What’s In Your Heart? – The 5th Annual Valentiny Writing Contest!!!

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Valentinies rock

And so do YOU!

Hang onto your conversation hearts everyone!  It’s time for . . .

The 5th Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Writing Contest!!!

Valentiny Writing Contest 2019!

~ for children’s writers~

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 feels curious!  Your someone can feel curious themselves or make someone else feel 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 you can think up!  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 curious (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 right now this very second and Friday February 14th by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list below.  There will be no regularly scheduled posts (Tuesday Debut, Would You Read It or PPBF) for the duration of the contest, so this post and the list of links will stay up all week for everyone to enjoy. If you would like to enter but don’t have a blog you are welcome to paste your entry in the comment section below (please be sure to include your byline so that if your posting handle is writesbynightlight1 or something I’ll be able to tell who you are!)  If anyone has trouble commenting, which unfortunately happens, please email your entry to me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com and I’ll post your entry for you. But please no attachments!  Just copy and paste your story including byline into the email.  Also, please only post your entry once – either in the comment section of my blog or on the link list or by emailing me and asking me to post it.  Multiple postings of the same entry get confusing. 🙂
P.S.  Although I try to stay glued to my computer 24/7 I am sometimes forced to leave my desk.  If you haven’t commented on my blog before, your comment won’t show up until I approve it.  It may take a little while if I’m away from my desk.  Likewise, if you send me an entry to post, I promise I will do it as soon as I can!

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 Wednesday February 19th (or possibly a day or two later if the judges need extra time.)   The winner will be announced Friday February 21st or Saturday February 22nd depending on judging and voting time needed. (And there will be no Tuesday Debut, 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 curiosity and success in making us feel the curiosity!
  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, excellence of rhyme and meter if you use it.
  6. Originality – surprise us with something new and different! 🙂

The Prizes:  Oh, so many wonderful things to choose from that will be of great help to you in your writing career!!!

Penny’s Two Cents – an incredible opportunity for any picture book writer!

Sometimes it’s helpful to chat with a published author about your writing journey. Penny Parker Klostermann is offering her two cents. The prize includes six thirty-minute Skype/Google Hangout sessions with Penny. The sessions can be used anytime during 2020. Ask her anything related to writing for children and getting published. Up to two sessions can be used for general comments on a manuscript (not a full critique). Penny doesn’t claim to have it all figured out, (by any means) but she’s happy to share her two cents based on what she’s learned and continues to learn on her journey as an author.

Penny Klostermann

Penny is the author of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT (Random House 2015) (now available in board book and with matching pajamas! 🙂 ) and A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE (Random House 2017)

495eb-penny      Cooked-Up Fairy Tale

 – Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Rosie Pova, author of If I Weren’t With You (Spork 2017),  Sarah’s Song (Spork 2017), and the forthcoming Sunday Rain (Lantana Publishing, September 2020)

Rosie Pova                Sarah's Song

If I Weren't With You Sunday Rain

Picture Book Manuscript Critique (rhyming or non-rhyming) from Katey Howes, author of GRANDMOTHER THORN (Ripple Grove Press 2017), MAGNOLIA MUDD AND THE SUPER JUMPTASTIC LAUNCHER DELUXE (Sterling Children’s Books 2018), BE A MAKER (Carolrhoda Books, 2019), and the forthcoming RISSY NO KISSIES (Lerner/Carolrhoda Spring 2021)

KathrynHeadshots-20 (2)               Magnolia Mudd cover art Grandmother Thorn  Be A Maker

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Ellen Leventhal, author of DON’T EAT THE BLUEBONNETS (Spork 2017), LOLA CAN’T LEAP (Spork 2018), and HAYFEST A HOLIDAY QUEST (ABCs Press 2010)

Ellen Leventhal       Don't Eat The Bluebonnets

Hayfest     Lola Can't Leap

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Sherry Howard, author of ROCK & ROLL WOODS (Spork 2018)

Sherry Howard (4)Cover Rock and Roll Woods

Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Lydia Lukidis, author of NO BEARS ALLOWED (Blue Whale Press 2019) and many educational titles.

Lydia Lukidis        No Bears Allowed

– a spot in Making Picture Book Magic (Interactive or Self Study version – winner’s choice) – an online picture book writing course from Yours Truly.  If you choose the interactive version, month to be mutually agreed on by me and the winner.


– Prize Pack #1 – a personalized signed copy of A MORNING WITH GRANDPA (Lee&Low Books 2016) by Sylvia Liu and the 2020 Guide To Literary Agents (which you may exchange for the Children’s Writer’s And Illustrator’s Market 2020 if you prefer)

MorningWithGrandpa_cover 2020 Guide to Literary Agents
Lee&Low New Voices Award 2013

Picture Book Prize Pack – a personalized signed copy of NOT QUITE SNOW WHITE (HarperCollins 2019) by Ashley Franklin and a personalized signed copy of NOAH NOASAURUS (Albert Whitman & Co 2019) by Elaine Kiely Kearns

Not Quite Snow White      noah

Picture Book Pack From Chris and Chris: a personalized signed copy of EMILY’S IDEA (Sounds True, March 2020) by Christine Evans and a personalized signed copy of HEY, HEY, HAY! A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them (Holiday House 2018) by Christy Mihaly

Emily's Idea HEY, HEY, HAY! Cover

Historical Women Picture Book Pack: a personalized signed copy of QUEEN OF PHYSICS: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom (Sterling Children’s Books 2019) by Teresa Robeson and a personalized signed copy of MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe (Little Bee Books 2020) by Vivian Kirkfield

queen of physics cover              Making Their Voices Heard
Asian/Pacific American Award Picture
Book and ALA Notable Picture Book

A SURPRISE PACK! – 2 additional picture books (not signed) donated by Darshana Khiani (who will have her own book, How To Wear A Sari, out in Spring 2021!): What Color Is Night? by Grant Snider and Caspian Finds A Friend by Jacqueline Veissid

What Color Is Night? Caspian Finds A Friend

Please join me in thanking these very generous authors and other writing professionals for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books and services for holiday or other gift purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazone, B&N, or anywhere else if you like them, and supporting them in any other way you can dream up! 😊

And now, lovelies, it is time for my traditional sample entry, since I feel I shouldn’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do. . . 🙂

Steel yourself!

A Valentiny Mystery (184 words)

Mama’s working busily
Making something I can’t see.
“What’s that?” I ask her quizzically.
“Try to guess,” she answers me.
“It’s a little mystery.
I’ll give you clues.  Think carefully,
And figure out what it could be!
It’s something red.”

What could it be?

“Ribbon? Wagon? Redwood tree?”

Ooh! I love a mystery!

“It’s something sweet and sugary.
And something red.”

What could it be?

“Candy apple? Raspberry?”

Hmm… it’s still a mystery!

“It’s something heart-shaped perfectly,
And something sweet and sugary.
And something red.”

What could it be?

“A candy heart? A strawberry?”

Hmmm… it’s still a mystery!

“It’s something super sparkly.
And something heart-shaped perfectly.
It’s something sweet and sugary.
And something red.”

What could it be?

“A sparkle-sprinkled chocolate cherry?”

Golly! What a mystery!

By now, it smells deliciously!
I know it’s super sparkly. . .
I know it’s heart-shaped perfectly. . .
I know it’s sweet and sugary. . .
It’s something red. . .

What could it be?

“I’ve got it!” I say gleefully.
“I figured out the mystery!
It’s my Valentiny cookie!”
Made by Mama just for me!

I warned you. . . 🙂

Never let it be said that I’m not willing to embarrass myself for you! 🙂

And now you all hopefully feel filled with confidence in your own entries because certainly they are all FAR better than that!

I can’t wait to read all of yours!  I’m SO looking forward to them!  I hope there will be LOTS – the more the merrier!  And you still have until midnight Friday 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!)  Please allow a few minutes and possibly refresh your browser before deciding that your link hasn’t posted and adding it a second time or emailing it to me.

Eager Readers – click on the links in the list to visit the blogs and read the stories.  And be sure to read the 90 fabulous entries posted in the comment section below!!!

Happy Valentines Week, Everyone! 💕

Scroll through the comments to find these wonderful stories! Titles are direct links.

