The Winning Stories – 750 Precious Words

The 50 Precious Words Contest is over. The level of participation was bested only by the level of quality of the stories. I thank everyone who posted a story or shared about the contest. So many people commented that writing the stories and reading the entries were a great exercise in honing their writing skills…I was so happy to hear that because I know we are all on a quest to write books of precious words for children..


Some of you suggested that it might be nice to have the fifteen winning stories in one place so they could be easily read. GREAT IDEA! I hope you all enjoy reading these as much as I did. If you find any of the entries have been deleted…those lucky stories are out on submission and I have removed them as per the author’s request.

And if you want an inside peek into the process I used to select the winners, please visit the GROG blog, where Janie Reinart asked me some probing questions:

  1. LITTLE TIGER by Julie Abery



  1. STAY OR GO by Shari Schwarz

out the apartment window
all I see:
Men protest, women scurry, children flee

Should I stay?
Speak and fight?
Or continue…

For my life
What I know is right…
I have too much to lose.
I can leave this all behind.

And so I do.


  1. 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?”


  1. I DID IT! by Cathy Stenquist

I did it!
Yep, I did it.
I think so…?
You better check. Well?
It’s true! I did it!
But, you said…
I know.
I’m surprised!
Me too!
That’s amazing!
I really did it!
Are you happy?
I am.
I’m proud of you.
Me too.




Broccoli? Yuck!
I’ll eat beets, beans, even bok choy. Anything but broccoli!
Here boy, got a tasty treat for you.
Psst! I’ll do your chores if you eat these.
They will blend in nicely with my napkin.
UGH! I hate broccoli!
Only one bite?
Mmmmmm, not bad.
More broccoli please!


  1. TOES! By Janet Smart

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


  1. KITCHEN DRAWER DRAMA by Katelyn Aronson

“You pinch! Get lost!”
said Silverware to Tongs.
(They kicked him out.)

Tongs passed the Sink.
From inside The Black Hole,
“HELP!” came a shout.

Lost Baby Spoon!
Tongs reached inside, then pinched
and pulled her free.

“Hero! Come home!”
said Silverware to Tongs,
“We’re family!”


  1. CAT’S REVENGE by Jean James

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!


  1. RAINBOW’S TREASURE by Sara Gentry

On a bicycle.
Escaping city giants.
Leaving behind
cold concrete and smoky skies.
Pedaling faster.


through fields of
red poppies,
orange lilies,
green clover,
and lavender.

A clearing.
A picnic.

Treasure at the rainbow’s end.


  1. HONU WAITS by Stephanie Shaw

The water is deep and cool.
Honu drifts
through blue,
then turquoise,
then green.
Honu waits.
Gold sand.
Honu rests.
Sun warms him.
One flipper
Then the other.
One leg
And again.
Honu waits
White froth covers him.
Honu drifts
Through green
Then turquoise
Then blue.


  1. THE MASTERPIECE by Shelley Kinder

Deep blue canvas.

Passionate Painter.

Splashes of pink,



Will they love His sunrise,

As He loves them?

More pink…



A punch of purple!

It is finished.

People point,



Admiring the masterpiece.

The Painter is pleased.

God rests His brush,

Excited for sunset…

The possibilities!


  1. RUN CHIPPIE RUN b Debbie Vidovich

Chipmunk skittles, running free,

Under logs and up the tree.

Moving fast, a tiny blur,

Flashes white and stripes of fur.

Gathers nuts and seeds and fruit,

Down the hole-hurry, scoot!

Nestled deep beneath the ground,

Furry wiggles bounce around.

Mama settles, babies play,

What a busy Chippie day!


  1. DOGGIE DELIGHTS by Janie Reinart

Doggie delights in digging.

Dirty Doggie.


Doggie deposits a bone.

Pulls ropes.

Pushes levers.



Pulls ropes.

Pushes levers.

Dryers on.

Pulls ropes.

Pushes levers.

Brushes fluff.

Pulls ropes.

Pushes levers.

Bandana on.

Pulls ropes.

Pushes levers.

Treats for a clean Doggie.

Doggie delights in digging.


  1. BEAR’S FIRST SPRING by Jess Townes

Now, Mama?

Not while snow is our blanket.
Back to sleep, my love.

Now, Mama?

Not while catkins haven’t bloomed.
Back to sleep, my love.

Now, Mama?

Not while papa’s still hunting.
Back to sleep, my love.

NOW, Mama?

Melted snow.
Willows blow.
Hearts aglow.

Now it’s time, my love.


  1. A RIDE IN THE CAR by Lauri Fortino

My tail wags fast.
My head’s out the window.
We’re going to the park.
Or Grandma’s.
Or Hotdog Hut.
This is not the park.
Or Grandma’s.
Or Hotdog Hut.
My tail droops.
This place smells scary.
A shot!
What? Done!
Next stop, Hotdog Hut!
My tail wags fast.


Take a bow…and a well-deserved rest…and I hope you will all return for the 2nd Annual #50 Precious Words Contest next year. I’ll see what great prizes we can snag.


I know everyone is really busy…but if you have the time, all of the other entries deserve to be read.

And please come back for Perfect Picture Book Friday…are you wondering what fabulous story I will pull out of my hat? Since it’s almost Easter, perhaps it will have to be about a rabbit.

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever - Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (PomegranateKids, March 15, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, Feb 13, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, May 1, 2019); MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE (Little Bee Books, Spring 2020); FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fall 2020) picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my young grandson.

Posted on March 23, 2016, in #50 Precious Words Contest, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. I enjoyed reading all the winners’ entries. Thank you for posting them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for pulling them all together for one fun read.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maria Marshall

    Thanks for putting them all together, Vivian
    An amazing collection of writing talent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for doing this, Vivian! I love all of these. I can’t imagine having to choose!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for putting these all in one place. Such an awesome contest & awesome winners!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved reading these. Such lovely stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats to the winners! What a fun contest this was!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congrats to all and thank you Vivian for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats to the winners! Thank you for posting these fab stories 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Very cool! I’m glad that you posted all the winners’ stories. They are fantastic! Congratulations again to the winners, and thanks, Vivian, for hosting such a fun contest.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. These are wonderful! Well done, all! Great new feature you’ve started, Vivian.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations to all the winners and to Vivian for a successful contest. Lots of good stories!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Superb writing here, Vivian. Keep helping others. You’re great at it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I finally had a chance to read all the winning stories tonight. I love seeing what people can do with just 50 words. Thanks so much for putting them all in one place. Can’t wait for next year!


  15. I don’t know about anyone else, Vivian, but your 50 word challenge is really making me rethink my other ms…. too wordy! Great contest!! Lovely to read the ‘precious 750’. Enjoy a well earned break!


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