#50PreciousWords Writing Challenge is OPEN




I am so very excited to read all of the #50PreciousWords entries. For those of you who are visiting here the first time, please let me give you a sentence or two or three about how this all came about.


March 2nd is the birthday of the incredible Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Last year I put together a little contest based on Bennet Cerf’s challenge to 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.

I thought it would be fun to try 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 then I opened the challenge to everyone. Much to my surprise and amazement, there were 128 entries! Ayear has past…and it’s time to DO IT AGAIN.

Please put on your thinking caps and get busy writing. You have until March 6th at 11:59pm to post your story. 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 of 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. Between March 2nd and March 6th, post your story on your blog if you have one and want to and put the link in the comments of this post. Or copy and paste the entire story in the comments of this post. I ask for the link so that people will visit each other and find new friends in the kid lit community. Please make sure you put your name in the post. If you have any trouble at all posting the link or the story, please email me and I will be happy to do it for you: viviankirkfield@gmail.com.
  6. Deadline for posting the story or the link in the comments is Monday, March 6, at 11:59pm.
  7. Winners will be announced in a special blog post on Thursday, March 9.
  8. Winners? Of course, there will be winners…and prizes, too!

21 winners…21 prizes…1st place takes whichever prize she/he wants, then 2nd place gets to pick, and so on. I will reach out to 

  1. . A critique from my beloved agent, Essie White (some of you may remember that the winner of last year’s contest chose Essie’s critique as her prize…and she subsequently signed with Storm Literary Agency!)


  1. A seat in author and mentor Susanna Leonard Hill’s amazing Making Picture Book Magic online writing class (the first writing class I ever took and it set me on the path of writing wonderful picture book manuscripts).


3. A seat in author and nonfiction writing guru Kristen Fulton’s incredible Nonfiction Archaeology online writing class (that was the class that opened the door for me to discover the joy of writing nonfiction picture books).


4. Coupon for 50% off author Alayne Kay Christian’s ART OF THE ARC online writing class (this is the next class I would love to take).


5. Or, if you have already taken Alayne’s wonderful class, you can choose a coupon for 50% off an in-depth critique from her (when Alayne says it is an in-depth critique, she isn’t kidding. I had one of those…it is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious).

6. A seat in one of the KidLitCollege webinars (I’ve attended a few and they are FABULOUS!) OR $19.99 off a critique, donated by Jodell Sadler, JCLA Editorial Agent and Founder of KidLitCollege. Winner choses one and will get a special code.


7. A manuscript or query letter critique from author Rebecca Colby.


8. A picture book manuscript critique from author Lori Degman.


9. A picture book critique from author Anna Forrester.


10. A fiction picture book critique from author Ariel Bernstein


11. A picture book critique from author Rosie Pova


12. A book on the craft of writing from Rosie Pova.

13. A copy of Bunny’s Book Club from Annie Silvestro.


14. A book on the craft of writing from author Maria Marshall.


15. A copy of Hello, My Name is Tiger from author/illustrator Jennifer P. Goldfinger.


16. A copy of LIZZIE AND LOU SEAL plus an adorable SEAL NECKLACE from author/illustrator Patricia Keeler.


17. A copy of CLAMS ALL YEAR by author/illustrator Maryann Cocca-Leffler.


18. A SUPER HAPPY book prize package from author Marcie Colleen with copies of Super Happy Party Bears Gnawing Around and Super Happy Party Bears Knock Knock on Wood.


 19. A copy of Mutt’s Promise,  a middle grade dog adventure written by Julie Salomen…donated by author/illustrator Jill Weber.


20. A signed copy of Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite from author Stacy McAnulty.


21. A picture book critique from me and a signed copy of my parent-teacher book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.



WOW! That is some list of prizes! What a generous Kid Lit community we have! I’m grateful to the prize donors…I hope you all visit their websites, buy their books, and review them on Amazon. Did you know that when a book gets 50 reviews, Amazon helps promote it?

And now, before I invite you to post your stories, I wanted to share my #50PreciousWords with you. Hopefully, my story is a good enough example…with a beginning, a middle, and an end (and what an end!)…that is kid-friendly (well, remember those Grimm’s Fairy Tales)…that is 50 words or less. I hope it makes you smile.



Everyone made fun of Pig’s little feet.

An invitation arrived.

                   Please come to Coyote’s feast.

Rooster knew the invitation was for him.

Cow disagreed.

They hurried to Coyote’s den.

 Pig followed.

By the time his little feet got him there, the feast was finished.

