve been here all month, you’ve been generating tons of ideas!

Luckily you don’t need tons to “win” the Storystorm challenge. You just need 30 of them!

When you have 30 ideas, you can qualify to win one of 10 AMAZING Storystorm Grand Prizes—feedback on your best 5 ideas from one of these kidlit agents!

  • Erin Murphy
  • Ammi-Joan Paquette
  • Holly McGhee
  • Kat Rushall
  • Jennifer March Soloway
  • Lori Kilkelly
  • Lisa Royce Agency
  • Stephan Fraser
  • John Cusick
  • Alyssa Eisner Henkin

(More on this tomorrow!)

In order to qualify for a Grand Prize, your name must be on the registration post AND the pledge below. (The daily prizes only required registration.)

If you have 30 ideas, put your right hand on a picture book and repeat after me:

I do solemnly swear that I have faithfully executed
the Storystorm 30-ideas-in-30-days challenge,
and will, to the best of my ability,
parlay my ideas into picture book manuscripts.

Now I’m not saying all 30 ideas have to be good. Some may just be titles, some may be character quirks. Some may be problems and some may create problems when you sit down to write. Some may be high-concept and some barely a concept. But…they’re yours, all yours!

You have until February 5th at 11:59:59PM EST to sign the pledge by leaving a comment on this post.

PLEASE COMMENT ONLY ONCE.

The name or email you left on the registration post and the name or email you leave on this winner’s pledge SHOULD MATCH. However, when you comment, WordPress also logs information that allows me to recognize you, so don’t worry.

Again, please COMMENT ONLY ONCE. If you make a mistake, contact me instead of leaving a second comment.

Remember, this is an honor system pledge. You don’t have to send in your ideas to prove you’ve got 30 of them. If you say so, I’ll believe you! Honestly, it’s that simple. (Wouldn’t it be nice if real life were that straightforward.)

Are you ready to sign?

Then GO FOR IT! Let’s see your name below!

I bet you thought I was going to post the Storystorm Pledge today! (So did I!)

Instead, take an extra day to get to your goal of 30 new story ideas. Then relax and watch this TED Talk by author Lidia Yuknavitch about being a beautiful misfit. (You are!)

See you back here tomorrow for the Pledge!

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As a children's book author and mother of two, I'm pushing a stroller along the path to publication. I collect shiny doodads on the journey and share them here. You've found a kidlit treasure box.

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My Picture Books

COMING SOON:

THE WHIZBANG WORDBOOK
illustrator TBA
Sourcebooks eXplore
2021

BLOOP!
illus by Mike Boldt
HarperCollins
2021

"PRIVATE I" SERIES #3
illus by Ross MacDonald
Little, Brown
2022

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