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:
- Kid-appeal/Kid-friendliness – remember, this is a story for kids!
- Creativity in using curiosity and success in making us feel the curiosity!
- Valentine’s Day appropriateness – this is a VALENTINE story!
- Quality of story – we will look for basic story elements and a true story arc
- Quality of writing – use and flow of language, correctness of mechanics, excellence of rhyme and meter if you use it.
- Originality – surprise us with something new and different!
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.”