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:
- 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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.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.
What? You guys are back?
Not tired of hanging out with me?
I’m so glad, because we’ve got a 2017 debut picture book to review for Perfect Picture Book Friday plus an awesome fun craft to create with kids. Plus a fabulous giveaway prize package from author Jessica Petersen. More about that at the end of the post.
But first, more picture book goodness…author Peter McCleery reminded me that we have a copy of Bob and Joss Get Lost to give away from last week’s Will Write for Cookies post.
AND THE WINNER IS:
Congratulations, Sandy…I will give Peter your email so he can connect with you and get you the book!
And now, let’s get back on track with our Perfect Picture Book of the week.
OLD TRACKS, NEW TRICKS
Written and illustrated by Jessica Petersen
Publisher: The Innovation Press (2017)
Ages: Preschool – Grade 3
Trains, imagination, working together
Wooden train tracks Trixie, Tracky, and Tinker are thrilled to finally join a train set of their own. Unfortunately, their excitement derails when they discover things at their new home are not what they expected. Bossy wooden trains blare orders, and the old tracks snore on the floor. But with a little creativity, the three new tracks work together to prove that you really can teach old tracks — and trains! — new tricks.
With rhyming text and clever word play, Old Tracks, New Tricks is sure to entertain parents and children of all ages, from train-obsessed toddlers to school-age kids looking for new ways to play with their old favorite toys. Full directions for each fun “trick” from the story can be found at the back of the book to inspire hours of creative train play.
Why I like this book:
- Visually stimulating, this book encourages creativity, inspires imagination, and creates many moments of working together.
- I’m a big fan of repurpose and recycle…I know many parents relegate the train sets to the back of the closet when kids lose interest in them…this book is your best reason to pull them out again.
Make A Ride On Train
Wow…can you imagine how much fun your child will have with this.
You will need: Cardboard boxes, paper plates, empty oatmeal box, glue, scissors, markers…optional: tempura paint, construction paper/newspaper/gift wrap.
- Cut the boxes as show in the picture or as you desire.
- Cover with some type of paper (newsprint, giftwrap, construction paper) or paint or let your child color with markers or crayons.
- Decorate the paper plate wheels and attach with glue (or stapler).
- Cover oatmeal box with construction paper and attach to front top of train.
- Cut front grill from paper, decorate, and attach.
- With only a few cents of materials, you and your child will have a ball.
- If you don’t have boxes large enough for your child to sit in, make a train from shoeboxes or cereal boxes, attach a string, and you’ll have a pull-toy.
For more train crafts: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/trains-craftsideasactivitieskids.html
Jessica’s book include many creative ideas also.
So cool, right? Who would’ve thought! If you’d like to throw your conductor’s cap in the ring, leave a comment here and/or on tomorrow’s Will Write for Cookies post. Author Jessica Petersen is giving away a super prize package: a signed copy of Old Tracks, New Tricks plus a wooden track decorated as one of the characters in the book plus a sheet of decals so the child can decorate his own tracks (or anything else…like walls, baby sisters, etc.).
Have a wonderful weekend…and don’t forget to come back tomorrow to hear all about the all aboard moment that set Jessica on the right track to create this wonderful book.
And to join in more picture book review fun, please hop over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s website for more Perfect Picture Book Friday posts.