  1. Shelly & Saul – Sue Lancaster
  2. Bags Of Love – Laura Howard
  3. Some Bunny Loves You – Laura Howard
  4. I Don’t Need A Valentine – Deb Buschman
  5. Sending Love – Chelsea Tornetto
  6. My Sunny Valentine – Glenda Roberson
  7. What Makes Your Heart Beat? – Beth Brody
  8. The Perfect Valentine’s Playdate – Deb Sullivan
  9. The Heart – Nina Nolan
  10. Love And My Teddy – Tracy Curran
  11. Crazy, Foolish Love – Tracy Curran
  12. The Chocolate Beast – Megan Walvoord
  13. How To Fix A Broken Heart – Paul Roncone
  14. Little Card’s Purpose – Theresa Kiser
  15. Valentine Story 2020 – Shariffa Keshavjee
  16. A Robot’s Valentine’s Day – Susan Summers
  17. Mystery Valentine – Lindsey Hobson
  18. The Hunter Games – Anne Lipton
  19. Cupid’s Love Trials – Katrina Swenson
  20. Will You Be Mine? – Ryan Roberts
  21. Signed Sealed Delivered – Delia Black
  22. A Shelter Dog’s Valentine – Anne Bromley
  23. The Curious Concoction – Stacey Miller
  24. Crabby’s Heart Speaks – Rebecca Loescher
  25. Valentine Clue – Alicia Fadgen
  26. Cupid’s Confusion – Alicia Fadgen
  27. Cupid’s World – Alicia Fadgen
  28. The Perfect Valentine – Maryna Doughty
  29. Jigna’s Valentine – Gabrielle Cardwell
  30. Moe’s Valentine’s Day Discovery – Kelsey Gross
  31. The Rose Thief – Margaret Aitken
  32. The Egg – Rebecca Woodall
  33. How Do You Write A Poem? – Belen Medina Cabot
  34. Missing Hearts – Bru Benson
  35. An Antique Valentine – Abbi Lee
  36. My Piggy Valentine – Claire Lewis
  37. Romeo And Jellyette – Kristy Roser Nuttall
  38. The Lost Valentine – Ellie Langford
  39. Mia Flying Heart Girl – Lily Erlic
  40. Squirrel’s Surprise – Darci Nielson
  41. Sylvia’s Special Valentine – Vanessa Cicarelli
  42. This Arrow Is Narrow – Linda Staszak
  43. Valentine’s Day Is Gross – Ranessa Doucet
  44. The Art Of The Heart – Wikki Krawczyk
  45. Valentine Equation – Claire Bobrow
  46. Cupid’s Diary – Ketan Ram
  47. Valentine Broccoli? – Susan Drew
  48. The Upside-Down Heart – Mary Munson
  49. Who Could It Be From? – Ashley Congdon
  50. The Curious Case Of The Valentine Gift – Heather Kauffman
  51. My Heart’s Wish – Melissa Stiveson
  52. The Unquestionable Valentine– Deborah Boerema
  53. Whose Valentine Could This Be? – Michelle Howell Miller
  54. Mailbox – Amy Flynn
  55. I Miss You – Jarmila Kurucova
  56. What Is That? – Jyoti Gopal
  57. Katerina The Caterpillar Solves A Conundrum – Dina Towbin
  58. Beetle’s Valentine – Chambrae Griffith
  59. Scales Of Love – Caroline Perry
  60. Cupid And Curtis – Jen Bagan
  61. What If…? – Susie Sawyer
  62. A Valentine Surprise – Corine Timmer
  63. Where Is Love? – Emmie R Werner
  64. Will She Or Won’t She? – Elizabeth Volkmann
  65. Mystery Marks – Mary Warth
  66. Roosters And Roses – Paul Kurtz
  67. Computer Bugs – Paul Kurtz
  68. Boys – Yecchh! – Donna Kurtz
  69. Eight Legs Of Love – Donna Kurtz
  70. Secret Stash – Mia Geiger
  71. The Curious Kitten – Elsie Duffany
  72. What’s Love? – Ingrid Boydston
  73. An Unexpected Valentine – Michelle S. Kennedy
  74. How To Find Your Valentine – Cindy Williams Schrauben
  75. Peck! – Andrea MacDonald
  76. The Mailbox Mouse – Roo Parkin
  77. Pandora’s Peek-Not Pact – Jenny Buchet
  78. Dear Cupid – Marty Bellis
  79. Curious Kip – Kirsten Pendreigh
  80. Bernard And Robin: One Adventure, Two Friends – Susan Twiggs
  81. Scraps Of Love – Charlotte Sheer
  82. When Love Gives You Wings – Kate Thompson
  83. What If . . . A Valentine’s Story – Kelly Pope Adamson
  84. Cookie Memories – Judy Sobanski
  85. Wanted – Jill Lambert
  86. Always. Every day. No matter what. – JC Kelly
  87. Ophelia Divine – Sofia Dibble
  88. Bee My Perfect Valentine – Kelly Pope Adamson
  89. Joy Finds Love – Olivia Rehfield

887 thoughts on “What’s In Your Heart? – The 5th Annual Valentiny Writing Contest!!!

  1. viviankirkfield says:

    Hurray for you, Susanna…Hurray for the 5th Annual Valentiny Writing Contest! And Hurray for all of the writers who are going to flex their writing muscle and enter!
    Susanna…I really need to find out how you managed to create links for the stories that are in the comments…you did it for the Holiday Contest I think…and it was brilliant. I need to do that for #50PreciousWords at the end of the month.

  2. sequinsue says:

    Shelly & Saul
    by Sue Lancaster (@WritesSue)
    212 words

    Two snails were sat high on a wall:
    One called Shelly, one called Saul.
    They liked to watch the school kids pass,
    As they were let out of their class.
    Today the children all had art,
    They carried cards with glitter hearts,
    And red balloons that floated high,
    So, Shelly asked her snail-pal: “Why?”
    “Tomorrow’s Valentine’s,” said Saul.
    (For he was quite a know-it-all).
    “The day when people give out treats;
    Big balloons and heart-shaped sweets,
    Bright red roses, chocolates too,
    They tell each other: “I love you”,
    They eat a meal by candlelight,
    And walk and talk until it’s light.”
    Shelly’s eyes lit up with glee.
    “If only someone would love me…
    But who could love an ugly snail,
    All tentacles and slimy tail?”
    Saul replied: “It’s not for us,
    Valentine’s is such a fuss.
    Snails aren’t meant to love,” he said.
    “Now come, it’s time we went to bed.”
    That night when Shelly fell asleep,
    She dreamt of hearts and treats to eat…
    Of big balloons and bright red flowers…
    Sitting shell-by-shell for hours.
    Then she woke to morning light,
    She spotted something sparkly bright,
    Her knight in shining-shell had been,
    He’d slid on by and left unseen.
    A silver snail-trail in the dew:
    A message saying….
    “I LOVE YOU!”.

  3. louiloves says:

    By Laura Howard
    (195 words)

    Why’s your bag so heavy, Dad?
    Because it’s Valentine’s Day, Son, and I’ve got lots of cards to deliver.
    Who for?
    Let’s see…
    This is a pretty one.

    ‘When I see you flutter, my heart melts like butter.’

    It’s for Mr and Mrs Butterfly!
    Yes, Son, I think you’re right.
    Ok, how about this one,

    ‘So what if you have fleas
    You make my heart squeeze
    To me you are purrrrrfect’

    Any guesses?
    Mr and Mrs Cat?
    Correct! And this?

    ‘I love you slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow much!’

    Mr and Mr Sloth, Dad, has to be.
    Spot on, Son.
    Whoah, here’s a big one.

    ‘Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Your face is so pretty
    But your bum smells like…’

    Ok, let’s stop there shall we… I think that’s enough.
    The Skunks, Dad! It’s for the Skunks!
    You’re probably right but I best get on, these cards aren’t going to deliver themselves.
    Is there a card in there for you, Dad?
    Errr, no, Son, not this year.
    But you know today is not actually about the cards, it’s about letting someone know you love them.

    Owl always love you, Dad.
    Love you twoo, Son, love you twoo.

  4. louiloves says:

    By Laura Howard
    (188 words)

    I got a card!
    What sort of card?
    A Valentine’s Day card.
    Oh, err, who’s it from?
    What does it say?
    It says,

    ‘Violets are red…’

    Violets? Don’t you mean roses? Roses are red?
    Oh yes, I do. How did you know that?
    Umm, just did. Carry on.
    Ok, it says…

    ‘Roses are red, violets are… bl… bl….’

    Blue, it says blue.
    Oh yes. You are good at this.

