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. Robin Currie says:

      I really do like my friend Gus!
      When I fall down, there’s never a fuss.
      He’s fast and he’s tall.
      He can even play ball.
      He guards me when I’m on the bus.

      While kids in my school can be mean
      Gus will always be there, in between
      The bullies and me.
      So they will be
      Nicer than they’ve ever been!

      At bedtime he’s neve a bore.
      Just hear the loud way he can snore!
      Tucked in for the night,
      We snuggle up tight.
      I love Gus, my pet dinosaur!

    2. rosecappelli says:

      My Sister’s For Sale (104 Words)
      by Rose Cappelli
      (child, younger sibling, anger/love)

      My sister’s for sale!
      My sister’s for sale!
      My toy-taking, food-flinging
      Sister’s for sale!

      You can take her this morning!
      You can have her all night!
      You can keep her forever —
      Get her out of my sight!

      My sister’s for sale!
      My sister’s for sale!
      My doll-dropping, bike-breaking
      Sister’s for sale!

      I won’t miss her kisses,
      Her hugs or her giggles,
      Or the way that she cuddles —
      Her squiggles and wiggles.

      I won’t miss her smiles
      When she crawls on my lap
      To hear a new book
      Before taking a nap.

      My sister’s for sale!
      My sister’s for sale!

      But please bring her back.

    3. candicemarleyconner says:

      Esme & Enzo, Aquatic Besties
      By Candice Marley Conner
      Esme/Enzo, Friend, Awe, 130 words

      Esme slithered over a mussel and under a rock. She was excited to join her friend Enzo on a playdate. He was the coolest salamander she had even met and she was in awe that he liked playing with her, a mucus-y, frilly-gilled mud puppy like herself.

      “Esme can’t play with us,” another salamander whispered to Enzo. “She still has her baby gills.”

      Enzo rolled his eyes. “All mud puppies have outside gills. They don’t lose them like we do and develop lungs. Anyway, I’d rather play with Esme. She can swim faster and slip into the best hiding places.”

      Esme swam up to Enzo once the other salamander left the stream in a huff.

      “Thank you for standing up for me,” Esme said, shyly.

      “Of course! Tag! You’re it!”

    4. Joyce Uglow says:

      Alice and Olly by Joyce Uglow
      (emotion: awe/hero) word count 121

      Nothing stopped dusty ole Alice Chambers from planting years of grain. That is until Farmer Mac bought the shiny Olly 9600.

      Alice nodded to Olly from her new resting place for old tractors.

      “You look low,” said Olly. “Are your tires flat?”

      “I don’t have a new-fangled computer like yours,” said Alice.

      “You can plant this field with your eyes shut,” said Olly. “What if my GPS fails?”

      “It’s just dirt. Be afraid of not trying,” said Alice. “You’re the amazing Olly 9600!”

      Olly roared to life and got the job done in no time. Then she retired for the night next to Alice.

      “Do you want to join me at the Tractor Parade tomorrow? You’re way too important to be left in the dust.”

    5. lynjekowsky says:

      By Lyn Jekowsky
      (Enzo, sibling, nervousness, wc 135)

      Enzo the Pelican screeches and soars.
      He dives to fill his pouch
      His little Sis is nervous.
      He’s always such a grouch.

      Enzo tries to teach her
      to swim and dive for fish.
      Little Sis treads water
      Unable to fulfill his wish.

      Enzo explains their pouch.
      It expands when filled with food.
      Little Sis fails this critical lesson,
      which adds to Enzo’s bad mood.

      Enzo’s flying lesson is next
      He spreads long wings and soars.
      Little Sis spreads her wings
      But can’t leave the sandy shore.

      Little Sis’s legs tremble and twitch.
      Again she has failed her Big Bro.
      Tears soak her feathers, she says,
      “I need time to grow”.

      Enzo sighs and realizes
      he’s been rough on his Little Sis.
      She needs to practice pelican antics.
      His wings enclose her, then a kiss.

    6. martyfindley says:

      Tuck and Pops
      By Marty Findley
      (WC: 181) Characters: Tuck, Pops Emotions: Hero, Love

      Hi! I’m Tuck. Let me tell you about my Pops!

      My Pops can DO anything!
      Bait a hook, catch a fish,
      Fry it up, then wash the dish,
      Ride a bike or catch a ball,
      Tell a tale that’s really tall!
      Read a book, take a hike.
      He’ll do anything I like!

      My Pops can FIX anything!
      A broken toy, a wounded knee,
      My favorite kite caught in a tree,
      Gran’s stuck car, a small bird’s wing;
      He can fix most anything!
      If a piece is lost he’ll find the part;
      He even mends a broken heart!

