I adore Storybird and have way too much fun sifting through illustrations and creating my own stories, not to mention reading stories created by others.
It was developed as a way for kids to write and share their stories with family. Since then, it’s developed to include features for writing and sharing stories with other kids in a safe environment, and some great capabilities for teachers to use in the classroom with students.* But I’ve also found it to be an excellent resource for writers.** The basic account is free, and you can do a ton without needing a pro account.
How it works
Basically, you select illustrations from their ever-increasing collection and then write a story to go along with them. You can layout the pages with illustrations and text, which gives it the feel of a real picture book. The setup is easy enough for kids to do it themselves once they can write on their own.
Then kids can comment on each other’s stories and heart one if they really like it. My niece loves using it to write her own stories. Before she could read, I would type the text in as she dictated it, but I think she’s getting to the point where she can type her own now.
It’s very kid friendly, and you’re not allowed to use full names. They also review every story before it’s posted publicly to make sure that the Storybirds don’t contain mature or inappropriate content for children.
But what about writers?
I’ve used Storybird as a creative writing exercise and/or story prompt with great results.
You can see some storybirds I wrote below as an example. It’s a lot of fun.
*The features for teachers
are cool and I would have loved it when I was a student. They can grade the stories and leave private comments for students. And students can comment on and share stories with their classmates. LOVE.
. For those starting out, it could be a great way to build a portfolio and get some positive attention. Plus, royalties. (Money is good.)