#50PreciousWords 2018 Writing Challenge is OPEN!!

 

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Today is the day, dear friends! Ready! Set! Go! The #50PreciousWords 2018 Writing Challenge is now OPEN!

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For those of you who have not participated before, let me give you a bit of back story. March 2nd is the birthday of the incredible Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. For the last two years, I’ve hosted 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.

In 2016, 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! And last year, there were 253 entries. And I hope we have a great turnout again this year because I am passionate about helping others follow their dream of writing for children.

In 2012 I had a dream. I wanted to write picture books. And I wanted to be traditionally published. And one of the most important things I did was to participate in writing challenges like Susanna Hill’s contests. Why was that important? Because it got me writing. It got me revising. It got me submitting. Hmmm….writing/revising/submitting. I believe that if we do those three things enough times, our writing improves and agents and editors get a chance to see our work. And as much as I am thrilled with my own success, nothing makes me happier than to hear about the success of others in our kidlit community.

So, please sharpen your pencils. Fire up your computers. And share your #50PreciousWords with us. Continue reading

#50PreciousWordsforKids International Writing Challenge Stories are HERE!

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HURRAY! It’s time to unveil the wonderful stories from children all over the world.

Many thanks to the parents and teachers who encouraged their kids to participate.

The guidelines were simple.

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I got several requests from teacher friends who asked for a few more days…so I extended the deadline to May 10th.

And the notes I got from parents and teachers were filled with thanks for creating this writing opportunity.

“Best wishes for a fabulous contest. This is a wonderful thing you are doing for kids!”

“My daughter told me she wants to write books like me, and my heart melted!”

“Thanks for hosting such a wonderful contest for young students.”

“Thank you again for organizing this fun event! My students were challenged to keep their stories under 50 words – especially since we’ve been working so hard in second grade to add details to lengthen our writing!”

I also decided to open the challenge to children all over the world—believing that, especially in these times, it’s important for us to come together—with children leading the way as the storytellers.

Each story was submitted by either a parent or a teacher. Teachers were requested to send one story per class. A couple of classes wrote a collaborative story. And one child even drew an illustration for her story.

grace illustrationBy Grace, author of Brothers

#50PreciousWordsforKids BY THE NUMBERS:

#57 ENTRIES

#6 COUNTRIES

#15 U.S. STATES

 

I’ve already had inquiries as to when the NEXT children’s writing challenge will take place. So, I guess I need to start thinking about that…maybe it would be nice to have one in the summer to keep those young minds creating…and definitely one later in the fall.

Hosting this has been a thrill…the diverse topics and creativity are impressive. These are the future writers of our world!

Without further ado, I present the #50PreciousWordsforKids International Writing Challenge stories, listed in the order I received them. Continue reading

Monday Writing Magic – PiBoIdMo Success!

I’m happy to say I completed Tara Lazar’s Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo).

I now have more than 30 ideas for new picture books – some good, some bad and some downright ugly!

piboidmo2013-winnerbadge-700x700The challenge: write 30 picture book ideas in 30 days

The inspiration: read 30+ posts by authors, illustrators and others who are successful in the field of kid lit.

Some days it was hard to make the time to read the post and comment…but I didn’t miss a day.

My family thought it was hysterical every time I jumped up from the dinner table and ran willy-nilly to grab my PiBoIdMo notebook and jot down a phrase or catchy book title.

True story: We moved to New Hampshire at the end of September. I’ve been reading AND telling my 5-year old grandson LOTS of stories. This morning, Jeremy could not find Continue reading