2021 Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge Week #6!

Look at us! Half way through June and up to Week #6 in our Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge! Can you believe you’ve written at least 5 brand new stories so far (I know some of you are writing more than one per week!) with two weeks of inspiration still to go? Who knows how many new picture books might be getting their start during this challenge!

So let’s fire up the old brain cells and show Week #6 who’s boss!

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini is a 7 week writing challenge for anyone who needs a little boost, a little inspiration, or a little encouragement to get writing. . . or maybe just a little fun!

You get to write your own story, enjoy and be entertained by everyone else’s stories, and get yourself in the running for some awesome prizes (please see the end of the blog post for a list of all the prize goodies which continues to grow!)

To be eligible for the prize drawing you must enter all 7 weeks.

For a full description of the challenge, to read the Week #1 entries, or to add your Week #1 entry, please go HERE (Week #1)

To read the Week #2 entries or add your Week #2 entry, please go HERE (Week #2)

To read the Week #3 entries or add your Week #3 entry, please go HERE (Week #3)

To read the Week #4 entries or add your Week #4 entry, please go HERE (Week #4)

To read the Week #5 entries or add your Week #5 entry, please go HERE (Week #5)

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #6 for Week of June 14:

So far we’ve played with character needs/goals, writing a cumulative story, a picture prompt with random words and a secret, turning songs into stories with themes, and concept stories in particular settings! 😊 This week, we’re going to explore the importance of relationships and emotion!

Picture books are often about relationships – parent/child, sibling, friends/enemies, child/pet, grandparent/child, babysitter/child etc. and those relationships can cause emotions or be affected by emotions.

Choose a main character from Column A, a second character from Column B, and an emotion from Column C and write a 100-word story for kids where the story centers around the emotion between them.  (For example, 2 friends where one is jealous of the other, or a child who feels angry toward his beloved dog for chewing up his prized baseball glove, or a child who feels nervous about visiting her elderly grandmother who is wrinkly and smells like mothballs but whom she is supposed to love.)  Feel free to make “siblings” a dog and a cat, or “friends” a dinosaur and a goat, etc – you don’t have to stick with all human characters – write monsters, fairies, and aliens if you like 😊

Column A – Character 1 (MC)Column B – Character 2Column C – Emotion
RosieGrandma or Grandpa (Gran, Grand Dad, Oma, Poppa, etc)awe (looks up to/hero worship)
TuckPet (any kind – your choice)jealousy
ChipSibling (older, younger, twin, step)sadness
BentleyMom or Dad or Stepbetrayal
EsmeBabysitter (any age or gender)boredom
EnzoDragonworry, anxiety, nervousness
DylanFairy Godmotherlove
August/Auggie/Gus  resentment

  • Stories can rhyme or not – totally up to you!
  • You can go under or over 100 words if you want to – also totally up to you! – 100 is a guideline
  • If you’re deeply inspired by a name, relationship or emotion that isn’t included you’re welcome to use it, just please say what it is at the top of your entry – the purpose here is inspiration and to get you writing!
  • For simplicity’s sake (and to aid skimming readers who might be interested in a particular thing) please say which relationship and emotion you’re using at the top of your entry along with your name, word count, and title if you have one.
  • I am ready to be bowled over by your creativity and talent! 

    So come join the fun! Get some writing done! Encourage your kids (or students) to give it a try! Or just have a good time together reading what other folks have written!

    Ready, set, WRITE! 😊

    (And remember, for full details on the 7 week challenge you can check HERE)

    Check out the Week #6 stories!

    Gus – Robin Currie

    My Sister’s For Sale – Rose Cappelli

    Esme And Enzo, Aquatic Besties – Candice Marley Conner

    Alice And Ollie – Joyce Uglow

    Enzo The Pelican – Lyn Jekowsky

    Tuck And Pops – Marty Findley

    Anna And Granna – Marty Findley

    Mighty Maisy – Jen Subra

    Dance! Dance! – Leslie Degnan

    Gus Gets A Pet Dragon – Isabel Cruz Rodriguez

    Big Dog – Marty Findley

    Chip Goes Blip – Laura Bower

    My Grandpop Can Fix Anything – Susan Schipper

    The Chosen One – Sue Lancaster

    Fire Circle – Sarah Hawklyn

    The Festival – Erika Romero

    I Have A Poem For You – Padgy Soltis

    A Fork In The Road – Jill Lambert

    Birthday Surprise – Bevin Rolfs Spencer

    How A Radio Flyer Brought Two Unlikely Friends Together – Erin Cleary

    Maisie And Dana – Sarah Meade

    Dylan Loves His Friend – Barbara Renner

    The Tooth Fairy And The Dragon – Aly Kenna

    Grammy’s Twinkles – Dawn Young

    Date Night Betrayal – Allison Strick

    Maise Marigold Mariah Munder Would Not Let Her Face Go Under – Sara Kruger

    Maisie Astounds – Jeannette Suhr

    Dear Tooth Fairy – Nicole Loos Miller

    Creating Joy – Jeannette Suhr

    I Don’t Need A Babysitter – Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf

