Tag Archives: PiBoIdMo

StoryStorm 2019: May Bountiful Ideas Rain Upon Us

1 Jan

StoryStorm, the brainchild of creative picture book penner Tara Lazar, is an inspiring challenge to writers of all inclinations to create 30 individual ideas for a story/plot/concept/book throughout the month of January. To further motivate, Lazar’s site provides a daily insightful guest blog from fellow writers/illustrators.

StoryStorm is the evolution of Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo), which centered exclusively on picture book ideas, and occurred during the hectic month of November (it clashed with National Novel Writing Month). Registration is free, just make sure to post a comment with your name on the registration post, and then you’ll be able to win a slew of cool kid lit related prizes, permitting you post a comment on each inspiration guest post. Be sure to also subscribe so your inbox will be filled with daily inspiration.

Both incarnations are widely popular with thousands of published and aspiring authors as well as classrooms of students participating to develop routine muse-filled habits while embracing their inner creator. In 2018, I decided to continue on my own with PiBoIdMo in November, but am also happy and encouraged to creatively ride out the ‘Storm in 2019!


I’m already one idea in with Wood You?, a meta picture book response to deforestation and both the liberal and conservative stances on protecting the earth’s trees. Think of it as the Lorax, but less furry and more direct and analytical. I certainly need to work on my pitches, as that book (from what I just wrote) sounds AWFUL!!!! 🙂

Let the Idea Parade Begin! PiBoIdMo 2015

1 Nov



Bring on the Ideas: 2014 PiBoIdMo

29 Oct

It’s that time of year again!

Now that we’ve filled our mouths with Halloween candy, allow that sweet sugar to muse our brains with 30 delicious ideas for picture books. If you haven’t already, please sign-up for the 6th Annual Picture Book Idea Month hosted by the lovely Tara Lazar. On a personal note, for the second year in a row, my 9th grade English honors students will participate for extra credit. I hope to share their creative ideas with you in the future!


That’s a Wrap: PiBoIdMo 2012

8 Dec


Special thanks to Tara Lazar for hosting the fourth annual Picture Book Idea Month. My third venture with this global creativity party left me feeling less than “imaginative,” as you can see from my idea list below. This could be my gut saying, “it’s time. Revise and send out your existing stories, before you go mustering up more ideas.”

However, the true joy was seeing my talented ninth grade students generate ideas each and every day. I’m proud of their “imaginator” skills and look forward to guiding them as they turn one of their ideas into a genuine picture book manuscript. I just need to remember to add one student to my roster: ME!

Happy writing everyone. For those with a picture idea or three, I urge you to consider Picture Book Marathon in February.

This year’s ideas, well the titles at least:

  1. Busy Baby
  2. Thomas LeClair the Strange Little Bear
  3. Journey of the Droplets
  4. The Unlucky Cannon
  5. Frank and Steve’s Monster
  6. The Greedy Gyoza
  7. Septopus
  8. Mirror Jumper
  9. Outside the Box
  10. Down the Mountain
  11. The Giant Eraser
  12. Super Slice
  13. The Chip Monk
  14. The Wampire
  15. The Ark
  16. Sensory Field Trip
  17. Pet Buffet
  18. For Giants Only
  19. Owl Cafe
  20. The Late Bird
  21. Birthday Doors
  22. My Pony is Bigger Than Yours
  23. Girl VS. Cap
  24. Cop Kid
  25. Santa’s Apprentice
  26. The Haunted Boy
  27. Uninsultable Kid
  28. The Vegetable Jar
  29. Cinderello
  30. Aldo the Alligator Finds a Job


Join the Idea Parade: PiBoIdMo 2011

26 Oct

Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes.” – Napoleon Hill

The time has come again for you to dust off your thinking cap. It’s “Picture Book Idea Month” or PiBoIdMo, where imaginators generate 30 original picture book ideas in the month of November. Published and aspiring authors alike can benefit from filling up their idea tank for when they’re ready to put pen to paper. As of October 24th, Nearly 300 participants signed up with many more to follow…including you! Continue reading

Idea Factory: A-Z Titles

1 Oct

“A good title is the title of a successful book” – Robert C Gallagher

Writer’s block got your pen’s tongue? Unable to stir the creativity pot? So you need an idea…well, that’s no problem. It’s time for the “A-Z Title List.”

