PPBF: Brave Girl PLUS 50 Precious Words Contest

Are you ready for something fun, my friends?

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday, so you know we are going to have a review of a great picture book. Plus, because this is Women’s History Month, I’ve chosen a book that celebrates an important Mighty Girl in American history, Clara Lemlich.

But first I want to tell you about a mini-contest. Wednesday was the birthday of the incredible Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. One of his books actually came about because of a bet he made with Bennett Cerf, one of the publishing giants of Random House. Cerf challenged Seuss to write a children’s book using only 50 words. And the classic Green Eggs and Ham was born. It’s true that the story has over 700 words…but only 50 unique words.

If you are currently writing picure books…or just reading them, you’ll notice that the average word length is getting shorter and shorter. So I thought, wouldn’t that be a great challenge…to write a story for kids with only 50 words. With a beginning, a middle, and an end. I wondered if I could do it. And I decided to open the challenge to everyone. Here are the guidelines:


  1. Write a story appropriate for kids ages 12 or under, using only 50 words…they can all be different words, or you can use some of them over and over…just as long as the total word count for the story is 50 or less.
  2. It can be prose, rhyme, free verse, silly or serious…whatever works for you.
  3. Title is not included in the word count.
  4. No illustration notes please.
  5. Post the story on your blog if you have one and put the link in the comments OR post the story in the comments.
  6. Deadline for posting the story or the link in the comments is Friday, March 18th…that gives you two weeks.
  7. Winners will be announced on Saturday, March 19th, in our Will Write for Cookies post.
  8. Prizes? Of course! In honor of Women’s History Month, a copy of Miss Moore Thought Otherwise by Jan Pinborough. And we’ll see what else I can figure out.
  9. This just in!!!! Kristen Fulton is donating a seat in her April Nonfiction Archaeology class. Just to let you all know…I took her class in June 2014..and that was the step that led me down this path of writing nonfiction picture books. I wrote Sweet Dreams, Sarah the month after the class ended. And I’ve been writing nonfiction picture books ever since!
  10. I’m also going to offer a mini-critique of a picture book manuscript…hopefully, after years of writing, revising, and critiquing, my feedback will be helpful.
  11. Plus, I have a soft spot for mini-books…you know, those tiny books you can hold in the palm of your hand. It’s time to share a couple from my collection.
  12. Stop the presses!!!!! Another GREAT PRIZE has just been donated! My fabulous agent, Essie White, is going to give a critique to one of the winners! Thank you so much, Essie! This contest is shaping up to be so much more than I had ever expected. Thank you so everyone who is posting about it and sharing on Facebook and Twitter!
  13. Hurray…another great prize!!!! Next Saturday, as I mentioned, when I announce the winners, I’ll also be interviewing debut picture book author, Nancy Churnin. So I am adding a shiny new copy of her book, “The William Hoy Story” to the prize pool…woo-hoo!

I’ve been participating in Carrie Charley Brown’s ReFoReMo Challenge. The list of recommended picture books was astounding. Fortunately, my local library is able to get most of the books I request. Plus, they don’t have a limit on the number of books you can take out. One of my favorites so far is the story of the girl who led the fight for better conditions for workers in the garment industry. And I thought it was a stellar book to spotlight during Women’s History Month.

brave girl

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909

Written by Michelle Market

Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Publisher: Balzer & Bray (2013)

Ages: 5-9

Themes: Courage, standing up for what is right, working together, labor unions


Opening Lines:

“A steamship pulls into the harbor, carrying hundreds of immigrants—and a surprise for New York City.”


From Amazon: This is a true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history. This picture book biography includes a bibliography and an author’s note on the garment industry. It follows the plight of immigrants in America in the early 1900s, tackling topics like activism and the U.S. garment industry, with handstitching and fabric incorporated throughout the art.

When Clara arrived in America, she couldn’t speak English. She didn’t know that young women had to go to work, that they traded an education for long hours of labor, that she was expected to grow up fast.

But that didn’t stop Clara. She went to night school, spent hours studying English, and helped support her family by sewing in a shirtwaist factory.

Clara never quit, and she never accepted that girls should be treated poorly and paid little. Fed up with the mistreatment of her fellow laborers, Clara led the largest walkout of women workers the country had seen.

From her short time in America, Clara learned that everyone deserved a fair chance. That you had to stand together and fight for what you wanted. And, most importantly, that you could do anything you put your mind to.


Why I like this book:

  • This is a moment in history that comes alive for children and that is what I love about these newer nonfiction picture books. The author paints a picture with her words and the reader and listener are there. Fingers crossed that my Sweet Dreams, Sarah will do this also.
  • The wonderful illustrations support the text perfectly…and with text by Michelle Market and illustrations by Melissa Sweet, this is no surprise.


How a parent can use this book and related activites:

  • Great read-aloud.
  • Springboard for a discussion on how one person can make a difference. What would have happened if Clara hadn’t spoken up?
  • Talk about people in your family who may have had similar experiences.


