Did you know that while we’re all learning at home this spring, we’ve made our Idea Storm online course available for FREE? If your children are home from school with extra downtime on their hands, consider making downtime creative time. There is power in telling stories, and at times like these, we need people like your kids to share their voices even more.

But how does the Idea Storm work? What will it do for your creative kid? We spoke to Tracy about that. She’s the mom of 5th-grader Elena, who recently went through the course. Here’s what she had to say.

Why did Elena decide to give the Idea Storm a go?

Elena wanted to participate in a flash fiction writing contest for Stone Soup magazine but had writer’s block. So I pulled up the Idea Storm and had her try it out. She loved it so much that I suggested it for creating characters for a novel she is working on since some other character questionnaires I got somewhere else had her still drawing a blank.

How would you describe the experience?

Elena was up and moving, acting out movements and emotions, smiling and laughing immediately. As a tweenager, sometimes she can act too cool for things, but the videos and materials didn’t trigger that reaction, so she didn’t feel talked down to. She loved that she could draw her ideas as well as write them!

Usually, what’s the most challenging part of coming up with ideas for Elena?

Elena often has big ideas but struggles with how they will play out scene by scene.

Did she face that challenge during the Idea Storm?

The Idea Storm helped by letting her just play with ideas, not worrying if they sounded right or good. And when she tried it the second time as a character, she already knew how she would answer each prompt as herself, which freed her to think about how the character’s responses might differ from hers.

What kinds of ideas did she end up with?

One of the best outcomes was a discovery about a character she’s writing. She figured out that, unlike herself, her character is a loner who likes to snoop and eavesdrop on people, and that his proudest moment was when he shapeshifted into the shape of someone he’d never seen but only heard described to him before.

What was a highlight for Elena in the Idea Storm?

I think she laughed the hardest at the picking up the pencil in different ways activity!

Thanks for talking to us, Tracy! Now what are you waiting for? Now is a great time for your youth writer to try the Idea Storm. Sign up today – it’s free for a limited time this spring.


Ready to support your youth writer's developing voice?

Why writing is a powerful tool to help youth feel seen and heard.

What you can do to support youth as they develop their voices.

How on-the-go games strengthen critical thinking and courage.

Check your inbox for your free download!