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Watch "Provoke the Child Within"
Behind the magic

Why Storytailor?

By JQ Sirls - Author/Illustrator, Co-Founder & CEO

JQ Sirls - Founder

Watch "Provoke the Child Within" film

When I was seven, I devoured any fantasy story I could find. I dreamt of soaring alongside Peter Pan, exploring the Chocolate Factory with Willy Wonka, and screaming, "Let the wild rumpus start!" with Max, Carol, and other Where the Wild Things Are characters. But there was a nagging emptiness. Each hero, each protagonist, looked nothing like me. In all those worlds, I never saw myself reflected back. The truth is, within that year, 1993 to be exact, I had a 1.16% chance of finding a story with a hero or protagonist who looked like me. Fast forward to today, that chance has only modestly increased to a little over 13%.

How do we fix it? I've been contemplating this question for the past 30 years. If I were to create a publishing company to address it, I would only end up contributing to the problem in the long run. While I'm educated and experienced as an author and illustrator, I am a straight, cis-gendered Black American male. I don't identify with the experience of any other gender, race, culture, or myriad of nuances that make each and every child unique — let alone anyone on any other continent.

Therefore, who am I to determine whether your story is good enough for a child in your specific audience? You, the parents, educators, nurses, and family of 3-8 year-olds should decided what's best for your children.

I also realize that, even though I have over 25 years of experience in the publishing industry, I can't personally sit down with millions of people around the world each minute to listen to their story ideas and write for them... or can I?

While I may not relate to everyone's story, I have the ability to build a bridge. Understanding the impact of stories on our identities, I aimed to address this issue through innovation and technology, resulting in the creation of Storytailor.

Storytailor reimagines children's screen time, turning it into an enriching experience that builds emotional intelligence, resilience, and family bonds through personalized storytelling. Powered by child-friendly AI, our tool offers edutainment experiences designed to foster personal growth, tailored for all children, especially those facing learning challenges. Create giggle-filled stories with custom images, text, educational activities and voiceover audio that reflects the diversity of your child or student in under a minute, without any bias or compromise. Even if it's a silly tale about chickens in space surfing on golden potatoes, the story will also include educational elements such as math, science, vocabulary, or even teach a new language.

I know some of you might be wondering—does this mean AI will replace the cherished roles of authors, illustrators, and the very essence of human creativity? You may be wondering if it is safe for children and educators to use. These are valid concerns that I also grappled with the emergence of AI. That's why I chose to actively participate in this field, not as a passive bystander waiting to say "I told you so" to my fears, but as a pioneer who shapes AI as a tool for positive change.

As an author and illustrator, my love for books remains undiminished. I will continue to write, illustrate, and publish my own books, and wander through bookstores with my son, marveling at the stories that line the shelves. However, I also recognize the need for more. We’re not aiming to replace authors, illustrators, or traditional publishing avenues. Instead, we aim to complement them. Our goal is to provide a safe alternative for those who are constantly overlooked by the current system, whose perspectives may never be found on bookshelves. Storytailor offers families an additional option - to give each child the opportunity to create a story that fits them as they are right now, going through their experiences right now, to solve a problem or entertain their needs right now.

I invite you — all of you — to join us on this journey. It is a journey where technology and creativity come together to create a world where every child can envision themselves as the hero they truly are. I am eager to collaborate with parents, teachers, nurses, authors, artists, and publishers. Together, let's embark on a new chapter in children's literature. Let's weave together stories that inspire, heal, and empower, embracing diversity, imagination, and technology.

Welcome to the magic. Welcome to Storytailor.

JQ Sirls, Co-founder & CEO

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