And so were Rooster and Cow.


I always loved Aesop’s Fables and folktale type stories when I was a kid…I guess I was inspired by those.

Dear friends, please share this around your social media…the more the merrier… #50PreciousWords.

If you have any questions or need clarification, just email me: viviankirkfield@gmail.com

.Are you excited? I am!


And I just can’t wait to read all of your precious words.

2,134 thoughts on “#50PreciousWords Writing Challenge is OPEN

  1. When Little One Awoke
    Meli Glickman

    The glowing wings revealed the angel, as Little One awoke and reached out a hand to touch the bright light.

    Angel said, “Even when you cannot see me, feel me with your heart. My light will guide you till the end, just like now from your start.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: #50PreciousWords Writing Challenge | Thoughts on writing for children

  3. Thanks for the fun challenge Vivian! I was inspired by the great entries to give it a try.

    The Play
    by Mary Warth

    Pitcher Mikey threw a zinger,
    But the hitter was a swinger.
    Coach yelled, “Keep on running kid, they haven’t got the ball!”
    As the fielder’s catch was fumbled,
    Rounding third, the hitter stumbled.
    The Ump ran down the third base line in time to make the call.
    “You’re out!”

    Liked by 2 people

    by Ginger Rock Weddle

    slinks out

    she scampers up a tree.

    at the top,
    a new view
    over rooftops.

    warms her back.

    ruffle her fur.


    Paws reaching,
    Twigs snapping.

    peek down.
    How to return?

    A few steps to
    her human’s
    outstretched hands.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. So many awesome prizes and talented writers! At first, I didn’t think I’d submit my piece but here is my 47-word entry:

    Wendell’s Adventure

    Breathless, Wendell said, “I just flew in a flying saucer. We ate pizza!”
    I laughed and said, “No way.”
    “It’s true!” Wendell said, running outside.
    Later, I saw a flying saucer soar over the house. Wendell waved from a porthole.
    “Come back!” I yelled, “It’s trash night!”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you for the contest, Vivian. I’m a bit intimidated after reading such worthy entries, but I’m delighted to be a part of the fun.

    It was a task to whittle my story down to 50 words, but here is my entry.

    SLED PARADE by Lisa Morgan

    Monster Hill grinned threateningly.

    You first?




    Jordan climbed.

    Z Z Z
    Z Z
    Z Z Z
    Z Z
    Z Z Z
    Z Z Z Z
    Z O O M- BOOM!
    Peyton Climbed.

    Z Z
    Z Z Z
    Z Z
    Z Z
    Z Z Z
    Z Z
    Z Z
    Z Z Z
    Z Z Z
    Z Z I P

    Dylan Climbed.

    Z Z
    Z Z Z
    Z Z
    Z Z Z
    Z Z
    Z Z Z
    Z Z Z
    Z Z Z Z


    I have an Idea.







    The fancy sleds paraded to Monster Hill.

    Monster’s grin changed.

    Up the hill.

    M !


    P !


    G !

    All afternoon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ^^^By Lisa Morgan

      Well, the formatting didn’t quite turn out the way I set it before I pressed post comment. The ZZZZZZ’s are supposed to form a hill as they cascade down. Treacherous at the beginning and then a nice and smooth descent at the end. Hoping you get the idea. Thanks again!


  7. here’s a real short one:

    The Race

    sun falls
    night calls

    owl hoots
    mouse scoots

    snake hisses


    mouse flees
    owl sees


    faint squeak
    mouse in beak


    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh dear…I feel like I’ve led you down the path of darkness with my slightly on the edge sample, Linda. But I LOVE this…great rhyme and movement…mouse just wasn’t quick enough. 😉 Well done…and thank you so much for joining in the #50PreciousWord fun. 🙂


      • LOL. the idea of you leading me down “the path of darkness” made me laugh. You’d never lead me astray. Right?

        oh, and this one is only 23 words long. I wanted to expand it but didn’t come up with anything. And since it has a beginning, middle, and end, I just left it this way.

        Thanks for challenging me.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Mommy? What Will I Be?

    50 Precious Words

    By Ingrid Boydston

    “Mommy? What will I be when I grow up?”

    “You can be anything!”


    “A doctor,
    a chef,
    a teacher,
    maybe a great leader!”

    “Thanks Mommy, I know what I’ll be!”


    “All those things!”

    “I’m afraid you can’t be ALL of them.”

    “Sure I can. I’ll be a mommy!”

