Writer and bush worker Matt Zurbo began his quest of writing one short story for children every day for a whole year, after the birth of his daughter, Cielo.
Zurbo had already written nine children’s books- one of which became an award-winning cartoon- as well as various other fiction and non-fiction, including music magazines and young adult novels. When he isn’t writing, Zurbo works in the Australian bush in various roles, turning his hand to oyster farming, bio security, and coastal path construction. The idea for the short story project came around a year after the birth of his daughter, while the family lived in Queensland. The Cielo project was created as an ode to his daughter, dedicated to bringing joy and creativity into her life, and any other potential readers.
“I want to make a better world for her. Imagination trumps violence. Reading is a doorway to wisdom, understanding, adventurous minds. And the world is so full of stories and ideas! As an ode to my daughter, I am writing 365 children’s books in 365 days, giving each one art direction, and putting them on the internet for free.
Writing has been good to me. This is my gift to her. My way of giving something back.”
Matt Zurbo’s short stories range from the ridiculous to the curious, taking any inspiration he gained from that day to inspire tomorrow’s story.
Every one of the stories in Cielo’s 365 Stories Project are free and available to all online, although Zurbo has expressed he wouldn’t mind if some of them were snatched up by publishers.
“Cielo is free to the world, but obviously, if you are interested in any of these stories, to publish, or illustrate, just send an email to the address below.
Artists, you are welcome to send me a link to your web page. I am insanely jealous of great artists! I worship them and love working with them. If you are sending images, sorry, initially a lower res would be best.
I like to make the best possible stories. I am always open to the editing process, and, artists, please note, none of the directions in each story are dictums. They are suggestions. A collaboration should be a collaboration. I’m all ears (and eyes and toes)!”
Cielo is a very lucky little girl to have a father who creates whole worlds and people for her!