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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
  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. Farm Animals
  139. Fast Food
  140. Feathers
  141. Fencing
  142. Field Trips
  143. Figure Skating (See LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD)
  144. Finger Paints
  145. Finger Puppets
  146. Firetrucks
  147. Fireworks
  148. Fishing Poles
  149. Fitting In
  150. Flannel Pajamas
  151. Flashlights
  152. Flutes
  153. Flying
  154. Follow the Leader
  155. Football
  156. Forts
  157. Fortune Cookies
  158. French Fries
  159. French Toast
  160. Fried Food
  161. Friends
  162. Frogs
  163. Fun Houses
  164. Funnel Cakes
  165. Funny Words
  166. The Future
  167. Gadgets & Gizmos
  168. Games
  169. Geocaching
  170. Ghost Stories
  171. Giants
  172. Gifts
  173. Giggling
  174. Gingerbread Houses (and Men)
  175. Glitter
  176. Glow in the Dark Things
  177. Go-Carts
  178. Going Somewhere Without Parents
  179. Going to a Ballgame
  180. Goldfish
  181. Goofing Off
  182. Gorillas
  183. Graham Crackers
  184. Grandparents
  185. Graphic Novels
  186. Gross, Slimy Things
  187. Guinea Pigs (Cavies)
  188. Guitars
  189. Gummi Bears, Worms, etc.
  190. Gymnastics
  191. Gyroscopes
  192. Half Days
  193. Halloween
  194. Hammerhead Sharks
  195. Hamsters
  196. Hand Buzzers
  197. Harmonicas
  198. Harps
  199. Harry Potter
  200. Hats
  201. Haunted Houses
  202. Having Their Voice Heard
  203. Headbands (Hairbands)
  204. Hedgehogs
  205. Hermit Crabs
  206. Hidden Pictures
  207. Hiding Places (Hide-n-Seek)
  208. Highlights Magazine
  209. Hobby Horses
  210. Holidays
  211. Honey
  212. Hopscotch
  213. Horses
  214. Hot Air Balloons
  215. Hot Cocoa (Chocolate)
  216. Hot Dogs
  217. Hula Hoops
  218. Humming
  219. Hummingbirds
  220. Ice Cream
  221. Ice Pops
  222. Ice Skating (See LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD)
  223. Icicles
  224. Icing
  225. Igloos
  226. Ignoring Adults
  227. Imaginary Friends
  228. Independence
  229. Insects
  230. Instant Messaging
  231. The Internet
  232. Inventing Things
  233. Invisibility
  234. iPods, iPhones, iPads
  235. Italian Ices
  236. Jack-in-the-Box
  237. Jack-0-Lanterns
  238. Jacks
  239. Japanese Erasers
  240. Jawbreakers
  241. Jelly Beans
  242. Jelly Donuts
  243. Jokes
  244. Jugglers
  245. Jumping
  246. Jump Ropes
  247. Kaleidoscopes
  248. Karate
  249. Keychains
  250. Kickball
  251. Kid Celebrities
  252. Kids Just Like Them
  253. Kings and Queens
  254. Kites
  255. Knights
  256. Knock-Knock Jokes
  257. Knocking Things Down
  258. Knowing More than Everyone Else
  259. Ladybugs
  260. Legos
  261. Licorice
  262. Lighthouses
  263. Lizards
  264. Locked Boxes
  265. Lockets
  266. Log Flumes
  267. Lollipops
  268. Lightning Bugs (Fireflies)
  269. Macaroni
  270. Magic Tricks
  271. Magic Spells
  272. Magnets
  273. Mail Addressed to Them
  274. Making Fun of Others
  275. Making Noise
  276. Malteds/Malted Milk Balls
  277. Manga
  278. Maracas
  279. Marbles
  280. Marching
  281. Markers
  282. Marshmallows
  283. Martial Arts
  284. Marzipan
  285. Mascots
  286. Mazes
  287. Meatballs
  288. Medals
  289. Megaphones
  290. Mermaids
  291. Merry-Go-Rounds
  292. Meteor Showers
  293. Mice
  294. Microphones
  295. Milkshakes
  296. Minecraft
  297. Mini Golf
  298. Miniatures
  299. Money
  300. Monsters (and THE MONSTORE!)
  301. The Moon
  302. Moon Bounces
  303. Morphing Objects
  304. Movies
  305. Mud (and mudpies)
  306. Mummies
  307. Museums
  308. Music
  309. Mysteries
  310. Nachos
  311. Nannies (sometimes)
  312. Naps (sometimes)
  313. Narwhals
  314. Nature
  315. Necklaces
  316. Neon Lights
  317. Nicknames
  318. Ninjas
  319. Novelty Books
  320. Nutella
  321. The Ocean
  322. Ogres
  323. Origami
  324. Outer Space
  325. Packing Peanuts
  326. Pancakes (Flapjacks)
  327. Paper Airplanes
  328. Paper Football
  329. Parachutes
  330. Parrots