      My Pops can BE anything!
      A knight of old or Robin Hood,
      A hero that’s super duper good,
      A fiery dragon beast that flies,
      A pilot soaring through the skies,
      An astronaut way out in space,
      A pirate with a scary face!

      But best of all my Pops is mine!
      We’re best of buddies all the time;
      I love him and he loves me;
      That’s the way it’s meant to be.
      No matter what, he loves me true;
      Super Pops, I love you too!

    7. martyfindley says:

      Anna and Granna
      By Marty Findley
      (WC: 101) Characters: Anna and Granna Emotions: Hero/Love

      Anna and Granna – we’re two of a kind;
      What Granna does, Anna does – two of one mind!

      Tea parties, tree houses, dolls and dress-up,
      Wobbling around in my Granna’s new pumps.

      Twirling and swirling around in our dance,
      Granna sews patches on Anna’s old pants.

      We bake Cookes and make fresh tart lemonade,
      Stories at bedtime-wait! Pull up the shade!

      Better yet, let’s go cozy-up on the front porch,
      And watch as the stars start to glow like a torch.

      They light up the sky with their twinkle and shine.
      How I love to snuggle this Granna of mine!

    8. jensubra says:

      (wc:161; Maisy/neighbors/sadness & making friends)

      Maisy the Wren was the new bird in the tree, and she had lots of friends to meet!

      “Good morning, Mr. Jay!” she chattered.

      “Har-umph!” he answered. “You’re a busy, little bird, aren’t you?” and went back to his feeder.

      “Hello, Mrs. Cardinal!” chirped Maisy.

      “Shhhhh! I’m trying to blend in here on my nest. Please, dear, your trilling is upsetting the eggs,” she whispered.

      “Hi, Mr. Goldfinch!” churred Maisy, joining him on a branch.

      “Oh my!” he fluttered. “You’re so brown! I didn’t see you!” and he chirupped away.

      Maisy’s perky, brown tail feather drooped. No one seemed interested in being her friend. She was too busy, too noisy, and too brown. Suddenly, she spied a slinking cat under the tree!

      “Chi-chi-churrrr!” Maisy darted and dipped to warn all the others!

      Away dashed the cat!

      “Thank you, Maisy!”
      “You’re so quick, Maisy!”
      “That cat didn’t even see you, Maisy!”

      “I guess being a little, brown wren is o.k.,” thought Maisy.

    9. Leslie Degnan says:

      DANCE! DANCE! (WC :120)
      By Les Degnan
      (Tuck, babysitter, pride)

      Tuck didn’t talk. Mom talked about everything she did. Dad read books. They told stories, sang songs, asked questions and gave Tuck choices to encourage Tuck to talk.

      That Saturday night Mom and Dad went dancing. They called Lily, their sitter, put on their dancing shoes and left.

      Tuck cried. Lily lifted him up and danced around the room.
      “Dance! Dance!” she sang and waltzed across the floor.
      “Dance!” shouted Tuck.
      “That’s right, just like Mommy and Daddy,”
      “Just like Momma/dada,” said Tuck.

      At that moment, Mom walked in the door. She’d forgotten something. Hearing Tuck talk made her cry.

      Lily saw her. With a rush of pride she passed Tuck into his mothers’ arms, stepped aside, and cranked up the music.

    10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


      Gus Gets a Pet Dragon
      By Isabel Cruz Rodriguez
      (WC: 156; Main Character (1): Gus; Characters (2): Pet, Dragon; Emotions (2): Sadness, Joy)

      Little Gus was very sad
      His pet guppy had just died.
      “I need a new pet”, Little Gus cried,
      “So I won’t feel so bad.”

      He tried to have a cat to pet
      The cat hair made him sneeze
      Plus all the fur balls he had to clean
      “Ooof! This pet cat is no breeze!”

      His pet dog was an enormous chore
      He would jump on his bed from the floor
      But when he chewed his daddy’s slippers
      His pet was out the door.

      One day while on the sidewalk
      Pulling his shiny toy wagon
      Little Gus discovered
      A very cute brown dragon.

      Little Gus was full of joy
      “This will be my brand new pet
      He can light our fireplace
      And dry me when I’m wet”.

      Daddy frowned at my pet breed
      “He’ll burn the house down”, we agreed.
      Just then I woke up from my dream,
      “A new pet guppy is what I need!”

    11. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


      Big Dog
      By Marty Findley

      Characters: Rosie and her dog, Bella. Emotion: Pride (WC: 177)

      I’m Bella. I’m on my way to see my friends at Puppy School. My friends at class are all really big. I’m little but I feel big inside! The instructor teaches us “sit”, “down” and “stay”. “Sit” is easy. “Down” is harder. How am I supposed to reach the treat that’s waaaay up there when I’m waaaay down here?” It’s hard to wait for it. I’m practically down all the time anyway because I’m so short!