    According To My Grandma – Marta Cutler

    Bentley’s Bad Behavior – Susan Summers

    A New Day – Mia Geiger

    Rosie’s Great Gramma Mary Onion – Sally Yorke-Viney

    Maisie’s Big Brother – Marty Bellis

    The Fairy Godmother Problem – Ashley Sierra

    The Most(ly) Boring Babysitter – Amy Leskowski

    Love – Lauren Scott

    Maisie’s Surprise – Deb Sullivan

    Little Dragon Worries – Hannah Roy LaGrone

    The Green Dragon – Marta Cutler

    Betrayed – Colleen Owen Murphy

    Hearts More Like Me – Elenore Byrne

    Little Gus Giraffe Goes To Tokyo – Dianne Irving

    I Hate Puppies – Deb Buschman

    Not The Enzo But A Beginning – Bru Benson

    The Great Escape – Katie Schwartz

    Monster And Alien – Brenna Jeanneret

    Late For School – Again – Michelle S. Kennedy

    Xander And The Dinosaurs – Linda Schueler

    Esme And Rex – JC Kelly

    Enzo’s Fire – Ashley B. Pedigo

    Untitled – Lauri Meyers


    When it comes time for prizes, names of all those who complete the challenge will be drawn randomly and matched with prizes drawn randomly until we run out! 😊

    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 gift purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazone, B&N, or anywhere else if you like them, suggesting them for school visits, and supporting them in any other way you can dream up! 😊

    ⭐️ Picture Book Critique from Penny Parker Klostermann, the lovely and talented author of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT (Random House 2015) and A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE (Random House 2017)

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    ⭐️ 30 Minute Q&A with Penny Klostermann

    ⭐️ Picture Book MS Critique OR Query Letter Critique (Winner’s Choice) from Jennifer Buchet, debut author of LITTLE MEDUSA’S HAIR DO-LEMMA (Clear Fork/Spork May 11, 2021)

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    ⭐️ Picture Book MS Critique from Jen Raudenbush, agented writer of picture books, middle grade, and poetry. (Represented by Natascha Morris of The Tobias Literary Agency)

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    Jen Raudenbush

    ⭐️ Picture Book MS Critique OR Query Letter Critique (Winner’s Choice) from the lovely and talented Sara Kruger!

    Sara Kruger

    ⭐️ 30 minute Zoom chat about anything industry related (manuscript, query letter, best practices for querying) with Becky Scharnhorst, amazing author of MY SCHOOL STINKS (Philomel Books, July 6, 2021)

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    ⭐️Picture Book Manuscript Critique with Audio Recording by author and poet Sarah Meade Sarah will do a written critique of your manuscript and include an audio recording of her first read-through of the manuscript. The audio recording is to help the author hear how the story flows and/or where a new reader may stumble when reading aloud.

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    ⭐️ Webinar: How To Write Powerful First Pages Like A Pro by author and editor Alayne Kay Christian

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    ⭐️ A copy of Mary Kole’s Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Writers, donated by Nicole Loos Miller

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    ⭐️ A personalized signed copy of SASSAFRAS AND HER TEENY TINY TAIL (MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing 2021) by Candice Marley Conner

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    ⭐️ Making Picture Book Magic Self Study Class (any month)

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    ⭐️A copy of A FLOOD OF KINDNESS by Ellen Leventhal

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    ⭐️A copy of MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe by Vivian Kirkfield

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    ⭐️A copy of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT by Penny Parker Klostermann

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    ⭐️A copy of SLOTH AND SQUIRREL IN A PICKLE by Cathy Ballou Mealey

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    ⭐️A copy of BINDU’S BINDIS by Supriya Kelkar

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    ⭐️A copy of PHOEBE DUPREE IS COMING TO TEA! by Linda Ashman

    ⭐️ Magnetic Poetry – Little Box of Happiness

    Magnetic Poetry - Little Box of Happiness Kit - Words for Refrigerator - Write Poems and Letters on The Fridge - Made in The USA

    ⭐️Picture Book Writers Rock! Mug for the writing fuel of your choice! 😊

    266 thoughts on “2021 Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge Week #6!