Make a Family Tree and Timeline

familytree_finalresult1Photo courtesy: http://www.alphabetkids.com

A family tree and timeline can be a great way for children to find a way to relate to ‘the good old days’. Find detailed directions at this wonderful website: http://www.alphabetkids.com/?q=parents/craft-activities/family-tree

If your child can speak with a grandparent or great-grandparent, they can find out lots of stuff…did they watch TV when they were a kid? What did they do when they got home from school? What did they learn in school? And, relating it to the story, did they ever go out on strike? If so, what for? Interaction between the generations is a valuable thing!


And for more wonderful picture book reviews, visit Susanna Hill.

So, my friends, I hope some of you will participate in the 50 PRECIOUS WORDS CHALLENGE.

Oh, I knew I forgot something! Here is my little sample example for you…it’s a story I had been working with on and off. It was over 500 words…but obviously, I cut it drastically. I’m excited to read all of your wonderful entries which will absolutely positively be better than mine.

Pilar the Pirate (50 words) by Vivian Kirkfield


     Pilar wanted to be a pirate captain. No treasure. No crew.

     She enrolled in pirate school. On a scavenger hunt, Pilar and her partners filled the bag. Soon they were lost. Lenny blubbered. Jenny sobbed. Pilar said. “Follow me!”

     “Aye, aye,” Lenny and Jenny piped up. “We’re right behind you.”


Have a wonderful weekend! I’m truly looking forward to reading your stories…I hope we have a lot of entries…this is a community of support and encouragement.

406 thoughts on “PPBF: Brave Girl PLUS 50 Precious Words Contest

  1. 50 words in the story, not counting the title and my byline.
    Thanks for the fun challenge! joanleotta@atmc.net

    Lost Bracelet
    by Joan Leotta

    “Mother, did you see
    my red string bracelet?
    Mother said, “No.”.
    As Rita searched her own room
    she heard chirping.
    She looked out her open window
    and saw a bright red thread
    lacing through the bird’s nest.
    “I guess birdie needed my bracelet
    to build her house.
    Glad to help!”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow! Took me forever to reach the end of this comment trail, as I stopped to read so many clever entries. I’ve posted my entry over on my blog, http://patricianozell.com/2016/03/12/fifty-precious-words-the-best-nest/
    Fly on over & check it out there! and thank you, Vivian, for a great challenge to honor Dr. Seuss & welcome spring.

    I’m pasting Patricia’s story here so everyone will see it:

    The Best Nest by Patricia Nozzel

    A prize!

    For the best nest!

    I’ll try.

    Me, too.

    Perfect spot.

    wad of wool.

    Perfect spot.

    dab of grass.

    Two judges.

    Dashing duo.

    Tweeting about my nest.

    Singing about mine.

    Ruby Robin chooses my nest.

    Sheila Swallow picks mine.


    Best Nests!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia…you added a lovely touch of spring with your engaging story! Thank you so much…I loved the nest-building contest between the two birds…WELL DONE! I’m so glad you joined in the fun. And what a challenge to write the story in dialogue. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Betty….I appreciate you taking a peek at some of my other posts. I’ve been participating in Susanna Hill’s writing contests for several years…she’s actually my inspiration for doing this one. 😉


  3. Here is my story: Barbara Cairns

    Prudence Crandall


    Canterbury, Connecticut

    Teacher of “young ladies of color”

    Upset townspeople wanted

    Prudence to stop teaching black girls.


    Black Law passed

    Prudence jailed

    Released from jail,

    Prudence reopened school.

    School attacked by masked mobs

    Too dangerous

    Fall 1834

    Prudence closed school.


    Prudence Crandall, Teacher, designated

    Connecticut’s State Heroine.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hello Barbara..that’s a great topic…and I enjoyed how you found a way to present so much info in so few words! Super job! Thank you so much for joining in the fun…and hurray for Prudence! 🙂


  4. Here is another!!!! From a dear writing friend..and WOW retreat flight seat-mate, Mona Pease. I had the biggest smile after I read it. Great story, Mona…thank you so much for hopping on board with a wonderful kid-friendly story. And your rhyme and meter are spot on!

    Tis the Season
    by Mona Pease

    Ten little boots tromp through the puddle.

    Splish! Splosh! Sploosh!

    Five pair of boots stomp in the muddle.

    Squish. Squash! Squoosh!

    A little boy says, “Here comes your Gram.

    What are we going to do?”

    A little girl says, “Give her some space.”

    She likes to play in mud too!”

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m so glad you liked the review of Brave Girl, Jean. And I’m so so so glad you entered the contest. And with TWO entries. Your stories are great…you say it wasn’t easy…but you pulled it off so well! I hope everyone hops over to read them. Would you like me to grab them and post them here to make sure everyone gets to read them? Or it’s fine if you want to leave them on your blog. 🙂


      • Here is the wonderful entry from Jean James…but her website is well worth visiting…so take a minute and hop over.

        Cat’s Revenge?

        Cat’s finally done it!

        Squirrels in his teeth.

        A hostage to revenge the dog.

        Payback to bequeath.