      “Stay” is practically impossible! I’m too busy watching all the other big dogs to focus very much. They are sooo tall! I just want them to play with me! Besides, by the time we get to “stay”, my tummy is full of treats, so what’s the point? I may as well just stay here and watch the big dogs! Wow! Everyone is happy because I finally “stayed”!

      The instructor gives all the moms and dads certificates. My mom, Rosie, gets one too! She looks so proud and that fills up my big inside with happy. I may look little but I’m really a BIG dog! Listen to me growl!

    12. Laura Jensen Bower says:

      Chip Goes Blip
      By Laura Bower
      187 words
      (Chip, pet dog, jealousy)

      Ruff’s owners carried something new.
      They said its name was “Chip.”
      Ruff sniffed around, he barked hello,
      but all Chip said was “Blip.”

      His owners oooohhhed. His owners ahhhhhed,
      at all Chip’s fancy tricks.
      Chip was sparkly. Shiny. New.
      Ol’ Ruff was almost six.

      Chip whirled by. He wouldn’t play.
      He left Ruff in his dust
      and ate up all the yummy crumbs –
      much to Ruff’s disgust.

      Ruff did flips. He barked his name –
      he even sang a song.
      BUT poor Ruff could not compete
      since Chip could do no wrong.

      Until a bang! a whoosh! a clank!
      What was wrong with Chip?
      He wasn’t moving anymore –
      not even a small “blip!”

      The owners gently picked up Chip
      and turned him all around.
      “We’ll have to take him to get fixed –
      I know a place in town!”

      They got back home. There was no Chip.
      Ol’ Ruff was feeling great.
      He ate up all the yummy crumbs –
      Got belly rubs… but, wait!

      They pulled out something from their bag.
      It couldn’t be! no… Chip?!
      “It’s great to have our vacuum back.”
      And all Chip said was “Blip.”

      • Katie Schwartz says:

        Sweet, and cute! A puppy that says ‘blip’, too funny! And love that Ruff can bark his name, LOL! Great job!

    13. seschipper says:

      Colin, Grandpop, Awe/Pride
      WC 186
      My Grandpop Can Fix Anything
      By Susan Schipper

      “My Grandpop can fix anything” echoed throughout Little Friends Nursery School every day. Colin could not wait to tell his favorite teacher “Bubby” what Grandpop fixed that day. Colin knew his grandpop was as handy as can be. He watched as Grandpop fixed clogged drains, repaired dishwashers, replaced a flat tire on a bike or car, he even refurbished his computer! Everyday began the same, “My Grandpop can fix anything”!
      Bubby decided to put Grandpop to the test. She collected as many broken and mangled toys she could find…all that were slated for the trash bin! Colin beamed as he brought his bag of broken toys and placed them before Grandpop! Armed with his tools Grandpop sifted through the jumble of what once were toys. He fixed broken wheels on cars and trucks, repaired arms and legs on dolls! The next day Colin solemnly handed the bag to Bubby. She bent down and hugged Colin. She confessed she played a trick on both Grandpop and Colin! She didn’t think they could be repaired! Bubby was now a believer when Colin began everyday with…”my Grandpop can fix anything”!
      (Based on a true story 😊)

    14. Sue Lancaster says:

      The Chosen One
      (106 words.
      Emotion: Jealousy)

      Rosie felt green with envy.
      How would anyone choose her when she was stood next to Dylan?
      In-demand Dylan with his sturdy legs, strong torso and smirking smile.
      Stood next to her, rotten Rosie, with her lopsided limbs, raggedy clothes and straggly hair.
      There was no contest. She was doomed to be overlooked forever.
      Rosie sagged sadly. Next to her, Dylan towered tall.
      Suddenly someone nudged Dylan aside.
      A beaming face was looking at Rosie and pointing.
      Rosie heard a voice: “She’s perfect!”
      And, just like that, Rosie Ragdoll was being whisked off to the toyshop till,
      while Dylan Dinosaur was left stood on the shelf.

    15. Grinny Butler says:

      Fire Circle
      By Sarah Hawklyn
      (Esme, pet, sadness) WC 100

      Esme has the brightest feathers.
      They shine orange and gold.
      I pet her softly and whisper, “good bird”, over and over,
      but I think she can’t hear me anymore.
      She rests in my favorite Pjs. The ones that are soft, like baby chicks.
      Tears wet my cheeks and I scrub at them to wipe away the feeling.
      Silly girl, why cry?
      When she takes her last breath, I lift her gently.
      I lay the fragile bundle on the hearth.
      As the flames burst bright, I step back.
      I smile now.
      “Hello baby Esme”.
      Welcome to the world my beautiful phoenix.

