Sign up today for ReFoReMo 2020! Stacks of mentor texts are waiting to be plucked from the library. Join in for guest posts, sharing, and amazing prizes. Press the green button to sign up! Let the fun begin!
It's time for Valentines to rule! Susanna Hill's 5th Valentiny Contest is in full swing. Here are some rules to follow if you decide to enter:
The Contest: since writing for children is all about “big emotion for little people” (I forget who said that, but someone did so I put it in quotes!) and Valentines Day is all about emotion, write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone feels curious! Your someone can feel curious themselves or make someone else feel curious. The curiosity may be about a person, place, thing, quality, idea, event, or about whether something will happen or something is true or real, or anything else under the sun you can think up! Think beyond the obvious! Your story can be poetry or prose, sweet, funny, surprising or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes someone curious (can be the main character but doesn’t have to be) and is 214 words (get it? 2/14 for Valentines Day You can go under the word count but not over! (Title is not included in the word count.) If you are so inclined, you are welcome to enter more than one entry – just remember you’ll be competing against yourself No illustration notes please!
Post your story on your blog between right now this very second and Friday February 14th by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list below. There will be no regularly scheduled posts (Tuesday Debut, Would You Read It or PPBF) for the duration of the contest, so this post and the list of links will stay up all week for everyone to enjoy. If you would like to enter but don’t have a blog you are welcome to paste your entry in the comment section below (please be sure to include your byline so that if your posting handle is writesbynightlight1 or something I’ll be able to tell who you are!) If anyone has trouble commenting, which unfortunately happens, please email your entry to me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com and I’ll post your entry for you. But please no attachments! Just copy and paste your story including byline into the email. Also, please only post your entry once – either in the comment section of my blog or on the link list or by emailing me and asking me to post it. Multiple postings of the same entry get confusing.
P.S. Although I try to stay glued to my computer 24/7 I am sometimes forced to leave my desk. If you haven’t commented on my blog before, your comment won’t show up until I approve it. It may take a little while if I’m away from my desk. Likewise, if you send me an entry to post, I promise I will do it as soon as I can!
The Judging: over the next several days, my lovely assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to 6-10 top choices depending on number and quality of entries (hee hee hee – you know how much trouble I have with the narrowing, so we’ll see) which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Wednesday February 19th (or possibly a day or two later if the judges need extra time.) The winner will be announced Friday February 21st or Saturday February 22nd depending on judging and voting time needed. (And there will be no Tuesday Debut, WYRI or PPBF that week either so that everyone will have time to read and vote and so that we don’t confuse PPBF with announcing winners.) The dates of the judging/voting/winner announcements are subject to finagling depending on how much time the judges actually end up needing!
Judging criteria will include:
So pull up a chair and inhale the sweetness of Valentine's Day. My 190 word entry is posted below. Thank you for stopping by to enjoy the fun. Click the button below to see other entries. happy valentine's day!
Valentine screeched, “EEK!”
Everything— pink as flamingoes!
He peered in the mirror . . .
“Everything was fine at my Valentine party. I was ravishing raspberry red last night."
"Why is everything pink?”
What will my fans think?
“I know,” he said. “I’ll ink this pink away.”
Valentine grabbed his red pen.
“Oh no! My ink is pink!” moaned Valentine. “I must see a doctor.”
Valentine darted past admiring groupies . . .
steaming pink hot hearts,
swooning pink sweet tarts,
whistling pink kisses,
and into Dr. Sweet-Treat’s office.
“I see pink,” said Valentine.
“Curious. Sit here,” said Dr. Sweet-Treat.
He checked Valentine’s heartbeat and ears.
“Say AWW please,” said Dr. Sweet-Treat.
“AWW,” said Valentine.
“Your throat is pink,” said the doctor.
“AWW wait. That’s bad?” said Valentine.
“Let me check your eyes. Hmmm, curious. I see the problem. Let me rinse them.”
SWISH! SWOOSH! SWASH!
“How’s that?” said Dr. Sweet-Treat.
“I see colors!” said Valentine. “Why was everything pink?”
“Pink eye,” said Dr. Sweet-Treat.
