My daughter loves writing stories in her down time—she’s been done with her latest school year for a little over a week, and she’s already written several chapters of The Secret of the Blue Whale (right now, Julian has discovered a secret underwater village—more to come).

She’s a bit like me in this way, even though right now it comes out more in the talking-animal form: she processes through writing. But even if she weren’t the writing type, I’d still want a way to encourage her to take a pen to paper and scratch out her imagination. There’s something pretty powerful about a well-told story. They make up the magic of our collective culture.

In order to foster her creativity, I created a journal of ten story prompts, one for the ten (more or less) weeks of summer). And last week, I realized it’d be fun to make it available to you, too. It’s called A Summer of Stories.

A Summer of Stories: 10 Prompts for Writing Great Summertime Tales | An e-book for kids by Tsh Oxenreider!

“A book is simply the container of an idea—like a bottle; what is inside the book is what matters.” -Angela Carter

This PDF can be made in to a printable journal, filled with room to brainstorm and scratch out stories till her—and your child’s—heart’s content. It also includes a low-key explanation of the five elements of a story, the five elements of a plot, point of view, and a pep talk about why writing is fun. I also may or may not reference Harry Potter. (I need to emphasize my hipness with the youth.)

I can shake off everything as i write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn. -Anne Frank

If this sounds like a cup of tea your kiddo would like to sip this summer, head here. My daughter is nine, so I wrote it for around her age, plus or minus a few years—but I’ve already heard from a few grownups that they’re having fun with it, too. I’ve included ideas on how to tweak it for younger or older writers.

A Plot, Deconstructed

I’ve also included general encouragement for the parent, resources for grammar if you want to go there (since this e-book is more about the creative free-flow of writing), and a link to find free paper I’ve created for younger writers and videos about the book-publishing process.

If you prefer a Kindle version, head here; a Nook version, head here. They’re a dollar cheaper, since they’re also not journals—it includes all the other info, but you’ll need to provide your own writing space. Still just as fun, though, I think.

I’d love to know what you think! If you guys like this, I may make available the one I write her for the fall as well. Go ahead and take a look at A Summer of Stories.

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” -Stephen King