    16. Erika says:

      The Festival
      By Erika Romero

      Today was the big day. Esme was so excited!

      When Abuela Maria had told Esme she needed a gardener helper, Esme wasn’t sure that she was the right choice.

      “I’ve never grown any flowers or vegetables, Abuela,” Esme had explained.

      “No problema, Esme.”

      Abuela Maria was not worried.

      “I’ll teach you what you need to do.”

      And for months and months, Esme learned so much about gardening.

      Every time a new spout appeared above the dirt, she smiled and cheered.

      And now, the big day had arrived. The Fall Festival. And, “The Grandparent/Grandchild Cooking Contest,” which Esme and Abuela Maria had entered.

      With a colorful flower bouquet at the center of their table, and all kinds of veggies from their garden ready to be chopped, Esme knew that they would be cooking yummy food for her family and neighbors to enjoy.

      The bell rang.

      The audience cheered.

      The competition had officially begun.

      “Are you ready, abuela?” Esme wondered.

      “Sí. Time to shine, mi corazon.”

      And they did.

    17. Padgy Soltis (@PadgySoltis) says:

      I Have A Poem For You
      By Padgy Soltis
      Word count: 150
      Enzo, Dad, Boredom

      “Dad, I’m bored!” Enzo complained.

      “Hi Bored. I’m Dad! And I have a poem for you!”

      You say you’re bored
      There’s lots to do
      So, pick a chore
      How about two?

      If boredom strikes
      It’s time to think
      To ride a bike
      Or scrub the sink?

      What will you do?
      The choice in yours
      Have fun for two
      Or mundane chores?

      “So what will it be?” Dad questioned.

      “I’m going to have fun for two!” Enzo grabbed his helmet from the closet. “Aren’t you coming with me?”

      “I’m old!” Dad responded.

      “Hi Old. I’m Enzo! And I have a poem for you!”

      You say your old
      But that’s not true
      Brave and bold
      Is more like you!

      Have fun for two
      Is not the same
      For without you
      It would be lame

      “Good one Enzo.” Dad smiled as he walked out the door.

      “I learned from the best,” Enzo winked.

    18. Jill Lambert says:

      A Fork in the Road (I used Frost’s The Road Not Taken as a model)
      By Jill Lambert
      WC:160, Relationship: Chip & Gus–farm friends, Emotions: boredom, betrayal

      Chip the donkey went to town,
      it was a change of pace for him.
      When Gus the goat approached, a frown
      appeared between his eyes, cast down.
      His freedom from the farm looked dim.

      Charging in, Gus bleated out,
      “We’ll go to town together now.”
      The donkey tossed his head and sighed,
      “Come on, you followed anyhow.
      I must escape that boring cow!”

      As their feet churned up the road
      they listened to a bird’s sweet song.
      Before they’d traveled far, they slowed.
      The route ahead appeared too wrong–
      a fork and footpaths from each prong.

      With no directions and no sign,
      The donkey stomped his hoof, confused.
      Grouchy Gus began to whine,
      “You have no clue? I’m not amused!
      I’m going home!” He plain refused.

      Chip the donkey stood, alone.
      He pondered long the path to take.
      “Hee haw,” he muttered with a moan,
      then scrapped his scheme to take a break.
      “That road not taken is a fake!”

    19. Bevin Rolfs Spencer says:

      Birthday Surprise
      By, Bevin Rolfs Spencer

      We are having a surprise party.
      For a special guest.
      That’s a surprise too.
      Who is it?
      Mommy and I decorate the kitchen.
      I color a Happy Birthday sign.
      I wrap a present in shiny blue paper.
      Inside, something squeaks.
      But who is the present for?
      I look out the window and see our neighbor.
      “Is the special guest Mrs. Rivera?” I ask.
      “No Enzo,” says Mom. “But our guest is close by.”
      Mom and I put on party hats with silver sparkles.
      Grandma loves hats.
      “Is the surprise for Grandma?” I ask.
      “No,” says Mom. “But our guest loves to play with her.”
      Mom takes out vanilla ice cream.
      “Does our guest love ice cream?” I ask.
      “Yes,” says Mom. “It’s her favorite. But just one scoop.”
      A special guest who lives close by, plays with Grandma, and gets only one scoop of ice cream.
      “I know!” I cry.
      I open the back door. Bella runs in.
      “Surprise!” I tell Bella. She licks my face. I kiss her back.
      We have a birthday party with Grandma and Mrs. Rivera and our special guest, Bella!
      I help Bella open her present.
      She chases her squeaky ball and licks up all the ice cream.
      Surprise parties are the best!