My “Sell What You Write: How to Get Published” professor, the wonderfully talented Ms. Kathryn Radeff, used this exercise in class ensuing bountiful bushels of imagination. The assignment was simple, generate a list of original titles with the first letter in each one corresponding to a letter in the English alphabet. The results were astounding and led several students on a focused path towards publication.

For this exercise, simply use a lined sheet of paper and write the alphabet (in order) from top to bottom. Then next to each letter, write an original idea for a title. You can do this exercise for any style or genre. For example, create a list of titles for picture books, articles, poems, or don’t set any boundaries. You can even scour through your drafts and use existing titles as a reminder of the pieces available in your archives. Feel free to also use the A-Z list format for character and setting names.

For those partaking in Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo in November (and everyone should!), this activity is a great precursor and could help you generate some of those picture book ideas.

In addition, you will subconsciously hone your title writing skills. Since the title isn’t bound by word limits and grammar per say, the sky is the limit on what you can produce to lure an editor into buying your piece and convincing a reader to halt the page-flipping.

Complete this exercise as often as you desire or whenever you feel a drought in your idea archives.

Remember, there’s no finite goal here. Just enjoy the exercise and let it take it wherever you end up.


  • Don’t think too hard. You can add as many titles per letter as you desire.
  • “A(n)” and “The” don’t count for A and T respectively
  • If doing article titles, add in subheadings. A sub heading acts as your clarifier, providing enough information about your piece to make readers decide if it’s worth their attention. This permits your title the utmost freedom to be as creative or catchy as you please.
  • There’s no time limit, though I recommend hashing an entire list out in one sitting.
  • Scan the magazine racks at your look bookstore, or search online through article/book databases for inspiration.
  • If one title inspires you to the point where you want to start writing it, immediately abandon the list as it’s already done it’s job at getting you to write.
* Special thanks to Ms. Kathryn Radeff for allowing me to share this exercise with you.

EXAMPLES: Below I’ve posted two A-Z lists I created to simulate how you can take the titles in any direction you desire.


  • Anywhere But There
  • Buster Bee
  • (The) Complaint Department
  • Dunce for Hire
  • Eeny
  • Fill A Delfia
  • Goodie Gumdrops and the Sinful Sugar
  • Hell’s Gym: Exercise Your Demons
  • Island for Two
  • Junk In the Trunk: The Story of the Garbage Collecting Elephant
  • Kite Swimming
  • Lavender Lou
  • (The) Melted Hearts of Princess Way
  • Nothing But Nuts
  • Only on a Wednesday
  • Parentnapping
  • Quotes of Our Lives
  • Red, White, and Boo!
  • Some Like It Cold
  • Tea Time For Boys
  • United Shapes of America
  • Venus for Sale
  • (The) Witch’s Waffle
  • X Marks Spot the Dog
  • Year of the Cockroach
  • Zoochini