        Cat purrs with satisfaction

        Dog barks with delight

        Angered squirrels protest

        hurling acorn pegmatite’s.

        Meow and Yelp cry cat and dog

        distracted from their prey

        ducking flying acorn shells

        as squirrel gets away!

        Liked by 3 people

        • And here is Jean second entry. Very clever! She gives us a bit of background:
          I also wrote this next one in honor of the wonderful, silly relationship between my son and his Grandma Silly (Yes they actually call her Grandma Silly!)

          Fox Breaking News:

          After being sentenced to a life of spinning for crimes committed against the animal kingdom, The Evil Dr. Gerbil managed to escape from his prison wheel today. The notorious Pack Rat Gang is believed to be involved. Police Chief Wallaby has summoned Wonder Weasel.

          Story at 11…

          Liked by 2 people

  6. My 50 precious words. I call this story: NOTHING

    I’ve got nothing to say.
    And when I’ve got nothing to say, that’s it.
    You can beg.
    You can cry.
    You can plead.
    You can take a rocket ship to the planet of Words R Us.
    You won’t get one single, solitary word out of me.
    But you will get…

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is so much fun, Nancy! I absolutely LOVE the rocket ship to the planet of Words R Us…I need to go there sometime, to find the right words for a story. 🙂
      Thank you so much for joining in the fun. And…I am so so so excited for next Saturday, when we will announce the winners of the #50PreciousWords Contest on the Will Write for Cookies post where I’ll be interviewing the one and only…Nancy Churnin! Hurray!
      I actually just got something in the mail from Kristen…a SIGNED copy of your book…I guess she got it at your book launch last week in Texas. I am thrilled and honored to have it…thank you so much for the wonderful inscription. I am going to donate the copy I had already purchased as another PRIZE for this contest…there are so many wonderful entries, I think another prize is definitely in order. 😉


  7. I’m going a little off the beaten path with this one..but hey, 50 words, why not experiment?! So, in the spirit of strong women, here’s my entry:

    by: Lauren Neil


    Do you like me?

    [ ] Yes
    [ ] No



    Do you like me?

    [ ] Yes
    [ ] No
    [ x ] Maybe



    Do you like me?

    [ ] Yes
    [ ] No
    [-x-]- M-a-y-b-e-*
    [ x ] Never mind


    *This should show as strikethrough but I can’t format the comment.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahaha…love the ‘never mind’ choice! This is so much fun, Lauren…and with kids so tech and text savvy, they would definitely relate. 😉 Thank you so much for joining in the contest. It’s great to see how many different roads writers can travel with only 50 Precious Words. 😉


  8. Okay, one more entry. I promise, this is it!


    It’s time to leave the zoo.
    Before we go, there’s something I must do.
    See you later, alligator.
    After a while, crocodile.
    Farewell, gazelle.
    Gotta go, buffalo.
    Aloha, boa.
    Mañana, iguaña.
    Ta-ta, macaw.
    Adieu, cuckoo.
    Toot-a-loo, cockatoo.
    Tally-ho, ole rhino.
    Cheerio, vireo.
    Ciao, sow.
    Good-bye, zoo.

    Liked by 4 people

      • Vivian, it started out as a picture book. I have revised it and honed it and worked on it for some time. The PB version is 200 words long, so I had to trim it down considerably for this contest. I haven’t had any luck finding a publisher for the full-length version, though. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Marylin…this has been so much fun. The contest was a last minute thought when I heard it was Dr.Seuss’ birthday…and it has become so much more than I could have ever imagined…I’m thrilled with the turnout. 😉 And I’m definitely going to be asking our local Girl Scout cookie sellers if they have any Thanks-a-lot boxes. 😉


  9. Of course, I had to play along, Vivian. At first I thought only 50 words!! Well, I’ve got 49, including the title…wooohooo! I did it.

    Warm Farewell

    Three white balls stacked up high.
    One fiery circle in the sky.
    Giant snowman shrinks.

    Carrot nose droops then drops.
    Twiggy arms turn down then PLOP!
    Button eyes fall down.

    Scarf and hat on melting mound.
    No more snowman to be found.
    And the sun shines on.


    Liked by 3 people

    • Hurray for the sun! Thank you, thank you, Linda, for joining in the fun. Great images here…I love the fiery circle in the sky…a portend of things to come for our dear snowman. And I LOVE your title!!!!!


  10. What fun! Thank you Vivian!

    Daring Amelia (46 words)
    By Lynda Pflueger

    Amelia Earhart was a tomboy. She dared to jump fences, climb trees, and ride horses bareback. When she grew up and took her first plane ride, she knew she had to learn how to fly. When other women were looking for husbands, Amelia took flying lessons.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Amelia Earhart has always been one of my favorite heroines! She’s a wonderful subject for a story. And you really gave me a sense of who she was in less than 50 words…Good job!!! Thank you so much for joining in the fun here, Lynda…it’s lovely to meet you. 😉


  11. Vivian, Wow what a lot of great 50 word stories! Congrats on the overwhelmingly amazing response that you received with your debut challenge. I almost hesitate to post…. such amazing talent. Well, here goes –

    Catch A Bird
    by Maria Marshall

    birds bob on a branch,
    a boy wiggles at the window.

    the feeder is full.