    20. Erin Cleary (ClearyWriter) says:

      How a Radio Flyer Brought Two Unlikely Friends Together
      By Erin Cleary
      133 words (Xander, dragon/friend, sadness)

      Xander the Brave
      Entered the cave
      Of a very big, fierce-looking dragon.

      He entered the cave
      In order to save
      His Radio Flyer red wagon.

      He’d been riding along,
      With his heart full of song,
      ‘Till a bump in the road sent him flying.

      He’d jumped off his ride,
      But his ride went inside
      Of the cave where a dragon was crying.

      “What’s got you so sad,”
      Said our brave little lad
      To the dragon who turned with a sniff.

      “I’ve been in here all day
      With nothing to play
      And no one to play nothing with.

      “Then come play with me.
      We can ride to the sea
      In my Radio Flyer red wagon.”

      “How sweet that will be!
      We can make seaweed tea!”
      And they did, that brave boy and the dragon.

    21. Sarah Meade says:

      By Sarah Meade
      (Maisie, babysitter, awe)
      Word Count: 134

      Maisie loved Tuesdays and Thursdays.
      Dana days!
      Maisie gazed up at her favorite babysitter.
      Her long hair. Her bright eyes. Her smile.
      They walked to the park, hand in hand.
      Dana pushed Maisie on the swings,
      caught her on the fast slide,
      and always shared her special snacks.
      Then they skipped home.
      Maisie thought Dana was pretty perfect.
      One day on the way home, after swinging and siding and snacking, Dana stopped skipping.
      She dropped Maisie’s hand.
      Maisie gasped. “What is it?”
      Dana’s voice sounded funny. “A spider!”
      Sure enough, a spider dangled from a silky strand.
      Maisie peered at it. “Aww, it’s just a little guy.”
      Dana blinked. “You’re not scared?”
      “Nope.” Maisie took Dana’s hand and squeezed. “But it’s OK if you are.”
      Dana smiled.
      Then they skipped all the way home.

    22. Barbara Farr Renner says:

      So the rhythm is off, and it kind of fizzles at the end, but I love the challenge of your mini writing challenges. Thank you for getting my creative juices bubbling again.

      By Barbara Renner
      Word Count: 184

      Dylan has a friend whom he loves very much.
      They are never, ever completely out of touch.

      When Dylan starts to dine, he encourages him to eat,
      Even when he’s staring at a tasteless red beet.

      When Dylan has a sad face, he can spark in him a giggle,
      And he laughs along with him as they both do a wiggle.

      When Dylan needs a hug, his arms are open wide
      In order to chase all the worries and fears outside.

      He follows Dylan everywhere; sometimes even to go potty.
      And even to hide with him when he knows he’s been naughty.

      Dylan can talk to his friend, and he really understands.
      Dylan can read to his friend, about circuses and handstands.

      But the best part of the day is when they both go to bed,
      And it’s dark and they snuggle and they lay head to head.

      Dylan knows his best friend will shoo shadows away,
      And keep all the under-bed monsters at bay.

      Dylan truly loves his best friend, bud, and protector.
      ‘Cause everyone knows you don’t mess with a stuffed dinosaur.

    23. Deborah Agranat Sullivan says:

      Cute story, Sarah – and great twist at the end! Maisie and Dana are lucky to have each other 🙂

    24. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


      The Tooth Fairy and Dragon
      Aly Kenna
      April/Dragon/worry, anxiety, nervousness
      (120 words)

      Meet April.
      April is a tooth fairy.
      April has a secret.
      April has a pet dragon.
      Fairies are not allowed to have pets – especially dragons.
      April has a bigger secret.
      She can’t fly. Luckily her dragon can.
      Together they collect teeth from all over the world.
      April wins awards like:
      Most Teeth Collected in One Night
      Tooth Fairy of the Month
      Voted Most Popular Fairy
      Dragon is not interested in awards.
      April takes care of dragon.
      She makes him vegetarian smoothies, brushes his teeth, she even polishes his spines.
      They make quite a pair.
      Because April’s Dragon is not really her pet, but her best friend and they do everything together – in secret.
      This morning, Dragon woke with a cold.

    25. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


      #6 Maisie / Grammy / Awe, Look up to hero

      By Dawn Young

      Maisie and Grammy had a ‘Big Girl Day’ planned. First lunch at the Tea Room followed by shopping at the Indoor Flea Market. When Grammy arrived, Maisie was dressed in a long ruffled skirt, lacey blouse, and had a gigantic purse slung over her arm.

      “You look adorable my little butterfly,” said Grammy giving Maisie a big hug. Looking closer at Maisie’s face, Grammy noticed dark lines drawn in the corner of Maisie’s eyes.

      “What have you done to your face?” asked Grammy.