  • Achilles Nostril: Hay Fever Wreaks Havoc on Residents
  • Bad News Deer: A Wild Buck Crashes A Little League Baseball Game
  • Captain Crunch Remembered: A Retrospective Look at an American Breakfast Icon
  • Dog’s Best Friend: Is Man Really a Fit Canine Companion?
  • Entitlement Era: Welcome to America’s Selfish Movement
  • For the Record: Local Music Shop Re-Opens Selling Only Vinyl
  • Green This: Exposing the Awful Truth of an Eco-Friendlier World
  • Hit or Miss Weekend Getaways
  • Impossible Meals: Top Chefs Unlock Their Treasure Chest of Recipes
  • Jokers Tame: City Officials Sanction A Local Comedy Club
  • King Wanted: America Desperate For Royalty
  • Lions, Tigers, and Beer Oh My: The Zoo Holds Its Annual Oktoberfest Fundraiser
  • Mary Had a Juiced Up Lamb: Enhancement Drugs and Livestock
  • Never Ever…: The Things Parents Warn Children Not to Do
  • Ohio is For Credit Card Lovers: State Must Face Credit Crisis
  • Please Don’t Tip Me: One Waitress Takes a Stand Against Greed
  • Quiz Me Not: Students Protest State Assessments
  • River Rage: A Jetski Driver Picks a Fight with Local Fishermen
  • Stare Roids: When Gawking Becomes Harassment in the Men’s Room
  • Throwing a Cold: The Top Ten Causes of the Common Cold
  • Union Strikes Out: Factory Workers Unable to Retain Insurance Benefits
  • Vader for Senator: James Earl Jones Throws His Name in the Hat in State Senate Election
  • Will You Marry Him?: Arranged Marriages a Rising Trend in America
  • X-Women: Female Firefighters Come to the Rescue
  • Yes You Can’t: The Truth Behind Obama’s Campaign
  • Zipper Killer: Buttons Outsell Their Nemesis at Clothing Convention

Job Done!

6 Dec

In November, 2010, children’s book author Tara Lazar issued a challenge: “Write 30 picture book ideas in 30 days.” In the end, 198 dedicated writers answered the call.

For anyone wishing to explore the innocent world of picture book writing, I highly recommend Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo). Each daybrought a new guest blog post from an established author, editor, or agent arriving in my mailbox which also allowed me to make several new contacts. In addition, there were hoards of tasty prizes from jewelry, to signed picture books, to manuscript critiques.

Compared to the 50,000 words demanded in NanoWrimo, creating 30 ideas in one month is not as severe of a challenge. Though typically each month I’d probably only produce 5 or 6 original ideas. The beauty of PiBoIdMo is that it keeps your imagination focused on strictly picture books.

Even if you missed out, and don’t want to wait until November 2011, you can always do it another month on your own. Visit the PiBoIdMo site to access the motivational posts.

Overall, I feel accomplished. PiBoIdMo helped me launch into my 10th Children’s Book Ideas journal, and gave me a handful of ‘ready-to-write’ ideas.

Special thanks to everyone involved and congratulations to all who participated.

Btw…for laughs/lollipops below is a list of some of my titles for ideas generated during PiBoIdMo:

  • Are You Really a Kid?
  • Wild Wando
  • Ropunzel
  • We’re Not For Dinner
  • The Cheercrow
  • Christmas Palm Tree
  • The Best Man is a Boy
  • Witches Day
  • Foolish Frederick
  • Mr. French Toast

Download: PiBoIdMo Checklist

3 Nov


As a professional procrastinator, I often focus on everything but the task at hand. So, instead of jotting down ideas, I decided to spend my afternoon whipping up a little check-list to monitor my progress during PiBoIdMo. Please download the above PDF and use it at your leisure. Simply click on the link and print, or right click to download it. I recommend printing it in color, cause it just looks that much sexier, but B&W will do just fine.

Happy “idea hunting” imaginators!

Recommendation: PiBoIdMo

3 Nov

I've got my badge, where's yours? Sign-up today!

Tara Lazar, author of THE MONSTORE (2013) is sponsoring Picture Book Idea Month 2010. PiBoIdMo is the cuddly companion to the arduous stress of NanoWrimo. So what do you have to write? Simply jot down 30 original ideas for picture books and you’re a winner and may even take home some prizes including agent contact and professional critiques. There’s no requirement to share, and you can keep your “best-selling” premise on the down-low. Personally, as a self-proclaimed “Idea Factory” I’m looking forward to peeking through my imagination’s closet by giving myself plenty of leads for February’s PB Marathon.

Happy “idea planting” imaginators!