How To Storybird

Molly O'Neill

Posted filed under Resource.
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Storybird is a publishing platform and community based around visual storytelling. We curate illustrations from artists around the world and let anyone use them as the inspiration for original picture books, poems, or long-form, serialized stories. This simple premise inspires a constant loop of creation, consumption, and conversation for the millions of kids and creatives who use Storybird to write, read, discover, and share original, memorable stories.

You can get started on Storybird by simply creating a free account and then clicking on “Write” in the top navigation bar. Doing so takes you to an endless stream of original artwork. Scroll through until a particular image or style captures your imagination and then click “use this art,” which will enable you to use that artist’s entire portfolio to create a narrative story with a cohesive artistic look. Use the art to inspire your text, help you “unlock” the story as you write, or to enhance a story you already had in mind. Storybird lets you create three distinct kinds of literary work: picture books (lots of art; less text); longform books (lots of text-possibly via ongoing serialized chapters-and minimal art); or single frame poetry (a minimal time commitment that delivers a delightful reward). Once you’ve used the appropriate editor, hitting “publish” sends your story though our moderation process (because Storybird is used widely in schools and homes around the world, moderators review all public stories and comments to guarantee that the work published on our site is family-friendly). Once published, readers can find, comment on, and heart your work. Their enthusiasm and feedback will inspire you to write more (and more often!), help you understand your story’s strengths and weaknesses, and enable you build up every writer’s goal: an engaged fanbase of readers eagerly awaiting your literary creations!

Here are some of the ways that authors are using Storybird:

1. Natalie Bahm and Wen Baragrey are professional writers-one living in Idaho, and one living in New Zealand-who met via the internet and became writing partners. The Wrong Side of the River is their dual-voiced, modern interpretation of Romeo and Juliet, complete with awkward romances, family feuds, and a delightfully humorous sensibility enhanced by artwork from Aleksei Bitskoff, a British illustrator with a quirky, fantastical sensibility.

2. figment68 is one of the most beloved community members on Storybird. Her picture books about coping with bullying have long been popular on the site, so when the new longform story format was introduced, she created The B.U.L.L.Y. Club, a story that is inspiring young readers and educators from all across the globe with its meaningful message and its warm, accessible artwork created by NYC-based artist Sam Wedelich.

3. Myra McEntire is the author of a traditionally-published young adult book series. On Storybird, she’s using her love of cliffhangers and richly-imagined settings to create The Shadow Gate, a mysterious, otherworldly tale full of magic that is vividly portrayed in illustrations of animator/artist Alina Chau.

4. Jodi Kendall is a freelance journalist who specializes in travel writing and animal stories. In Some Pig in the City, she and artist friend Katy Betz joined forces to create a fictionalized version of a story based on Jodi’s real-life childhood experience of raising a piglet amidst the chaos of a large family.

5. Deepfried_freak is a longstanding and highly active member of the Storybird community. She’s also a teen who’s still in high school, but that hasn’t stopped her from creating one of the most popular stories on the site: Breaking the Code, a high-action contemporary adventure story enhanced by artist Aleksei Bitskoff‘s love of drawing dragons.

Head of Editorial at Storybird