      “I wanted ‘twinkles’ like yours!” Maisie whispered.

      Grammy smiled as they climbed into the car.

    26. Allison Strick (she/her) (@byallisonstrick) says:

      by Allison Strick
      100 words
      Maisie, parents, babysitter, betrayal

      Dad jabbered all day about the fun night ahead.

      Then I caught the scent of betrayal: Mom’s perfume.

      Date night equals fun for my parents, and a new babysitter for me.

      Introductions were swift. “Meet Francine! Be good, Maisie! Bed at eight!”

      We squared off. Amazing Maisie vs. Mean Francine.

      She thunked down her bag, grinning. “They’re gone.”

      Gulp. What was inside? Math games? Puppets?

      Gasp! A zombie movie?! Popcorn! Cookies! Soda!

      Francine winked. “Maybe bed at nine–our secret?”

      In the morning, Dad asked, “How was it? Do I smell popcorn?”

      I only shrugged, yawning.

      I’ll never betray Queen Francine.

    27. savoringeverymoment says:

      Maise Marigold Mariah Munder Would Not Let Her Face Go Under
      By Sara Kruger
      w/c 122

      Maise Marigold Mariah Munder
      Would not let her face go under
      She’d shriek and splash with mates from school
      But would not dive into that pool.
      Somersaults and cannonballs.
      Her friends begged her to try them all.
      But Maise worried, stood concerned
      She hated when the water burned.
      It always made her sputter, gasp.
      Because her nose she would not grasp.
      And so she stayed where she could touch
      Jumping in– but not that much.
      Until one day a friend brought jewels.
      They sparkled deep down in the pool.
      Kids retrieved them one by one
      And Maise longed to join the fun.
      So goggles on, she took a breath
      Plugged that nose and plunged the depth.
      She surfaced holding tight her prize,
      Delighted by her friends’ surprise.

    28. Jeannette Suhr says:

      Maisie Astounds
      Maisie – pet (ferret) – pride
      Jeannette Suhr – w/c 91

      Maisie, our ferret, is feeling proud.
      Her many attributes wow our crowd.
      She can stand upright and walk on hind feet.
      Then take a bow and beg for a treat.

      She sneaks into Katie’s room
      And reappears in costume.
      Wearing Barbie’s upsweep
      And driving her decked-out jeep.

      She can whip up a dessert
      With not a spot on her skirt.
      And set out a five-course meal
      With a grand reveal.

      She’s a ferret at heart.
      She’s playful and smart.
      But don’t take her for granted.
      There’s a surprise she has planted.

    29. Nicole Loos Miller says:

      By Nicole Loos Miller
      (April/(tooth) fairy/ betrayal!, 90 words)

      Dear Tooth Fairy,

      I thought we had a DEAL! I’ve been brushing my teeth four times a day! I floss after every meal. I even gave up candy for an entire DAY! This is the sparkliest, cleanest, most glorious tooth my mouth has ever produced. And it’s a MOLAR! I left you a note with my last tooth – you knew I wanted a puppy. A real fluffy, tail-wagging, barking and kissing puppy.

      But, what did you leave me?
      Fifty cents.

      I’ll be letting Santa know about this. Good luck with that yacht you wanted.

      Sincerely DISAPPOINTED,

    30. Jeannette Suhr says:

      Creating Joy
      Rosie – dragon – joy
      Jeannette Suhr – w/c 88

      Rosie was lonely.
      Her best friend moved away.
      Dragon was sad.
      No one wanted to play.

      They found joy between them.
      They shared their delights.
      Rosie loved jump rope.
      Dragon loved long flights.

      What they had in common
      Gave them great pleasure.
      Books about adventure
      And finding lost treasure.

      They created culinary delights
      When their tummies grumbled.
      They played in open fields
      And stumbled and tumbled.

      They made joy when there was none.
      They were happy when down.
      They became best friends
      And got rid of their frowns.

    31. Elizabeth Meyer Zu Heringdorf says:

      I Don’t Need a Babysitter!
      Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf
      WC: 100 words
      Esme, babysitter, resentment

      As soon as her parents left,
      Esme threw herself face down on the sofa.
      “What’s wrong?” asked babysitter Annika.
      “I don’t need a babysitter.”
      “Well, this is my first time babysitting.”
      Esme peeked at her.
      “So you’d better tell me what I need to do.”
      So Esme bounced up and got to work.
      She told Annika how to make dinner,
      How to rattle treats to get the cat to come in,
      And how to turn on the complicated flat-screen TV.
      “How was Annika?” asked Mom later.
      “She needs more practice,” said Esme.
      “You better have her come again next week.”

    32. Marta Cutler says:

      According to My Grandma
      (Child / Grandparent / Love & Awe)
      112 words
      By Marta Cutler

      According to my Grandma….

