You’re lazing in bed with the comics before getting up to make pancakes with the littles!
What on earth am I doing infringing on your weekend time?!
Well, I’ll tell you 🙂
Two years ago, a bunch of folks asked for a contest to cheer them out of the winter doldrums!
The First Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Writing Contest!
(Valentiny because, like the Halloweensie Contest, it’s not very long and it’s for little people 🙂 )
We had so much fun that we went ahead with the 2nd Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Writing Contest! And that was so much fun that it seems like a good idea to continue the tradition! I mean, winter doldrums are winter doldrums and must be conquered 🙂
So here we are! The reason I’m interrupting your Saturday!
Announcing . . .
The 3rd Annual Valentiny Writing Contest!!!
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 hopeful! Your someone can hope for something good or something bad. 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 hopeful (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 enter more than one entry – just remember you’ll be competing against yourself 🙂 No illustration notes please!
Post your story on your blog between 12:00 AM EDT Saturday February 10th and Wednesday February 14th by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list that will accompany my February 10th post. There will be no Would You Read It that week, and no PPBF, 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 of that post once it’s up. (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! And please do not submit emailed entries until the contest begins on Feb. 10!) 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 🙂
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 19th (or possibly Tuesday February 20th if the judges need extra time.) The winner will be announced by Friday February 23rd. (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 hopefulness and success in making us feel the hopefulness!
- 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, excellence of rhyme and meter if you use it.
- Originality – surprise us with something new and different! 🙂
The Prizes: Oh, boy, do we have some GREAT prizes! Get ready!
So far prizes will include:
– a PB manuscript read and critique from Nikki Garcia, assistant editor at Little, Brown!
– a PB manuscript read and phone call critique with Nicole Otto, assistant editor at MacMillan Children’s Publishing!
– a PB manuscript critique from the superb multi-published award-winning author/illustrator Iza Trapani
– a PB manuscript critique (ms not to exceed 800 words please) along with a follow-up phone call if the author is interested from the lovely and talented Katey Howes, author of Grandmother Thorn (Ripple Grove Press 2017) and Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe (Sterling Children’s Books 2018)
– a PB manuscript critique from the fantastic Lynne Marie, author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten – illustrated by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic, 2011), Hedgehog’s 100th Day of School – illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic, January 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play — illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Sparkhouse Family, 2018) and Moldilocks and the 3 Scares (Sterling, pending) . Her stories, poems, folk tales and crafts have appeared in many magazine markets, including Family Fun, Highlights, High Five, Spider, Baby Bug and more. She was a first-round panelis for 2016 Cybils Awards and again, in 2017. In addition, she’s an on-staff writer for Jon and Laura Bard’s Children’s Book Insider and a book reviewer. She lives on a lake in South Florida with her daughter and Anakin, their little Schipperke, as well as several resident water birds. She has offers both critiques and mentorships for writers. You can learn more about her at www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com
– a PB manuscript critique (non-rhyming please) from the wonderful and amazing Melissa Stoller, author of The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection: Return To Coney Island (Spork 2017)
– a signed copy of Charlie Takes His Shot: How Charlie Sifford Broke The Color Barrier In Golf (Albert Whitman 2018) from fabulous author Nancy Churnin accompanied by a terrific Teacher’s Guide (created by Marcie Colleen)
– a copy of Laura Purdie Salas’s brand new book Making A Living Writing Books For Kids
– a copy of the 2018 Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market (it’s only February – still very useful!)
… and as usual I’m still working on the prizes 🙂 so feel free to chime in in the comments if there’s something you’d particularly like to win! 🙂 Or if you have clout with anyone who could offer a good prize please contact me at once! 🙂
I can’t thank these authors and other industry professionals enough for their incredible generosity! Please visit their sites, buy and recommend their books and services to your writer friends and/or friends with kids, write them nice reviews on Amazon, GoodReads etc if you’ve read and liked their books, and show your appreciation to them in any way you can!
Now then! Aren’t you feeling inspired to write the best Valentiny Story you can so you can win one of these awesome prizes? And aren’t you glad now that I interrupted you on Saturday when you can send the kids to Grandma’s for a couple hours and write write write?! 🙂
Set the scene:
Nice hot cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate? Check!
Plate of delicious Valentiny sugar cookies? Check!
Computer or paper and writing implement? Check!
Butt in chair? I certainly hope so!
Ready, set, WRITE!
I so look forward to reading your stories in a couple weeks!!! 🙂