3 Sources of Inspiration for Kidlit Writers

Everything sparks ideas.  But capturing ideas before they flee is daunting.  For me, whimsical and wily inspiration comes from problems, experiences and observations. 

1. Problems: When my daughter Sydney was in first grade, she wrote a song in response to a bully.  After she sang it to her class, the bully approached her. 

“Did you write that song about me?”

Sydney: “Yes I did.”

Bully: “I’m going to be nicer to you.  I don’t want you to write another song about me!”


Sydney's problem inspired her to write a song that not only solved her first grade bully problem, but also drove the creation of our family band.  

My childhood problems tend to resurface in my writing. Ultimately all of my main characters figure out a way to overcome doubt and be true to themselves.

In Cornelia Funk's The Princess Knight, Princess Violetta wants to do things that are unexpected of her.  Strong women who defy stereotypes appear in all of Cornelia Funk's books and I wonder if this was a problem for her.