Monday, November 4, 2013

PiBoIdMo: How to Catch Picture Book Ideas with Sticky Paper

This month, I’m taking on another kind of writing challenge. In case you didn’t know, November is also time for Tara Lazar’s annual Picture Book Idea Month or PiBoIdMo. The challenge is to generate 30 picture book ideas in 30 days. You don’t have to turn any of the ideas into actual manuscripts or share your ideas with anyone. You simply go to Tara’s blog: and sign up.

She always has an amazing line-up of guest bloggers to share their picture book idea generating tips and tricks. (Have you ever wondered where Jane Yolen gets all of her picture book ideas? She’ll be on Tara’s blog November 13th to share!) Registration for PiBoIdMo runs until November 7th. By registering, you are eligible for really cool prizes, including agent critiques and feedback.

This is my third year participating in PiBoIdMo. Over time, it has turned into more than a month of creativity, but an online creative community through an active Facebook page.

Like NaNoWriMo, PiBoIdMo is a way to turn on the faucet of creativity without judging your ideas. It’s a time to go for it and see what pours out. It’s also a time to keep your eyes and ears open for ideas zinging around the universe and catching them on the sticky paper of your choosing. I sat down with a stack of index cards yesterday, my preferred PiBoIdMo sticky paper, and reflected on things I heard from my kids over the past week in preparation for Halloween. By the end of a 60 minute brainstorming session, I jotted down about eight ideas. Mind you some of them are absolutely, positively blech. But there were three in my pile that made me feel like I could turn them into something worthwhile in December.

So, if you are interested in writing picture books but aren’t really sure where or how to start, consider signing up for PiBoIdMo. Because getting inspired is always a good way to get started. If you write picture books, how do you capture ideas zinging around the universe? Is anyone doing PiBoIdMo and what do you think of it so far?

-- Kellie DuBay Gillis


  1. That sounds way more do-able than NaNoWriMo! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great idea. I love sticky notes and index cards. :)

  3. I'm actually doing both PiBoIdMo and Nano--though I'm using Nano to revise a novel. I think of November as my "push month"--if I do a good job, come January, I'm set to go! And so far, I'm loving the posts over at Tara Lazar's blog. Katie Davis' 30 Days of Inspiration was ...well, inspiring! :-)

  4. This is my second year of PiBoIdMo. Tara is the best. I come away with ideas for picture books and novels.


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