    An excited bounce,
    birds flee.
    Still as stone,
    birds return.

    Click, click, click.

    The first – blurry.
    The second – just wing-tips.
    The third – “Look Mom, I caught my first bird.”

    “ Can we frame it?”

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh, I do LOVE this story, Maria! Perfect for spring, you’ve got a great setting, action, plot, sweet mc, and even tension. 😉 GREAT JOB! Thank you so much for entering the #50PreciousWords Contest, dear friend. 😉


      • Thanks Vivian for the encouragement to join in. It was great fun. Here is a second one – Like Julie, Christine, Johnell (and others) I think I am addicted too! Oops, did I say one more? It would be fun to collect them into an anthology! 🙂 [You have 80 + entries]

        Here are few more – for fun – now back to work (I mean it!)…..


        He stole her invention and patent.
        She sued.
        “She’s just a woman,” he told the jury. “How could she invent this?”
        With two years of plans in notebooks,
        a wooden sample machine, and
        her roommate’s testimony;
        she SHOWED how a woman invented the paper bag.
        And won back her patent.

        WHO ARE THEY?

        Do you know what …
        Aida Lovelace,
        Georgia O’Keefe, Sarah Goode,
        Jocelyn Burnell, Maya Angelo, Ann Tsukamoto,
        Carrie Catt, Esther Ledetberg, Grandma Moses, Maria Telkes,
        Chien Wu, Rosalind Franklin, Grace Hopper,
        Maria Beasley, Nancy Johnson, and
        Stephanie Kwolek,
        invented, created, solved, or discovered to make life better for us?


        March roared in like a lion,
        flooding the yard and
        painting Easter basket flower beds.
        Yellow, purple, pink, crimson, and white
        colors dance in the breeze.
        The big question –
        will it be a lamb and bring back the sun,
        for our Easter egg hunt,
        or continue drooling and huffing?

        Liked by 3 people

        • Hello dear Maria…you are showing the depth and breath of your writing skills…three wonderful entries. I love how you managed to tell the entire story of Margaret Knight in 50 words or less. And I see my SARAH mentioned in your tribute to women inventors. And I am ready for that lamb of Spring to be frolicking, that’s for sure. 😉 Awesome job, Maria…thank you so much for supporting my challenge so enthusiastically. 😉


  12. Hi Vivian, I am addicted….had to post a second one! Am loving these 50 word stories!

    A Little Birdie Told Me
    by Julie Abery

    Grandma has a little bird
    Who always tells on me.
    She knows I picked her favourite flowers
    And climbed the apple tree.
    She knows I painted on the wall,
    That’s why I’m in my bed.
    But as the birds can’t see me here,
    I’ll climb the shelves instead!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. This is my fourth Vivian. Not much of a kids’ story, but I needed to write it and share after a whole day of learning about script writing.

    How To Be A Writer by Rita Antoinette Borg

    A writer has a dream
    Writer walks in shoes of her character.
    Story’s bad.
    Draft #54.
    Draft #55.
    Draft #56
    Good, but…
    Dreamers cry.
    Resend. Praying.
    Excellent…rewrite it!
    I’m no good.
    Writer faints.
    A writer dreams on.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hello Rita…I know that EVERYONE here is going to identify with your story! We do have to keep chugging along…that’s for sure. Thank you so much for participating with such enthusiasm and effort..I truly appreciate you! And I love the story, even if it is not geared for children…although, in a way, it is…they, too, deal with revision and the need to try try again. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks so much Vivian. re story. You’re right. don’t we all have to learn to write our best story called life and that takes a dream and lots of trail and error. Never thought of this like that before you said it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Vivian this is my fifth story.

    by Rita Antoinette Borg

    Rita trembled with cold.
    She wore sweaters, coats, hats, scarfs, mittens, quilts, blankets.
    Until Rita heard a yelp from a hole.
    She couldn’t fit.
    She threw off the blankets, quilts, mittens, scarfs, hats, coats, sweaters.
    She squeezed in.
    She tucked the puppy in blankets.
    Puppy found home.
    Rita found warmth.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Nadine…how lovely to meet you…I went over to your blog and read your entry. It is brilliant! Thank you so much for joining in he fun! I shared it on Facebook and Twitter. Do you want to copy and paste it here…or would you rather keep it on your blog so people will come and visit you there?


      • Hi Vivian, very nice to meet you too! Thanks for popping by my blog and for your lovely comment. I’ve pasted my story below too.


        ‘Why aren’t I big?’

        ‘Growing takes time.’ Mum passed me black teardrop seeds. I pushed them into the soil.

        Heart-shaped leaves appeared, then stalks.

        They grew tall, with flowers as wide and bright as the sun.

        I picked a tiny seed and whispered: ‘You’ll grow big, like me.’

