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6th Annual Valentiny Contest: The Evil Dr. Gerbil and The Case of the Missing Candy Hearts

Welcome to the 6th annual Valentiny writing contest hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill.  If you’re not familiar with this contest, then head on over here to read all about it, and while you’re there, check out all of the amazing, and talented entries. This years theme is about bravery.

It’s hard to be brave when The Evil Dr. Gerbil is at large…

My story comes in at exactly 214 words…whew!

The Evil Dr. Gerbil and The Case of the Missing Candy Hearts

A malodorous cloud was detected wafting out of the Gimme Some Sugar candy heart factory. Anonymous sources reported seeing several suspicious characters lurking nearby. This pestilent pack denies any involvement:

Investigators at the scene, afraid to enter the fetid factory, called on Wonder Weasel to investigate.

Willing to brave the stinky stench, Wonder Weasel, with his keen olfactory powers, traced the offensive odor to a pile of fetid, foul, funky smelling counterfeit candy.

The Evil Dr. Gerbil is being sought for questioning for his alleged involvement in the candy heart heist, and still remains a suspect with his on again, off again, girlfriend Patty Partridge in the Halloween candy corn case.

Meanwhile Back at Police Headquarters…

“That was a brave thing going into that rotten, rodent’s crime scene Wonder Weasel.”

“Think nothing of it Inspector Wallaby. That rank, stench traces right back to his secret lair.”

In a valorous, undercover operation, Wonder Weasel apprehended The Evil Dr. Gerbil. Piles of stolen candy hearts were recovered. An ambulance arrived when Patty Partridge was discovered at the bottom of the candy heart cache lying in a confectionary coma.

The Evil Dr. Gerbil was placed in police custody, pending criminal charges. Wonder Weasel declined to make a statement, but was overheard saying,

“You dirty rat!”

Hope you enjoyed the ongoing adventures of Wonder Weasel and The Evil Dr. Gerbil.

 

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Valentiny Writing Contest 2021

Just when you thought you were done with writing contents, here comes another one from my favorite children’s book author and hostess, Susanna Leonard Hill. It’s time for the 2021 Valentiny Writing Contest. Don’t know what that is; head on over here for all the info.

This year’s Valentiny story is looking for someone brave. Well, we need as much bravery as possible in our world right now! The contest details can be found below. Happy writing!

Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone feels brave!  They can be brave about asking someone to be their Valentine, of course, but they can also do something brave to get a Valentine (the person or the gift), or do something brave to help a friend. They could be brave about giving something up, or brave about asking someone they’re not sure about for some reason to be nice. . . sky’s the limit!  Think beyond the obvious!  Your story can be poetry or prose, sweet, funny, surprising or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes someone brave (can be the main character but doesn’t have to be) and is 214 words (get it? 2/14 for Valentines Day) Post your story on your blog between 12:00 AM EDT Friday February 12th and Sunday February 14th by 11:59 PM EDT

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Helping Hands

I’m excited to be participating in Susanna Leonard Hill’s 10th annual holiday writing contest. I was inspired by this years theme of holiday helpers. My story comes from the heartwarming true tale of a little northern saw-whet owl trapped in the New York City Rockefeller Christmas Tree, and her brave journey from Oneonta to NYC. The helping hands of the tree workers, and wildlife rescue workers that helped to heal the little owl, and set her free back into the wild captured the hearts of us New Yorkers, and I’m sure all who read about her journey.  The little owl was aptly nicknamed Rocky, for the Rockefeller Tree, but I couldn’t help think of Rocky the boxer, and that fighting spirit that helped her survive.

The format of my story is called a pantoum. I hope you enjoy it.

Helping Hands
(248 words)

Too-too-too, cried the Rockefeller tree,
From a teeny, tiny, owl’s hootenanny “Help me!” plea.
Helping hands were needed to set the little owl free.
The tree-team stooped to look inside to see what could it be.