    ‘Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    You are the cutest,’

    The cutest! Someone thinks I’m cute!
    Ok, now you’re getting soppy. I’ve changed my mind, I mean I don’t think you should read
    any more. Give it to me.
    No, it’s mine, let me finish.
    Ok, from the top,

    ‘Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    You are the cutest,
    Some bunny loves you!’

    Somebody loves me! Loves me! Oh wow…
    Wait, why are you turning red?
    Why won’t you look at me?
    Is it… is it from you?


    It is, isn’t it? It’s from you. You lurrrvve me…
    No I don’t.
    Yes you do. I could kiss you!
    Hey, where are you going?
    Come back… Come back!

  5. Deb Buschman (@DebBuschman) says:

    By Deb Buschman

    “Hi Leon,” called Valerie. “Are you coming to the valentine party?”
    “Nope,” said Leon.
    “Why not?”
    “I don’t need a valentine,” said Leon.
    “What? A valentine means someone loves you. Everyone needs valentines.”
    “Not me.”
    “Valentines are beautiful. They sparkle. They crinkle. The have bright colors. They make people smile. They make people laugh. They are love, Leon,” said Valerie.
    But when she turned around, Leon was…gone.
    Why doesn’t he need a valentine? This required some snooping.
    Valerie snuck over to Leon’s house and waited. As she spied him coming up the walk, she hid and peeked through the window.
    Leon was met by a wiggle-butt dog who licked his face.
    A pouncy kitten who purred around his legs.
    A grandma who wrapped him up in a hug and a kiss.
    Then a little sister who grabbed his hand and led him to a plate of cookies.
    Valerie needed answers. She knocked on the door.
    “Hi Valerie,” said Leon.
    “Why don’t you need a valentine?” asked Valerie.
    The wiggle-butt dog licked her face.
    The pouncy kitten rubbed her legs.
    Grandma gave her a hug.
    “Want a cookie?” asked his sister.
    “Wait!” said Valerie. “Now I know why you don’t need a valentine.”
    Leon smiled.
    “You get one every day.”

  6. Chelsea says:

    Sending Love
    By: Chelsea Tornetto

    Today I sent you all my love
    Boxed up in bubble wrap.
    I wonder how it gets to you
    On your side of the map?

    Do mailboxes have secret slides
    To subway trains below?
    That rumble through the tunnels
    With their heart-covered cargo?

    Do elevators lift my love
    To rooftops way up high?
    Where helicopters wait
    To take it whizzing through the sky?

    Do parachutes let my love drift
    And land upon a train?
    That chugs and chugs its way across
    The mountains and the plains?

    And when the railroad tracks run out
    Does my love take a trip
    Across the rolling ocean waves
    Aboard a pirate ship?

    Do pirates trade my love
    For cheesy pizza when they dock?
    And does the pizza guy
    Drive on his scooter down your block?

    And leave my love upon your step
    For you to come home to?
    I wonder if that’s how my love
    Travels from me to you?

    No matter how it gets there
    In a plane or bus or car,
    I’ll keep on sending all my love
    From me to where you are!

  7. Glenda Roberson says:

    My Sunny Valentine (207 words)
    Glenda Roberson

    Sophie spent Saturday morning making a special valentine. Inside the red heart, she glued a smiling sun.
    “It’s beautiful, Sophie.” Momma smoothed strands of Sophie’s hair. “Your grandmother always loved Valentine’s Day.”
    “I wonder if my valentine will help her remember me?”
    “It might not, honey. She may not even know what a valentine is, anymore.”
    “That’s okay, Momma. I still want to read it to her.”
    Saturday afternoons were for visiting Gaga.
    The light from the hallway made Gaga’s silver hair shine in the dark room. Momma and Sophie opened the blinds.
    “Hi, Gaga! It’s Sophie.”
    Gaga turned toward her voice.
    “Momma’s here, too,” Sophie said, but Gaga gazed out the window.
    kissed her,
    massaged her hands with lotion,
    and brushed her hair.
    Gaga sighed and leaned her head on Momma.
    “I made this valentine for you, Gaga.” Sophie squeezed Gaga’s limp hand.
    I hope you love
    this work of art,
    Cuz I’m the sun
    inside your heart.
    Sophie Sunshine.
    Momma’s eyes misted.
    The sun broke through a cloud, shining a beam on Gaga’s bed.
    Gaga beamed, too.
    “Sunshine,” she said.
    Sophie’s heart swelled, and happy tears rained down on Gaga’s hand—the hand that had just squeezed Sophie’s.

  8. Beth Brody says:

    What Makes Your Heart Beat?
    Beth Brody
    150 words

    What makes your heart beat?
    Is it the chug chug chug of a roller coaster?
    Or, the quiet purring of the cat
    carelessly draped across your lap?
    What makes your heart beat faster?
    Waiting for a visit from Grandma and Grandpa?
    Waiting at the doctor’s office for a shot?
    Does your heart beat more for love
    or when you’re scared?
    Or surprised.
    Like when you wake up in the morning and there!
    Birthday balloons!
    Or happy.
    Like when your heartbeat echoes the patter of the rain
    as you dance around in your favorite frog-green boots.
    Hearts beat for Sunday roasted chicken.
    They beat for autumn- rainbow leaves,
    a really good book,
    and the bear that eats the neighbor’s trash.
    So, what does your heart beat for?
    You will have to look, listen, smell and taste the world
    to find the answer.
    I already know.
    My heart beats for you.

  9. Deborah Agranat Sullivan says:

    The Perfect Valentine’s Day Playdate – (214 words) by Deb Sullivan

    EB bounced around the house, preparing for her special playdate.
    “Do you think he likes carrot cake?” EB asked her mom.
    “If he doesn’t, you can serve something else.” Mom replied.
    EB thought chocolate would be a good something else. Especially on Valentine’s Day.
    Next, she cut out paper hearts. EB wondered if her guest liked crafts. Maybe he liked squares instead of hearts? Boxes of candy were square. She knew he liked those. Ovals were EB’s preferred shape, but she was trying to stick with the holiday theme.
    EB guessed her visitor would have loads of energy… especially today.
    “He’ll be here soon,” said mom.
    EB tripped over markers as she rushed to finish her cards. They’d be the most beautiful creations.
    She looked at her work.
    “Hideous!” she said.
    “How would I know what a Valentine’s Day playdate should look like?!” EB cried.
    She knocked over her glitter centerpiece. Then she crumpled to the floor.
    “I’m just going to cancel……”
    EB froze.
    “I’ll get that,” said her mom.
    EB’s guest stood at the door. He held a large basket of chocolate eggs.
    “Hi, Easter Bunny,” he said.
    “Hey, Cupid,” she replied.
    The two scampered off to devour treats, deliver cards and work on their aim.
    The perfect Valentine’s Day playdate!

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    THE HEART (191 words)
    by Nina Nolan

    ‘How does she do that?’ Bobby wondered, watching the new girl cut out a heart for the Valentine’s Day decorations.

    Her family had just moved all the way from the other side of the earth, and she was sitting there calmly cutting out a construction paper heart, and making it look easy.

    The edges of her heart were smooth, the sides were even, and the bottom came to a perfect point.

    Bobby thought his looked rushed, rough, and ragged.

    He couldn’t ask her how she did it. She didn’t speak English yet.

    So he pointed to it…

    And gave her his heart.

    She trimmed it for him. The edges smoothed out, the sides evened up, and the bottom came to a perfect point.

    Then she handed it back.

    Bobby rummaged through the sticker box for a butterfly.

    He wanted a blue one. So it would match his shirt. And hers.

    He placed the sticker on the heart so carefully that it didn’t turn out lopsided.

    Then he stretched out his arm, and handed the perfect little heart back to her.

    When he found the nerve to look up…

    She was smiling.

  11. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Love and my Teddy -Tracy Curran

    “What does love look like?” I ask my teacher one day.

    “Who do you love?” replied my teacher.

    “I love my teddy!” I say.

    “Then that’s what love look like,” my teacher answered.

    I am not satisfied with this answer.

    “Teddy is Teddy but what does loving Teddy look like?”

    My teacher thinks.

    “Well, loving Teddy means being kind and caring to him.”

    “But I am not always kind and caring to my teddy.”

    “Loving Teddy is missing him when he is not there!”

    “But Teddy is ALWAYS here!”…

    Then, one day, I lose my teddy.

    Tears spring down my face.

    My heart is broken in two.

    Is this what love looks like when your loved one is missing?

    Everyone helps me look for teddy.

    My teacher says that this is also what love looks like.

    Finally, Teddy is found!

