Summer Sparks

Summer Sparks

We all get it… the Summer Blahs… the Child(ren) Overload… the It’s Too Nice Outside… or Hey, I’m On Vacation…  or maybe I’m In A Rut, HELP! moods. So what is Summer Sparks? Why is it slap dab at the beginning of Summer?!?

I like to challenge myself during the year writing. I try to participate in  several… Julie Hedlund’s 12×12, Alison Hertz’s Doodle Day, Meg Miller’s ReviMo, Paula Yoo’s NaPiBoWriWee, & Tara Lazars’s PiBoIdMo.  Through all that, sometimes I will stall out, hit a wall, get stuck in a rut and cannot write during the Summer. You know what I’m talking about, PiBoIdMo ideas that haven’t panned out and here is 12×12 knocking at your door to get something down. What to write… what to wrtie…   Ta-dah! SUMMER SPARKS!

The challenge is to create 14 picture book sparks in 14 days. You don’t have to write a manuscript, but fire it up if the spark catches. You don’t need potential best-seller ideas, just a spark.

Maybe come up with a character… Think of a clever title… How about a silly thing. Get something down to spark that noodle of yours to get the creative juices working. Sparks will scatter, some will catch, and before you know it you will be on FY-ARE!

Summer Sparks will supply you with daily blog posts by picture book authors to  help the kindling. This will give you enough ideas to push you through and keep you writing the rest of the year.

Registering will begin June 1st.
Summer Sparks will run from June 21st (the first day of Summer) to July 4th (let the fireworks begin). After the event concludes, participants who completed the challenge are asked to take the Summer Sparks’s Pledge stating they ended the two week period with 14 or more ideas.  This challenge is on the honor system, the participants do not have to post their ideas. In fact, I urge them not to!

Writers can register anytime on this post, comment on all give away posts, and complete the challenge will be eligible for prizes:

  • critiques
  • books

(If you’d like to donate a prize to SUMMER SPARKS, please contact me at tracey[at] traceymcox [dot] com.)

Summer Sparks 2015 Guest Bloggers

author photo

Donna L. Martin

The Benefits of Playdough: Molding your PB Idea Into A Story


NRD postcard

Nancy Raines Day

How to Rhyme Right in a Picture Book Manuscript


Pat Miller photo

Pat Miller

Writing Tips from the Big Bad Writer



Jennifer Swanson

Make Your Non-Fiction Leap Off the Page!



Tracey M. Cox

Family Celebration
Back Where I Come From
Go Jump In a Lake
Take a Vacay!
Don’t You Know that You Are a Shooting Star?
Sun Burst
Get Out!
Do the Twist


Click HERE to go to the blog post to sign-up!   To continue the picture book discussion, please join our Summer Sparks Facebook group. Connect with other participants and kidlit professionals, chat about the event and other writerly topics.

And follow this blog or get email updates (see right-hand column) to ensure you don’t miss a thing!


2014 Guest Bloggers & their posts:

16 thoughts on “Summer Sparks

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