From a teeny, tiny, owl’s hootenanny “Help me!” plea,
A Burly workman spied a roosted hitchhiker so wee.
The tree-team stooped to look inside to see what could it be.
They knew they had to cut away the bramble, and debris

A Burly workman spied a roosted hitchhiker so wee,
Snap-snap-snap the tiny beak warned: one, then two, then three.
They knew they had to cut away the bramble, and debris,
To clear a path, and help set free, this feathery detainee.

Snap-snap-snap the tiny beak warned: one, then two, then three,
The frightened, quaking owl was as hungry as could be.
To clear a path, and help set free, this feathery detainee,
Helping hands retrieved the frightened Christmas adoptee.

The frightened, quaking owl was as hungry as could be.
The Burly workman scooped her up, and whispered, “Come with me.”
Helping hands retrieved the frightened Christmas adoptee,
An Oneonta, Saw-Whet Owl upstate escapee.

The Burly workman scooped her up, and whispered, “Come with me,
Ravensbeard will help you heal in rural Saugerties.”
An Oneonta, Saw-Whet Owl upstate escapee.
Little Rocky, Rockefeller owl honoree.

Ravensbeard will help you heal in rural Saugerties
Too-too-too, cried the Rockefeller tree
Little Rocky, Rockefeller owl honoree.
Helping hands were needed to set the little owl free!

 

To all of you out there I wish you a wonderful holiday season, and a happy and healthy new year!

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10th Annual Holiday Writing Contest

Ho, ho, ho, I am hyped for the 10th annual holiday helpers writing contest hosted by the humble, helpful, heart-warming, hostess, Susanna Leonard Hill! Not sure what this contest is all about? Then head on over here to read all about it. Whether you read, or write, or do both, you will enjoy this lovely holiday tradition of storytelling that will leave you filled with the spirit of the season.

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10th Annual Halloweensie Contest

Play me while reading!

Ghosts and Goblins, Witches and Warlocks, Monsters and Mummies, it’s finally that time of the year that you’ve all been waiting for…

Covid to be over?

NO!

2020 to be over?

NO!

In flight dining to begin again?

Definitely NO!

No my dear Ghouls, it is the scariest of all times…time for Susanna Leonard Hill’s

10th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest!

Wait… you don’t know what that is?

Now I’m scared!

Do be a good monster and head on over here to read all of the gruesome details.

Now get writing!

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Madness Poetry 2020

I’m so excited to announce that I will be participating in Ed DeCaria’s, Madness Poetry competition beginning this Sunday March 8th! 64 Authletes (Writer athletes) will be competing against each other for the title of Poetry Gangster, and the grand prize Thinkier trophy pictured below.  Head over to Madness today and sign up to read, vote, and have fun!

The match up brackets mimic basketball’s March Madness brackets. The Authlete’s are provided a single vocabulary word (think SAT/GRE Vocab.) and must create a poem suitable for children, within a defined character limit (Not Easy!).

Ed has the voting divided into three sections: the authlete vote, the student vote, and the community vote. We as writers get to vote all throughout the competition, even if we lose, and this vote carries some extra weight. The student vote comes from schools that have signed up their classrooms to read, and vote on the poetry entries. The student vote also carries heavy weight considering the poems have to be kid friendly. The community vote consists of everyone else who chooses to sign up to read, and vote for their choice of best poem (that means you). The voting is open for two days, at which time everyone can vote, and comment on their favorite poems. The winner then proceeds to the next round. With each round the authletes are cut by 1/2 until only one winner is left standing. Last year’s winner was Lori Degman, whose poems were a delight week after week.

This is my third year entering and I am so excited, and nervous. The talent is amazing!

If you’re a teacher, get your class signed up, if you’re a reader, then get yourself signed up so can you can vote, and if you’re an authlete, I wish you good luck!

Look for me under Jean (James) O’Connor

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#50preciouswords

March 2nd, is Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and to celebrate, the #50preciouswords contest is now open.  Don’t know what the #50preciouswords contest is, then head on over to Vivian Kirkfield’s website here to read all about it.