    1. Elenore Byrne says:

      Hearts more like me
      Elenore Byrne

      Using: Character 1 (unnamed); Character 2 (a dragon); Emotion (betrayal)
      WC: 144

      I once knew a dragon, we played at weekends.
      Her name was Maree we became quite good friends.
      But one afternoon as we sipped lemonade,
      her dragon pals sneered at a blunder I made.

      And my friend Maree, she sat silent, wings drooped,
      as the blue scaly dragons sniggered and swooped.
      She didn’t look up; She avoided my stare;
      She stood with the dragons with claws and hot air.

      I never imagined silence was so cruel,
      my eyes filled with tears and I felt like a fool.
      I raced off to find somewhere safe I could hide,
      feeling unwanted and small deep inside.

      “Oh, why don’t they like me?” my core now unsure.
      “I don’t think I want to have friends anymore”.
      But soon the hurt waned, when it did, I could see,
      I just needed friends with strong hearts more like me.

    2. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


      Little Gus Giraffe goes to Tokyo
      By Dianne Irving
      Worry, anxiety, nervousness

      Little Gus was in the singing and dancing his favorite thing to do.

      “Hurry Little Gus, it’s time to be on our way to Tokyo.” said Big Gus.

      “Will I like Tokyo?” asked Little Gus. “Will I like the food? Will I fit in there?

      “Some things will be different and some things the same,” said Big Gus. “You will find your own special way.”

      The buildings were monstrous, and the traffic looked like a large herd of wildebeest.
      Little Gus thought the noodles smelled a lot like seaweed and fish.

      “I don’t think I will find my own special way.” said Little Gus

      Big Gus had an idea, “Let’s go to family karaoke.”

      Little Gus sang ‘Shosholoza’

      The crowd clapped their hands, tapped their feet and thought Little Gus was rather neat.

      Little Gus smiled, some things are different, some things the same and he enjoyed singing in his own special way.

    3. Deb Buschman (@DebBuschman) says:

      By Deb Buschman
      Gus, Pet Dog, Angry
      Word Count-120

      “Gus come see your surprise,” yelled Dad.
      “A puppy!” Gus stomped his foot. “I hate puppies!”
      “Gus, look how cute he is,” said Dad
      “Not cute,” said Gus.
      “Look he likes you.”
      Lick! Lick!
      “Icky. Yucky. Take it back!”
      Gus ran outside.
      Puppy followed.
      “Go away!”
      Puppy sat.
      Gus hid in his fort.
      Puppy hid in the grass.
      Gus peeked at Puppy.
      Puppy peeked at Gus.
      “I hate puppies!”
      Mmmm, mmmm. Puppy whined.
      Dad put Gus’s lunch on the picnic table.
      Gus ate.
      Puppy watched.
      Some of his sandwich accidently fell on the grass.
      Puppy ate.
      Gus was sleepy.
      Puppy was sleepy.
      Gus laid down.
      Puppy laid down.
      “I still kinda don’t like puppies.”
      Mmmm, mmmm. Puppy snuggled in close.

    4. readmybook2002 says:

      Please enter this for this week’s challenge. Thank You
      Column A: ENZO
      Column B: Fairy Godmother/Friend
      Column C: nervous, worry
      By Bru Benson

      POOF POOF.
      “Finally,” Enzo said,” That’s harder than I thought.”
      With fairy godmother clothes and a magic wand in his hand, Enzo stood in front of the girl.
      “I can give you three wishes,” Enzo said.
      “Not again,” the girl said, “It’s supposed to be, “I’m here to grant your wish for the prince’s ball. Not three wishes. And stop shaking.”
      “I’m a bit … I just thought this would be fun.”
      “Genies, like you, give 3 wishes. Fairy godmother, one wish. Got it now? Try it again and hurry before she finds out.”
      “Too late.”

    5. Katie Schwartz says:

      Doing my best to keep up- week #6, a day or 2 late!
      Now onto week #7. (But I don’t want it to end!).

      Katie Schwartz
      THE GREAT ESCAPE (wc -146)
      Auggie, Maisie, pets, boredom, love

      “The gate. It’s wide open! Let’s go!” Maisie cried.
      “Quick, ‘fore they see us,” Big Auggie replied.

