Your kids will be inspired to get creative this summer. During the month of July, best-selling children’s book authors and illustrators will connect directly with hundreds of young people via the Story Pirates Creator Camp. Kids will enjoy personalized interactive activities all month long, including virtual “cabins.”

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Participating Random House Children’s Books authors and illustrators include Mary Pope Osborne (The Magic Tree House series), Nic Stone (Dear Martin, Clean Getaway), Danica McKellar (Goodnight, Numbers), Lincoln Peirce (Max & the Midknights, Big Nate), Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Grandma’s Purse, Just Like Me), and Judd Winick (Hilo). During four week-long sessions, kids will also enjoy hours of interactive live-streamed activities hosted by Story Pirates teaching artists. Campers can sign up now at https://www.storypirates.com/camp.

Already, hundreds of campers are enrolled in the inaugural June sessions, where they’re exploring weekly themes like “Heroic Heroes” and “Spy Training.” The screen time is broken up by regular intervals for kids to work independently on their own creative projects. Plus, campers are treated to numerous surprises throughout the week. The only supplies needed are common household items like paper, something to draw with, and tape.

In July, campers will be able to download story sparks and related activities to try at home. For even more summer reading fun, book bundles with a curated selection of books by each week’s featured authors and illustrators will be included as part of camp registration. Campers who want a more personalized experience may choose to join the optional virtual “cabins” on Zoom where they will interact with other campers and Story Pirates’ teaching artists in real time.

Livestreamed programming will be hosted on Mon., Wed. and Fri. from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.ET / 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. PT. 

Each weekly session revolves around a central theme:

Jul. 6 – Jul. 10: Illustration Vacation, featuring award-winning authors and illustrators Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Oge Mora, and Lauren Castillo talking about how they blend words and pictures in their books Just Like Me, Our Friend Hedgehog and The Oldest Student

Jul. 13 – Jul. 17: Camp Cartoonist, featuring graphic novelist Judd Winnick sharing how he created the world of Hilo, his beloved middle-grade series. Artists Lincoln Peirce and Lucy Knisley will also discuss their recent works, Max & the Midknights and Stepping Stones.

Jul. 20 – Jul. 24: Story Pirates in Space! featuring author Danica McKellar talking about her new book, The Times Machine! Additional special guests this week are The Magnificent Makers series author Theanne Griffith, a brain scientist by day, as well as Dean of the Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences, astrophysicist, and author of Child of the Universe Ray Jayawardhana discussing “Our Cosmic Selves.”

Jul. 27 – Jul. 31: Time Travel Adventure is the topic of week 4, featuring author Nic Stone talking about her New York Times bestselling middle-grade novel Clean Getaway. Mary Pope Osborne, renowned for her internationally bestselling Magic Tree House series, will be discussing her William Shakespeare focused story Stage Fright on a Summer Night. Finally, fiction and nonfiction author Kate Messner will talk about her new series, History Smashers.

Story Pirates CEO Benjamin Salka is excited to add July’s Story Pirates Creator Camp to the growing mix of online content available to kids who may not be able to attend traditional camps this summer. “Fans of Story Pirates, and these amazing authors and illustrators, will find a lot to engage them in July. I’m proud that we’re emphasizing the role of visual arts in the story-making process. Drawing helps kids express themselves and bring their stories to life in really creative ways.”

—Jennifer Swartvagher

Featured photo: Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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