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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 to learn more to say “hi!”

History Lessons

Juliet Dupree snuck into Mr. Forman’s classroom before the morning bell and wrote Mr. Snoreman on the blackboard. When Tristan sat next to her, she’d nudge his arm, nod toward the front of the room, and take credit.

Everyone knew that Mr. Forman’s monotone lectures came straight from the textbook, word for dreary word. He cradled the teacher’s guide with his left arm while he pointed to the ceiling with his right, appearing only slightly more animated than the Statue of Liberty.

The huddled masses of 1st period American History yearned to be free of boredom, so Tristan organized daily pranks. Yesterday the entire class dropped their textbooks on the floor at precisely 8:10am…and received empty detention threats at 8:11am.

When Juliet reached for her book, she had noticed it was published the year she was born. That was odd; she was pretty certain that something historically meaningful had happened in the past 13 years. After all, Tristan had kissed her. That might not make it into the next edition of An American Account Volume II, but it would launch an unpredictable new chapter in her own history, threatening full-out war as soon as Tristan’s girlfriend found out.


This flash fiction piece is in response to the Imagine Monday writing prompt posted last Friday. Join us every week for a new writing exercise.

When I came up with this week’s prompt, I immediately drifted back to my 9th grade American History class. The tale above isn’t far from what occurred in the classroom. My friend arranged pranks on a near-daily basis. One day a classmate discovered that he owned the same digital Casio watch as our teacher, so he set the alarm to go off in class. Our teacher fumbled at his wrist, wondering why he couldn’t get the beeping to stop. Such adolescent nonsense has a way of escalating into legend, and in the hyperbole of memory, I recall this little trick baffling our teacher for months.

Do you write for children? Then please join the Imagine Monday blog meme!

  • Every Friday a writing prompt will be posted here.
  • Take Saturday and Sunday to write a tiny tale in ten sentences or less.
  • Post your story on your blog this Monday. Use the tag Imagine Monday.
  • Link back here to the prompt.

That’s it! The purpose of this meme is to have fun, stretch your creativity and get in a little writing practice.

This week’s prompt:

In honor of Columbus Day this Monday,
write about a National Monument.
It could be The Statue of Liberty, Devils Tower,
Fort Sumter or Giant Sequoia National Park.
You could use the Monument as the setting,
or simply mention a Monument in dialogue.
However it inspires you, go with it! 
Write in prose or poetry, for young children or young adults.

Happy writing! Enjoy your weekend and see you on Monday!

Imagine Monday is a weekly blog meme for children’s writers—and fans of children’s fiction.

One of the fastest growing online venues for micro fiction is Six Sentences, yet the target audience is adults. Imagine Monday challenges you to write an über-short tale for kids in ten sentences (or less) using a weekly prompt. Flash your brilliance in a few lines.

It’s simple:

  • Each Friday a prompt will be posted here.
  • Take Saturday and Sunday to write.
  • Submit your entry via your own blog sometime on Monday.
  • Include a link back to the prompt page. Use the tag Imagine Monday.
  • Visit fellow participants and leave constructive comments if you choose.

Have fun! Stretch your creativity. Use the prompt to put a character from your current project in a different situation. Start something entirely new. Compose a series of connected tales. Or simply get in a little writing practice. Do with it what you will.

Sometimes the prompt will be a sentence, sometimes a single word. We’ll mix it up and include images, too. See what you can create in just a few sentences. Make it tight. Make it memorable.

All are welcome, regardless of age or writing experience–and you don’t even have to own a blog. You can submit your writing here via the comments field.

Imagine Monday kicks off with the first prompt this Friday, October 10. Please join us!


An eclectic list of 99 things that children like was given to me by a writing friend last year after she attended a conference.  The list was courtesy of children’s sports author Andy Gutelle…and here I’ve added 400+ more (and more)!  I hope this list gives a spark to your writing for children, but I wonder what it will do to my search engine hits?!

pinbuttonIf you like this page, follow its visual companion on Pinterest:

Note: this list is more targeted toward picture-book-age children (8 and under) than tweens (9-12) or teens.

(And also check out the list of things kids don’t like.)