      “Our lives are exhausting, there’s so much to do!
      There’s walks and there’s bathing, we’re tired, through and through!”

      “Adventure is waiting! We both need a break.
      Some fun. Something different. A jump in the lake!”

      So they swam, they ran wild, lots of time just to play!
      And forgot all about home sweet home far away.

      No more feeling tethered and trained day and night.
      They were loved, but they fretted, with no end in sight.

      “Ah, freedom,” gushed Maisie, while Auggie kicked back.
      “So quiet, and peaceful, no yakety-yak!”

      Then he sighed. “Time to go, Mom, we‘ve had a nice spree.
      Let’s go home to the triplets, and twins, barely three.”

      “Next time Pop, it’s yoga, stargazing or baking.
      We missed all the kids! And we’re done bellyaching!”

      *pets, listed at the top, isn’t totally correct, just an illusion!

    6. brennajeanneret says:

      Emotions and showing vs. telling are always hard for me. This was good practice.


      Monster and Alien were best friends. They like to jump on the bed, eat pizza and play in their treehouse together.

      But one day another monster moved into the neighborhood. Monster finally had someone to practice growling and scary faces with!

      It wasn’t long before Alien found himself jumping on the bed alone. Without Monster, he was too light to get any air and he just stood there.

      He didn’t have Monster to share a pizza with so he ate too much and got a belly ache.

      He didn’t even bother going up to the treehouse anymore.

      One day Alien saw the monsters working on scary faces. They were arguing over who’s was the scariest.

      Alien was about to walk right by but Monster saw him and asked if he’d decide.

      Alien approaches Monster with his eyes on the ground. He thought both faces had scary features and perhaps if they combined them it would be the scariest.

      He made a face to demonstrate…

      Monster looked at Alien. Alien looked at Monster and New Monster and everyone started laughing.

      “Alien! I’ve really missed you,” said Monster!

      “You have?”

      “Yea, if two monsters jump on the bed it just breaks and there’s never enough pizza for either of us!”

      “I don’t mean to interrupt,” said New Monster, “but what is that?”

      “The treehouse,” said Monster. “I haven’t been up there in a week.”

      “Could we check it out?” said New Monster.

      It wasn’t long before the three friends were breaking beds, ordering a lot more pizza, and building onto the treehouse together.

    7. Michelle S. Kennedy (@MichelleSKenned) says:

      Week 6 (Tuck / older sibling/ worry; anxiety)
      By Michelle S. Kennedy

      My sleep is sweet,
      amongst some drool.
      Mistake! I wake—
      I’m LATE for school!

      Enmeshed in sheets,
      I crash the floor.
      “Ye-OUCH!” my knee
      hard-thwacks a drawer.

      I’m filled with dread.
      I’m late— AGAIN.
      “Dear God, please help!”
      A quick, “Amen.”

      No breakfast meal.
      That time is gone.
      I ruminate,
      with jammies on.

      No time to bathe,
      or brush my teeth.
      I grab some clothes,
      and yell to Keith.

      My brother groans,
      and hides his head.
      He doesn’t move.
      He stays in bed!

      Perplexed. Confused.
      I hear him say,
      “Tuck! Get lost!
      It’s SATURDAY!”

    8. Linda Schueler says:

      Xander and the Dinosaurs
      Word count: 100
      Xander, dinosaur, jealousy

      “Look at my teeth. See how sharp they are?” said Tyrannosaurus Rex.
      “So?” said Triceratops. “My three horns are beautiful.”
      “You’re not as fast as I am…”
      “T. Rex. Triceratops. Don’t fight!” said Xander. “You both have good things.”
      “What are you doing, Xander?” asked Mom.
      “My dinosaurs are jealous of each other. That’s not good. I’m stopping them from fighting. My teacher said that everyone is u…I forget the word.”
      “Unique,” said Mom.
      “Yes, everyone is unique, and so we shouldn’t be jealous of each other and fight…So listen up T. Rex und Triceratops. You are unique.” 

    9. writestuff99 says:

      Esme and Rex
      By JC Kelly
      (WC: 95, OPTIONS: Esme/Dragon/Boredom)

      Esme begged for years.

      She made persuasive powerpoint videos,
      Wrote very legal-sounding contracts,
      Swore that she would take good care of him.

      She made music videos,
      Singing country songs and rapping
      about how her life would be complete
      If she could just have a pet.