    Liked by 2 people


    Fancy hats,

    tasty treats-


    trays of sweets.

    Sugar cubes,

    porcelain cups,


    pinky up!

    Tea for two-

    Mom and me.

    Formal bow,

    bamboo whisks,


    matcha mix.

    Mini cup


    two warm hands-

    powdered green!

    Tea for two-

    Grandma and me.

    Little lady

    growing up,


    within my cups!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Cheryl…you packed so much into your #50PreciousWords. I love the diversitea within my cups…a meeting of many cultures for this little lady. 😉 Well done! Thank you for playing along with the challenge. It amazes me how many different stories there are here…we are a diversitea of children’s writers…hurray!


      • Thanks Vivian-
        I’m really amazed by how you’ve taken the time to respond to each and every writer and post. Thanks for creating this- it’s the first online writing challenge I’ve done!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. A Meal For Pangolin

    By: Christina Rowe

    Pangolin was hungry.
    His tummy rumbled out a warning.
    Bright moonlight caused his gooseberry eyes to squint.
    True he had slept through the day curled up in the hollow of a log.
    Now, he wanted his evening meal.
    He rolled over and saw a twig covered with writhing ants.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the name of your mc…Pangolin…how perfect! Glad Pangolin found something yummy to eat within reach. 😉 So happy you joined in the #50PreciousWord fun, Christine. Lovely language with the gooseberry eyes.


      • Vivian, if I might add something…

        Christina didnt just name the main character Pangolin, it IS a pangolin. It is an endangered species. And it has very tiny eyes. Her description of “gooseberry eyes” is perfect.

        A video about pangolins can be found here:


    • Are you familiar with MSWL (manuscript wishlist)? Agents and editors post what they wish to see. Not too long ago I saw a MSWL posting from someone interested in a story with a pangolin as the main character. If you expand this and add some more plot/struggle, you could have a picture book.

      I don’t remember which agent it was but you could do a search on the site.


  11. This is an entry for Sherry Alexander

    Moth Dance by Sherry Alexander

    It’s twilight. The moths gather. Is the coast clear?

    Shadows flicker dangerously close, but they edge into the open.

    Unfolded wings are flittering and fluttering as they angle toward the light.

    The dance has begun, but someone else sees something different.

    “Dinner,” says the bat. Slurp! The dance is over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well done, Sherry! It seems like there is a lot of gory stuff going on in nature tonight .Linda Hofke an unfortunate meeting between a mouse and an owl. I’m going to have to keep an eye on your kidlit writers. Oh, wait a minute. Wasn’t I the one who had an unfortunate meeting of a cow, a rooster, and a coyote?
      Thanks so much for joining in the fun with your #50PreciousWords! Very lyrical and lots of action!


  12. OPEN ME

    Did I catch your eye? But that’s just my cover. Please, open me, and look inside. Hold me gently in your hands. We can spend many calm, wonderful hours together. In me you will discover friendship, adventure, humor, mystery, and love. Stay with me until the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This was certainly a challenge – I’ve really been enjoying reading the entries. So much diversity in the topics and styles of writing. This is my first time doing a writing challenge but I just signed up for 12 x 12 and am embracing the spirit of waving my shy writer’s hand from over here! 🙂

    Cow and Chicken Babysitting by Yvonne Klinksick

    Cow says Moo
    Chick says Coo
    Baby hides, peak-a-boo!

    Hungry baby, mud pie goo
    Flowers tickle nose Ah-CHOO!

    Wah-wah! Baby’s blue
    What is that? Sniff-sniff…peee-ew!
    Not my turn Cow,
    must be you!

    Night night baby, Moo Coo you
    Day is done, phew!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. This is an entry for Shirin Shamsi

    The Boy who Soared (50 words) by Shirin Shamsi

    Sumi wished for the stars, but would not fly.
    He wished for the sun, but would not try.
    He wished for the moon.
    Striving at last,
    He flew high in his rocket ship to space and beyond.
    Past the moon and stars and sun.
    His journey had only just begun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a lovely story about a boy who dreamed and did something about it. What an adventure he will have. And you even worked in a nice rhyming pattern! Well done. And thank you for sharing your #50PreciousWords with us. 😉


  15. Now you have quite a challenge, Vivian, reading all these great entries. 🙂 Thanks for the fun prompt!

    Green Peas

    Conner, eat your peas, please.

    Greeny, weeny peas.

    Bouncy, wouncy peas.

    Peas line up. Choo-choo train.

    Peas run off. Roll back again.

    Smashy, wasshy peas.