  1. 3D Movies
  2. Acrobats
  3. Air Hockey
  4. Airplanes
  6. Allowance
  7. Amusement Parks
  8. Aquariums
  9. Arts & Crafts
  10. Astronauts
  11. Autumn Leaves
  12. Awards
  13. Babies
  14. Backpacks
  15. Bacon
  16. Badminton
  17. Baggy Clothes
  18. Balloon Animals
  19. Balloons
  20. Band-Aids
  21. Basketball
  22. Bathroom Humor
  23. BB Guns
  24. Beaches
  25. Beanbag Chairs
  27. Being Independent
  28. Being Older Than Another Kid
  29. Being Loved
  30. Being Right
  31. Bicycles
  32. Binoculars
  33. Birthdays
  34. Blanket Forts
  35. Blimps
  36. Bling
  37. Blocks
  38. BMX Bikes
  39. Board Books
  40. Board Games
  41. Boas
  42. Bobble-heads
  43. Booby Traps
  44. Boogie Boards
  45. Books! (of course)
  46. Bubble Baths
  47. Bubble Gum
  48. Bubblers (Water Fountains)
  49. Bubbles
  50. Bubble Wrap
  51. Bugs
  52. Building Things
  53. Buried Treasure
  54. Burping
  55. Butter
  56. Butterflies
  57. Buttons
  58. Cabooses
  59. Cake
  60. Campfires
  61. Candy
  62. Caps
  63. Capes and Cloaks
  64. Car Washes
  65. Caramel
  66. Carnivals
  67. Carousels
  68. Cars
  69. Cartoons
  70. Cartwheels
  71. Car Washes
  72. Castanets
  73. Castles
  74. Cats
  75. Cell Phones
  76. Cheeseburgers
  77. Chicken Nuggets
  78. Chimpanzees
  79. Chinchillas
  80. Chocolate
  81. Christmas & Hanukkah
  82. Churros
  83. The Circus
  84. Clay
  85. Coins
  86. Collecting Cards
  87. Collections
  88. Coloring
  89. Comets
  90. Comic Books
  91. Comic Strips
  92. Compasses
  93. Computers
  94. Contests
  95. Constellations
  96. Construction Toys
  97. Construction Trucks
  98. Convertibles
  99. Cookies
  100. Corn Mazes
  101. Costumes
  102. Cotton Candy
  103. Crafts
  104. Crayons
  105. Creepy Things
  106. Cuddly Toys
  107. Cupcakes
  108. Cymbals
  109. Dancing
  110. Dandelions
  111. Dares
  112. Daydreaming
  113. Dessert (see WAY PAST BEDTIME)
  114. Dinosaurs
  115. Disco Balls
  116. Disney
  117. Dogs
  118. Dollhouses
  119. Dolphins
  120. Donkeys
  121. Doughnuts
  122. Doughnut Holes
  123. Dragons
  124. Drawing
  125. Dreams
  126. Dress Up
  127. Drums
  128. Easter Egg Hunts
  129. Eclipses
  130. Egg Creams
  131. Elephants
  132. Endangered Species
  133. Engines
  134. Exploring
  135. Extreme Sports
  136. Face Painting
  137. Fairies
  138. Fairy Tales
  139. Farm Animals
  140. Fast Food
  141. Feathers
  142. Fencing
  143. Field Trips
  144. Figure Skating (See LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD)
  145. Finger Paints
  146. Finger Puppets
  147. Firetrucks
  148. Fireworks
  149. Fishing Poles
  150. Fitting In
  151. Flannel Pajamas
  152. Flashlights
  153. Flutes
  154. Flying
  155. Follow the Leader
  156. Football
  157. Forts
  158. Fortune Cookies
  160. French Fries
  161. French Toast
  162. Fried Food
  163. Friends
  164. Frogs
  165. Fun Houses
  166. Funnel Cakes
  167. Funny Words
  168. The Future
  169. Gadgets & Gizmos
  170. Games
  171. Geocaching
  172. Ghost Stories
  173. Giants
  174. Gifts
  175. Giggling
  176. Gingerbread Houses (and Men)
  177. Glitter
  178. Glow in the Dark Things
  179. Go-Carts
  180. Going Somewhere Without Parents
  181. Going to a Ballgame
  182. Goldfish
  183. Goofing Off
  184. Gorillas
  185. Graham Crackers
  186. Grandparents
  187. Graphic Novels
  188. Gross, Slimy Things
  189. Guinea Pigs (Cavies)
  190. Guitars
  191. Gummi Bears, Worms, etc.
  192. Gymnastics
  193. Gyroscopes
  194. Half Days
  195. Halloween
