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#50PreciousWordsforKids International Writing Challenge is OPEN

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The #50PreciousWordsForKids International Writing Challenge is now OPEN!

Last month, I hosted a challenge for writers. I invited them to create a story for children in 50 words or less. #50PreciousWords drew hundreds of participants. What amazed me was the incredible creativity that was unleashed by the restrictive word limit.

MAGIC HAPPENS WHEN YOU MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT!

Last year, one of the participants told me that she and her six-year old daughter had an amazing bonding experience. Seeing her mom writing, the little girl wanted to write a story also. And she did. And her mom shared it with me.

DINOSAUR SNOW by Bethany (age 6)

It snowed a lot through the day. Pteranodon and her sister Teethless were bored. Pteranodon said, “I planned to go outside and it’s almost time for lunch. Oh it’s 11:00. Let’s go wake Mom and Dad.” “You’re right,” said Teethless. So they did. And then they ate lunch.

And when my eight-year old grandson spent a day with me, he wanted to write one, too.

Locked Out by Jeremy (age 8)

One evening, when me and my mom got home from school, we tried to unlock our door. We heard a snap. Our house key broke! We went to our neighbors for help. They said, “Get a ladder and climb into a window.” We followed their advice. Unlocked the door. Home!

Those two stories got me excited! As a retired kindergarten teacher, I’ve always been on a mission to help kids become lovers of books and reading. As many of you know, now I write for children. And I love it! My four debut picture books will launch next year.

I thought, what if I could encourage kids to become the storytellers! And so, #50PreciousWordsforKids was born.

#50PreciousWordsforKids coincides with Children’s Book Week, April 30 to May 6.

EVERY CHILD in grades K-6 is invited to participate.

This is an INTERNATIONAL challenge…there will be stories flying in from all around the world!

Teachers can have each child write a story of 50 words or less…then the teacher and/or class will choose one story to submit. Perhaps this can be a whole-school event to celebrate Children’s Book Week. Or just a single class project. If several kids want to work together or the teacher wants to submit a collaborative class story, that would be lovely!.

Parents are invited to encourage their children to write a story at home (whether or not they are homeschooled) – parents can email me one story per child.

My only rule is that the stories must be emailed to me by a teacher or parent (or other child-care facilitator).

Here are the guidelines:

final jpeg of flyer

  • Each child, grade K-6, writes a story of 50 words or less.
  • Title not included in word count.
  • Story must have a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Happy or sad, silly or serious, true or make-believe.
  • Teachers/students choose one story to submit per class.
  • Homeschooling parents submit one story per child.
  • Please email story to: viviankirkfield@gmail.com by May 7 at 11:59pm.
  • Stories post on my blog: viviankirkfield.com on May 11.
  • Teacher receives a certificate to copy and present to each child who wrote a story.
  • Giveaway of seven mini-Skype author classroom visits.

The challenge runs April 30 to May 6 and the stories need to be emailed to me: viviankirkfield@gmail.com by 11:59pm on Sunday, May 7th.

I’ll enter those stories on my Thursday, May 11th blog post.

All teachers and parents will receive a certificate that can be copied and personalized with the name of each child who participated.

Please, dear readers, help spread the word by sharing this post on your social media channels and by reaching out to your teacher and parent connections.

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

What a wonderful opportunity for kids to become the storytellers.

Last year we had entries from 15 states and four foreign countries! I wonder where the stories will come from this year. But, no matter where they come from…

…I’m excited to read all of their precious words.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: IF YOU WANT TO FALL ASLEEP is on a Book Blog Tour Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

I’m really happy because today we are part of author Jackie Azur Kramer’s book blog tour! If you’d like to check out the other stops: https://www.jackieazuakramer.com/iwfa-blog-tour

Before we get to today’s wonderful book, I have THREE important announcements.

  1. We have a copy of TERRIFIC TONGUES by Maria Gianferrari to give away. And the winner is…

DEE KNABB!