    Gooshy, wooshy peas.

    Doggy, eat my peas. Please.

    Good job, Conner!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. The Playground
    By Jane Dippold

    Maybe friends?
    Don’t be shy.
    Maybe friends?
    Might be.
    Deep breath.
    Could be.
    Say something.
    Be brave.
    Look away.
    Keep walking.
    Look again.
    Say hey.
    What’s your name?
    What’s yours?
    Throw the ball.
    Catch the ball.
    Best buddies?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi Vivian, Here is one I have been editing lately — Way out of season, but within the word count, so I thought I’d join the fun. Teresa

    Orange orbs
    Scattered far
    Fields full

    Families frolic
    Wagons roll
    Sneakers streak

    Leaves lilt
    Vines twist
    Stems snap

    Children chuckle
    Hands gather
    Fall fun

    Tops tumble
    Fingers tickle
    Seeds spill

    Flames flicker
    Eyes dance
    Shadows stretch

    Ding dong
    Sacks full
    Vampires visit

    Orange orbs
    Warmly lit
    Happy Halloween!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. This is an entry for Judy Bruns

    Grandma’s Electric Reading Chair
    by Judy Bruns

    Grandma DeeDee reads to me
    In her big, electric chair,
    Her walker propped beside it
    While words and pictures take us everywhere.
    We climb the Eiffel Tower.
    We ski down a mountain peak.
    We ride the range on bucking horses.
    Then, tired, we nap,
    My sleepy head by Grandma’s cheek.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I can’t believe I’m doing this. Yes, I’m doing this. Vivian you’ve created tons of Kidlit fun. Here’s my entry:

    An Epicurean Delight?
    by Pamela Courtney

    Flabbergast Forest,
    Cool and green.
    Lizard spies a scary scene.

    Venus stre-e-e-etches,
    Opens, closes.
    Snaps up Beetle as he dozes.

    “En garde Flytrap, you carnivorous barbarian!”
    Venus gasped, “But I’m vegetarian.”

    Venus trips her trap.
    Beetle’s awake.
    “Settle your mettle Lizard. You’ve made a mistake.”

    “Yes, Lizard.”

    “Let’s eat.”

    Liked by 3 people

  20. “Go outside and feel the rain,” says mother.
    I go outside, and get wet.
    I come back inside
    Grab my umbrella,
    Go back out in the rain,
    And get wet again.
    The sun peeks through,
    A rainbow in sight.
    I smile,
    Feeling the rain on my skin.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Here’s my entry, based on my elementary school cafeteria monitoring days. 😀

    By Rene` Diane Aube
    Joey stomp-stomped back to his seat.
    “What’s wrong with skippy feet?”
    He glared at the lunch lady.
    She was making Lily walk to the trash cans and back again, too.
    Joey grinned, then skippity-hop…bee-bop…FLOP!
    Lily walked by saying, “Glad I’m not you.”

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Okay, Vivian, here is my entry. Thanks for the nudge. Posted it just in the nick of time.

    Caterpillar Snack
    by Pia Garneau

    Caterpillar, caterpillar
    Munching underneath the frond
    Hungry critter, leaflet-splitter
    Crunching bundles by the pond

    Starving sparrow, spying sparrow
    Eyeing for a yummy snack
    Aiming narrow like an arrow
    Diving, ready to attack

    Nibble nibble, dribble dribble
    Noshing on a juicy treat
    Savoring every drop and morsel
    Caterpillar’s good to eat

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Vivian Thanks for sponsoring this challenge. Here’s my entry.
    Bubble Blizzard
    By Angela Verges

    Flubble, bubble gas and air,
    Sparkle foam lands here and there.
    Crazy bubbles, blow through straws,
    Pop a bubble, use your claws.
    Bubbles swirl, bubbles twirl
    Streams of bubbles begin to hurl.
    Bubble blizzard starts to land
    Floating quietly onto a hand.
    Flubble bubble gone astray,
    Just until another day.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Such a fun (and not so easy!) challenge! Here goes!

    Porcupine Hug
    By Heidi Gingerella

    Sadie the porcupine
    overflowed with love.
    Everyone she met
    she tried to give a hug.

    “Ouch!” shrieked her friends.
    “Your spines are prickly!”
    This made Sadie sad,
    which her friends could see.

