amwriting, book giveaways, brainstorming, children's books, children's writing, creativity, imagination, picture book author, picture book illustrators, picture book manuscripts, picture books, Storystorm, Tara Lazar, writing journey


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The StoryStorm challenge created by Tara Lazar and found on her blog Writing for Kids While Raising Them, is a fantastic way to generate ideas for potential picture books. Specifically, the challenge is to come up with a picture book idea for every day of January.

This being January 18th means that those participating are a little more than half way to reaching their goal. Are you participating? Is this your first year, or are you a returning challenger? If you are a returning challenger, have you always made it to the end of the month?

The median point of the month has notoriously been the time when work responsibilities gets the better of my attention (Special Education Annual Review Time), and my consistency with following the daily StoryStorm blog posts and brainstorming an idea a day peters out. In fact, I found a calendar template for last year’s StoryStorm and I’d made it until the 16th, so I’m already doing better than last year, and that’s definitely a plus.

Photo by Prateek Katyal on

This year, I’m determined. I’m going to do it. I’m going to make it all the way to the end of January. The featured guest bloggers for StoryStorm have been funny, inspirational, validating; the list of encouraging adjectives could go on and on. It’s amazing how many different ways there are to come up with ideas. Many of the guest bloggers recommend mentor texts which is another great source for inspiration and idea creation. One of my favorite posts was about process over product, written by Kirsten Pendreigh Has there been a blog post that spoke to you more than others?

I don’t know if I will come up with a picture book that goes to contract this year from the ideas generated, but it’s more likely that I might, if I keep my word and the challenge. Have you had a picture book come from one of the ideas you came up with in past StoryStorms? If you have, please share in the comments. I’d love to hear about it and I bet other’s would too.


4 thoughts on “STORYSTORM 2021!”

  1. Hi Jan, I’m doing Storystorm and I agree that it’s a challenge to keep up with generating ideas every day, although there’s some great posts about how to brainstorm picture book ideas. But I’ve collected all my notes and made a list of new ideas that popped up in the past twelve months, plus added a few new ones, so I think I’m doing well. Hope I find more and complete the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jan, I’ve been doing Tara’s challenge for maybe 5 or 6 years now. Tara is a friend, actually, and it took me years to commit because I don’t like adding more to my “things to do” pressure lists! I love doing it, but for me, I do all of it in spurts or just take it how it goes. I don’t necessarily read the posts on the same day, but be sure to comment when you do. You need to comment on every post to be eligible for the prizes. I also just jot down ideas when they come, and sometimes just sit for a few minutes and list a few ideas at a time rather than daily. Do what works for you 🙂

    And yes, I’ve come up with picture books from the ideas, though I NEVER share them publicly lol Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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