The First Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Writing Contest

It’s always a thrill to participate in one of Susanna Leonard Hill’s writing contests. They are a wonderful way to connect with other writers, they are a great exercise in saying a lot in a few words, and there are always awesome prizes.

Today I’m sharing with you my entry into Susanna’s First Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Writing Contest. Here are a few of the basic rules: 214 words or less, appropriate for children ages 12 or under, and one of the characters has to be grumpy. If you are interested in participating or just want to read a bunch of fun stories, you can go here:


So how do you write a story about a grumpy character and Valentine’s Day? I started thinking of what makes people grumpy. Getting older, right? And having wrinkles, right? So I Googled wrinkles and got lots of animals that have lots of wrinkles. And then I thought, what would happen if one of those animals wanted to get rid of his wrinkles.

I love elephants…they have lots of wrinkles. What if an elephant wanted to propose to his ladylove on Valentine’s Day, but thought she might not want him because of his wrinkles. And what if he was a scientist and had an assistant who was given the job of finding the formula. And what if the assistant found the formula, but by that time, the professor had already realized that his wrinkles served an important purpose. What would the assistant do?

I hope you enjoy my little story…please let me know what you think of it…and don’t forget to hop over to Susanna’s website so you can enjoy all of the fun.



     Clutching a mirror, Professor Pachyderm glared at his assistant.

     “Wrinkles and crinkles! Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day!”

     “How can I propose to my ladylove with a face that’s folded and furrowed?”

     “This is the last night to come up with the formula, Mortimer!” Slamming the door, the professor stomped downstairs.

     Mortimer stared at the rattling test tubes. He shivered. He shuddered. He squeaked.    “Eek!”

     Mixing and measuring, he added a bit of this. He poured the formula onto a piece of wrinkled paper. Instantly it became…

a gob of soggy paper.

     Stirring and shaking, he took away a bit of that, brushed the formula onto a folded metal fan and waited. Nothing.

     Upending every jar and jug, Mortimer swirled and whirled the ingredients. He dipped a creased cloth into the big bowl and stared as the material smoothed out. Aha!

     Just then, the professor returned. “Forget about it, my dear fellow!” he trumpeted. “I Googled wrinkles on elephants. Did you know I need them to keep me cool?  My Valentine’s Day will be A-OK – she wouldn’t have me any other way! Sorry I wasted your time.”

     “No problem,” Mortimer said, as he filled out a patent application for Permanent Press Fabrics. “Exploring the possibilities of science is never a waste of time.”


Thanks so much for stopping by, everyone…I hope you will check on the contest during the week…more entries will be coming in until the deadline on Friday. And then next Monday will be the announcement of the finalists on Susanna’s blog and you’ll have a chance to VOTE for your favorite.

Have a beautiful week!


About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on February 8, 2016, in Uncategorized, Valentine's Day, Writing Contests and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 45 Comments.

  1. Cute story! I feel wise like an elephant with all of my wrinkles!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha! Love this—as he filled out a patent application for Permanent Press Fabrics. “Exploring the possibilities of science is never a waste of time.”

    Cute story, Vivian!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess I’ve got inventors and entrepreneurs on the brain with all the nonfiction pbs I am working on…I even read up on the woman who lead the team that discovered permanent press fabrics…science is fascinating, isn’t it, Penny?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Now I love my wrinkles and crinkles. Cute story, Vivian. Best of luck. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the alliteration, Vivian!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. suzannepoulterharris

    What a fun concept, Vivian! You really know how to think outside the box.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Storm sister…thank you so much for stopping by! As long as they don’t put me in a box, I don’t mind thinking outside of one…actually, I don’t usually write this way…so this was a leap of faith for me. 😉


  6. LOVE your story, Vivian. Elephant + Entrepreneur = Excellent Entry!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Vivian, fun word play and you NAILED the ending. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Haha, loved this. Not only thinking outside the box but seeing the positives i.e. having wrinkles. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great story Vivian. Any time you can put a positive spin on wrinkles, I’m all for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So creative, Vivian! Love Professor Pachyderm and wrinkles and crinkles!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Love the premise of this story, Vivian, and the fun twist at the end. Clever and creative!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great job, Vivian! Your wordplay makes this very fun to read!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great story! I love the name Mortimer.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a fun story, Vivian! Since an elephant’s wrinkles keep him cool, I’m thinking mine will make me real “cool,” too. Let’s hear it for wrinkles!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Aw! Elephants are the best! I was definitely hearing the whole thing in a proper English accent. What a fun story!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Cute story, Vivian! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I love this story! You know how I love science. This story rocks!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This is so cute, Vivian! Love the professor’s name and the lyrical touches. Wrinkles and crinkles! He squeaked. Eek! Adorable. Great job, as always! 🙂


  19. Adorable! Fun language throughout and I love the ending!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I need the recipe ( I just completed my nighttime regimen which has more steps than a tango!) Love your character names and the professor learning to accept himself wrinkles and all.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Your story is so creative! I love all your action words…. slamming, rattling, shaking, stirring. I could almost hear everything going on. Great job! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • So lovely of you to stop by, Carrie…there are so many awesome entries…I doubt I am going to get to read all of them…I don’t know how Susanna does it. Thank you so much for your kind words. 😉


  22. I like how you included a fact and “lesson” at the end! Fun story! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s getting to be a habit, Erik…with all the nonfiction pbs I’ve been writing…I almost always want to make it real. 😉 Glad you enjoyed it! Susanna should be announcing the finalists this week…can’t wait to see…there were a TON of GREAT stories.


  23. Hahaha! Very entertaining, Vivian! Favorite line: “He poured the formula onto a piece of wrinkled paper. Instantly it became…

    a gob of soggy paper.”

    Hehe 🙂 I must say, I admire Mortimer’s equanimity and perspective – no temper tantrum for him over wasted time… just a new patent! 🙂 Thanks so much for a very creative take on Valentines Day and for joining in the first ever Valentiny fun!


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