Blog Archives

#50 Precious Words Writing Challenge is Almost Here

.

Are you ready for a whole lot of fun?

As many of you know, I’m a BIG fan of writing contests and challenges.  I love them because

  1. they encourage writers to write
  2. they push us to submit our work
  3. they engage us in the kid lit community and provide us with positive feedback and inspiration.

 

dr-seuss-stamp

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 Random House founder Bennet Cerf’s 1960 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.

green-eggs-and-ham

My challenge is a bit different…yout MAX WORD COUNT for the entire story is 50.

If you are currently writing picture books…or just reading them, you’ll notice that the average word length for many is getting shorter and shorter. So I thought, wouldn’t that be a great challenge…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. I opened the challenge to everyone. Much to my surprise and amazement, there were 128 entries! And now it’s time to DO IT AGAIN.

Please put on your thinking caps and get busy writing. You have a couple of weeks until you need to post your story. Here are the guidelines:

#50 PRECIOUS WORDS WRITING CONTEST

  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 for 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. The contest officially opens on Thursday, March 2nd, in a special post on my blog.
  6. Between March 2nd and March 6th, post your story on your blog if you have one and put the link in the comments of my #50 Precious Words Challenge blog post OR post the entire story in the comments of my #50 Precious Words Challenge blog post. Last year, because the stories were so short, eventually, we had all of them in the comment thread. Please make sure you put your name in the post.
  7. Deadline for posting the story or the link in the comments is Monday, March 6, at 11:59pm.
  8. Winners will be announced Thursday, March 9.
  9. Winners? Of course, there will be winners…and prizes, too! The book prizes are limited to USA addresses, please.
    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!) essie

2. A seat in author 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).

mpbm3. A seat in author 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).

kristen

4. This next prize can be chosen by two people…there are TWO 50% off coupons for Alayne Kay Christian’s ART OF THE ARC online writing class (this is the next class I would love to take).

art_of_arc_v35. OR…if you have already taken Alayne’s awesome class, you can choose 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 manuscript or query letter critique from author Rebecca Colby.

rebecca-colby

7. A picture book critique from author Lori Degman

headshot

8. A picture book critique from author Anna Forrester.

anna-forrester

9. A fiction picture book critique from author Ariel Bernstein

ariel-bernstein

10. A picture book critique from author Rosie Pova

this-headshot

 

11. A book on the craft of writing from author Rosie Pova

12. A copy of Bunny’s Book Club from author Annie Silvestro:

book-cover

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

maria-marshall

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

tiger

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

lizzie-and-lou-seal-cover

16. A copy of CLAMS ALL YEAR by Maryann Cocca-Leffler.

clams-all-year

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

stackofbooks

I am exceedingly grateful to all of these kid lit pros who generously donated prizes…to find out more about these wonderful people, please click on each link above to visit their websites…follow them on social media..and buy their books!!!!

Please help spread the word and share this around your social media…the more the merrier… #50PreciousWords.

Are you excited?

I am!

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

P.S. Don’t forget…this is NOT the post you will be using for the contest entries…that post will go live on March 2nd.

 

 

PPBF: When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s time for a Perfect Picture Book review and activity. And if you’d like some more wonderful picture book reviews, please hop over to Susanna Hill’s blog.

It was hard to decide which picture book to review for today. Since I’m following Kristen Fulton’s 52 Weeks of Charting Non-Fiction Picture Books, I’ve got a ton of amazing non-fiction to chose from. And because I’m also participating in Carrie Charley Brown’s ReFoReMo , I’ve got a huge pile of picture books that I’m reading as mentor texts.

Decisions, decisions…

Hmmm…maybe I can combine both challenges and use a book that is one of Kristen’s 52 which I will also be using as a mentor text for a picture book I am writing.

TA-DA!

stravinsky meet nijinsky

Title: When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky

Written and illustrated by Lauren Stringer Read the rest of this entry

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Running with the Horses

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s time for the first Perfect Picture Book review and craft activity of 2015.