“What caused that?” said Valentine.
“Too much pink lemonade on Valentine’s Day.”
Once again, Tara Lazar and guests, inspired participants to achieve 30 ideas or more. I managed to grab 30 ideas! I've got my work cut out for me as I continue my writing journey into 2020! Proud to post my winning badge. Wishing everyone happy writing and illustrating.
Grab your library card! Mentor texts are awaiting your discovery. Story ideas or improving those stuffed in a drawer are ready for your undivided attention. Please follow the link! See you there :)
Happy Valentine's Day! Susanna Leonard Hill is serving up a Valentiny Contest 2018. Swallow that chocolate and whomp that keyboard with a heart-melting story. Good times and prizes await you! Here are some rules: The Contest: since writing for children is all about “big emotion for little people” (I forget who said that, but someone did so I put it in quotes!) and Valentines Day is all about emotion, write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone is hopeful! Your someone can hope for something good or something bad. Your story can be poetry or prose, sweet, funny, surprising or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes someone hopeful (can be the main character but doesn’t have to be) and is 214 words (get it? 2/14 for Valentines Day You can go under the word count but not over! (Title is not included in the word count.) If you are so inclined, you are welcome to enter more than one entry – just remember you’ll be competing against yourself No illustration notes please!
Post your story on your blog between 12:00 AM EDT Saturday February 10th and Wednesday February 14th by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list that will accompany my February 10th post. There will be no Would You Read It that week, and no PPBF, so the post and the list of links will stay up all week for everyone to enjoy. If you don’t have a blog and would like to enter, you can simply copy and paste your entry in the comments section of that post once it’s up. (Or, if you have difficulty with the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me and I’ll post it for you! Please copy and paste your entry into the body of the email – no attachments! And please do not submit emailed entries until the contest begins on Feb. 10!) Please only post your entry ONCE! Either on your blog and the associated link list, or in the comment section of my post! Otherwise it gets confusing. Please use the button at the bottom to visit Susanna.
Please enjoy my 210 word entry :)
A GHOSTLY VALENTINE’S NIGHT
Maisy Ghost woke up under a full moon. Gliding down the hall, she floated into the kitchen. “Wake up
Mummy. It’s Valentine’s Night.”
Mummy raised up. “I’m still sleepy.”
“We’re having a party. I’ve invited all our friends. I hope our cute new neighbor will come,” said Maisy.
Flittering, Maisy hung...
Grabbing the glue, she cut red hearts, wove lace doilies from spider webs, and twisted flowers from
“I’m chilled to my bones,” Mummy moaned.
“I’ll wrap you again after the party,” said Maisy. “Just look at our stack of beautiful Valentine cards. Help me
set the table.”
Platters plunked and bowls sloshed. “Perfect,” said Maisy.
“Oh! Our first guests!”
Maisy whooshed to the door. “Happy Valentine’s Night,” she said.
Mummy offered Vampire and Ghoul heart-shaped cupcakes, cookies, and glasses of putrid punch.
Frankenstein thudded in, grabbing whatever he could.
Zombie slushed in all drippy and goopy.
The Wiley Witches zoomed in on their brooms.
Everyone came...except the new neighbor.
Maisy popped back. In the doorway, fluttered her new neighbor...
with a Valentine’s card.
Maisy’s heart thumped when she read what it said--
“Will you be my Valentine?”
Thank you, Tara Lazar and guests, for another amazing month of posts filled with encouragement and inspiration! I have 31 new ideas to carry me through 2018 :)
Tara Lazar is hosting STORYSTORM 2018! Come up with 30 ideas for the month of January and you might win a nifty surprise! Great guests blog each day giving some insight and fun to the writers' journey.
It's that wintry time of year and Susanna Leonard Hill is presenting the 7th Annual Holiday Contest! Here are the rules: Write a children’s holiday story (children here defined as approximately age 12 and under) about A Holiday Surprise! Any kind of surprise – anything at all! – the more unexpected the better! 🙂 Squirrel in the Christmas Tree? Snowstorm in Jamaica? Santa delivering toys from an excavator pulled by a herd of worms? Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 250 words! Your entry should be posted on your blog between 12:01 AM EST Thursday December 7 and Sunday December 10 at 11:59 PM EST, and your post-specific link should be added to the link list on the official holiday contest post which will go up on my blog on Thursday December 7 and remain up through Friday December 15 for your reading pleasure.