    And love looks like tears and hugs and cuddles and kisses and warmth and care and…

    a whole heart!

    Even on days you don’t feel it, it’s still there…beating.

    Now I know…

    your heart can’t break without love and it can’t be whole without it either.

    I love my teddy and, I think…

    he loves me too!

  12. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Crazy, Foolish Love- Tracy Curran

    I’m hiding upstairs!
    It’s that smoochy love day
    of red hearts and flowers
    when mum and dad say,

    “I love you! I love you!”
    “I love you, you’re mine!”
    They kiss and they cuddle,
    “Oh sweet Valentine!”


    Pass me the puke bowl,
    It’s sickly sweet,
    Can they just- please – for my sake
    be super DISCREET?

    But look at these animals
    doing the same!
    How goofy and foolish,
    Ugh, love is insane!

    Did you know that frogs sing
    to the girls they admire?
    Some spiders dance,
    whilst the birds form a choir…

    declaring devotion
    to all who can hear,
    while the bowerbird builds
    – he’s a twig engineer!

    Bustards puff up –
    they’re inflating balloons;
    bright red and shiny
    like bums of baboons.

    Dance flies bring presents,
    wrapped up in thread,
    Beware praying mantis
    they’ll bite off your head!

    Peacock’s a show-off
    with feathers all fanned,
    whilst pufferfish draws
    pretty patterns in sand.

    Why do they do this?
    Be silly for love?
    I swear when I’m grown…

    there’ll be no LOVEY-DOVE!

    No dancing, no singing,
    no balloons and no feathers.
    No cuddles and kisses
    at my get-togethers.

    We may play some football,
    We may watch TV…

    (Oh, darling boy,
    Just you wait and see!)

  13. Megan J. Walvoord (@mjwalvoord2) says:

    The Chocolate Beast
    By Megan Walvoord
    126 words

    There’s something red and shiny.
    I know it’s just for me.
    I lurk to the table,
    To see what it could be.

    I claw toward the edge.
    Paws empty as the cave.
    I push back a chair.
    To get what I crave.

    My fur dangles as I climb.
    Two paws up on the wood.
    My body lifts to join.
    I hope it’s something good!

    I drag the box to me.
    Arms like icy fountains.
    Lifting off the lid, I squeal.
    Wow! It’s chocolate mountains.

    A treasure of sweets,
    I’m ready to feast.
    Uh Oh! I’m in for it now.
    Here comes the chocolate beast.

    She lifts me to my seat,
    And buckles me in tight.
    “Eat your dinner, little love,
    Then you can have a bite.”

  14. paul1roncone says:

    How To Fix a Broken Heart
    213 Words–by Paul Roncone

    Thub. Dub. Thub. Dub.

    Eddy hears his heart in his ears. His tummy is upset.
    “Papa, is Dad going to be okay?”
    “Yes, son. But he has something called broken heart’s disease.”

    Beep. Boop. Beep. Boop.

    “Papa, what is that zig-zag on that screen?”
    “That is listening to Dad’s heartbeat.”

    Pssft. Phhft. Psstf. Phhft.

    “Papa, what’s the mask for?”
    “That is helping Dad breath as he sleeps.”

    Drip. Drop. Drip. Drop.

    Eddy frowns.
    “Ouch. Is that tube hurting Dad?”
    “No. It’s delivering liquid food to him.”

    Eddy stops his curious questions, realizing Papa’s heart is broken too.

    Suddenly, he has a great idea.
    And with a swoosh, Eddy runs out the door.

    Fling. Swish. Slide. Plop.

    Eddy returns, jumps on Papa’s lap, and pulls out a handmade card.
    “What do you think? I made it for you and Dad?”
    “Oh, Eddy. I love it.” His finger traces the heart.

    Crinkle. Peel. Press. Stick.

    Eddy places a bandaid across the big red heart.
    “There. Now no one’s heart is broken anymore.”
    Papa pulls Eddy into a bearhug.

    Pssft. Phhft. Cough. Sigh.

    Dad takes off his mask and gives his family a big smile.
    “Hey, you two, Dad could use a Valentine’s hug also.”
    Eddy runs to him, arms already open to share his love.

  15. Theresa Kiser says:

    By Theresa Kiser
    214 words

    Little Card remembered being pulled from a box. He remembered when Willow took a big yellow pencil and wrote something on him. He remembered the red heart sticker attached to his side, and being folded up. But he didn’t remember what it was all for.

    None of the other cards seemed to know either. “Who cares?” they said.

    Now, Little Card bounced around Willow’s backpack with everyone else. Something new was happening.

    “Is bouncing my purpose in life?” he wondered.

    Little Card slid onto a desk with the other cards. All around were children.

    But Little Card didn’t have long to look around.

    Willow gave him a kiss and slid him into a dark box. Hours passed, and Little Card was scared to think, “Is sitting in the dark my purpose in life?”

    Finally, light poured in.

    The lid was gone, and a child’s hand reached down. The child held up nervous Little Card in the light.

    “‘Lila, you are loved,’” she read softly. A grin spread wide across Lila’s face.

    “That must be what Willow wrote on me,” thought Little Card, and suddenly, as Lila held him close to her heart, Little Card understood his purpose in life.

    “To make others feel loved,” he realized with joy. “This is what I’m made for.”

  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Valentine Story – by Shariffa Keshavjee

    On the vast flat Athi plains of Kenya

    Thunder clouds rose on the savanna

    If all the clouds were love what?

    Would be lots of love That’s what

    Send it to Australia all afloat

    Cannot we send it in a boat

    By air it would be directly afloat

    Who will direct the clouds to float?

    Have to do a rain dance than what!

    Up we get in an simultaneous shot

    Arms akimbo white napkins afloat

    Cumulous Nimbus rain come it’s hot

    Fires in Australia consuming earth

    People in Syria,Sudan,and Perth

    Douse the fire of discontent on earth

    Love like an arrow burst the cloud

    Rainfall of love light up the world

    Be still! Invoke the Gods of Rain!

    On Valentine Day so we heard

    Rain Thunders have been heard

    Australia is rejoicing it did rain

    Was it the dance for the rain?

    Who knows we can only feign

    Valentine Day and lots of rain

  17. susaninez0905 says:

    A Robot’s Valentine’s Day
    By: Susan Summers
    WC: 208

    “I do not understand.” Said Robbie Robot.
    “It’s a Valentine,” Traci replied handing him the card.
    “What is it for?”
    “What do you mean?”
    “It does not compute.”
    “Check your hard drive for Valentines’ Day customs.”
    Whirr, whirr, whirr.
    “This is from someone who likes me?”
    “It does not matter who likes me.”
    “Sheesh, just open it.”
    Robbie opened the envelope.
    “You’re the sweetest. I do not understand.”
    “It has a cupcake on it. I love cupcakes.”
    “I am not sweet. I am not made of sugar.”
    “Do you like it?”
    “Robots do not understand Valentine’s Day.”
    “I know cupcake, I know.” Traci laughed.

    Robbie stood processing this.
    He looked at his desk where a stack of cards lay.
    He was confused yet curious about this tradition.
    Unable to understand it, he asked his classmates.
    “Did you give me a Valentine?”
    Each one answered ‘yes’.
    “Why? Do you like me?”
    “Yes!” They all said.
    “But I am a robot. I am not a cupcake.” He looked at Traci.
    “It’s easy. We’re glad you’re our friend,” Traci smiled.
    “I am pleased with your friendship as well. I think I am happy.”
    “I think so too,” Traci replied.
    “I have one request. Please do not call me cupcake.”

  18. Lindsey Hobson says:

    “Mystery Valentine”

    Word count: 214

    Lindsey Hobson

    “It’s time to pass out your Valentines!” said Miss Libby. 

    Molly had been looking forward to her Valentine’s Day party all week! She had picked out the perfect cards and carefully written the name of her friends on each one.

    When she got back to her desk she opened her sparkly pink Valentine’s box that her mom had helped her make. 

    There was a puppy dog card that said, “Have a PAW-some Valentine’s Day!” from Max.

    There was a spaceship card that said, “Hope your Valentine’s day is out of this world!” from Andrew.

    And there was a folded up piece of paper that said, “You are the best girl ever in my heart!” There wasn’t a name on this one.

    Maybe it was from her best friend Allie…except it didn’t look like Allie’s handwriting. 

    Maybe it was from her friend Max…but he had given her the puppy dog card.

    Maybe it was from Miss Libby…only no one else had a card like that. 

