September Challenge: The New Kid

It’s back to school season in our neck of the woods, so kids are sporting shiny new backpacks, bright yellow busses are back on the roads, and pencil sharpeners are grinding once again. The return to school can be filled with anxiety. Remember that feeling of walking into a new classroom, with a new teacher, not knowing if you’re going to recognize any of the other students? Or what about starting at a whole new school? Terrifying! Exciting! Nauseating! Or maybe all of the above.

There are a ton of different emotions we feel when we are trying something new for the first time, and many of them are mixed. You could be curious and afraid. Happy to see your friends, and sad to leave summer behind. Excited to meet new people, and worried about what those people will think of you.

For this month’s challenge, we’re going to take that famous writing advice, “Write what you know,” and put it to work. Think back to a time when you tried something new for the first time. How did it make you feel? Use your experience, and your memories of those emotions, to help you create your characters and tell your story.

September Challenge: The New Kid


1. Theme of the month: The New Kid - Your challenge this month is to write a picture book based on your experience trying something new for the first time. Tap into your own memories and emotions to help bring your (fictional) characters to life. Be sure not to share any personal information like your last name or your school. Remember, all stories submitted to the challenge must follow our community guidelines.

To be eligible for inclusion in the monthly roundup, you must submit your picture book by September 24, 2016.

2. Choose your artwork – Browse our library of images to find the artwork that inspires you. You can choose art by a single illustrator, or search for a keyword to use a selection of art around a particular theme.

3. Submit - When you have finished your book, select “September Challenge” on the book details page before you submit to moderation. Please submit only ONE story to this Challenge.

4. Eligibility – Any Storybird member can participate in our writing challenge. You join simply by participating. Paid membership is not required but it will allow you to display your beautiful badges like the one shown below, receive printable certificates for each challenge, and ensure your work is reviewed within 1-2 days.

5. Moderation - Paid moderation ensures your work is reviewed within 1-2 days. Learn more here. Otherwise, your work will be reviewed on a first-come, first serve basis and can take up to several weeks to be visible in the public library. We do try to accelerate Challenge entries because of the short timeframe, but there are no guarantees. Any book submitted to the Challenge before Sept 24 will be eligible for the badge (regardless of when it gets moderated).

Do the Challenge

You must have a Regular account for your story to appear in the public library and to be featured on our blog and to earn the badge. Stories published from Student accounts are only visible to members of your class.

Featured artwork by Shishir

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