  196. Hammerhead Sharks
  197. Hamsters
  198. Hand Buzzers
  199. Harmonicas
  200. Harps
  201. Harry Potter
  202. Hats
  203. Haunted Houses
  204. Having Their Voice Heard
  205. Headbands (Hairbands)
  206. Hedgehogs
  207. Hermit Crabs
  208. Hidden Pictures
  209. Hiding Places (Hide-n-Seek)
  210. Highlights Magazine
  211. Hobby Horses
  212. Holidays
  213. Honey
  214. Hopscotch
  215. Horses
  216. Hot Air Balloons
  217. Hot Cocoa (Chocolate)
  218. Hot Dogs
  219. Hula Hoops
  220. Humming
  221. Hummingbirds
  222. Ice Cream
  223. Ice Pops
  224. Ice Skating (See LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD)
  225. Icicles
  226. Icing
  227. Igloos
  228. Ignoring Adults
  229. Imaginary Friends
  230. Independence
  231. Insects
  232. Instant Messaging
  233. The Internet
  234. Inventing Things
  235. Invisibility
  236. iPods, iPhones, iPads
  237. Italian Ices
  238. Jack-in-the-Box
  239. Jack-0-Lanterns
  240. Jacks
  241. Japanese Erasers
  242. Jawbreakers
  243. Jelly Beans
  244. Jelly Donuts
  245. Jokes
  246. Jugglers
  247. Jumping
  248. Jump Ropes
  249. Kaleidoscopes
  250. Karate
  251. Keychains
  252. Kickball
  253. Kid Celebrities
  254. Kids Just Like Them
  255. Kings and Queens
  256. Kites
  257. Knights
  258. Knock-Knock Jokes
  259. Knocking Things Down
  260. Knowing More than Everyone Else
  261. Ladybugs
  262. Legos
  263. Licorice
  264. Lighthouses
  265. Lizards
  266. Locked Boxes
  267. Lockets
  268. Log Flumes
  269. Lollipops
  270. Lightning Bugs (Fireflies)
  271. Macaroni
  272. Magic Tricks
  273. Magic Spells
  274. Magnets
  275. Mail Addressed to Them
  276. Making Fun of Others
  277. Making Noise
  278. Malteds/Malted Milk Balls
  279. Manga
  280. Maracas
  281. Marbles
  282. Marching
  283. Markers
  284. Marshmallows
  285. Martial Arts
  286. Marzipan
  287. Mascots
  288. Mazes
  289. Meatballs
  290. Medals
  291. Megaphones
  292. Mermaids
  293. Merry-Go-Rounds
  294. Meteor Showers
  295. Mice
  296. Microphones
  297. Milkshakes
  298. Minecraft
  299. Mini Golf
  300. Miniatures
  301. Money
  302. Monsters (and THE MONSTORE!)
  303. The Moon
  304. Moon Boots
  305. Moon Bounces
  306. Morphing Objects
  307. Movies
  308. Mud (and mudpies)
  309. Mummies
  310. Museums
  311. Music
  312. Mysteries
  313. Nachos
  314. Nannies (sometimes)
  315. Naps (sometimes)
  316. Narwhals
  317. Nature
  318. Necklaces
  319. Neon Lights
  320. Nicknames
  321. Ninjas
  322. Novelty Books
  323. Nutella
  324. The Ocean
  325. Ogres
  326. Orangutans (see NORMAL NORMAN)
  327. Origami
  328. Outer Space
  329. Packing Peanuts
  330. Pancakes (Flapjacks)
  331. Paper Airplanes
  332. Paper Football
  333. Parachutes
  334. Parrots
  335. Parties (see WAY PAST BEDTIME)
  336. Peace Signs
  337. Pebbles
  338. Penguins
  339. Pennies
  340. Peppermint
  341. Petit Fours
  342. Picture Books
  343. Pie Eating Contests
  344. Pies in the Face (not theirs!)
  345. Piggy Banks
  346. Pillow Fights
  347. Piñatas
  348. Pinecones
  349. Pinwheels
  350. Pipecleaners
  351. Pirates
  352. Pixar Movies
  353. Pizza
  354. Planetariums
  355. Playdates
  356. Playgrounds
  357. Pogo Sticks
  358. Pony Rides
  359. Pools
  360. Pop-up Books
  361. Popcorn
  362. Popsicles (and Popsicle Sticks)
  363. Poptropica
  364. Pop Stars
  365. Porch Swings
  366. Posters
  367. Pretending
  368. Princesses
  369. Prizes
  370. Puddles
  371. Pumpkin Picking
  372. Puns (see 7 ATE 9: THE UNTOLD STORY)