Congratulations, Dee. I’ll connect you and Maria so she and her publisher can get a copy of her fabulous book to you

2. #50PreciousWordsforKids is coming SOON! I’ll be inviting children in grades K-6 to write a story in 50 words or less. You all know how much fun that is! Last year we had a wonderful response – 15 states and 4 foreign countries participated! So, please spread the word to teachers, parents, homeschools. This is an activity that perfectly aligns with National Book Week…and there will be SEVEN AUTHOR SKYPE visits as prizes. I do need more volunteers for those…please contact me if you’d like to offer one or if you have any questions: viviankirkfield@gmail.com. And if you want more details, take a peek at Darlene Jacobson’s blogpost: https://darlenebeckjacobson.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/vivian-kirkfield-presents50-precious-words-for-kids-contest

3. I’ve got a gift pack of several picture book advance copies that I’d love to share…one of them is today’s wonderful story…please leave a comment on today’s post and you might be the lucky winner!

If You Want to FAll Asleep Cover

IF YOU WANT TO FALL ASLEEP

Written by Jackie Azua Kramer

Illustrated by Lisa Brandenburg

Published by Clavis (2018)

Ages: 4-6

Themes: Bedtime routines, sleep problems

Synopsis: From Amazon:

It’s bedtime, but Little Mouse isn’t sleepy. He has tried reading, and snacking, and snuggling, but nothing is helping him fall asleep. Maybe Mama Mouse can help? If you want to fall asleep, what do you do? A wish and a hug and it’s finally time to dream.
A lyrical bedtime story for sleepy little mice ages 4 and up.

Why I like this book:

  • Most kids have trouble winding down…I love this rollicking adventure that is sure to help them do that. And if it doesn’t, it is sure to entertain them while they are up!
  • The illustrations are bold, vibrant, and filled with humor.
  • We always need fresh new bedtime stories.

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

Paper Plate Mouse

paper-plate-mouse-craftPhoto courtesy: http://www.dltk-kids.com

Most of you know how much I love crafts made with paper plates. And here is a new one, a perfect extension activity after reading IF YOU WANT TO FALL ASLEEP.

For detailed instructions: http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/m-plate-mouse.htm

For more picture book reviews, why not hop over to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up.

Thank you for stopping by, dear friends! Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the book giveaway. And please share the upcoming #50PreciousWordsforKids info as well.

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Happy Weekend to All!

 

Will Write for Cookies: KRISTEN FULTON plus Giveaway

 

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

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KRISTEN FULTON

What impresses me most about this kid-lit community is the generosity of its members—especially those who have achieved success and graciously share their knowledge. I met our Will Write for Cookies guest back in 2014. I’d heard she was taking the world of nonfiction picture books by storm. And 2014 was the year I had earmarked to take classes. So, I dipped my toes into the nonfiction pool and participated in her WOW Nonficpic Week Challenge – and fell in love…with her spirit, her wealth of expertise, and writing nonfiction pbs. I registered for her June Nonfiction Archaeology class. In July, I wrote Sweet Dreams, Sarah. And received LOTS of feedback and help from Kristen and our critique group. And LOTS of agent interest (and signed with my agent) because of it. Yup, that girl knows what she is talking about.

 Nonfiction picture book author Kristen Fulton is happiest wearing her favorite set of pearls and carrying a notebook into any museum or history center where she could spend hours researching. Wafting through old books or around dusty artifacts, Kristen believes that is where she will find her next story hiding. As a lifelong student, Kristen is always on an adventure to learn something new, from a foreign language to veterinary science, her love for education has given her the discipline to do the research and bring pure nonfiction stories to children with the ability to entertain.

 book cover

Dear readers…this Q&A is going to knock your socks off! Please leave a comment at the end to be entered into the giveaway for a copy of LONG MAY SHE WAVE which has just launched and has already been selected as a Fall 2017 Junior Library Guild selection.

 Let’s give her a big Picture Books Help Kids Soar welcome!

 Kristen, thank you so much for stopping by to visit with us.

 ME: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?

 KRISTEN:

Believe it or not, I don’t remember any picture books from my childhood. The first book I remember my parents reading to me was The Boxcar Children. My dad had this bizarre talent, he could draw anything on an Etch a sketch. I remember him reading and then stopping to sketch out the image, such as the dog or loaf of bread. We moved up to Anne of Green Gables with etch a sketch images of carrots, slates, and lakes of shining waters. Read the rest of this entry

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