        Liked by 2 people

  16. That was a fun challenge, Vivian! Thanks for sharing it. 🙂 Here is my blog post- http://artonthepage.blogspot.com/2016/03/50-precious-words-writing-contest.html
    And here’s my story:

    Remodeling the Castle

    The new dishwasher squeezed into the kitchen.
    We got the box.
    Mae and I magicked it into a castle.
    We added rooms,
    and towers.
    We grew gardens,
    and oceans.
    We sailed to the edge of the world,
    and into the stars.
    Then the truck brought our new REFRIGERATOR.

    Liked by 3 people

    • WOW! I can remember playing in the big appliances boxes…and my kids loved to do it…and my grandson as well. I’ve always said that when people spend a lot of money on gadgets and toys, the kids would rather have the box. What a splendid entry into the contest, Jill. Great use of language and the element of three! And I love the twist at the end…who knows what they will magic that into. 😉 Thank you so much for playing along. 😉


  17. Hi, Vivian. A few years ago I wrote a poem in honor of Dr. Seuss. It was shorter than 50 words! I changed a few words and added a few more lines – which I think helped qualify it as a picture book for little ones in addition to being a poem. I am far from being a Dr. Seuss, but here goes. Thanks for the fun challenge.


    Little toes,
    Big toes,
    Five toes,
    Ten toes.

    Soft toes,
    Rough toes,
    Wriggly little
    Baby toes.

    Mom’s toes,
    Dad’s toes,
    Sister’s tip-tapping

    Hot toes,
    Cold toes,
    Little brother’s
    Dirty toes.

    Here come
    More toes,

    My toes,
    Your toes.
    All around the world

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh Janet…what great fun! What a perfect pb/board book for little kids. I love the rhythm…I can just feel those toes tip-tapping. Thank you for joining in and playing along with my challenge. I’m having a ball, reading all of these wonderful stories. 😉


  18. Vivian, Thanks for the fun opportunity to write something new . . . and a little bit Irish 🙂

    The wee fairies watched as their clever princess hid beneath the clover, lying in wait.
    “Ribbit, ribbit,” croaked Prince Brendan, hopping into the patch of green.
    Quick as lightning, Princess Bridget flitted out of hiding, landed on his nose, and kissed him.
    Magic swirled, and love and luck win again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sure and begorrah! So happy to see your story here, Ann! Thank you for jumping in to participate with #50PreciousWords…just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. I love your happy ending…hurray for Princess Bridget and Prince Brendan. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Vivian! This has been fun, but mercy what a challenge!

    I’m thinking St. Patrick’s Day

    Yickity Yak (Patricia Saunders)

    I found a magical pot.
    In it, I wondered,
    in it, was what?

    I yelled into its belly.
    babbles bounced back.
    A leprechaun snickered,
    “yickity, yak”.


    He vanished,
    along with his pot.
    I no longer wonder,
    in it, was what.

    I found a magical cat,
    yickity, yickity, yak!?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much for playing along, Patricia…and with such a fun St. Patrick’s Day inspired story, no less!!!! I love your yickety yickety yak refrain…very kid friendly. 😉 Too bad he didn’t leave the gold behind…but at least you got a magical cat…wonder what will happen now? 🙂 😉


  20. Hello Vivian, I’m a little late to your party because I just discovered your blog! This contest was so tantalizing but…the shorter = the simpler = the harder to write! (And I thought the last 214-word story contest I tried was hard, LOL!!!) Many thanks for the wonderful challenge! Here’s my goofy attempt, which comes out at 46 words (49 if you count the note).

    Story removed at request of the author – out on submission. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hurray! Hello Kate…so lovely to meet you! And I’m leaving this one up because your comment is so lovely…and I do understand about the illustration note that you didn’t want to have there. 😉 I LOVE your story! Will write more in my next comment. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  21. P.S. I’m not sure why the “Note” posted itself in the middle of my story…I had put it off to the side and now it really interrupts the flow of the reading…Sorry, cannot edit the post it seems 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • No worries, Kate…I think my blog is set up so that only me, the admin, can edit comments. I’m thrilled you found me and the #50PreciousWords Contest…pass the word…there are still a few more days for others to enter. 😉


  22. Hi Vivian – thanks for the great challenge.

    If I Found a Little Monkey

    If I found a little monkey I would take him home to play.

    We’d shimmy up an old oak tree and swing from branch to branch.

    We’d scamper down, run about then walk on top a fence.

    Then we’d eat bananas with our feet and sing a monkey song.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so happy you joined in with my challenge, Nancy! I’m also a fan of little monkeys and I love all the action in your story…shimmy, swing, scamper, and sing…lots of fun!!! Thank you so much for playing along.


  23. Hi again, Kate! YES! I love your story…and I truly think you have a gem of an idea here for a great picture book. The Silverware family…perfect. And how many times have I tried to rescue a spoon that fell down into the garbage disposal? Too many to count! Thank you, thank you…for joining in and playing along.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thank you for understanding! The rhyme’s meter just didn’t read right without the correct line breaks…Phew. Thank you for your graciousness.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Vivian, I think I’m finally ready to post my story for your contest. And, in time for Easter, I would like to submit, Dear Easter Bunny along with the link to it on my blog.