  331. Parties
  332. Peace Signs
  333. Pebbles
  334. Penguins
  335. Pennies
  336. Peppermint
  337. Petit Fours
  338. Picture Books
  339. Pie Eating Contests
  340. Pies in the Face (not theirs!)
  341. Piggy Banks
  342. Pillow Fights
  343. Piñatas
  344. Pinecones
  345. Pinwheels
  346. Pipecleaners
  347. Pirates
  348. Pixar Movies
  349. Pizza
  350. Planetariums
  351. Playdates
  352. Playgrounds
  353. Pogo Sticks
  354. Pony Rides
  355. Pools
  356. Pop-up Books
  357. Popcorn
  358. Popsicles (and Popsicle Sticks)
  359. Poptropica
  360. Pop Stars
  361. Porch Swings
  362. Posters
  363. Pretending
  364. Princesses
  365. Prizes
  366. Puddles
  367. Pumpkin Picking
  368. Puppets
  369. Puzzles
  370. Rabbits
  371. Race Cars
  372. Rainbows
  373. Rainforests
  374. Recess
  375. Red Light, Green Light
  376. Relay Races
  377. Repeating What You Say
  378. Reptiles
  379. Rhymes
  380. Ribbons
  381. Robots
  382. Rock Stars
  383. Rockets
  384. Roller Coasters
  385. Roller Skates
  386. Routines
  387. Rubber Bands (and Rubber Band Balls)
  388. Sailboats
  389. Sand Castles
  390. Sandboxes
  391. Seashells
  392. Scary Stories
  393. School Dances
  394. School Lunchtime
  395. Science Experiments
  396. Scooters
  397. Sea Horses
  398. Sea Turtles
  399. Secrets
  400. Secret Codes
  401. Secret Passageways
  402. See-saws
  403. Series Fiction
  404. Sequins
  405. Shadow Puppets
  406. Sharing Music
  407. Sharks
  408. Shiny Things
  409. Shoe Boxes
  410. Shooting Stars
  411. Sibling Rivalry
  412. Sidewalk Chalk
  413. Silly Bandz
  414. Silly Words
  415. Singing
  416. Skateboards
  417. Skeeball
  418. Skeletons
  419. Skim Boards
  420. Skipping
  421. Skyscrapers
  422. Skywriting
  423. Sleeping Bags
  424. Sleeping Late
  425. Sleepovers
  426. Slides
  427. Slingshots
  428. Slime
  429. Slugs
  430. Slurpees
  431. Slush
  432. Smiley Faces
  433. S’mores
  434. Snow Days
  435. Snowball Fights
  436. Snowboards
  437. Snowmen
  438. Soapbox Derbys
  439. Soccer
  440. Sock Monkeys
  441. Soda (Pop)
  442. Somersaults
  443. Spaghetti
  444. Sparkles
  445. Sparklers
  446. Spider Webs
  447. Spitballs
  448. Sprinklers
  449. Sprinkles
  450. Squirt Guns
  451. Squirting Flowers
  452. Staying Up Late
  453. Stickers
  454. Stilts
  455. Stopwatches
  456. Straws
  457. Stuffed Animals
  458. Summer Camp
  459. Sundaes
  460. Sunshowers
  461. Super Heroes
  462. Super Powers
  463. Superstitions
  464. Surfing
  465. Surprises
  466. Swimming
  467. Swings
  468. Swords
  469. Syrup
  470. Tae Kwon Do
  471. Tadpoles
  472. Tag
  473. Tall Tales
  474. Teasing
  475. Telescopes
  476. Television
  477. Telling Lies
  478. Temporary Tattoos
  479. Tents
  480. Texting
  481. Tickling
  482. Tide Pools
  483. Tie-Dyes
  484. Time Capsules
  485. Time Travel
  486. Tire Swings
  487. Tongue Twisters
  488. The Tooth Fairy
  489. Their Own Space
  490. Toys
  491. Toy Guns
  492. Trains
  493. Trampolines
  494. Trap Doors
  495. Trapeze Artists
  496. Treasure Hunts
  497. Treehouses
  498. Trophies
  499. Turtles
  500. Twisting the Truth
  501. Unicorns
  502. Unicycles
  503. Unwrapping a Gift
  504. Vacation
  505. Vampires
  506. Velcro
  507. Video Games
  508. Villains
  509. Volcanoes
  510. Waffles
  511. Wagons
  512. Walkie-Talkies
  513. Water Fountains
  514. Water Slides (and Water Parks)
  515. Watermelon
  516. Waves
  517. Weekends
  518. Weird Stuff
  519. Wellies (Rainboots)
  520. Whales
  521. Whirlygigs
  522. Whistles
  523. Wind Chimes
  524. Winning Contests
  525. Winning Games
  526. Wishing Wells
  527. Wizards
  528. Word Searches
  529. X-ray Vision
  530. Xylophones
  531. YouTube
  532. Yo-Yos
  533. Zebras
  534. Zig-Zags
  535. Zombies
  536. Zoos
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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Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Summer/Fall 2018

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