I'm no expert in writing. In fact, when Lynne Marie approached me about offering up a writing prompt, I almost declined because I felt I wasn't really qualified (especially after all of the amazing guests she's had in the past).
But like Kwame Alexander said (and probably many before him), always say yes.
So my prompt is this: What do you want to see illustrated? Who do you want to see illustrated? What settings have you never seen before? Think of something so impossible, it could never be a book - then make it work.
Obviously I'm coming at this from the angle of a picture book writer, but illustrations don't have to be physical. If you write novels, you're creating a picture in every reader’s mind. Give me that mental image with your words.
I wanted to see foods race through a fridge landscape. So I wrote LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST (Sterling, available now). I wanted to see dinosaurs who were also pirates. So I wrote PIRASAURS! (Scholastic, available ). I wanted to personally argue with a fairy tale character. So I wrote IT’S NOT JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (Two Lions, 2017).
So write what you want to see pictured on the page (or in your readers’ minds) - even if it seems impossible - your imagination may surprise you.
A thoroughly delicious picture book about the funniest "food fight" ever! Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast have a beautiful friendship—until they discover that there's ONLY ONE DROP of maple syrup left. Off they go, racing past the Orange Juice Fountain, skiing through Sauerkraut Peak, and reeling down the linguini. But who will enjoy the sweet taste of victory? And could working together be better than tearing each other apart? The action-packed rhyme makes for an adrenaline-filled breakfast . . . even without a drop of coffee! (Published by Sterling Children's)
Josh Funk is the author of LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST (Sterling), as well as the forthcoming picture books PIRASAURS! (Scholastic ), DEAR DRAGON (Viking/Penguin ), IT’S NOT JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (Two Lions, 2017), and more.
Josh is a board member of The Writers' Loft in Sherborn, MA and the co-coordinator of the 2016 and 2017 New England Regional SCBWI Conferences.