“Story Pirates’ Creator Club”—A Subscription-based Digital Program To Inspire Your Child to Write, A Review by Andrea Santo Felcone

Story Pirates Logo

Gimlet Media, Story Pirates Podcast.

Recently, I had the opportunity to write a review for Motherhood Later about Story Pirates and their new creative endeavor: Sleep Squad” —an immersive virtual theater experience aimed at helping children fall asleep. In case you missed that review, or are unfamiliar with “Story Pirates,” they are a nationally-renowned group of top comedians, musicians, authors, and teachers who use stories written by children to create humorous songs, comedy sketches, and clever writing lessons that encourage all children to write. They have school literacy programs, which also use kid-created stories as the seeds of inspiration.  

In addition, they now have a very popular podcast which has been downloaded more than 25 million times. The podcast also features songs and sketches based on stories written by kids, and as such, all their content is entertaining, fresh, and funny. It’s an interesting circle: a child writes a story, “Story Pirates” adapts that story to a song or comedy sketch, or podcast, etc., includes a writing prompt or writing lesson into the mix, then this content encourages other children to write stories. It’s a smart process that feeds itself and allows for a continuous flow of creative material.   

My son and I enjoyed the “Sleep Squad” experience so much, we were invited to explore a complimentary trial of “Story Pirates’ Creator Club” –their members only club for “fans and friends”. This is a subscription-based digital program, where you get a TON of fun activities to help encourage your child to use his or her imagination to write their own stories. Creator Club Members get special access to interactive events with “Story Pirates” podcast hosts, podcast bonus content, including episode-based writing activity guides, digital resources that get kids excited to write, and more. This is a wonderful resource if you are looking for something enjoyable for your child to supplement his or her school’s writing curriculum, especially as we continue with remote learning in many parts of the country.  

And, equally important, it’s affordable….   

The subscription fee is only $5.00/month for the Basic membership, with a one-month free trial to start. (There are other levels which provide more content; the Premium Level includes a Virtual Birthday Party with a visit from the “Story Pirates” Podcast hosts.) And, even better, when you join at the Annual or Premium level, “Story Pirates” will donate a Creator Club membership to a teacher at an underserved school.   

My son and I began our subscription by listening to “Story Pirates Radio,” and we were instantly charmed by Story Pirate Andrew (personality for days, here, and a terrific singing voice). You can tell that “Story Pirates” has amassed quite a following, because there was a lengthy section in the radio shows we listened to, where Andrew answered the equivalent of “viewer mail” and you could tell he is genuinely connected to his listeners. (As a new listener, it was very endearing to hear how much Andrew’s listeners love him, and vice-versa.) This is a fun interactive way for children to connect with the “Story Pirates” personalities, who seem to be gathering quite a following.  

There were other segments of the radio shows we listened to, of course, including our favorite part: the humorous songs the “Story Pirates” created out of children’s stories. These songs are at the heart of everything the “Story Pirates” create. They are the perfect combination of child-inspired seed of inspiration, and clever adult collaboration.  

After hearing from a friend that she and her son are loyal “Story Pirates” podcast listeners, I listened to a “Story Pirates” podcast where Celebrity Rachel Dratch was on a quest to win a Mermaid tail competition. (Celebrities often collaborate with the “Story Pirates” and you will find many that you admire.) The quality of these performed stories/songs is so high –in line with some performances I’ve seen on Off-Broadway– its easy to see why the podcast has won the 2020 iHeartRadio award for Best Kids and Family Podcast.    

Story Pirates Creator Club

Story Pirates Creator Club Content.

Next, we went onto viewing some “Story Pirates” TV shows online. These were also endearing and engaging. Each TV show consists of songs, sketch comedy routines, and includes the important teaching segment: a short writing lesson, which cleverly uses a Game Show theme “Show, Not Tell!” to explain one of creative writing’s main techniques: “Show, Don’t Tell”. My son and I laughed out loud at these segments (even though, honestly, for him the words “Show, Don’t Tell” usually shut down his creative process). The activity sheets that went along with these programs are also thoughtful and inspiring for young writers. As a creative writing teacher who has worked with middle-schoolers for over seven years, I can speak with confidence about the quality of the content in the “Story Pirates” worksheets.  

In each medium, there are always plenty of opportunities for your child to brainstorm, to download writing activity sheets with “Story Sparks” (creative writing prompts) and eventually to share his or her stories with the “Story Pirates” through the Creator Club.  

Who knows, maybe your child will be lucky enough to have his or her story performed on a “Story Pirates” Podcast or TV show?  Story Pirates Creator Club

For more information, and to join: 

“Story Pirates” Creator Club: https://www.storypirates.com/creatorclub 

For more information on their non-profit arm, “Story Pirates Changemakers”: https://storypirateschangemakers.org/ 

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