  373. Puppets
  374. Puzzles
  375. Rabbits
  376. Race Cars
  377. Rainbows
  378. Rainforests
  379. Recess
  380. Red Light, Green Light
  381. Relay Races
  382. Repeating What You Say
  383. Reptiles
  384. Rhymes
  385. Ribbons
  386. Robots
  387. Rock Stars
  388. Rockets
  389. Roller Coasters
  390. Roller Skates
  391. Routines
  392. Rubber Bands (and Rubber Band Balls)
  393. Sailboats
  394. Sand Castles
  395. Sandboxes
  396. Seashells
  397. Scary Stories
  398. School Dances
  399. School Lunchtime
  400. Science Experiments (see NORMAL NORMAN)
  401. Scooters
  402. Sea Horses
  403. Sea Turtles
  404. Secrets
  405. Secret Codes
  406. Secret Passageways
  407. See-saws
  408. Series Fiction
  409. Sequins
  410. Shadow Puppets
  411. Sharing Music
  412. Sharks
  413. Shiny Things
  414. Shoe Boxes
  415. Shooting Stars
  416. Sibling Rivalry
  417. Sidewalk Chalk
  418. Silly Bandz
  419. Silly Words
  420. Singing
  421. Skateboards
  422. Skeeball
  423. Skeletons
  424. Skim Boards
  425. Skipping
  426. Skyscrapers
  427. Skywriting
  428. Sleeping Bags
  429. Sleeping Late
  430. Sleepovers
  431. Slides
  432. Slingshots
  433. Slime
  434. Slugs
  435. Slurpees
  436. Slush
  437. Smiley Faces
  438. S’mores
  439. Snow Days
  440. Snowball Fights
  441. Snowboards
  442. Snowmen
  443. Soapbox Derbys
  444. Soccer
  445. Sock Monkeys
  446. Soda (Pop)
  447. Somersaults
  448. Spaghetti
  449. Sparkles
  450. Sparklers
  451. Spider Webs
  452. Spitballs
  453. Sprinklers
  454. Sprinkles
  455. Squirt Guns
  456. Squirting Flowers
  457. Squishies
  458. Staying Up Late (see WAY PAST BEDTIME)
  459. Stickers
  460. Stilts
  461. Stopwatches
  462. Straws
  463. Stuffed Animals
  464. Summer Camp
  465. Sundaes
  466. Sunshowers
  467. Super Heroes
  468. Super Powers
  469. Superstitions
  470. Surfing
  471. Surprises
  472. Swimming
  473. Swings
  474. Swords
  475. Syrup
  476. Tae Kwon Do
  477. Tadpoles
  478. Tag
  479. Tall Tales
  480. Teasing
  481. Telescopes
  482. Television
  483. Telling Lies
  484. Temporary Tattoos
  485. Tents
  486. Texting
  487. Tickling
  488. Tide Pools
  489. Tie-Dyes
  490. Time Capsules
  491. Time Travel
  492. Tire Swings
  493. Tongue Twisters
  494. The Tooth Fairy
  495. Their Own Space
  496. Toys
  497. Toy Guns
  498. Trains
  499. Trampolines
  500. Trap Doors
  501. Trapeze Artists
  502. Treasure Hunts
  503. Treehouses
  504. Trophies
  505. Turtles
  506. Twisting the Truth
  507. Unicorns
  508. Unicycles
  509. Unwrapping a Gift
  510. Vacation
  511. Vampires
  512. Velcro
  513. Video Games
  514. Villains
  515. Volcanoes
  516. Waffles
  517. Wagons
  518. Walkie-Talkies
  519. Water Fountains
  520. Water Slides (and Water Parks)
  521. Watermelon
  522. Waves
  523. Weekends
  524. Weird Stuff
  525. Wellies (Rainboots)
  526. Whales
  527. Whirlygigs
  528. Whistles
  529. Wind Chimes
  530. Winning Contests
  531. Winning Games
  532. Wishing Wells
  533. Wizards
  534. Word Searches
  535. X-ray Vision
  536. Xylophones
  537. YouTube
  538. Yo-Yos
  539. Zebras
  540. Zig-Zags
  541. Zombies
  542. Zoos


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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


illus by Melissa Crowton
Tundra/PRH Canada
June 4, 2019

illus by Ross MacDonald
October 15, 2019

illus by Vivienne To
Spring 2020

illustrator TBA
Sourcebooks eXplore
August 2020

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