    It was a Valentine’s Day mystery. Who thought she was the best girl ever in their heart?

    She was still wondering about that note when her Daddy picked her up from school. “How was your day?” he asked, “Did you find my note?” 

    Molly smiled. Mystery solved!

  19. anneuro says:

    The Hunter Games
    by Anne Lipton
    (214 words)

    Catniss was a great hunter.

    She stalked her prey through the tall grass of summer
    and the crisp leaves of autumn

    Sly Catniss.

    She liked to toy
    with the koi
    in the pond,
    but they were too big to catch.

    Curiosity filled the cat,
    fueling her
    like catnip fumes.

    Catniss made a careful study of her quarry
    before pouncing.

    Birds nested in trees,
    flying down to pinch twigs
    and root worms.

    Mice nested close to the house,
    where it was warm
    with a chance of crumbs.

    Catniss wriggled her whiskers
    and licked her lips
    with a wet tongue of anticipation.


    Catniss ran back to the house,
    but not before leaving
    a special gift for Mama
    on the doormat.

    sometimes gathered
    and pine cones
    for her crafts,
    but never worms
    or birds
    or mice.

    In winter,
    Mama knitted,
    while Catniss attacked
    the scratching post.

    She hovered at the window,
    leaving pawprints on the glass,
    feeling as blue and bored
    as a pond without koi.

    “Happy Valentine’s Day, Catniss!” Mama said.

    Catniss sniffed and purred,
    the heady aroma of catnip
    singing up her brain.

    A felt fish hung from from a pole, ready to be batted.
    A crocheted mouse awaited a long, unending chase.

  20. Katrina S says:

    Cupid’s Love Trials
    by Katrina Swenson
    214 words

    Cupid is thinking. His gears are all turning.
    “I’m needing some answers! This question is burning!
    Can animals love? The research suggests
    that no one quite knows! I need to run tests.”
    He aims for a snake. “Now let’s find you a mate.”
    A granny appears with her walker. “It’s fate!”
    Zing! goes the arrow, and Granny is struck.
    Cupid is crossing his fingers for luck.
    He giggles as Gran and the snake are drawn near.
    “My, what a handsome young lad! What a dear!”
    “SSSS” says the snake, with an air of romance.
    He winds around Granny and asks her to dance.
    Cupid’s delighted. “I need a new mark!”
    He experiments next with a surfer and shark.
    Lions and zookeepers snuggle at zoos
    while grizzlies and rangers arrange rendezvous.
    “I’m down to two arrows! Whom should I stalk?”
    He looks all around….and spots a big croc!
    “Perfect!” the arrow goes into the heart.
    “Now for a match in this love a la carte!
    Can crocodiles love? I need to find out!”
    His little eye spies an adventurous scout.
    Laughing so hard that he almost can’t see,
    Zing! goes his arrow, and OOPS, hits a tree!
    Cupid is struck! He falls in the swamp.
    …well howdy, there, handsome! Your teeth are so—”


  21. ryanrobertsauthor says:

    Will You Be Mine?

    by Ryan Roberts
    (206 wds)

    Grover was born to roam.

    He didn’t need anybody.

    He didn’t need a home.

    All he needed was the wind at his back and the mud in his paws.

    That’s what got his tail wagging.

    Except for today…

    Today was a different sort of day.

    Valentine’s Day.

    Birds twittered. Chipmunks chirped. Turtles stared into each other’s eyes.

    ‘Maybe I would like a Valentine’, thought Grover, and he went to search the woods.

    Grover found a black creature with a large, white stripe rooting under a log.

    ‘I wonder if it would like to be my Valentine?’

    Grover decided to ask it.


    The creature sprayed Grover with a stinky stench.

    Grover decided to find a different Valentine.

    An animal with long, spiky fur munched on some bark at the base of a tree.

    ‘Maybe it would like to be my Valentine?’

    Grover decided to ask it.


    Grover got a face full of quills.

    With his putrid perfume and his prickly new beard, Grover was feeling awfully unlovable.

    That’s when a family came hiking by.

    “Look,” said a boy. “A dog! Can we keep him?”

    “Poor fella,” said the mother.

    “Will you be mine?” the boy asked Grover.

    Grover’s tail wagged.

  22. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Signed Sealed Delivered
    by Delia Black (@deliablack03)
    214 Words

    Once, a prince made a Valentine’s card.
    But making the card proved very hard.
    For it had to ultimately impress,
    a sassy, kind and smart princess!

    The prince asked his brother if he could help.
    But the brother dismissed the misshapen felt!
    “You’ll have to do better than that.” he scorned.
    “Spare no expense.” he wickedly warned.

    So, the prince asked the royal jeweller to bring,
    the biggest, sparkliest diamond ring.
    The florist, fine flowers, made of silk.
    The confectioner – chocolates, dark and milk.

    Then feeling quite sure he’d done enough,
    the prince set off with the expensive stuff!
    Unaware his brother followed behind,
    with something entirely mean in mind!

    And as the prince walked happily along,
    he wondered how he’d got it so wrong.
    Thinking a handmade card would impress,
    a sassy, kind and smart princess.

    Soon he approached a magnificent palace,
    happy and curious to meet Princess Alice.
    Who greeted the prince with a beaming smile,
    while the deceitful brother schemed all the while.

    The prince showed Alice the expensive stuff.
    But she simply said that a card was enough!

    Luckily, he happened to have just the thing.
    Then, she promptly accepted the sparkly ring!

    “No!” cried his brother. “THAT JUST ISN’T FAIR!”
    As he headed for home, in total despair!

  23. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    by Anne Bromley (209 words)

    It’s All-About-Love-Day, thinks Lulu
    as she paces back and forth in cage #14.
    Maybe someone will adopt me. Who will that someone be?
    The doors finally open, and eager visitors walk in.
    Lulu wags her tail . . .
    but they walk past her, distracted by better attention-getters –
    a goat, a rabbit, a monkey, a cockatiel, and even a pony.
    Still, Lulu wonders Who will that someone be?
    with hope as high as the sky, even as more visitors pass her by –
    a white-haired man, a blue-haired boy, and a pig-tailed girl
    who tilts her head toward Lulu but then . . .
    gets pulled away by a Persian cat.
    All day, the visitors come . . . and go.
    Lulu lies down to take a nap. Oh well, maybe tomorrow someone will come.
    A boy in a wheelchair rolls in, pausing at each cage.
    His mom whispers, “It’s Valentine’s Day, Josh. Pick the one you can love.”
    Lulu’s ears cock. Is he the one?
    “Hello there.” The boy’s voice sounds kind and sure.
    Lulu jumps up on her three legs.
    “I could love you,” whispers Josh. “You’re just like me.”
    Yes! barks Lulu. My someone has come!

  24. stacey miller says:

    The Curious Concoction

    By Stacey Miller ( @stacey25miller )

    126 words

    Dragon wondered what Little Witch had conjured in her cauldron…
    It didn’t look slimy,
    Or slithery,
    And it didn’t belch,
    Or bottom burp.
    “Curiouser and curiouser!” exclaimed Dragon. “Little Witch what’s cooking in your cauldron.”
    “It’s a secret spell,” smiled Little Witch.
    The cauldron hubbled and bubbled.
    “Will this spell cause trouble?” asked Dragon,
    “I hope not,” cackled Little Witch.
    After a witchy while the spell was ready,
    Little Witch chanted and chattered until…
    Hearts flittered, fluttered and flew through the air beating to the sound of magical music.
    A chocolate fountain splurted, splattered and splashed Into a rainbow river.
    And candy whirled and twirled to the floor creating a sweetie storm.
    Dragon flapped his wings in wonder.
    “Happy Valentine’s day!” cried Little Witch.

    The End

  25. Becky Loescher says:

    By Rebecca Loescher
    211 words

    On the day Mama’s babies hatched out of their eggs,
    she sang as she counted their horseshoe crab legs.
    “I’ll name this boy Crabby.” He smiled when he heard.
    She thought he might answer…he said not a word.

    The babies asked, “Mama, why doesn’t he talk?”
    “Give him time,” Mama said. “See his wonderful walk!”
    They brought him fresh oysters. He ate every bite.
    They played hide-and-seek, giving Crabby delight.
    “How can we know what he’s thinking inside?”
    the hatchlings asked Mama while surfing the tide.
    “What do you think Crabby might want to say?”
    “Give him time,” Mama said. “Crabby has his own way.

