PoP Goes My Heart! The Second Annual Valentiny Writing Contest Is Here!!!

2/19/17 PM Note to Contestants: Sorry! Due to various circumstances finalists will not be posted by 3 AM Monday as hoped.  Judges are trying for late day Monday 2/20 or Tuesday 2/21!  Apologies for keeping you waiting!

(Hope everyone enjoys the blog title nod to Music & Lyric’s fictional band PoP 🙂 )

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Valentinies rock

And so do YOU!

Hang onto your chocolate everyone!  It’s time for . . .

The Second Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Writing Contest!!!

valentinywriting-contest2017

Valen-tiny because the stories are not very long and are written for little people 🙂

The Contest:  since writing for children is all about “big emotion for little people” (I forget who said that, but someone did so I put it in quotes!) and Valentines Day is all about emotion, write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone is confused!  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 confused (can be the main character but doesn’t have to be) and is 214 words (get it? 2/14 for Valentines Day 🙂  You can go under the word count but not over! (Title is not included in the word count.)  If you are so inclined, you are welcome to submit more than one entry – just remember you’ll be competing against yourself 🙂  No illustration notes please!

Post your story on your blog between right now this very second and Tuesday February 14th by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list below.  There will be no Would You Read It or Perfect Picture Book Friday until the contest is over, so the post and the list of links will stay up all week for everyone to enjoy.  If you don’t have a blog and would like to enter, you can simply copy and paste your entry in the comments section below. (Or, if you have difficulty with the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me and I’ll post it for you! Please copy and paste your entry into the body of the email – no attachments!)  Please only post your entry ONCE! Either on your blog and the associated link list, or in the comment section of my post!  Otherwise it gets confusing 🙂  Oh, and please, everyone, DO give yourself credit for your work and put your names on your entries so I know who wrote it (fun as it is to try to guess who pokypig379 or harrassedmomof7 is 🙂 )

The Judging: over the next several days, my lovely assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to 6-10 top choices depending on number and quality of entries (hee hee hee – you know how much trouble I have with the narrowing, so we’ll see) which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Monday February 20th.   The winner will be announced by Friday February 24th. (And there will be no WYRI or PPBF that week either so that everyone will have time to read and vote and so that we don’t confuse PPBF with announcing winners.)  The dates of the judging/voting/winner announcements are subject to finagling depending on how much time the judges actually end up needing!

Judging criteria will include:

  1. Kid-appeal/Kid-friendliness – remember, this is a story for kids!
  2. Creativity in using confusion and success in making us feel the confusion!
  3. Valentine’s Day appropriateness – this is a VALENTINE story!
  4. Quality of story – we will look for basic story elements and a true story arc
  5. Quality of writing – use and flow of language, correctness of mechanics
  6. Originality – surprise us with something new and different! 🙂

The Prizes:  Oh. My. Goodness! do we have fabulous prizes!  If these don’t motivate you to write your best, I don’t know what will! 🙂  It’s a complete critiquefest!

– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from “Dear Editor” Deborah Halverson!!!

author-photo-halverson_green_closeup_3x4-450x321

“Dear Editor” Deborah Halverson

– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from children’s literary agent Jodell Sadler!!!

jodell-sadler

Agent Jodell Sadler

– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from Andria Rosenbaum, author of the forthcoming Trains Don’t Sleep (May 2017) and Big Sister, Little Monster (September 2017) as well as others!!!

– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from children’s author Jodi McKay!!!

– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from Amy Dixon, author of Marathon Mouse, Sophie’s Animal Parade, and the forthcoming Maurice The Unbeastly!!!

– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from children’s author Jason Kirschner!!!

mr-particular

–  A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from Children’s Author Vivian Kirkfield!!!

– A Query Letter Read and Critique from SubIt Club founder Heather Ayris Burnell!!!

– a personalized signed copy of Jodi McKay’s delightful Where Are The Words?

where-are-the-words

– a personalized signed copy of Diana Murray‘s wonderful (and very seasonally appropriate!) Groggle’s Monster Valentine

Once again, please join me in thanking Deborah, Jodell, Andria, Jodi, Amy, Jason, Vivian, Heather, and Diana for their incredible generosity, and show your appreciation by visiting their sites, buying and recommending their books and services to your writer friends and/or friends with kids, writing them nice reviews on Amazon, GoodReads etc if you’ve read and liked their books, and showing your appreciation to them in any way you can!  I truly can’t thank them all enough!

So now it’s time for me to post my little sample.  Prepare yourselves 🙂

A Valentiny Mistake (214 words)

The Monday before Valentines, Tilly found a heart-shaped note on her desk. You’re sweet. W
“I think it’s from Wendell,” she told Millie.
Tilly batted her eyelashes at Wendell.
Wendell stuck his tongue out at her.
“Maybe not,” said Millie.
On Tuesday another note said You smell delicious. W
Do I smell delicious?” Tilly asked Millie doubtfully.
Millie sniffed. “I think so,” she said loyally. “You smell like glue and crayons.”
“I’m making a Valentine for Walter,” explained Tilly, tossing her hair in Walter’s direction. “Maybe it’s him.”
Walter scowled.
“Maybe not,” said Millie.
On Wednesday, a third note said You sound scrumptious. W
“How can anyone sound scrumptious?” asked Tilly, bewildered. She wrinkled her nose thoughtfully. “Maybe Wilbur thinks I have a beautiful voice.” She blew him a kiss.
Wilbur pretended to gag.
“Maybe not,” said Millie.
Thursday, Tilly found the fourth note. I love you like ice cream. W
“Hmm….” Tilly frowned, puzzled. “Maybe it’s Werner?”
Werner was burping the alphabet.
“Hopefully not,” said Millie.
On Valentines, Tilly’s desk bore a beautiful sparkly pink heart. Be my bestie. W
“I don’t get it,” said Tilly. “They’re all signed W, but it’s not Wendell, Walter, Wilbur or Werner!”
“Silly Tilly,” said Millie. “That’s an M!”
“It’s YOU!” squealed Tilly.
“It’s me.”  Millie smiled.
And they were best friends forever.

