By Melissa Stoller
February is a wonderful time to reflect on friendship and love. Valentine’s Day falls squarely in the middle of the month, perhaps bringing cards, candies, flowers, and special sentiments. This holiday can help you generate heartfelt ideas.
Here are a few prompts you can use for inspiration this season.
1) Check out cards at a card shop. Or write you own greetings. Notice themes that resonate with you. Can you imagine characters delivering any of the messages? Maybe the cards will spark a first line or story plot.
2) View online images of candies and flowers. Draw a scene that includes some of your favorite images. You can use stick figures! You can also add in some words. Then write a scene incorporating your artwork, words, and ideas.
3) Think about friends from your childhood. Write down three traits that you liked about each friend. Next, do the same with current friends. Also, write down three places where you visited with these friends. And finally, jot down three situations that included these friends. Mix and match the categories and see if you come up with a story plot.
I hope these prompts help you generate and develop ideas and stories filled with heart this month. Let me know in the comments!
Melissa Stoller writes to bring connection, joy, and a bit of magic to her readers. Her newest picture book, Hazel and Mabel: Two Hearts Apart, illustrated by Anita Bagdi, releases from Gnome Road Publishing in Fall 2025. Melissa is also the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection - Return to Coney Island, and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush; Ready, Set, GOrilla!; Sadie’s Shabbat Stories; Planting Friendship: Peace, Salaam, Shalom; and Building Bridges: Peace, Salaam, Shalom (co-written). Melissa is a Blogger for the Children’s Book Academy, a Rate Your Story Judge, a volunteer with SCBWI/MetroNY, a Book Meshuggenahs member, a Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center Trustee, and a past school and Synagogue Trustee. She also interviews authors and offers resources on her blog. In other chapters of her life, Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer/editor, and early childhood educator. She lives in New York City with her family, and enjoys theatre, museums, and Central Park walks. Melissa is represented by The Seymour Agency.
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We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome Aussie debut author and former student Amanda Lieber who will be focusing on Aussie kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature our new blogger coming soon.
4th Mondays features new blogger, the fabulous Brentom Jackson, who has a beautiful approach to blogging.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break