    “Our Valentine guests will arrive at full moon…
    plankton peeps for each one, and a blowfish balloon.
    We’ll eat jellyfish beans…the best Valentine’s fare.
    Let’s find heart-shaped rocks and sweet scallops to share.”

    Crabby worked alongside them, but soon disappeared.
    Had a bold seabird snatched him? his poor mama feared.
    “Where is my baby, our horseshoe crab joy?
    My heart will not rest till we find our lost boy!”

    They plodded and pleaded, eyes searching the land.
    They noticed a line had been sketched in the sand.
    Mama heard their loud cry, “Crabby drew a big heart!
    His Valentine message came through in his art!”

  26. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Valentine Clue (193 words)
    by Alicia Fadgen

    A special Valentine surprise sat on the table.

    Layla unwrapped a piece of chocolate and stuffed it in her mouth.

    Her eyes then wandered over to a map.

    Black and white in color, this map was a little hard to follow.

    There was also a chalkboard with a message written, but Layla couldn’t quite read yet.

    This is where her imagination started to run wild.

    “Maybe this map will lead me to a special treasure.”

    Her parents giggled.

    “Maybe I will find a unicorn!”

    “It could also lead to gold.”

    Curiosity filled her mind.

    “But what way do I go first?”

    She started heading toward her room.

    “Maybe I will find a new bike!”

    “Or I may find more candy.”

    The adventure was filled with fun but so many questions.

    Where would it lead her to?

    Around in circles she went, until it lead her right back to the table.

    “I can’t find anything!”

    “Because your surprise will not be here for a few months.” Laughed her dad.

    “Layla, I will read the message,” said her mother.

    “Roses are red, Love is so sweet, our family will grow with a heart and two feet.”

    Layla wasn’t holding a map. This was a sonogram of her new baby brother!

    “This is the best treasure of all! Cupid is giving me my best friend!”

  27. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Cupid’s Confusion (214 words)
    by Alicia Fadgen

    Cut out hearts and rose petals filled the classroom floor.

    Johnnys classmates wore red and pink.

    It was Valentines Day. A day filled with love.

    Johnny wore black that day.

    He thought this holiday was silly.

    He was a boy. A boy with no loving feelings.

    “Girls have cooties and I will not catch them.”

    The teacher started to pass around special Valentine cards.

    Johnny received a sparkly, gold heart.

    He slowly opened it up to read,

    “Roses are red. Violets are blue. You make class fun. I really like you.”

    Johnny’s eyes wandered around the classroom. Curiosity filled his head. Who could this card be from?

    He then made eye contact with Rosemary.

    She batted her eyes and smiled from ear to ear.

    Johnny’s heart started to beat super fast. He started to feel warm and fuzzy.

    “What is happening? I don’t feel right.”

    Johnny was now wearing the color red, on his cheeks that is.

    He wanted to know why he was feeling this way.

    Johnny grabbed some supplies. He quickly started to cut out a heart.

    His heart still pounding, he began to write.

    He placed the finished card on Rosemary’s desk.

    It read, “Roses are red. Violets are blue. I am blaming Cupid’s confusion, on why I like you too.”

  28. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Cupid’s World (203 words)
    by Alicia Fadgen

    Valentines Day was approaching.

    Savannah always loved this holiday but was always curious about Cupid.

    “Mom, where does Cupid live?”

    “In a magical world full of love.”

    Savannah couldn’t stop thinking about this world.

    Her curiosity filled her head as she laid down for bed.

    She closed her eyes, and fell fast asleep.

    She began to dream of Cupid’s world.

    Pink clouds surrounded heart flowers.

    A golden house sat on top of a red hill.

    Inside, she would find a refrigerator filled with love potions.

    The smell of fresh roses filled the air.

    There was also a wall filled with special bow and arrows.

    These helped Cupid strike with love.

    Cupid’s bed was heart shaped with the most warm and fuzzy blanket.

    There was also the most magnificent fountain outside.

    It was made of chocolate!

    Savannah saw someone in the distance coming toward her.

    Just when she started to see the vision of Cupid, she woke up.

    She couldn’t believe her eyes.

    Her room was full of cut out hearts.

    On her dresser laid a box of chocolates.

    Her floor was filled with rose petals.

    Her dream had come true! Her bedroom was transformed into a world of love.

    “Thanks Cupid!” Smiled Savannah.

  29. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    The Perfect Valentine
    By: Maryna Doughty
    Word Count: 213

    Nicholas wrote…

    You’re the perfect valentine.

    Jenna whispered, “Who’s that for?”
    Nicholas smiled. “Someone I can trust.”
    Jenna slid him a note: I’m great at keeping secrets.
    But he didn’t give his valentine to Jenna.
    During lunch, Amber peered into his lunchbox. “Ooooo, who’s that for?”
    “Someone who picks up after me.”
    Amber threw Nicholas’s trash away.
    But he didn’t give his valentine to Amber.
    In P.E. it fell out of his pocket.
    Olivia picked it up. “Who’s this for?”
    “Someone who’s always happy to see me.”
    Olivia smiled. “Great seeing you, Nicholas!”
    But he didn’t give his valentine to Olivia.
    Later, Stacy tapped Nicholas’s shoulder. “Jenna told me about your card. And Olivia and Amber are mad you didn’t give it to them. “Can you pleeeeease tell me who it’s for?”
    “Someone who doesn’t say much.”
    Stacy zipped her lips.
    But he didn’t give his valentine to Stacy.
    The bell rang.
    “Nicholas, did you forget to deliver your valentine?” Ms. Patrick asked.
    Nicholas shook his head. “My valentine’s not here.”
    At home, his valentine smothered him with kisses. Nicholas laughed. He hugged her. “Here, this is for you.”
    He handed her the card as he bit into a cracker.
    She licked up his crumbs.
    “You’re the perfect canine valentine, Molly.”


  30. gabriellecardwell says:

    by Gabrielle Cardwell
    200 words

    Jigna the Curious, that was her name.
    Watching the humans, her favourite game.
    Her parents cried, “Jigna you must stay away.
    The castle’s no place for a dragon to play.”

    But Jigna had questions. She wanted to know
    what was this day they called Valentines? So…
    early next morning while everyone slept
    into the castle she silently crept.

    She watched as the maids hung up pink paper hearts.
    She watched as the cook whipped up Valentine tarts.
    She watched as the princess made cards in her tower.
    She watched as the knight gave the princess a flower.

    The more that she learned the more questions she had.
    Would the flower taste yummy? Or terribly bad?
    She decided to take just the teeniest bite,
    but as Jigna was eating along came the knight.

    “Dragon,” he hollered. The knight raised his sword.
    Surely his bravery would win an award.
    “Stop,” cried the princess, “now don’t be a thug.
    You’re scaring the dragon.” She gave her a hug.

    The princess invited young Jigna to stay
    for the party she’d planned for this Valentine’s day.
    And when she gave Jigna a card she had penned,
    they both felt excited they’d made a new friend.

  31. Robin Currie says:

    Ack – entered wrong address – you get the story but it is my editable draft! Can someone delete enter 1 from robin.currie12gmail.com? The secodn one form Robin Curie is correct! Sorry!

  32. Kelsey Ebben Gross says:

    212 words


    Moe the dog loved making discoveries in the yard. He discovered yummy things. Stinky things. And sometimes, mysterious things.

    On this warm February day he spotted something unusual tucked amidst the green.

    Hmmm…a strawberry? he wondered. Sniff. It didn’t smell like regular strawberries.

    “Bluebird! Come see this new kind of strawberry!” Moe shouted.

    Bluebird chuckled. “Silly Moe. That’s not a strawberry. Let’s find a real snack!”

    Moe’s mouth watered… But he didn’t go. Back to my discovery! He thought.

    Moe nudged the mysterious thing, and it fluttered in the breeze.

    Hmmm…a butterfly? Moe mused. It has curved wings like a butterfly…

    “Monarch! Come meet this new butterfly!” Moe called out.

    Monarch giggled. “Silly Moe. That’s not a butterfly. Let’s play in the flowers!”

    Moe longed to smell sweet flowers… But he didn’t go. Back to my discovery! He thought.

    Moe swatted, scratched, and stared at the thing. He was stumped.

    Then Moe had an idea. He brought the thing to Girl.

    “Whatcha got, Moe?” Girl asked as she took the paper heart from his mouth.

    Moe held his breath, tail thumping.

    Girl’s eyes lit up. “Awww… a Valentine’s Day surprise!”

    She wrapped her arms around him. “Here’s the hugest HUG!”

    Moe wagged his tail. Hug is my best discovery yet!