    By Leslie L Goodman

    Dear Easter Bunny, thank you for
    the many treats you left me.
    I love the chewy caramel eggs
    and cream-filled, chocolate chickie.
    I’m only sorry that I missed
    the pink marshmallow bunny.
    I found it stuck to Grandpa’s pants…
    to him, it’s not so funny.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh my goodness…how many times has that happened to me…sit down on something soft and squishy and it sticks to you! I love your story, Leslie…and I’m so happy you joined in the #50PreciousWords fun…love the rhyme at the end…and what a perfect story for Easter. I also like the format of a letter to the Easter Bunny! Only problem is…now I am hungry for chocolate…gotta go and get me some. 😉


  25. I had the pleasure of hearing Michelle Markel speak at SCBWI-LA Writer’s Days last year. Her work is wonderful, and she is so engaging. Thank you for sharing BRAVE GIRL and your fun challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And here’s my answer to your (very challenging!) challenge:


      By Delfina Salimbene

      Zebra gallops.
      Lion roars.
      Jackal circles.
      Vulture soars.

      Rhino charges.
      Tortoise strokes.
      Python slithers.
      Hippo soaks.

      Tetra swishes.
      Jaguar baits.
      Monkey dances.
      Gator waits.

      Warthog waddles.
      Heron flaps.
      Water splashes.
      Gator SNAPS!

      Liked by 5 people

    • Hello Delfina…how lovely to meet you! I always loved nonfiction and biographies…but nonfiction these days is nothing like it was when I was a kid. Now I love writing it also. 🙂 And Brave Girl is such a great story…lucky you to have gotten to hear the author speak. 😉 And hurray…I see you have entered my little challenge. 🙂


    • This is awesome, Morgan….I love that Dog is watching out for his family even though he is afraid…now we can all sleep soundly. 😉 Great tension and pacing! Thank you so much for participating in my little challenge. I am so amazed at the depth and breath of the entries. It’s lovely to meet you…and I’m thrilled you joined in the fun. 😉


  26. What a fun idea for a contest! My story is on my blog at http://deborahholtwilliams.blogspot.com/ and it’s called The Lonely Egg,
    Deborah..I’m pasting the story here so no one will miss it:

    The Lonely Egg
    by Deborah Holt Williams

    Jackrabbit found the egg under the cactus.
    “It looks so lonely!” he thought.
    “I’ll protect it.”
    Along came a rattlesnake!
    “Stay away!”
    The snake came closer.
    “Leave this egg alone!”
    The snake came closer.
    Then–crack! Out came a baby…
    “Thanksss for keeping my baby sssafe!”
    said mama snake.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Hi Vivian! I have arrived at your awesome post twice, once through 12X12 and again through Reforemo. (I love the book Brave Girl, btw.) So, I thought I’d give your contest the old college try. I love a challenge, sometimes. As I am currently skiing with my kiddos, this is what came to mind…


    The first lesson of skiing: start easy.
    You never want to just…ooops!
    All right. Time for lesson two: how to…
    Uh-oh! We’d better get right to lesson three: stopping.
    Or, you can just sit down. That works, too.
    Hey! Where are you going?
    Hot chocolate?
    Wait for me!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hello Elisabeth…I’m so happy you stopped by again…and this time with a wonderful entry into the challenge.
      Yes, they say we should write what we know…how perfect you are skiing with your kids and used that experience to come up with a GREAT story. I love it. I, too, have been skiing with my kids…and for me, the hot chocolate was definitely something to look forward to. 😉
      I enjoyed the humor of the story…and the super words: ooops, SLOW DOWN, uh-oh! So happy you joined in!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I happened to visit Angie Karcher’s RhyPiBoMo FB group today and noticed Stuart Carruthers had posted his story there in the comments. Here is Stuart’s entry to #50PreciousWords. Thank you so much, Stuart! This seems like it will be quite sad and gloomy…and then…oh my goodness…hilarious! Thank you so much for joining in the fun!

    Silent and Deadly
    by Stuart Carruthers

    Death arrived in early morning,
    Giving Henry little warning.
    A skeletal figure in deep black cowl
    Came through the wall with a smell so fowl.
    “Pe-ew!”he cried, “What’s so odorous?”
    So Henry died and became a ghost,
    With fingers stuffed tight up his nose.

    Liked by 4 people

  29. Thank you for creating and hosting #50PreciousWords, Vivian! What a fantastic idea for a contest. (I found out about it from Angie Karcher’s RhyPiBoMo Facebook group.) Here’s my entry:

    Let Me Call You Sunshine

    Let me call you Sunshine

    and Sweet Pea

    and Silly

    and Snug.

    Hey, Puddin’

    and Pumpkin

    and Peanut.

    My Dumplin’,


    and Duck.

    I’ll always call you for breakfast

    And never too late for hugs.