Dr. Seuss was not immune to writing challenges either, and was dared by Bennett Cerf, his editor at Random House, to write a story using no more than 50 unique words (not the word count). The result: Green Eggs and Ham.

 

Thank you Vivian for all that you do to support the kid lit community. You are a true inspiration!

Here is my STEAM story at 48 words:

Quaking Bog

Warmed by a sunrise,
shivered in fog,
on a great golden pond,
floats a great quaking bog.

 The bog is a fragile wetland display
of how to preserve
instead of decay,
but beware of this quivering, quaking like glen
’cause it’s known to have swallowed,
and mummified men.

 

 

 

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The 5th Annual Valentiny Contest -FINALISTS!!!

Susanna Leonard Hill

Every time I run a contest I have a great time reading fabulous entries from writers who have entered my contests before and being dazzled by new writers who are entering for the first time, visiting blogs I’ve been to many times and blogs I’m seeing for the first time, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, and generally being blown away by the collective talent (and peer support) in the kid lit community.

It is SO MUCH FUN!

And everything is as lovely as lovely can be. . .

. . . right up until I have to choose the finalists!

Then, all of a sudden, I find myself saying, “Why? Why do I do this to myself?”

and, “Whose idea was this ANYWAY?!”

and “GAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!”

cd521-surprisedbabytiger

Because you are all creative geniuses, and your work is spectacular, but there are only 12 prizes.

So somehow the other judges…

View original post 3,408 more words

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The Stinky Valentine

Happy Valentiny everyone! I’m so excited for another one of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Valentiny writing contests. This year the theme was curiosity. The rules entailed writing a 214 word story in which someone feels curious. “The curiosity may be about a person, place, thing, quality, idea, event, or about whether something will happen or something is true or real, or anything else under the sun…”

I had so much fun writing my entry. If you want to learn a bit more about this contest, post your own entry, or if you just want to remain anonymous and read some really fun Valentiny’s, then sit back, grab some of that Valentine chocolate you’ve been hiding, and head on over here.

I hope you enjoy my story. It comes in at 212 words!

The Stinky Valentine

The box arrived,
we stood and stared.
It smelled so bad,
that no one dared,
to pick it up
or sniff their nose,
the contents likely decomposed.

The box was wrapped
with bows, and hearts,
a Valentine
that smelled like farts!

It was addressed
to our whole family,
posted from
our favorite Grammy.
But why would Grammy
send a cache
that smelled like
weeks old, rotting trash?

I don’t think that’s
a Valentine’s treat,
it smells like Grandpa’s
stinky feet!

Mom called out
for Volunteers,
but we replied
with loud Bronx cheers!

Mom grabbed the box,
and held her nose,
tore off the hearts,
ribbons, and bows.

We all leaned in,
a tight knit squeeze,
and eyed a block
of blue veined cheese!

“Ewww,” we cried!
Quite displeased,
to find this marbled,
Valentine Cheese!

Then “Knock, Knock, Knock”
tapped like a score,
from the knocker
on our door.

Now who is that?
We went to see,
why,
Mr. Mouse’s Family,
who held a box
adorned with hearts,
that smelled divine,
and not like farts.

“I think this box belongs to you!”
It seems the post
mixed-up the two,
and no offense,
but this box reeks
of sickly, sugary,
doughy treats.”

We all laughed,
relieved to find,
a much more palatable
Valentine!

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Valentiny Time!

I can’t believe it’s already February! You know what that means? It is time for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Valentiny Writing Contest! Not sure what that is? Head over here to read up on all the contest rules. We have to write a tiny (Valen-tiny), 214 word story where somebody is feeling curious. I can tell you right now I’m so curious as to how I’m going to tackle this story idea. So if you’re feeling a little curious, check out Susanna’s website so you can enter a curiosity of your own. Until then…happy writing. See you back here by the 14th!