  33. Margaret Aitken (@mgtaitken) says:

    The Rose Thief (214 words)

    Every February, Madame Bernard hung up her wreath on the front door, “Voila!”

    She didn’t have her Valentine any more, but it had always been her favorite holiday.

    The roses on her wreath were rouge, but due to the Paris temperatures, faux.

    There were three blossoming blooms, that was until they started to go missing.

    It started on Monday (Lundi).

    When Madame Bernard ventured out to the boulangerie, she noticed one rose was gone.

    “Comme c’est e’trange!” It was so strange!

    There was no sign of it anywhere.

    “le vent!” The wind she decided.

    But on Tuesday (Mardi) on the way to le parc, she noticed another bloom had gone, “C’est


    On Wednesday (Mercredi), Madame Bernard decided to peek out of her hall window to see who

    the mysterious rose thief was.

    The clock ticked, 6 o’clock, 7 o’clock, 8 o’clock …nothing.

    Then, just as she was about to give up, she saw him!

    Un petit garçon reached up and plucked the last rose from the door.

    “Sacre bleu!” Madame Bernard was ready to confront the thief when…

    she saw her neighbor, Bernadette, une petit fille leaving for school.

    Le petit garçon presented her with the flower, which made Bernadette blush rouge like the rose.

    “C’est l’amour!” Madame Bernard said with a smile.

  34. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    By Rebecca Woodall
    (206 words)

    There was something washed up on the shore.
    ‘What is is?’ asked Mrs Puffin.
    ‘It’s an egg,’ replied Mr Puffin. ‘I wonder where it has come from?’
    ‘Let’s get it warm,’ said Mrs Puffin.
    So the two Puffins flew back to their burrow with the egg.

    It was too large to be a Puffin egg but they looked after it and the same. Mrs Puffin snuggled up to the egg while Mr Puffin gathered rocks and moss for the burrow.

    Soon the egg was warm. Mr and Mrs Puffin took it in turns to dive for fish while the egg kept cosy under their feathers.

    One morning the egg began to shake
    ‘I think our little egg is ready,’ said Mrs Puffin.
    Mr & Mrs Puffin waited patiently as the egg began to crack.
    Who would be inside their mystery egg?

    Out popped a beak. Then a fluffy grey head. There sat in half an eggshell was a Penguin chick.
    ‘Mummy, Daddy!’ Squawked the Chick.
    Mr and Mrs Puffin’s hearts filled with joy, the chick might not be a Puffin but they loved their new baby all the same.

    Now Mummy Puffin and Daddy Puffin, snuggled their baby Penguin
    with all the love in their hearts.

  35. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Belen Medina Cabot
    Word Count: 210

    How Do You Write a Poem?

    How do you write a poem without sounding dumb?
    Do you use big words, or small words, ten words or none?
    Should I try rhyming? But that is so tricky!
    I must pick the right words without sounding shticky.
    Then there’s the rhythm- the words need to move
    Sing and dance and find their sweet groove.
    Should they rap tap or hip-hop along?
    Should they be skipping or jumping with short leaps or long?
    Then there’s the metaphor I need to remember
    Like “this poem is toast, as burnt as an ember.”
    Did that sound weird or worse- sentimental?
    Writing un-mushy is a must fundamental.
    So I’ll avoid puppies and kids without mittens
    No to all babies, or lost, stolen kittens.
    I should also avoid vague words like love.
    Instead use “heart fluttered like the wings of a dove.”
    Yuck! Too cliché and cringe-worthy corny.
    Writing a poem is complex and thorny.
    I will stop fretting and write something down
    Even if I sound like a clumsy, lost clown.

    “Chocolate tastes yummy to my big, grumbling tummy.
    Please get me some now, or I’ll a moo like a cow.
    If you don’t have some candy, you can still have my heart.
    As long as you tell me this poem is smart.”

  36. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Word Count: 210

    Missing Hearts
    By Bru Benson

    In the kingdom of cards, everyone suited up for the Valentine’s Day Ball, their favorite time of the year. Most went straight over the bridge to the King of Diamond’s castle, except three of a kind who wanted to go fish in the moat. When the King arrived at the full house, he stood on the deck above the ballroom; something was not right. He looked around. Something was not right indeed. But what was it? He saw crazy eights slapping high fives to each other. No, that wasn’t it. Was it that the clubs and the diamonds broke suit and mingled around together? No, that happens often when cards play different games. Was it because the high and low cards tried to flush a mouse out of a hole in the wall? No, it was something else. Then something broke the king’s concentration. In a corner, an old maid stood; alone. All this time, while everyone played card games, nobody knew she was there.
    “I need a queen to be with me for the ball,” the king proclaimed so everyone could hear as he pointed to the maid whose face was royally flushed. In the middle of the ballroom, he took her hand. “Now everyone is included,” he said.

  37. Jill Richards Proctor says:

    I love your wonderfully fun medieval story, Gabrielle. I love when a dragon can be a princess’ best friend. Your rhyming is lovely!

  38. Abbi Lee (@abbilee18) says:

    Word Count: 213

    An Antique Valentine
    by Abbi Lee

    I was antiquing with mom when I found it. A vintage postcard with a handwritten message on the back.

    We haven’t been together long, but I know in my heart that you’re the one for me. I love you.

    “How sad,” Mom said.
    “Sad? How?” I asked.
    “It wasn’t ever sent.”
    Sure enough, the 1965 stamp had zero postal markings. Intrigued, I bought it and spent the next two hours on Google searching for Virginia’s current address.
    The next day, I walked up her steps.
    (knock, knock, knock)
    (knock, knock, knock)
    “Yes?” A gruff voice said.
    “Um, hello…” I stammered. “My name’s Layton and I’m looking for Virginia Rose.”
    The old man walked back down the hallway, and after reassuring myself that Mom was right outside, I followed him and handed him the postcard. His face softened when a white-haired woman entered the room.
    “Dear, you have a valentine”
    “Virginia?” I asked. She nodded quietly
    “I wrote this for Virginia when we were first courting. I was too nervous to send it then, but I’m glad it found its way. Thank you.”
    An hour later, I waved goodbye. Walking back to the car, I turned to look back at Virginia and George.
    Maybe antiquing isn’t so bad after all.

  39. claireflewis says:

    My Piggy Valentine
    By Claire Lewis (@ClaireFLewis)
    214 words

    (Pigsney – a medieval word for darling, sweetheart)

    Your beauty outshines all the stars in the sky
    Said the pig to his glamorous wife.
    I can’t live without you, he said with a sigh,
    You’re my piggles, my pigsney, my life!

    Your skin is as soft as a butterfly’s wing
    Your trotters are shiny and neat
    And the tilt of your snout makes my piggy heart sing
    Oh my piggles, my pigsney, my sweet!

    Your melodious snort sets my heart in a spin
    So I feel like I’m under a spell
    And I worship the hairs on your chinny chin chin
    Oh my piggles, my pigsney, my belle!

    Oh, I know that you find me a terrible bore
    And I know that I’m not very smart
    But I wish you could love me a tiny bit more
    Oh my piggles, my pigsney, my heart!

    So I freely admit, I am curious to learn –
    Did you marry me purely for love?
    Or was it because I have money to burn
    Oh, my piggles, my pigsney, my dove?

    But no matter, my love goes as far as the moon
    I don’t care if you’re not very keen
    To the ends of all time I will dance to your tune,
    You’re my piggles, my pigsney, my Queen!

  40. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Romeo and Jellyette
    By: Kristy Roser Nuttall
    Word count: 212

    Romeo the sea turtle’s kindness softened waves wherever he went.

    Jellyette the jellyfish’s witty humor made the ocean hum with laughter.

    When Romeo looked at Jellyette, his heart floated on a bubbly wave, and his smile sparkled.

    But when he thought about talking to Jellyette, his words jumbled and his flippers flopped.

    Instead, with ninja stealth he sneaked packages of chocolate covered seaweed nibbles where he knew Jellyette would find them.

    “Scrumptious!” she thought.

    Jellyette wondered who her secret admirer could be.

    He left her secret bouquets of bright sassy sea anemones.

    Her tentacles tingled with curiosity.

    On Valentine’s day, courage flickered in Romeo’s heart, and he wrote Jellyette a love note.

    “You make my heart smile.” –Romeo

    Right as he was leaving the note, Jellyette glimpsed his disguise, and she sped after him with a disguise of her own.

    Zooming through the water, Romeo felt someone following him, and he turned to see Jellyette’s wacky disguise.