Everyone feeling better about their stories now?  I should certainly HOPE so! 🙂

I can’t wait to read all of yours!  I’m SO looking forward to them!  I hope there will be a lot – the more the merrier!  And there are still nearly 5 days to write, so you have time if you haven’t written yet.  Feel free to spread the word to your writing friends as well.  And your reading friends – parents, teachers, etc.  The more people who read and enjoy your stories, the better!!!

So!

Contest Entrants, remember to add your post-specific link to the list below so we can all come read your awesome stories!  (Post-specific means not your main blog url, but the actual url of the post that has your story in it – otherwise if you post again before the contest ends, your link will take readers… and judges!… to the wrong place!)

Eager Readers – click on the links in the list to visit the blogs and read the stories.  And be sure to read the 57 fabulous entries posted in the comment section below!!!

Happy Valentines Week, Everyone! ❤

Scroll through the comments to find these wonderful stories!

  1. Surprise, Surprise! – Rebekah
  2. Valentine Peas – Susan
  3. Banana In Love: A Valentiny Knock Knock Story – Ryan
  4. Bear In Mine, It’s For The Love Of Honey – Nina
  5. Love Makes Me Sick – Christyne
  6. Think Think Think – Betsy
  7. Two Hearts – Dr. Anne
  8. Cupid Claus – Christyne
  9. A Day For…Love? – Karen
  10. Peanut Butter Valentine – Sandra
  11. Little Frank N. Stein’s Valentine – Tracie
  12. What Is Love? – Anne
  13. A Valentine’s Day With Rain And Shine – Maria
  14. Brian & Katy Hare Find Something New – Marie
  15. Candy Cows – Jennifer
  16. Valentine’s Guy – Tasha
  17. Balentine’s For Bailey – Tasha
  18. Sophie And Nana – Jim
  19. Fiona’s Day – Molly
  20. Cupid’s Very Long Valentine’s Day – Robin
  21. Candy’s Hearts – Tracie
  22. Spider Legs – Carolyn
  23. The True Story Behind The Queen Of Heart’s Tarts – Kathleen
  24. Hungry For You – Rosie
  25. The Great A Mistake – Lauren
  26. Child Of Mine – Sandy
  27. V Day Is Here – Lorraine
  28. Myrtle, where are you going? – Cecile
  29. The Tiny Valentine – Lauren
  30. Liliana From Havana – Corine
  31. The Pirate’s Valentine – Judy
  32. The Cow That Was A  Little Hoarse – Elizabeth
  33. Gary Grossberger’s Valentine – Dina
  34. A Valentine’s Day Gift For Mami – Carmen
  35. November Is Scary, But Marriage Is Bliss (A Love Story) – Carol
  36. Hearts And Beans – Cammie
  37. Mister Zombie’s Undying Love – Terri
  38. Valentine Homework – Tracie
  39. Misaki’s First Valentine – Geoffrey
  40. Lion Hearts Mouse – Kim
  41. Did You Know THAT I Love You – Margaret
  42. Marry Me Mommy! – Michele
  43. A One-of-a-kind Valentine For Mama Mouse – JC
  44. Vampy’s Val-o-ween – Jana
  45. Valen-Rhymes – Katie
  46. Balingtine Day Mix Up – Jim
  47. Misunderstood At The Dance – Merriweather
  48. Valentine Blush – Sandy
  49. Happy Porcupine Day – Sara
  50. Punny Bunny’s Valentine Dilemma – Linda
  51. My Veggie Valentine – Deborah
  52. A Sweet Treat? – Samantha
  53. Oh My Darling Valentine – Ingrid
  54. Special Delivery! – Gina
  55. Love Bugs – Katherine
  56. A Surprise For Mr. Timms – Carol
  57. Word For Word Valentine – Deborah

707 thoughts on “PoP Goes My Heart! The Second Annual Valentiny Writing Contest Is Here!!!

  1. Corine Timmer says:

    Found myself cruising towards valenTEENS during this valenTINY contest. Here is my entry.

    Liliana from Havana (146 words)
    by Corine Timmer

    Liliana from Havana

    Her hair curled,
    frizzed,
    and swirled.
    Liliana
    from Havana.

    When she walked,
    she swayed a little.
    When she talked,
    she mumbled.

    One eye aquamarine,
    the other olivine.
    I couldn’t focus.
    Hocus-pocus!

    Lured into neurosis,
    I dived into her swirls.

    But I had invited Lizzie.
    Pulchritudinous Laura-Lizzie,
    every schoolboy´s fancy,
    was sitting next to me.

    Prone to delusion,
    I had snatched the illusion.
    Proud as a peacock,
    I flounced about.

    At the same time,
    from behind a red heart,
    I spotted Liliana, smiling at Bart.

    From the pit of my stomach,
    an instant loathing,
    for this urchin
    she found so imposing.

    Yet only when Lizzie lunged
    to pick up her napkin,
    did I discover something
    verily lacking.

    Her sleek ponytail,
    cat-fur fine
    Streaks of glazed honey,
    brushed my hand.

    And all at once,
    jumped to mind.

    Burnt-cocoa curls,
    swaying hips,
    and a mismatch
    of gem-like eyes.
    Liliana.

  2. Judy Sobanski says:

    The Pirate’s Valentine

    The Pirate eyed his motley crew.
    “Now tell me mates, which one of you
    composed a note requesting to,
    Be my Valentine so true!”

    Ye thinks it’s funny? Laugh away!
    But once I know, I’ll have me day.
    Ye’ll walk the plank there straightaway
    right in the briny waterway!

    Ye best be fessing up my mate,
    cause I won’t even hesitate,
    to toss you scurvy second-rate
    sailors out to be shark bait!”

    “Excuse me,” said a sailor sprout.
    “I think that I can figure out,
    who wrote this note that makes you shout
    and stomp your peg-legged self about.”

    He gave the lad a warning, too.
    “Ye bests be careful what ye do.
    If ye don’t find a single clue
    I’ll takes me sword and run ya through!