      Unicorns are quite fond of checkers
      Pirates are partial to tea
      And if you offer a snake a slice of cake
      he’ll take not one but three!

      Never play cards with a mermaid
      Or forget to say “please” to a squid
      And if you encounter a whale with a polka dot tail
      Make sure you say, “Splendid!”

      My Grandma’s a spinner of stories
      A weaver of wondrous tails
      And if you ask very nice, she’ll tell them twice
      With even more detail

      Everyone needs a Grandma like mine
      At least every other week
      To tuck them in bed and kiss their heads
      And send them off to sleep

    33. susaninez0905 says:

      Bentley’s Bad Behavior
      By: Susan Summers
      WC: 108
      Bentley, Dragon, Resentment

      “It’s not fair!” Shouted Bentley. “I want to take the class pet home.”
      “Who has it?” Asked Mother.
      “Why didn’t you get the dragon?”
      “I pulled Maria’s hair once, but I apologized!”
      “And, I threw my book. I took a time-out for it!”
      “Yes, you did.”
      “I yelled at Enzo,” said Bentley.
      “Maybe I need to do better?”
      “I’ll try.”

      On Monday Bentley raced into the house shouting.
      “Mom! The dragon sneezed on Enzo and burned off his hair. I don’t want that silly dragon.”
      He bounced up the stairs to his room.

      Brrring, brrring, brrring.

      “Hello Mrs. Goldsmith, what did he do now?”

    34. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


      A New Day
      By Mia Geiger
      58 words

      Barks and mews.
      Singing the blues.

      Noise from a shed.
      “Help us,” they said.

      Child looks in.
      Slowly, a grin.

      “Come with me.
      Wait till you see!”

      At their new home.
      Room to roam!

      Tabby loved pouncing,
      running and bouncing.

      Patches loved napping,
      yapping and lapping.

      Ranger loved yowling,
      prowling and howling

      “Family,” said the boy.
      Instantly . . . Joy!

    35. syorkeviney says:

      Rosie’s Great Gramma Mary Onion
      WC; 139
      Rosie/Great Grandma/awe & love

      I’m going to see my Great Gramma Mary Onion. She’s amazing!
      I love her garden. It’s okay if she can’t always remember my name, because she always remembers to let me water the plants.
      I love her work clothes. It’s okay if she gets a little lost trying to find her sun hat, I show her it is on her head!
      I love her workshop! It’s okay that it is covered with dirt and clay, she’s a potter. I tell her I like to play in the mud too! She lets me make a pinch pot.
      My Great Gramma Mary Onion says, “I love having you here, Ruthie! You an are going to be an artist!’
      “I know I will” said Rosie with both awe and understanding, “as long as I can learn from someone as amazing as you.

    36. marty says:

      Well, it’s taken me most of the week, but here goes 🙂

      by Marty Bellis
      202 wc; Maisie/ brother/ anger, jealousy, resentment and love all rolled into one!

      “I HATE being little,” cried Maisie. Max had just beaten her at ‘horse’ again.

      She stuck out her tongue at him.

      “Aw, c’mon, I’ll race you to the big tree,” said her big brother.

      “No!” Maisie stomped her foot. “You always win.”

      “Then let’s play cards.”

      “No!” Maisie crossed her arms. “I’m always the Old Maid.”

      “I’ll pitch the ball to you.”

      Maisie rolled her eyes. “I always strike out.”

      “Okay,” said Max. “What do you want to do?”

      “I want to be faster than you. And better at baseball. And lucky, just once.”

      “Guess what,” said Max. “You’re better and faster than I was at your age, and you’re definitely luckier.”

      “You mean you used to be the Old Maid, too?” asked Maisie, giggling.

      “No, silly, I meant you have me to teach you everything. Lucky you!”

      Before Maisie could tackle him, Max took off for the big tree, but Maisie couldn’t catch him.

      She was too busy laughing. It was hard to stay mad at a big brother who was so lovable.

      Maisie decided she was lucky indeed. And if Max was half the teacher he thought he was, he’d better watch out. She’d be surprising him in no time.

    37. Ashley Sierra (@AshleySierra06) says:

      The Fairy Godmother Problem
      by Ashley Sierra
      124 words
      Esme, Fairy Godmother, anger 

      “Oh, Fairy Godmother! Fairy Godmother! It’s Esme. Fairy Godmother!?!?!”
      Rats. She doesn’t answer me, again. She’s angry. I don’t understand why. All I asked her for is a new dress, slippers, a nice hairdo, some horses, a coachman, a footman, a carriage, and to stay up until midnight. That’s what fairy godmothers are for, right? 
      Sigh. Let me try again. 
      “Mom! Mom! Sorry for treating you like my own personal fairy godmother. Can you play Cinderella with me?” 
      “Sure, sweetie! First, I have to sweep the chimney, say hi to my mice friends, brew you some tea, pick up your dirty laundry, sing with the birds, and mop the floors.”
      “Thanks, Mom!”
      Yes! I can’t wait to play. Wait . . .
      “Ha. Ha. Very funny, Mom!” 