      But, Rex is rather dull.
      Esme thought he’d be more exciting,
      And they would have all sorts of adventures.
      Who knew that dragons sleep 20 hours a day?

      With Rex snoring loudly next to her,
      Esme began to type:

    10. ashleybpedigo says:

      Enzo’s Fire (way too long at 473 words)
      Ashley B Pedigo (Enzo, dragon, anxiety)

      Enzo was a dragon. He liked collecting gold, scaring villagers, and hanging out with princesses (even when the local knight’s didn’t understand the difference between an unscheduled playdate and a princess-napping).

      His parents were proud of him. He got top marks in all his classes. But Enzo had a secret. He couldn’t breathe fire. Every time he tried he got a wiggly, jiggly, feeling in his stomach and an aching, quaking feeling all the way down to his toes.

      So instead of scorching villagers, he played badminton with Princess Penelope. Sometimes they used a knight’s helmet instead of a birdie, which always cheered him up.

      At school, the elder dragon announced a field day (BYOP— bring your own peasant). There were contests for flying tricks and scary faces, a game of keep the gold away from the king, and a fire-breathing contest. The elder dragon signed his students up for everything. Everything.

      Just thinking about trying to breathe fire in front of all his friends gave him a wiggly, jiggly feeling in his stomach and an icy, dicey feeling all the way down to his toes.

      “Can you get out of it?” Princess Penelope asked as they played their weekly game of badminton.
      But Enzo shook his head. The only thing more embarrassing than not breathing fire at the tournament was having to explain WHY.

      “Then do what I do when I’m nervous,” Penelope said. She puffed out her chest, squinted her eyes, took a deep breath and let it out slowly, calmly, carefully.

      Enzo tried it. He puffed out his chest, squinted his eyes, took a deep breath and let it out slowly, calmly carefully. He didn’t know if he felt much better, but Penelope was watching him, so he nodded.

      “See?” Penelope said. “Nothing to it.” But Enzo still hadn’t breathed fire, and he still had that icy, dicey feeling in the pit of his stomach.

      Field day arrived, and Enzo was anxious. What if he couldn’t breathe fire in front of everyone? He got that achy, quaky feeling all over again. It was with him through the scary face contest, and as he performed tricks in the flying show. Before he knew it, he was standing in front of everyone, waiting for him to breathe fire.

      He saw Penelope in the crowd. Might as well try it. He puffed out his chest, squinted his eyes, took a deep breath and let it out slowly, calmly, carefully. In his chest Enzo felt something chilling. Something thrilling. He took a deep breath and blew out not fire, but ice! No wonder breathing fire had made him so nervous, Enzo was an ICE dragon.

      Sometimes Enzo still gets nervous, but he remembers how to breath slowly calmly carefully. And when all else fails, he puts his problems on thin ice.


    11. Lauri Meyers says:

      Enzo the swimming dragon
      Enzo, Dragon, Worry
      Maxine fretted over her hatchlings. Baby Edward sneezing fire kept her hopping. Baby Edith testing her wings sent mom on rescue missions. But baby Enzo kept trying to jump in the stream.
      “What if I don’t grow wings?” He asked.
      “I’m carry you,” she said.
      “What if I can’t make fire?” He asked
      “I’ll protect you,” she said nuzzling his long nose.
      “Why can’t I go in the stream?” He asked. “Enzo!” Mom huffed. “Dragons can’t swim.”
      One day mom flew off to pick up lunch. Edward challenged his siblings to a flare fight. Edith shot fire over the trees. Enzo could only burp. Edward puffed his chest and blew a huge fire ball so big the nest caught fire.
      “Mom!” The baby dragons called. Edward and Edith flew up and called to Enzo. The smoke hurt his nostrils. He had to try to fly. He flapped his webbed feet and jumped!
      Edith and Edward tried to save him, but he splashed in the water.
      He swam to shore easily. “Mom! I flew!”
      “Enzo,” Mom said as she licked him dry. “You didn’t fly, but you sure are a swimming dragon.”
      (Lots of different starts and stops on this one… need to play with it some more!”

    12. sunflowerscribe says:

      Penguin meets Panda
      Christine Alemshah

      (Penguin, Panda, confusion)

      Penguin packs.
      “Cousin Penguin!!”
      I’m Panda.”
      Black and white?
      Cousin Penguin!
      No – Panda.
      “Yummy fish?”
      “No, bamboo.”
      “Swimmy wings?
      “No, paws.”
      “Pals instead?”
      Sure, best pals.

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