    So they stitched her a sweater
    out of cozy fleece.
    Now Sadie’s hugs
    feel as cuddlesome as she.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. A.M. Booms
    by Shelley Kinder

    BOOM! “Mama!”
    CRASH! “Papa!”
    Thunder in the night.
    LOUD sounds, ALL around, givin’ me a fright.
    Reachin’ for my teddy bear,
    Blanket pulled up past my hair.
    “Mama, Mama…is that you?”
    “What’s the matter, little boo?”
    “I want the sounds to go away.”
    “They will, my love. It’s garbage day.”

    Liked by 6 people

  26. This is an entry for Marlene Sommer. She sent it to me on Monday morning, but we had trouble posting it. She said it mirrors the life of her daughter.

    Lyssa the Lemur by Marlene Sommer

    My sister was a boring baby.

    Not for long!

    She became a kitty. “Here’s your milk, Bluebelle.”

    A princess!

    A chef!

    “I’m a lemur from Madagascar!” she squeaked.

    Next a ballerina… actress… and cheerleader.

    Off to college.

    Lyssa became a bride.

    Then a mother.

    Her very favorite role of all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for hanging in there, Marlene. I love that your story is really about your daughter…you’ve portrayed how many kids wish/hope/dream they will become many things as they grow up. Well done!


      • Vivian, thank you so much for posting my story!

        Some readers may relate to Lyssa the Lemur either in the life of a child or their very own life. I hope readers will be entertained by this child’s vivid imagination and the many delightful characters she pretends to become. Lyssa’s comical yet endearing antics may have you remembering your own dreams of what you wanted “to be when I grow up” as you turn each page watching Lyssa grow up. It’s never too late to become what you always wanted to be! “Lyssa the Lemur” is the true story of my imaginative daughter, minus the fire department rescue in the tree climbing scene. Alyssa was all of these characters except the bride and the mother. I am still waiting for that part of the story.
        Even though Alyssa pretended to be a lemur as a little child, and I knew a little bit about this creature, I did learn after research that they “squeak” and cannot hang by their tails like a monkey.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Spring
    Rhonda Leet

    My winter coat is finally off, I am lighter.

    I graze a newly green pasture.

    I will grow a new coat for the coming winter.

    My wool is spun to warm others.

    Mittens, hats, and scarves it will make.

    I share my wool with the world.

    Who am I?


  28. Little Frog Free
    by Angelique Pacheco

    “Woe is me!”
    Cried little frog.
    I cannot flounce,
    Or jump about.

    “Look down, Silly!”
    Turtle said dryly.
    Your leg is caught,
    No need to squawk.

    You need to flounce,
    To find your bounce.
    Little frog flounced,
    And jumped about.

    The reed broke,
    “Yay!” the happy frog croaked.


  29. Pingback: A Challenge! Vivien Kirkfield’s 50 Precious Words Contest Vivien Kirkfield’s 50 Precious Words Contest

  30. Thanks for running this fun contest, Vivian! My entry is also posted on my blog at https://www.joanmaher.net/single-post/2018/03/06/50PreciousWords-Contest.

    THE LIVING BOUQUET (44 words)
    by Joan Maher

    She picked a flower for her mother.

    It wilted.

    She picked another.

    It wilted.

    So she led her mother to the garden.

    There they stood, hand in hand, watching flowers bend, bumblebees bumble, a hawk circle above, and clouds transform from rabbits into sailboats.


  31. Pingback: Tami Traylor Studio » 50 Precious Words 2018

  32. Here is the house.

    In this house
    there is a room

    In this room
    there is a bed

    In this bed
    there is a child

    In her sadness
    there is hope

    In this hope
    there is healing

    in this house

    in this room

    in this bed

    a child can sleep.

    50 words


  33. Loggerhead’s Journey by Mary Arkiszewski

    An Ocean in Motion
    Pushing, Pulling
    Transporting life

    Salty waters warming
    Fast currents moving
    Great conveyer belt

    Gulf floating
    Ocean drifting
    Finally arriving

    Sargasso Sea
    Churning water
    Protecting me

    Floating nursery
    Food and refuge
    Time to grow

    Good-bye friends
    I’m big now
    Off I go!


  34. Pingback: 50 Precious Words Entry – Therese Kay Creative

  35. Pingback: Author Vivian Kirkfield Takes Us From Here to There With Her New Picture Book + Zoom Visit Give-away. | Darlene Beck-Jacobson

  36. The Day She Broke The House.

    Bessica was amazing. She built a plane in her living room. It was fabulous, but Bessica couldn’t get it out of her house. Could she fly it out? Could she float it out? Use a magic wand? Nope! That was the day she broke the house, and flew into history.


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