Put on your comfys, grab a warm drink, and enjoy some holiday fun! Please use the button to visit Susanna's page.
Please enjoy my story for the contest :) 241 words
“Sam, Lili, we’re off to find Santa Claus,” says Alice.
After donning our coats, mittens, and snowshoes, we TROMP, STOMP, and TRUDGE through snowy-slippery
drifts, searching for Santa Claus. Instead we find a red hat.
“Now what?” asks Sam.
“We’ll look from the top of Christmas Tree Hill,” says Alice. “Put on your goggles and caps.”
Into brushy-brambly bushes we SQUISH, SQUASH, and SMOOSH, searching for Santa Claus. Instead we find
a green scarf.
“Now what?” asks Lili.
“We’ll look at the bottom of Christmas Tree Hill,” says Alice. “Put on your skis and pull up your poles.”
Dodging tilty trees, we SWISH, SLIDE, and GLIDE, searching for Santa Claus. Instead we find a red mitten.
“Now What?” asks Sam.
“We’ll look across Santa Claus Bridge,” says Alice. “Pull off your skis and tighten your shoelaces.”
In the late afternoon sun, we CLUMP, SLOG, and PLOD, searching for Santa Claus. But we don’t find him.
“I see something red!” shouts Alice.
“I see something gold!” shouts Lili.
“I see something glowing!” shouts Sam.
UP we scramble for a better look.
“It’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa’s sleigh!” shouts Alice. “But where’s Santa?”
In a sprinkle of candy canes, Santa Claus pops into view.
“Sam, Lili, we found Santa,” says Alice.
“Ho, ho, ho,” says Santa Claus. “Thank you. You’ve found my hat, scarf, and mitten. Would you like to ride in
my sleigh tonight?”
It's that time for Susanna Leonard Hill's spooky Halloweensie Contest!! Come spend some happy time reading submissions from our writing community. Pour yourself some cider and sit by the fire while you enjoy scary, happy stories. if you submit, there are some rules to follow: Write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words candy corn, monster, and shadow. (Candy corn will be counted as 1 word.) Your story can be scary, funny, or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!) Click the button to visit Susanna's contest.
Please take time to read my story--
MONSTER'S HALLOWEEN BALL
In the Monster’s dreary house,
There sat an empty bowl,
And an empty bag,
And a spinning spider,
Weaving a web of gold.
And there were dust bunnies
Swirling in the shadows,
Waiting for a windy WOOSH
To whisk them all
To the ball.
And there was a little mouse,
BUSTLING about Monster’s room,
Brushing twisted whiskers,
Putting on his costume,
Peeking out his door...
Monster stomped into his house.
Loose lips curled in a crooked smile,
Teeth dripping drool,
Eyes...candy apple red,
A bulging bag...
“Candy corn before the ball y’all?”
Yesterday, I attended PBSummit 2017! It was eight and one-half hours of scrumpy splendor. Tommy de Paola inspired us with his writing and illustrating journey. He was joined by Julie Hedlund, Emma Walton Hamilton, Steve Swinburne, Carole Boston Weatherford, Laura Backes, Brenda Bowen, and Adam Rex. My journal runneth over with terrific notes from some of the best in the writing community! Agents, Erzsi Deak, Kelly Sonnack, Susan Hawk, and Rubin Pfeffer did a Q&A. Editors, Grace Maccarone, Mary Lee Donovan, Melissa Manlove, and publisher Rob Broder did a Q&A. Huge shoutout to Julie Hedlund, Emma Walton Hamilton, Laura Backes, Jon Bard, Kelli Panique, Kristin Ammerman, and Aaron! I'm looking forward to 2018. If you are interested in finding a writing community with heart, check Facebook for Julie Hedlund's 12x 12.
I enjoy sharing who and what is new in the world of children's literature. Glad you stopped in to visit.