    The young lad read the note and smiled.
    “Please sir, though I’m just a child,
    I think I know who’s got you riled
    Your Polly is the one beguiled!”

    “From Polly?” said the pirate gruff.
    “Me parrot wrote that frilly stuff?”
    He scratched his beard all course and rough
    For once he didn’t look so tough.

    He laughed out loud and slapped his knee.
    “Miss Polly’s made good sport of me!
    She’d best go hide or I decree,
    I’ll feast on parrot fricassee!”

  3. heavenlyhashformoms says:

    THE COW THAT WAS A LITTLE HOARSE ON VALENTINE’S DAY 213 Words
    By Elizabeth Steffenson
    Gus, the cow, was excited! Valentine’s Day was the perfect time to tell Bessie how special she was. But, how would she react?
    His big moment arrived. “Bessie,” said Gus nervously, “You mooooooove me.”
    “Huh?” Bessie looked at Gus, confused. She tried to mutter a reply, but didn’t know what to say.
    Gus broke the awkward silence. “Uh…what’s wrong, Bessie? Are you a little hoarse?”
    “Huh?” Now Bessie was even more confused! A little horse?! She had no idea!
    She imagined herself, galloping across the prairie, the wind in her hair.
    So, she trotted off to the coral.
    When she arrived, the ponies were playing cow-pie croquet. When one came flying her way, she dove under the shrubs.
    “Chicken!” yelled the ponies.
    “You’re kidding!” Bessie was shocked. Pecking and clucking were not her cup of tea.
    “Well, at least they won’t be shooting any cow-pies at me! Oh, I miss Gus!”
    Sadly, she strutted to the coop.
    Suddenly, she stopped. “OH, NO! I almost forgot!”
    She turned in her tracks…. “GUS!”
    She darted toward the pasture.
    She leaped the fence!
    “Gus,” panted Bessie, “I know I’m a chicken, but, Happy Valentine’s Day!”
    “Ah…you’re not a chicken, Bess; it takes courage to say how you feel!”
    “Cow-friends together?”
    “Cow-friends forever!”
    And, UDDERLY in love.

  4. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR DINA

    Gary Grossberger’s Valentine (214 Words written by Dina Hodara-Bono)
    Gary is lovesick…he needs help. He asks Bobby for advice.
    “Sally’s so pretty, I really like her.”
    “Well, it’s almost Valentine’s Day. Send her a Valentine!”
    “Really?”
    “Sure. Write a poem about flowers and hearts. She’ll love it!”
    “Ok…I’ll do it!”
    Gary writes the poem. The next day, he slips it into Sally’s locker. He hides in the busy hallway and waits. Sally finds it and squeals with delight. She reads it to Hannah.
    “Valentine, you’ve captured my heart.
    You make me smile – like when I fart.
    You are as pretty as a rose
    Or a big booger from my nose
    Be mine,
    – Gary Grossberger”

    “Ewwwww!” Sally yells and drops the note. She runs off crying while the kids laugh. Hannah rescues the note, putting it in her pocket. Gary slinks away. Bobby follows.
    “What was that, Gary?”
    “I’m so confused…I wrote about hearts and flowers.”
    “You wrote about farts and boogers!”
    “But I like those things!”
    “You have a lot to learn about girls…”
    “I guess I’ll be alone forever…”

    School’s out and Gary wants to go home. Hannah is waiting outside. She hands him a note that reads:
    “Your note was gross but kinda funny. On Valentine’s Day, I’ll be your honey!”
    Gary smiles. Hannah smiles. They walk home together.

  5. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR CARMEN

    A Valentine’s Day Gift for Mami (174 words) by Carmen Gilbert

    What will I give my Mami for Valentine’s Day? There are so many things I can give her!
    I’M SO CONFUSED.
    I wanted to give her a necklace.
    Papi says he’s giving Mami a pearl collar.
    I thought about picking some flowers for her.
    Abuela says she’s giving Mami a bouquet of flores.
    I almost bought her chocolates, the yummy kind we both like,
    But my sister, Rosa, says she’ll give Mami chocolates.
    I started drawing her a picture book,
    My brother, José, says he’s giving Mami a libro.
    A plant! I almost bought her a plant,
    But Mami’s sister, Tía María, says she’ll give Mami her favorite kind of planta.
    A card?
    Well, Mami’s friend, la Señora Luisa says she’ll give Mami a tarjeta.
    Hmm…
    Un collar, flores, chocolates, un libro, una tarjeta?
    What else is there?
    I’M SO CONFUSED!
    How can I show Mami that I love her?
    OH! I KNOW!
    I’ll wrap myself up in pretty pink paper and tie a big red ribbon around my waist!
    I’ll give Mami: ME!

  6. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR CAROL

    November Is Scary, But Marriage Is Bliss (A Love Story)
    By Carol Samuelson-Woodson

    Surrounded by underwear, carelessly strewn,
    a groggy, confused bear was humming a tune,
    while sudsing his duds by the light of the moon.

    “Sir,” said brave Tillie, so helpful was she,
    “I love to wash clothes so if you’ll allow me
    “I’ll soon get your laundry as clean as can be.”

    Barnaby Bear dropped at once to his knees
    on his wadded-up sox and his raggedy tees.
    “Oh, beautiful Turkey, do marry me please.”

    A year passed and Tillie went out for supplies
    to celebrate marriage with honeycomb pies.
    At once hunters nabbed her, with fire in their eyes.

    The ground started rumbling like never before,

    like navies of gravy boats plowing to shore,
    like mountains of yams tumbling down to the floor,
    like pumpkin-sized bowling balls rolling to score,
    like drumsticks on kettledrums, fifty or more,
    like stainless steel cranberries pounding the door,
    like stuffing exploding from deep in earth’s core.

    Then Barnaby Bear bounded out with a roar!

    The hunters ran off in a terrified pack.
    He scooped up his Tillie and carried her back,
    then flopped on the couch while she fixed him a snack.

    So if you’re a turkey who’d just as soon miss
    the feast at Thanksgiving, then think about this:
    November is scary, but marriage is bliss.

  7. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR CAMMIE

    Hearts and Beans by Cammie Copps Fuller

    Joe-Joe’s toe was sticking out of his pajamas. “Oh no!” he yelped, “I have too many!”

    He felt his foot. “One, two, three, four, five. PHEW!”

    He hopped out of bed. It was Valentine’s Day!

    In the kitchen he spied two cards.

    He opened the first one. “Joe-Joe, you make us laugh even when we say NO-NO!”

    Joe-Joe giggled. The other card was from his sister. It said, “Mommy, you are made of hearts.”

    “Huh?”

    “Made of hearts?” Joe-Joe pictured his mom. “What about her bones?”

    “Mommy doesn’t have booooooones!” He raced upstairs.

    Joe-Joe leaped onto his parents bed. His mom opened one eye. “No-No, Joe-Joe.”

    “But mom! We have problems!”

    “Oh?”

    “Sister says you’re made of hearts!”

    His mom smiled. Why was she smiling?

    He crawled up close and whispered slowly in her face, “YOU. DON’T. HAVE. BONES!”

    His mom sighed, “Joe-Joe,” she tapped her head, “I have bones. I also have a very hard skull and ten bony fingers to tickle with. Got it?”

    Joe-Joe poked her legs and knocked on her head.

    His dad rolled over. “Joe-Joe, your mom isn’t made of hearts, but you’re full of beans.”

    Joe-Joe’s eyes opened wide. He clutched his tummy and he raced to the bathroom yelling, “No-No beans in JOE-JOE!”

    The end.

  8. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR TERRI

    MISTER ZOMBIE’S UNDYING LOVE
    by Terri Ross (214 words)

    Mister Zombie found someone to love.
    She says she loves him too.
    It was love at first sight,
    But he worries she might
    Be a dream too good to be true.

    Why does she hug him?
    He’s covered in flies.
    Why doesn’t she run from his smile?
    He has one tooth,
    It’s loose
    And it wiggles,
    And it hasn’t been brushed for a while.

    She holds his cold hand, the one on the left.
    The right one fell off yesterday.
    He’s missing some toes.
    He’s missing his nose.
    He’d miss her if she went away.

    Because she doesn’t mind the flies
    Or his blank and vacant eyes,
    Or his limp since she taped his foot back on,
    Or the worms in his ear,
    (The reason he can’t hear.)
    Or missing bits and parts of him long gone.

    How can she love him?
    There’s so little of him.
    Why does she say, “I’ll be yours and you’ll be mine”?
    Can this be undying love?
    How is he enough?
    Why does she want his unbeating heart for her Valentine?

    Mister Zombie found someone to love.
    She loves him too.
    He asked her, “Why?”
    She said, “Because.”
    He’ll never understand.
    But when she smiles and takes his hand.
    He is ever so very happy that she does.

  9. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR TRACIE

    Valentine Homework
    Written By: Tracie Percival

    Mom got my box of Valentines from the store,
    I had no idea this would turn into a chore!
    Writing a name on every last one,
    It will take all night before this is done!
    This is a box of 24,
    And I’ve never written my name this many times before!
    I wanted to play, but I’m running behind,
    This wasn’t the after school I had in mind.
    It’s been an hour and I’m only half down the list,
    I need a break, there’s an ache in my wrist!
    I grab a snack and my pencil too,
    I need to get this Valentine’s Day job all through!
    I start writing again checking every name,
    I think we only have Cupid to blame.
    Last one, I count them, I’ve got them all,
    When suddenly I hear my mom call…
    I’m ready to play, but it’s time for bed,
    I think next year I will text, email or tweet instead!

  10. geoffreyhyatt says:

    Misaki’s First Valentine (a Valentiny Story, 214 words)
    by Geoffrey Hyatt

    Misaki hugged her mother goodbye, went into school, and hung her coat. She was surprised to find many little envelopes and papers waiting in her locker. They were pink and red and white, and many were cut in the shape of hearts. On each there was writing — English letters that Misaki could not read yet.

    Holding these pretty papers, Misaki walked into her classroom. She saw her friends were holding their own pink and red and white papers. She watched as Rosa handed a red heart to Sophia, and Caroline gave a pink note to Ramin.

    Misaki looked at the papers in her hand. She wanted to keep them all, but she picked a white heart with red writing and gave it to Oskar.

    Oskar smiled and gave it back. “This is your Valentine, Misaki. You don’t give it away. Ramin made this one for you. We give cards to our special friends on Valentine’s Day.”

    Misaki looked again at her friends giving cards to each other. She smiled at Oskar, and took a red paper from the art tray. Misaki made 14 quick folds, just as her grandmother had taught her, and the paper became a delicate red heart. Misaki placed it in Oskar’s hand and said, “You are a special friend.”

  11. Kim Ball says:

    LION HEARTS MOUSE
    (214 words)
    By Kim Ball

    On Valentine’s Day, Mouse was gathering seeds when…
    WHOMP!
    Mouse was trapped.
    “Dear Mouse,” Lion said. “Won’t you be my Valentine…?”
    Mouse was flattered. “Sure!”
    “Which will it be? Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner?
    “What?” Mouse cried. “You asked me to be your Valentine!”
    “You misunderstood,” Lion said. “I asked if you’d be my Valentine FEAST!”
    Mouse gritted his teeth.
    Lion laughed.
    “Let me go,” Mouse begged. “It will break my true loves heart if I miss Valentine’s Day.”
    “But what’s in it for me?” Lion asked
    “Spare me and I promise to return the favor.”
    Lion roared with laughter. “You’re very entertaining, Mouse. Go, before I change my mind.”
    Lion lifted his paw.
    Mouse scurried away.
    Later, as Mouse sat down for a romantic Valentine dinner, he heard a terrible commotion.
    RRRRR-OOOO-OARRRR!
    Lion was trapped. “Oh, Mouse! Remember your promise!”
    “My promise?” Mouse said. “Oh yes. Will you be my Valentine?”
    “That’s not what you promised!” Lion cried.
    “You misunderstood,” Mouse said. “You asked me to be your Valentine, and I promised to return the favor if you freed me.”
    “I asked you to be my Valentine FEAST” Lion roared.
    “Better yet!” Mouse laughed.
    Mouse took pity on Lion. He gnawed away the ropes and freed him.
    And Mouse and Lion were friends forever after.

  12. Meg Kemp Walunas says:

    Did You Know THAT I Love You
    by Margaret Kemp Walunas
    138 words

    “Sweetheart, did you know that I love you?”
    “No, I didn’t know that.”

    “I do. In fact, I love you more than NOODLES.”
    “I didn’t know that. Do you love me more than TALKING ON THE PHONE?”

    “I do. In fact, I love you more than PLAYING FARM.”
    “I didn’t know that. Do you love me more than CLEANING THE KITCHEN?”

    “I do. In fact, I love you more than PLAYING DIGGERS OUTSIDE.”
    “I didn’t know that. Do you love me more than GROCERY SHOPPING?”

    “I do. In fact, I love you more than BUILDING TOWERS AND KNOCKING THEM DOWN.”
    “I didn’t know that. Do you love me more than MAKING DINNER?”

    “I do. In fact, I love you more than PLAYING TRAINS.”
    “Wow! You really love me A LOT!”

    “Mommy, did you know that I love you?”

  13. michelemeleen says:

    Marry Me Mommy!
    “Marry me Mommy!”
    “Sorry honey, you can’t marry your mom.”
    “Why not? I love you.”
    “I love you too muffin, but I’m already married to Daddy.”
    It’s not fair Daddy got to marry Mommy; I want to marry her. Maybe he knows how to get Mommy to marry me.
    “Daddy, how did you get Mommy to marry you?”
    “Let’s see, I took her to a fancy dinner, told her how much I loved her, and gave her a shiny ring.”
    I have a spider ring from Halloween. I’ll give it to Mommy at dinner, then she’ll want to marry me too.
    “Mommy, I love spaghetti and I love you more than spaghetti. You can have my spider ring.”
    “Thanks sweetheart.”
    “Can you marry me now? I did it just like Daddy.”
    “You don’t want to marry me, we already have the most special relationship in the whole world. There are lots of girls you could marry one day. But, no one else can ever be your Mommy. And even though I married Daddy, you are the only guy who can ever be my son.”
    “Mommy, can I have my spider ring back?”

  14. writestuff99 says:

    A One-of-a-kind Valentine for Mama Mouse

    Tiny was hard at working making a paper snowflake for Mama. He carefully folded the paper back and forth, and nibbled a one-of-a-kind design. But when Mama unfolded his “mouseterpiece,” bits of paper just slipped through her fingers and drifted to the ground.

    What went wrong? Tiny scratched his head as he scurried back to work.

    Maybe he should fold the paper in half, THEN back and forth? He tried that and then nibbled an amazing design. But, again, scraps just flurried to the ground.

    Next, he tried folding the paper like a fan before nibbling an awesome design.

    His whiskers twitched, and he tried not to cry, as another blizzard of scrap paper fell.

    Tiny was determined to make something special for Mama, so he folded another piece of paper in half and busily nibbled all around the edges.

    “I love this,” said Mama as she unfolded the beautiful lace heart Tiny made. “And I love making crafts with you. Would you help me make paper snowflakes? I’m good at folding, but I’m not nearly as good a nibbler as you.”

    Mama showed Tiny how to fold the paper – diagonally! And then he showed her how to nibble fancy designs. They spent the rest of Valentine’s Day making beautiful paper hearts and snowflakes.

  15. janalocke says:

    Vampy’s Val-o-ween
    by Jana Locke

    It was almost Halloween, but Vampy wasn’t excited. “I wish it was Valentine’s Day,” Vampy vented. “I’d rather be caring than scaring. “

    Vampy was not your typical vampire.

    She slept at night while the other vampires were out creeping and haunting.

    She loved nothing more than a giant plate of garlicky noodles.

    And she kept her fangs tucked neatly in her mouth – except when she smiled sweetly (which she did frequently).

    But mostly, Vampy was different because she liked love more than fear. So Vampy decided to have a party her own way. . .

    “Happy Val-o-ween!” Vampy shouted to her friends.

    “Val-o what?” asked Velma, confused.

    “Val-o.m.g,” gasped Vespar.

    Vampy’s room was covered in hearts and arrows, x’s and o’s, and red and pink streamers. There wasn’t a shred of spookiness in sight.

    “What’s the best thing about Halloween?” Vampy asked.

    “Getting candy!” said Velma.

    “What’s the next best thing about Halloween?” Vampy asked.

    “Celebrating with friends!” shouted Vespar.

    “Sharing sweets and celebrating with friends – sounds like Valentine’s Day and Halloween have a lot in common,” said Vampy. The vampires agreed, and then they partied.

    “Happy Val-o-ween, Vampy!” Vespar and Velma chanted.

    Vampy flashed a full-fanged smile, knowing in her heart that there’s more than one way to celebrate a holiday.

  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR KATIE

    VALEN-RHYMES
    BY KATIE FRAWLEY

    Hi, Didi!
    Hi, Gogo! Want to help make valentines?
    Sure! What do I do?
    You draw a little picture, and write a little poem. Like this:
    Roses are red.
    Violets are blue.
    Sugar is sweet,
    And so are you!

    Neat! Let me try.
    Roses are red.
    Violets are blue.
    Sugar is sweet.
    So brush your teeth later!
    No, no, no. That doesn’t rhyme.
    It doesn’t?
    No. It has to rhyme.
    It does?
    Of course! Like BLUE – YOU – SHOE – TRUE. Those words rhyme!
    If you say so.
    Let’s try again.
    Violets are blue.
    Roses are red.
    I dream of our friendship
    Each night in my…

    SLEEP!
    No, not sleep. Bed! Like RED – BED – HEAD – FRED.
    Who’s Fred?
    Fred is no one.
    Then why are you writing him a valentine?
    Jiminy Cupids, Gogo! Pay attention.
    Okay. I’m ready.
    Are you sure?
    Shoot.
    Daises are white.
    Some roses are too.
    If I were a cow
    I would stand here and…

    STARE!
    Forget it! I give up! You CANNOT rhyme!
    Didi?
    What is it, Gogo?
    I made this for you.
    Didi, you’re special.
    You are my best friend.
    I know I’m no poet.
    But I love you a lot.
    Oh, Gogo. Thank you.
    Did I do it right?
    You did it perfectly.

  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR JIM

    Balingtine Day Mix Up
    By Jim Jones
    213 words

    “Frab yiur cow and attows!” read the text from central. Irving scratched his head. A cow and attows? He wondered. It was his first day as a cupid and he had no idea what central dispatch wanted him to do. He waited for the next message.

    “Wrap then om amd vly to the lark.” “The what?,” he texted back. “The PARG!” dispatch texted. He looked around his cloud. No cow or attows. His phone dinged. “In the lark find twp yung lubrs and shoot them in ther gannies wwith attows sod tey fall in deep lub.”

    Edna struggled with texting again. “After you dhoot the yuomg lovdrs, quicklee moov to the neexk cupll. Reemendr, yoo onnlee hab won day. Febraarie 14th is th onlee day yoo can vly tu shoot lubrs n thu ganniees wt attows.”

    Gannies, attows and deep lub? Irving slowly looked around his cloud. He looked under his cloud bed, nothing. He opened the top drawer of his cloud dresser and found cupid socks, and undies. The next drawer he found cupid shorts and a belt. The bottom drawer held a bow, a quiver of arrows and map of the park. COW, ATTOWS and PARG!

    Arrow after arrow Irving shot that day bringing true love to couples near and far.

  18. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR MERRIWEATHER

    Misunderstood at the Dance
    by Merriweather Kane
    214 words

    At the Valentine’s Day dance Hare was jumping with nerves and excitement.
    Maybe if he did some really neat tricks Lizzy would find him interesting and want to dance with him.

    Hare showed off his best hops, but, Lizzy just kept her tongue out trying to catch a bug.

    Hare handed Lizzy a poem:
    Puddles are wet.
    Lizards don’t have lips.
    You shouldn’t care because,
    I can do flips..

    Lizzy rolled her eyes, “Everyone knows I’m a salamander.”

    Out of ideas, Hare decided to simply just ask Lizzy to dance. But, Hare was nervous, so when he opened his mouth to ask all that came out was, “RAWRRRRR!!!”

    Lizzy scowled. She thought that Hare was horrendous and told her friend Magpie.

    Magpie didn’t think Hare was so horrendous. In fact, she thought he was kind of interesting.

    Magpie decided to ask Hare to dance, but, she was nervous. When Magpie opened her mouth to ask all that came out was, “RAWRRRRR!!!”

    Hare remembered when Lizzy misunderstood his roar. He knew exactly what Magpie meant to say, so Hare gladly danced with her.

    Lizzy witnessed the whole thing, but she wasn’t nervous. She went up to Leo Lion and let out a loud, “RAWRRRRR!!!”

    Leo said, “Sure.” Because Lions always know, “RAWRRRRR!!!” means let’s dance!

  19. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR SANDY

    Valentine Blush

    By Sandy Jones

    214 Words

    Sam looked at his calendar and saw the upside down smile he drew on February 14th.

    Soon the neighborhood girls would bring him valentines. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Sam!” they’d say. “You’re so cute when you blush.”

    Sam didn’t want to blush today, or ever, so he came up with a plan.

    He rummaged through the garage and the refrigerator until his arms were full. Then he raced into the back yard. Today, Sam would be hunting for dinosaurs.

    He laid out his bait. Then he climbed the oak tree and waited.

    Miss Jasper had just finished plucking bugs from her pansies. She was a retired park ranger who had lots of outdoor skills, and even more free time.

    Ki Ki EEEEEE, Ki Ki EEEEEE, shrieked Miss Jasper. She was practicing her raptor calls.

    The hair on Sam’s neck stood up. He had lured in a reckless dinosaur that might eat him.

    He thought about sliding down the tree and hiding but he was too high. “Someone help me!” he cried.

    Miss Jasper recognized his distress call. She shinnied up the tree and rappelled her neighbor to safety.

    Sam blushed when she told him she was only birding.

    After lunch, he turned pink paper into perfect hearts and handed them out to all his neighbors.

  20. Sara Gentry says:

    Thank you for the contest – these are always such fun! I was afraid I wasn’t going to have an entry this time, but here it is.

    HAPPY PORCUPINE DAY
    by Sara Gentry
    (214 words)

    “I don’t want to go!” Justin told his mom.

    An errand extravaganza was not his idea of fun.

    “Let’s go,” Mom said.

    Justin scowled and got in the car. He put in his earbuds and turned up his music to drown out the talk show Mom had on the radio.

    First stop: the shoe store. At least Mom was shopping for herself, so Justin wouldn’t have to try on shoes. Justin plunked down on a bench.

    In walked Stacey Lovell. She was the best kickball player in Justin’s class, and she could gulp down a carton of chocolate milk in one breath. Besides, Justin liked how she always smelled of strawberries.

    As Stacey walked over, Justin scrambled to his feet.

    “Happy Porcupine Day,” said Stacey.

    “There’s really a Porcupine Day? It’s cool you know that,” Justin said.

    “Have you ever used turpentine?”

    “My dad has some in the garage, but I don’t know what it’s for.”

    “Do you know Clementine?”

    Justin shook his head. “Sorry. I don’t know a Clementine.”

    “You look just like Frankenstein!”

    “Oh, okay. Guess I’ll see you later,” Justin said, disappointed.

    “TAKE OUT YOUR EARBUDS!!!” yelled Stacey, pointing to her ears.

    Justin had forgotten them. He yanked them out.

    With a shy smile, Stacey asked, “Will you be my valentine?”

  21. Deborah Bernick says:

    MY VEGGIE VALENTINE!
    by Deborah Bernick

    Hi! I’m Ava.
    I love gardening, good food . . .
    and parties!

    And I really love my grandma!

    She helps me grow peppers, tomatoes and beets.
    Some may look funny,
    but Grandma says looks don’t matter —
    Home-grown veggies taste best!

    We live in a warm place with lots of sun.
    So my crops grow SUPER-sized!

    Last winter, Grandma moved away.
    I was sad.
    We decided to visit her.
    But Mom got her calendar confused.
    She bought us airplane tickets for February 14th –
    THAT’S VALENTINE’S DAY!
    What a mix-up! Now I would miss the school party.
    Bummers! Then I got an idea.

    I wrapped up a special gift.
    It looked just like a mummy.

    We got to Grandma’s.
    Let’s party!
    Mom put up balloons and hearts.
    My little brother Alex helped decorate, too.
    (If that’s what you’d call it.)

    I wheeled Grandma in.
    “Surprise! Happy Valentine’s Day!”

    Grandma giggled.
    She opened my package.
    A GIANT homegrown red pepper!
    “From your Very Veggie Valentine.
    Love, Ava”

    Grandma put it on the centerpiece.
    I felt SO proud.

    When I got back home,
    I started thinking.
    Maybe next year, instead of baking
    my famous red velvet Valentine’s cake,
    I’ll bring in something more unusual.

    Something BIG and delicious . . .

    Come on, kids.
    LET’S PARTY!

    (209 words).

    (I realize that you don’t want illustration notes, but I feel it’s important to say that a possible illustration for the line “Something BIG and delicious . . . ” is a giant, homegrown tomato or beet. NOT another giant pepper).

  22. jsamaltmann (@Jsamaltmann) says:

    A Sweet Treat?
    by Samantha Altmann

    Drake spent all night working on his valentines. They had to be perfect for the Valentine’s Day party at his new school. He cut, glued, colored and stamped. As a finishing touch, Drake wrote something extra special for each friend.

    When he got to school, Drake burst with pride as he delivered his cards. He waited for everyone to start swooning over his sweet creativity.

    One by one, they gazed up at Drake. Except…his friends weren’t swooning. They weren’t smiling. They certainly weren’t blowing Drake kisses.

    “I thought we were friends,” said Monisha.

    “I let you borrow my favorite eraser!” added Ethan,

    Drake frowned. “What are you talking about?” he asked.

    Monisha read her Valentine’s Day card.

    “I really like you, you make me complete.

    Now eat this chocolate, to make your blood sweet.”

    Someone fainted. Another kid screamed. Ethan dropped to his knees and crawled out of the room.

    “Drake Ula, what in the world is going on?” asked Mrs. Abernathy.

    Drake flashed her a toothy smile. “I was just trying to get all of my Valentine’s Day treats excited.”

  23. ingridboydston says:

    Oh My Darling Valentine
    By Ingrid Boydston
    214 words

    Oh my darling, oh my darling,
    Oh my darling Valentine!
    I am not sure how to ask you,
    “Darling, please, will you be mine?”

    Oh, the options! Lots of choices!
    I will make a Valentine!
    It will tell you how I’m feeling,
    that I’ll love you for all time!

    I will fold and cut some paper.
    I will make a lacey heart!
    This is tricky! What just happened?
    Wish I’d never tried to start!

    Won’t give up though, I’ll try painting.
    I will paint a pretty card.
    It’s not easy, it’s not pretty!
    It’s so messy! This is hard!

    Try Crayola! Yes! I’ll color!
    Oh! I still can’t draw that heart.
    Now I’m nervous, getting angry!
    I will tear this art apart.

    Maybe glitter on a doily?
    Now I’ll add a dab of glue.
    I’ve become a sparkle monster!
    This is too bad to be true!

    Oh dear Cupid, this is stupid!
    Does it have to be this hard?
    All I ever really wanted
    Was to make a perfect card!

    I’m a mess now, feeling gloomy!
    This has taken far too long!
    Wait! I’ve got a new idea!
    I will sing this little song!

    Oh my darling! Oh my darling!
    Oh my darling Valentine!
    Will you please be mine forever?
    …Yes?!
    I love you Valentine!

  24. Gina Wane (@mapleandbaobab) says:

    Special Delivery! (GIna Wane)

    America lowered her hat. “Ahhh, a snooze on a horizontal wind,” she said. Her special delivery squeezed tight.
    Pinoqahiak spotted peculiar figure wearing a baseball cap in the sky. He shouted, “You’re going down!” SPLASH! “Too late.”
    “A fine wind to California!” America said.
    Pinoqahiak plucked her of the water and said, “You’re confused. You’ve been blown off course.” Pinoqahiak read from America’s cap, “America delivers to all Americas?”
    “I have a Valentine’s to deliver from Calipepla in Vancouver to a Branta in California,” said America.
    Pinoqahiak’s eye scanned the gigantic red card with a golden Christmas tree. “You’re confused,” said Pinoqahiak pointing at the card. “You must have picked up the wrong card.”
    America’s head collapsed.
    By this time a small crowd appeared.
    “A robin in the Arctic?” said Nattiq.
    America stood trembling. “Look she’s scared,” said Nattiq.
    “You’re confused,” said America. “My toes are frozen and I’ve got a delivery to make!”
    Siksik poked his head out of Pinoqahiak’s fur. “I smell a hydrological event in the air.”
    He’s never wrong about the weather,” said Pinoqahiak.
    A light wind lifted America. A stronger wind blew her hat towards Greenland. A mighty wind tossed her back and forth and flung her into WHITE.
    Pinoqahiak stood fierce in the storm. Siksik’s eyes peeked out of his fur. A spot of red shot by. A hat followed. “She’ll end up in Alaska,” said Pinoqahiak.
    “You’re confused,” said Siksik. “She’ll catch the Coriolos Effect…”
    “…and be in California by evening,” said Pinoqahiak.
    America, a few feathers less, and a twisted hat presented Branta her card. Branta hugged the card with a golden Christmas tree covered in red heart feathers.

    • Gina Wane (@mapleandbaobab) says:

      Hi Susanna, I sent the wrong draft. If it is possible to enter this one, I know it’s late. If not, no problem. Thanks Gina

      Special Delivery!

      America lowered her hat. “Ah, a snooze on a horizontal wind,” she said. She squeezed her special delivery tight.
      Pinoqahiak spotted a peculiar figure wearing a baseball cap in the sky. He shouted, “You’re going down!” SPLASH! “Too late.”
      “A fine wind to California!” America said.
      Pinoqahiak plucked her of the water and said, “You’re confused. You’ve been blown off course.” Pinoqahiak read from America’s cap, “America delivers to all Americas?”
      “I have a Valentine’s to deliver from Calipepla in Vancouver to a Branta in California,” said America.
      Pinoqahiak’s eye scanned the gigantic red card with a golden Christmas tree. “You’re confused,” said Pinoqahiak pointing at the card. “You must have picked up the wrong card.”
      America’s head collapsed.
      By this time a small crowd appeared.
      “A robin in the Arctic?” said Nattiq.
      America stood trembling. “Look she’s scared,” he said.
      “You’re confused,” said America. “My toes are frozen and I’ve got a delivery to make!”
      Siksik poked his head out of Pinoqahiak’s fur. “I smell a hydrological event in the air.”
      He’s never wrong about the weather,” said Pinoqahiak.
      A light wind lifted America. A stronger wind blew her hat towards Greenland. A mighty wind tossed her back and forth and flung her into the WHITE.
      Pinoqahiak stood fierce in the storm. Siksik’s eyes peeked out of his fur. A spot of red shot by. A hat followed. “She’ll end up in Alaska,” said Pinoqahiak.
      “You’re confused,” said Siksik. “She’ll catch the Coriolos Effect…”
      “…I know and be in California by evening,” said Pinoqahiak.
      America, a few feathers less, and a twisted hat presented the card to Branta. Branta hugged the card with a golden Christmas tree covered in red heart feathers.

      • Terri Ross says:

        That poor little robin. Caught up in a storm and surrounded by confusion to boot! It’s nice to see the little bird prevailed in its quest. A clever story. Good luck!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Hi Gina – sorry! I have to take the draft that came in before the deadline – only fair to the others. But confusion abounds so no worries 🙂 I’m glad America was finally able to make her delivery! Thanks for joining in the Valentiny fun!

  25. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR KATHERINE

    LOVE BUGS
    By Katherine Rothstein

    Deep in the heart of Sunny Acre Garden lived Lola.
    Lola loved rolling in roses,
    Dancing in dahlias,
    Playing in peonies,
    And, more than anything, Lola loved…
    …other bugs.
    Flying bugs and crawling bugs,
    Slim bugs and chubby bugs,
    Striped bugs and polka-dotted bugs
    She even loved stinky beetle bugs.
    She loved them all…
    But, there was one bug that Lola loved one dewdrop more than the other bugs.
    At the Valentine’s Day picnic, Lola (and every other bug) knew he would ask her to dance.
    In her fanciest hat, Lola waved…
    And winked…
    And waited…

    “Baffling”, Lola cried as she marched over. “Why haven’t you asked me to dance?”
    “I’m Lola-a super sweet bug!
    I’m an awesome puddle-jumper,
    And I’ve been the cupcake baking champion three years in a row.”

    “I love you too Lola, but…
    I’m quiet… you buzz.
    I’m dull… you are so bright.
    And, I can’t dance.”

    “Those are things I love about you.” said Lola.
    “Plus, your doodles make every bug smile,
    And you’re the only bug I know that can roll into a ball.”

    “Every bug has something special that makes us the lovable bugs we are.
    And that is what makes our garden so beautiful.” said Lola.

    And every bug in Sunny Acre Garden agreed.

  26. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR CAROL

    A Surprise For Mr. Timms 210 words

    “What’s all that racket?” shouted Mr. Timms, waving his cane from his front porch. “Such nonsense, can’t a man eat his breakfast in peace?”

    He peeked behind the curtain, before giving the door one final shove to close it, wondering what the fuss was about. “ Just another ordinary school day for the kids and another day of being lonely for him.” Suddenly another group of shouting youngsters raced by carrying red balloons.

    Mr. Timms went about his morning routine. Maybe after lunch, he’d go for a walk.

    While putting on his coat, a delivery van pulled up, delivering a bouquet of red roses to his neighbor.
    The air was cold so he only went to the end of the block and back. “Time for a nap,” he yawned.
    “Walking makes me sleepy.”

    Sometime later, Mr. Timms was awakened by loud, persistent knocking. “What now?” He grumped .

    Opening the door, shivering from the sudden blast of cold, he was greeted by a group of children shouting “HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!” and holding a plate of cookies.

    Mr. Timms didn’t know what to say, tears filled his eyes . Now he knew what all the excitement was about.

    Today was a GOOD DAY not a LONELY DAY thanks to his new friends!

  27. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR DEBORAH

    Word for Word Valentine (128 words) by Deborah Boerema

    Construction paper. Scissors. Glue. Markers. Glitter.
    Sophie gathered her supplies.
    Fold. Cut. Color. Stick. Sign. Seal.
    Sophie made her cards.
    Secretly. Cheerfully. Quickly. Neatly. Artistically.
    Sophie worked in her room.
    Red. Pink. White. Purple.
    Paper scraps were everywhere!
    Fancy. Funny. Friendly. Thoughtful.
    Different cards for different people.
    Friday night. Saturday morning. Sunday afternoon.
    Sophie worked all weekend.
    Ethan. Emma. William. Emily.
    Sophie wrote each student’s name.
    19. 133. 258. 367. 400.
    Sophie counted her cards.
    Glad. Proud. Relieved. Tired.
    Finally finished. Sophie climbed into bed.
    At the class party the next day, Sophie passed out her Valentines.
    Miss Carson had said to bring 20 cards. For every student. So everyone will know they are valued.
    When they saw all her cards, Sophie’s classmates felt
    Surprised. Puzzled. Excited. Loved.

  28. Traci Bold says:

    Susanna, no worries! You and the rest of the judges have your work cut out for you. Whenever you all get finished deciding on the finalists and the winners is cool. You are all are fantastic for doing this. And thank you too Susanna for hosting these brilliant writing contests. 🙂

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