    He laughed so hard his own disguise slipped. Then Jellyette swooned when Romeo flashed a heart melting smile.

    He summoned all of his courage and managed to whisper “Jellyette, will you be my Valentine?”

    Jellyette giggled and whispered back, “Starfish are red, the ocean is blue, my answer is yes, and I like you too!!!

  41. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    THE LOST VALENTINE by Ellie Langford

    “What are you sitting on?” Katrina asked a kitten sitting on a red paper. Katrina wanted to find out more about that red paper.

    She knew the kitten wouldn’t like being chased off the paper, so she put a half-eaten sandwich a few feet away. Katrina watched to see if the kitten would come and sniff it. It worked! Katrina picked up the paper; it was an envelope!

    “Abuela” was written on the outside. It wasn’t sealed. Inside was a beautiful drawing of a girl giving a grandma a bouquet. It was signed Dawnita.

    “Oh, no!” said Katrina to the kitten that was now staring at her. “Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! Someone lost this and wants it back. Who is Dawnita?”

    Mom suggested asking around at school. The next morning as Katrina walked pass Carla’s desk, she saw the beginning of a picture like the one in the envelope. Was Carla…Dawnita?

    Katrina handed the envelope to Carla. “My abuela’s valentine card!” said Carla. “Where did you find it?” Katrina explained how she found it under a kitten. Both girls laughed.

    “Why is it signed Dawnita?”

    “That’s my middle name and my grandmother’s first name. She always says ‘mi Dawnita’ and gives me a hug.”

    The mystery was solved. Katrina’s curiosity was satisfied.

  42. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Lily Erlic
    213 words

    Mia Flying Heart Girl

    Everyday Mia arrived in class with a heart on her shirt. She loved being flying heart girl.
    She gave heart cards out to all her friends on Valentine’s Day.
    “I’m having a heart birthday party too next month,” announced Mia.
    “Why do you wear a heart to school every day? asked her best friend, Jeanine.
    “Because, I’m flying heart girl, a superhero that gives out hearts to everyone that needs it. See, my heart has wings!”
    “Can I be flying heart girl too?” asked Jeanine.
    “Yes you can,” said Mia.
    A few other children were curious and they asked if they could join too.
    After school Mia invited Jeanine to her house. In Mia’s room there were hearts on the walls, on her bedding and a stack full of heart cards. Mia gave Janine a heart T-shirt and a heart cape.
    “What do we do now?” asked Jeanine.
    “We write messages on the cards,” said Mia.
    “What kind?”
    “Our mission is to help people smile. Let’s write things like, ‘you can do it’, or ‘way to go’ or ‘keep smiling’.

    “I wonder what the class will think,” said Jeanine.
    The next day everyone in the class received a flying heart with wings.

    “Now, we are the flying heart class,” said Mia.

    Everyone cheered.

    The End.

  43. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Squirrel’s Surprise!
    By Darci Nielson

    Janie was a curious squirrel. She always sniffed out her gifts long before every holiday.

    Her friends complained, “It’s no fun giving gifts when they’re not a surprise!”

    Weeks before Valentine’s Day, Janie’s search had revealed no hearts, no candies, no lovely poems.

    The only pink she found was Rabbit’s nose, and Rabbit made it very clear that it was not for Janie.

    As Janie searched, her curiosity became frustration.

    She tried to focus on making her Valentines, but kept spying for clues.

    By Valentine’s Day, Janie’s frustration had spiraled into worry.

    “No gifts?” Janie sniffled, but decided to deliver her Valentines anyway.

    She found her friends heading to the lake.

    “Oh, hey Janie,” said badger, “I guess you can join us.”

    Confused by the unfriendly invitation, Janie followed glumly.

    At the edge of the forest the animals stopped and turned to Janie.

    “Hey guys, I’m sorry I always ruin the surprise, I’ll try to…” she started.


    Her friends jumped aside, revealing a huge Valentine made of snow.

    Janie was finally surprised!

    Not just by the Valentine, but also by how much she loved being surprised!

    From then on, Janie always did her best NOT to find her gifts,

    which made holidays a lot more fun … for everyone!

  44. Vanessa Antoinette says:

    Sylvia’s Special Valentine
    by Vanessa Cicarelli (213 words)

    Sylvia Skunk knew she wanted Sam to be her valentine.
    He was kind, funny, and he always smelled like raspberries.
    To Sylvia, Sam was special, but she didn’t know how to tell him.
    She thought and thought but she couldn’t think of a single way.
    Then she became curious. “How do the other animals make each other feel special?”
    She saw her teacher, Mrs. Chubbycheeks, give Mr. Squirrel a homemade peanut pie. Yum!
    Sylvia was too little to bake all by herself, so that wouldn’t do.
    Next, she saw Baxter Badger teaching Beatrice to fly a kite.
    “I could teach Sam something,” thought Sylvia, “but what?”
    Lastly, she noticed Henrietta Hedgehog carrying a hat she’d made. It was blue and flowery. Henrietta gave it to Cara Chipmunk and said she’d made it for her because blue is Cara’s color.
    The other animals had such clever ways of showing each other how special they were!
    Sylvia was sad that she couldn’t find a way.
    Finally she had it!
    She raced to the craft area during recess and, after a few minutes of cutting and glittering, she had her special item for her special someone.
    On the walk home she gave Sam her valentine – a paper heart that said “You’re Special.”
    Sam’s smile said everything!

  45. Linda Staszak says:

    Such fun–thank you!

    By Linda Staszak 214 words

    Winnie Witch zoomed by on her broom just as Cupid was gathering arrows for his flight.
    “I’m busy,” he said with a groan.
    Winnie’s cheeks reddened. “I was wondering about this whole thing of yours,” she said. “I’d like to see how it works. I’ll fly alongside. I won’t get in your way.”
    Cupid rolled his eyes, fluttered his wings, and they took off.
    Winnie chattered constantly. “Do you decide where to shoot the arrow, or does the arrow pick its target? Do you charge for this service? What if the arrow hits the wrong person–do the wrong people fall in love? Can you get a do-over?”
    The broom zig-zagged, and Winnie tipped and tumbled through the air.
    An arrow streaked by. Her bony fingers grasped it, and she dangled until it thunked into a tree trunk.
    “Your arrow is too narrow to hold on to,” she complained as she slid to the ground.
    Winnie straightened her hat and gasped.
    A scraggly cat was curled into a ball at the base of the tree. “Cat,” she cried. “You fell off the broom, and I thought you were gone forever.”
    Cuddling Cat, she hopped on her broom and called to Cupid, “I still don’t know how it all works, but your arrows are perfect.”

  46. ranessadoucet says:

    Valentine’s Day Is Gross!
    (214 Words)
    By Ranessa Doucet

    Valentine’s Day is gross, thought Sophie.
    She wasn’t into pink hearts and lovey-dovey stuff.
    She was curious what would happen if she rebelled against Valentine’s Day, so she decided to test it out.
    When the yucky day of love arrived, she wore black.
    When mom said, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”, Sophie just nodded.
    When dad made heart pancakes, she poured cereal.
    When her sister handed her a card covered in pink glitter, she said, “thank-you” (she’s not completely heartless) and gave her a black paper card that said, ‘Happy Day to You.’
    “You forgot the word Valentine’s,” her sister replied, confused.
    Sophie arrived at school, and the classroom was covered in hearts. She groaned.
    “What’s wrong?” asked Nellie.
    “I can’t stand Valentine’s Day!”
    “I think pink and hearts are the best! What’s not to love?” asked Nellie.
    “Love doesn’t have to be hearts and flowers.”
    During recess, Sophie couldn’t find Nellie. She probably doesn’t want to be friends anymore since I don’t like Valentine’s Day, thought Sophie.
    Sophie walked into the classroom and was shocked to find her desk covered in black paper with a card that said, ‘I love you just the way you are!’. Sophie looked at Nellie and smiled. Then she got started on the pinkest, glitteriest Valentine’s Day card of all!

    • Ashley Congdon (@AshleyCCongdon) says:

      What a different approach for Valentine’s Day. Way to include those that might not be into it. I like Sophie’s personality. She didn’t change herself, but thought it was important to make something her friend like. Great job Ranessa!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Hahah, Ranessa – “the yucky day of love” 🙂 I love Sophie’s attitude (and that she’s not completely heartless 🙂 ) and I love how Nellie helped her see what Valentines Day was all about underneath. Thanks for joining in the contest fun!

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