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
And so do YOU!
Hang onto your chocolate everyone! It’s time for . . .
The Second Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Writing Contest!!!
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:
- Kid-appeal/Kid-friendliness – remember, this is a story for kids!
- Creativity in using confusion and success in making us feel the confusion!
- Valentine’s Day appropriateness – this is a VALENTINE story!
- Quality of story – we will look for basic story elements and a true story arc
- Quality of writing – use and flow of language, correctness of mechanics
- 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!!!
– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from children’s literary 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!!!
– 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?
– 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 Valen–tiny 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.”
“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!!!
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!
- Surprise, Surprise! – Rebekah
- Valentine Peas – Susan
- Banana In Love: A Valentiny Knock Knock Story – Ryan
- Bear In Mine, It’s For The Love Of Honey – Nina
- Love Makes Me Sick – Christyne
- Think Think Think – Betsy
- Two Hearts – Dr. Anne
- Cupid Claus – Christyne
- A Day For…Love? – Karen
- Peanut Butter Valentine – Sandra
- Little Frank N. Stein’s Valentine – Tracie
- What Is Love? – Anne
- A Valentine’s Day With Rain And Shine – Maria
- Brian & Katy Hare Find Something New – Marie
- Candy Cows – Jennifer
- Valentine’s Guy – Tasha
- Balentine’s For Bailey – Tasha
- Sophie And Nana – Jim
- Fiona’s Day – Molly
- Cupid’s Very Long Valentine’s Day – Robin
- Candy’s Hearts – Tracie
- Spider Legs – Carolyn
- The True Story Behind The Queen Of Heart’s Tarts – Kathleen
- Hungry For You – Rosie
- The Great A Mistake – Lauren
- Child Of Mine – Sandy
- V Day Is Here – Lorraine
- Myrtle, where are you going? – Cecile
- The Tiny Valentine – Lauren
- Liliana From Havana – Corine
- The Pirate’s Valentine – Judy
- The Cow That Was A Little Hoarse – Elizabeth
- Gary Grossberger’s Valentine – Dina
- A Valentine’s Day Gift For Mami – Carmen
- November Is Scary, But Marriage Is Bliss (A Love Story) – Carol
- Hearts And Beans – Cammie
- Mister Zombie’s Undying Love – Terri
- Valentine Homework – Tracie
- Misaki’s First Valentine – Geoffrey
- Lion Hearts Mouse – Kim
- Did You Know THAT I Love You – Margaret
- Marry Me Mommy! – Michele
- A One-of-a-kind Valentine For Mama Mouse – JC
- Vampy’s Val-o-ween – Jana
- Valen-Rhymes – Katie
- Balingtine Day Mix Up – Jim
- Misunderstood At The Dance – Merriweather
- Valentine Blush – Sandy
- Happy Porcupine Day – Sara
- Punny Bunny’s Valentine Dilemma – Linda
- My Veggie Valentine – Deborah
- A Sweet Treat? – Samantha
- Oh My Darling Valentine – Ingrid
- Special Delivery! – Gina
- Love Bugs – Katherine
- A Surprise For Mr. Timms – Carol
- Word For Word Valentine – Deborah