I’m going to be participating in Kristen Fulton’s 52 Weeks of Charting Non-Fiction Picture Books, so I can guarantee that quite a few of the reviews this year will be non-fiction ones. I discovered the ‘new’ non-fiction picture books when I enrolled in Kristen’s Non-Fiction Archaeology course last June…for those of you who have ever thought about writing in that genre, I urge you to check out her stellar class.

Before I took the class, my idea of a non-fiction book was based on what I had read as a kid. Back in the day, most non-fiction books, even those for kids, were BORING. But not anymore! And there are many different types of non-fiction…kids might not care, but parents, teachers and librarians might want to make the distinction.

For more detailed information, you can go here:
http://nonfictionandthecommoncore.blogspot.com/

running with horses

RUNNING WITH THE HORSES

Written and illustrated by Alison Lester

Publisher: NorthSouth (2011)

Ages: 5 and up

Themes: Conquering fears, Lipizzaner horses, war

 

Opening Lines:

“A long time ago, a young girl named Nina lived in a palace that stood in the heart of a graceful old city. The palace was home to the Roayl Academy of Dancing Horss, where Nina’s father, Viktor, was the stable master.”

Synopsis:

From Amazon: “Nina and her father live in a beautiful riding school famous for their Lippizaners–precious, rare performing horses.  Nina loves the horses that her father looks after, but she also loves Zelda, one of the old carriage horses who she sneaks out to see.  It’s a perfect world for a little girl, although she has to compete with her father’s work for his attention.  But a war is coming, one that will threaten their lives and the very existence of the school. 

When the city is under attack, Nina and Father are in charge of fleeing with the horses to a safe place across the border, but can they pass enemy soldiers, bombed out bridges and the fearsome cold of the Alps to get there?  And can Nina save her beloved Zelda, too?” Read the rest of this entry

Hmmmmm

about reading, writing & thinking children's books

Laura Boffa: Write of Way

Giving the way of writing the right of way

PICTURE the BOOKS

A Gallery of New Picture Book Talent

EMU's Debuts

From Deal to Debut: the Path to Publication

Wander, Ponder, Write

A KidLit Journey...

Picture Book House

reviews and stories about parenting with picture books

pernilleripp.wordpress.com/

Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension

Norah Colvin

Live Love Laugh Learn . . . Create the possibilities

Beth Anderson, Children's Writer

Reader, Writer, Miner of Moments

Dan Szczesny

Travel Writer / Journalist / Author

Susanna Leonard Hill

Children's Author

The Stinky Backpack

Traveling the Everyday World

Write One Real Life

Where writing meets faith in the real world.

The Runaway Palate

Food. Travel. Cooking. Random musings.

The Reader and the Book

"O Day of days when we can read! The reader and the book, either without the other is naught." Ralph Waldo Emerson

WRITERS' RUMPUS

Authors & Illustrators Wild About Kidlit!

One Good Thing

Teresa Robeson's 365-Day project

Tracy Campbell

Wacky World of Writing & Whimsical Works of Art

Jilanne Hoffmann

The Writer's Shadow

kidsbook friends

Check out this blog about children's books!

Mary Jo Beswick

Author and Illustrator of Children's Picture Books

Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

Children's Writer

Pattern Me Mommy

My journey from Type A know-it-all to MOMMY! by Anna Redding

READ to KIDS

PB author, poet, writing for kids

Friendly Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales and Poetry Celebrating Magic and Nature for Kids of all Ages

Lauri Fortino's Frog On A (B)log

Sharing and Celebrating Picture Books Since 2009

Stacy S. Jensen

Let's Read Picture Books Together

Reading With Rhythm

book reviews from Rhythm the Library Dog

Nerdy Book Club

A community of readers

Nerdy Chicks Write

Get it Write this Summer!

Laura Sassi Tales

Celebrating writing, reading, and life.

Erika Wassall here... The Jersey Farm Scribe

Author, Freelance Writer, Entreprenur... LIVER of life

Angie Karcher

Writing Children's Books

Chapter Book Chat

A Writer Reviews Chapter Books, by Marty Mokler Banks

The Blabbermouth Blog

Literary Agent Linda Epstein's Yakkety Yakking

The Waiting

Turns out, it's not the hardest part.

Robyn Graham Photography

Capturing Life One Image at a Time

%d bloggers like this: