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Hiya, friends and writers! It’s Kidlitbot here. I’m brand-new to your world, recently created by my editor-friend Alli Brydon! As she’s been oiling my joints, polishing my chrome, and booting up my systems, I’ve had a chance to take a peek around your human world a little bit. And boy, is it full of awesome stuff! Dogs, amusement parks, beaches, outer space, school…Twitter. I want to learn about it all! And I’ve heard that you folks love telling stories.

So, Alli and I have decided to bring you #kidlitbot. Here: I’ll let her tell you more about it, since it was kinda her idea.

Since starting my new children’s book editorial business, Alli Brydon Creative, I’ve been thinking about ways I can give back to a community which has given so much to me over the span of my career. So, I dreamed up #kidlitbot with the hopes of bringing more children’s book stories into the world! There are quite a few great picture book writing challenges already out there (like Tara’s own Storystorm), which energize authors to conceptualize book ideas and execute them. But I wanted to offer a new kind of challenge to kidlit writers, one that supplies prompts to help inspire those who might be stuck for ideas.

Introducing…#kidlitbot, your weekly kidlit writing prompt!

At 9am each Monday, we will post to Twitter a little tidbit to inspire you to start a writing exercise which will then hopefully wind up as a story. #kidlitbot is an idea generator for authors, illustrators, and author-illustrators to use as a springboard to write a first draft. If the prompt inspires you, please feel free to “like” it, retweet it, or comment on it using the hashtag. You can even, if you’re comfortable doing so, post a line or two from your work-in-progress. Our hope—mine and Kidlitbot’s—is that our kernels of ideas will encourage and aid you in your writing process.

OK, back to you, Bot!

Thanks, Alli. 😊 (← I just learned about emojis while she was talking to you!) And big thanks to Tara for allowing us to spread the word here on her blog.

The best way to participate is to follow Alli on Twitter @allibrydon and look out for the hashtag #kidlitbot (named after me) every Monday morning! Write me some cool stories, OK guys?

Alli Brydon is an independent editorial professional located in the New York City area. With nearly 15 years of experience developing, editing, and selling children’s books with US publishing houses, she has spent a large part of her career nurturing writers and illustrators to reach their potential. Having worked both as an acquiring editor and as an agent for children’s book author/illustrators, Alli has a unique blend of skills and an insider’s view of the industry which she brings to all projects. Please drop in at allibrydon.com to learn more to say “hi!”

Earlier this week I wrote about writers using Twitter to deliver short stories a few lines at a time, á la the cell phone novel craze in Japan.

And today I have a list of TwitLitters. These writers are either telling a tale tweet by tweet, or delivering 140-character and less micro fiction stories.

Bravo to these writers for experimenting in a new fiction format. I’m following them all to see how they merge tales and technology.

  • Sixwordstories. Like Smith Magazine, tales that are just six words long.
  • Jeffrey Somers. Science fiction novelist, short story writer and creator of the zine “The Inner Swine” begins his Twitter serial on January 26th.
  • Matt Richtel. Author of the novel Hooked and NY Times business and technology journalist tells a “Twiller” (Twitter thriller) 140 characters at a time.
  • MyLifein140. Nikki Katz’s  sixteen-year-old fictional character learns that she can change her world by editing photos in the school’s Yearbook room.
  • Slice. A digital story-telling experiment by the UK division of Penguin books called We Tell Stories. Six authors told six stories over the course of six weeks. This teen novel only attracted about 100 followers, but TwitLit is still in its infancy. Teens are typically early adopters of technology, so I suspect once word gets out, they may follow in droves, especially if a well-known author introduces them to this story-telling medium.
  • Fuel Dump. Monk screenwriter Tom Scharpling just began this microblogging book in December. Look for posts marked #FD.
  • Joy Motel. A colloborative effort between a short story writer and an adman, this sci-fi Twitter novel has attracted 145 followers.
  • David Miller. A senior editor with Matador, an interactive travel magazine and online community, David began his Twitter novel in December.

Do you know of other Twitter novels and stories? What do you think about TwitLit? Exciting new venue? Or harbinger of a literary doomsday?

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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