    Let’s call it a day, my Angel,

    Goodnight, my little Love Bug.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Howdy Anne…I’m so happy you stopped by with your wonderful story for the contest! And what a clever idea…don’t we all have those favorite little nicknames/love names for our kids or partners. 😉 My husband called our daughter ‘Pooch’…you’ve got some classics here in your story. Thank you so much for joining in the fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Hi Vivian – I found it! the place to enter my “Rainy Day” story… by Sue Heavenrich

    Pit, pat. Split, splat.
    Wear galoshes, coat and hat.
    Slooshy, gooshy, rainy day
    Perfect for mud puddle play.
    Skip, jump, splash, slide
    Now it’s time to go inside.
    Warm bath, dry socks,
    Build a fort with books and blocks.
    Rain stops, moon bright
    Supper, stories, hugs goodnight.

    Liked by 4 people

    • You go, girl! Great job, Sue…I love the rhyme…and you’ve got a great beginning, a fun middle, and a VERY satisfying ending. 😉 The perfect day for a little kid! Thank you so much for joining the fun and participating in the contest!


  31. What a fun way to spend a rainy day in Indiana. Thanks for the opportunity.


    Sailing Sailors

    On a windy day,
    Teddy’s sailing with me.
    He comes along,
    So I don’t stray.
    Jumping from the docks,
    Monkey swings by.
    Giraffe and Hippo join in,
    As the boat… rocks.
    Elephant leaps, Teddy cries “nay.”
    The boat tilts… water sprays.
    Now we’re loving a swim,
    On a windy day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh goodness…did everyone fall in? Oh well, sounds like they are having a great time…as will everyone who reads your lovely story, Diane! Thank you so much for hopping on board and writing an entry for the contest. I love all the animals who are joining in the fun also. 😉


  32. What a fun challenge! Here’s my story:

    Hey! A rabbit in the yard.
    Catching him will not be hard.
    Carrot for bait.
    Lie down to wait.
    I wait.
    And wait.
    And wait some more.
    I wait until my wait-er’s sore.
    Lunchtime comes.
    I eat the carrot.
    If he shows up I will share it.

    Liked by 4 people

  33. I’m posting another story from one of my dear writer friends. Thank you so much, Sherri, for playing along. With all of these wonderful entries, #50PreciousWords is getting better and better! And I love your idea of a correspondence between cat and dog. 😉 And I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get the image of the dog bed posted…readers will just have to use their imagination, I guess. 😉

    DOG AND CAT LETTERS by Sherri Jones Rivers

    Dear Cat:
    A friendly furry reminder that the new pet bed is mine.

    Dear Dog:
    I found it first, and besides, it matches my blue collar.

    Dear Cat:
    I am traveling to visit cousins Fido and Milo. It goes with me.

    Dear Dog:
    I’ve hidden it. Too bad. Have fun!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Hi Vivian,

    I love that book, and indeed any book, about a Brave Girl.

    My first reaction to your challenge, when I ran across it in 12 x 12 was — Ahhh! I can’t ever write anything that short! And then, this unfurled in my mind. So thanks for the inspiration and the gauntlet thrown. Here is my tiny tome:

    Arden’s Garden

    I cut with scissors.
    Flowers and a bench.
    I paint the sky blue and grass green.
    I cut string beans. Nineteen!
    I arrange.
    Snick, a statue.
    I rearrange.
    I paste.
    Sticky fingers.
    I taste.
    I layer, more paste.
    Next, glitter glue.
    Here, there.
    I’m through.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Brenda…I am getting to meet the most wonderful people through this challenge. Thank you so much for picking up the gauntlet and coming up with this lovely story! I really enjoyed the inner rhyme and the images were fantastic. So happy you joined in the fun!

      Liked by 1 person

        • Yes…50 words is not a lot…but obviously it is enough to tell some pretty lovely stories! I’m truly humbled by the response to the contest, Brenda…and everyone who knows me, knows my dearest joy is connecting with others…so this has actually been so much fun for me. I had set the deadline at 6pm Friday, March 18…so I guess there could be some coming in until then. Tomorrow night is DEFINITELY going to be a long night…I want to post the winners on Saturday’s Will Write for Cookies interview with Nancy Churnin. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  35. In at the wire! 🙂 So glad I got to take part in the lovely Vivian’s 50-word story challenge. Here’s my entry…


    Morning sun stretches over the treetops.

    For hours already Spider has been spinning

    a lacy net of glistening threads.

    Gentle breezes ripple

    but Spider toils on.

    Velvet night falls and Spider finally rests.

    Rain sprinkles softly,

    decorating Spider’s work.

    Dawn’s pink light reveals

    Spider’s masterpiece,

    sparkling with liquid jewels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hurray…I’m so happy to see an entry from my dear Beth…thank you for joining in the fun! I absolutely love the lyricism…your words took me to another realm of beauty where Spider’s masterpiece is a precious gem in Mother Nature’s treasure chest. BEAUTIFUL! And I’m so glad Spider was able to finish her work and get some rest…hope you do as well. 🙂


  36. Wow! I just saw a link to this site from kidlit411. What an interesting contest. Here’s my story.

    Charlie likes to eat colors.
    He eats yellow.
    Bananas, pineapples
    He eats orange.
    Carrots, oranges
    He eats red.
    Tomatoes, apples
    He eats green. (It is his favorite.)
    Broccoli, celery, pears, peas
    Charlie likes eating colors.
    He likes it so much, he asks his mom,
    “May I have more colors please?”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Sherry Lynn…thank you so much for participating in #50PreciousWords. And your story is precious! I love all the color words…I can see this as a really cute board book that teaches colors to little ones. Maybe with flaps. 😉
      I really appreciate you joining in the fun…glad you saw it on KidLit411. 😉


        • You are so welcome,Sherry Lynn…my whole life has been about reaching out and connecting and letting others know how much I appreciate them. The response to the contest has been AMAZING…I am thrilled to respond to each and every person who took up the challenge. 😉


    • Fabulous, Linda! I’m so glad you entered…and I love your story about friendship. And I love the idea of a book that two friends share. 🙂 Do you want to copy and paste it into the comments to make sure everyone gets to read it?


      • Thanks so much, Vivian. And here’s the story:

        Friends with Imagination

        Cam was moving.
        “I know,” Annie said. “Let’s share an imaginary friend.”
        “Annie, we’ll hardly play with each other anymore.”
        “But Cam…we can have a book where we write about our imaginary friend’s adventures.”
        “You get the book first. When we see each other again, I’ll get it.”

        Liked by 1 person

  37. Here’s my entry Vivian. Enjoy. 🙂


    Oooooo. Eyes widen.

    Smooth milky fudge woos and waits.

    “Yes please!” Are the words for a slice.

    Mmmm! Taste buds revel in the richness.

    Yummm! Tummy rumbles filled with gobbled goodness.

    Ahhh. Heart flutters with fulfillment.

    Fudge rules.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Not fair! Not fair! Now I need CHOCOLATE!!!
      What fun, Traci…you captured all of the wonderful sensations from first look to last bite. Well done! I’m so glad you hopped on board the challenge.


      • Thank you Vivian! I was inspired by the various pounds of fudge I have sitting here from ‘The Fudgery’ shop in St. Louis. Was there this past weekend with hubby.

        Liked by 1 person

  38. Thank you for the contest and for recommending Brave Girl. I haven’t seen or read it, so will have to check it out! Here is my entry:

    Hailey chose her favorite red crayon and drew a circle on the wall. Around that, she drew five more. With her the yellow crayon, she filled in the circles.
    Mommy walked in. “Hailey!”
    Hailey dropped her hand. She was in big trouble.
    “That’s the most beautiful flower I’ve ever seen!”

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Here is my entry, inspired by one of my two neighborhood bread shops, where we buy *drumroll* bread.

    Bread Shop Blues

    We live by a bread shop.
    We buy bread at the bread shop.
    That’s why I have the bread shop blues.

    There are cookies at the bread shop.
    Raisin. Chocolate. Almond.
    But we buy bread.
    That’s why I have the bread shop blues.

    There are cakes at the bread shop.
    Banana, butter, and chocolate swirl.
    But we buy bread.
    That’s why I have the bread shop blues.

    There are tarts at the bread shop.
    There are meringues at the bread shop.
    But we buy bread.
    That’s why I have the bread shop blues.

    We live by a bread shop.
    We buy bread at the bread shop.
    But I’m saving my money,
    To beat the bread shop blues.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Hi Vivian.

    Me again. My sixth story and my last. Do this again next year. It was a blast and gave me a break from other responsibilities. I ordered Brave Girl, too. Can’t wait to receive it.

    Grandma’s Sweater
    By Rita Antoinette Borg

    Meghan unwrapped her present.
    “Ugh! another sweater from Grandma with a purple-pink purse motif!”
    “I want it” said Becky.
    “It’s yours.”
    Meghan giggles.
    “Look,the purse really opens,” said Becky. “and there’s money in it.”
    Meghan grabbed the sweater and ran.
    “Give it back, Meghan or I’ll tell Grandma everything.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • There totally has to be a special prize for you, Rita! The girl with the mostest entries into the contest! I am so so so happy you’ve had such a good time with it. And I’ve had the best time, reading all of your stores.This one is so clever…and so true…I have an older sister and this is EXACTLY what would have happened. Thank you, friend, for your support of the #50PreciousWords Contest. 😉


  41. LOL! if you knew how little I am , you’d know why I try so hard.but really it was just plain FUN! After a whole week( and more coming) of a scriptwriting course where all the films and scripts were made for adult movies, except mine, where I was SO embarrased and felt SO uncool by youngsters 30 down. I’ve truly never seen so many depressing movies in my life.And the scenes… I even closed my eyes in some and people saw me and laughed. Such a different world from children’s writing especially children’s books. Hand on my heart, Thank God for KIDLIT and its community.

    Liked by 1 person

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