    38. Amy Leskowski says:

      The Most(ly) Boring Babysitter
      By Amy Leskowski
      Enzo, babysitter, boredom
      210 words

      Enzo peeked through the door crack.
      A new babysitter. ANOTHER new babysitter.

      Not a dragon. Phew.
      Not a fairy. Whew.
      Looked normal—this time.

      Enzo’s parents kissed him, hugged him, and said goodbye.

      And nothing happened.

      This babysitter was boring! So, so, so, so boring! And that was a good thing.

      For a while.

      Enzo poked her.
      He nudged her.
      He sniffed her.

      Boring, boring, boring.

      At least she doesn’t breathe fire, Enzo reasoned.
      At least she’s not so small that I could accidentally trap her in a cupboard—again—Enzo rationalized.

      Enzo analyzed her movements.
      He scanned her eyes.
      He studied her belongings.

      Maybe a bitty babysitter or an ablaze au pair wasn’t such a bad thing. This was TOO boring!

      Enzo crept to the cookie jar.

      “Chi-ld. Mis-be-hav-ing. En-gage auto-dis-ci-pline.”

      Enzo’s eyes practically popped out of his head. Was this—had she—

      A full robo-sitter chase ensued, followed by a techno-enforced time-out. But the cyborg card games, bionic bowling, and droid double-dutch that followed couldn’t be topped.

      His parents returned and asked how the babysitter was.

      “Mostly boring.” He winked at his bot…er…babysitter.

      [Robo-sitter returns the next time]

      “Good-eve-n-ing, Mis-ter En-zo. Thank-you for hav-ing me back.”

      Thankfully, mostly boring turned out to be everyone’s preferred style of babysitter.

    39. Lauren Scott - Children's Author (@SpeechieAuthor) says:

      “Gama, Gama, Gama!” Enzo squealed as he toddled down the driveway.
      He scooted straight past her open arms and headed for the kitchen.
      “On, on, on” he shouted, standing next to the stuffed rocking dog.
      “Smile for Grandma!” A fleeting smirk escaped from under a mop of unruly curls.

      “Is this warm enough for you, Enzo”, Grandma asked, stirring the bath.
      “Do you want triangles or squares?”
      “I bought some new colouring books door you.”
      “Enzo, how many boats can you see way out there?”
      “I can read you a bedtime story. Climb up.”

      “Snuggle in”

    40. Deborah Agranat Sullivan says:

      Maisie, Fairy Godmother, Betrayal
      Maisie’s Surprise
      by Deb Sullivan
      92 words

      “This dress is hideous,” wailed Maisie. “And these work boots?”
      “I’m sorry,” said Fairy Godmother. “Heels” are tough.”
      Maisie’s nostrils flared.
      “This is an elegant reception!”
      “How wonderful!” said Fairy Godmother.
      Maisie fumed.
      “Cindy got a carriage, footmen…and the coolest glass slippers ever! I feel betrayed.”
      Fairy Godmother put her tea down. She pulled off her hair.
      “Snow White?” said Maisie.
      “Fairy Godmother had another call – just trying to help out.”
      “I’m doing my best.” said Snow White. “Oh! And be home by midnight…or you’ll turn into a mole.”

    41. Jill Lambert says:

      Wow, Deb! This is such an interesting take on Cinderella! I love your language and the surprise of Snow White impersonating the Fairy Godmother…no wonder Maisie felt betrayed! Outstanding!

    42. Hannah Roy LaGrone says:

      Little Dragon Worries
      by Hannah Roy LaGrone
      Dylan – Dragon – Worry
      101 words

      “Mom? Do we have any food for breakfast?”
      “Peanut butter toast, like we always do! I fire-breath toasted it myself!”
      “Okay, phew!” Dylan snorted.

      “Mom? Is it going to rain today?”
      “I don’t know, but if it does, we will be safe and dry in our cave.”
      “Okay, phew!” Dylan sighed.

      “HEY?! MOM?! Where are you taking me?”
      “To the maple tree. You are going to learn to fly!”
      “FLY?! I’m not ready! What if I fall?”
      “If you fall, you will land on the soft grass, and then you’ll climb up and try again!”
      “That’s all?!
      Okay, phew!” Dylan smiled.

    43. Marta Cutler says:

      Thought I would try prose this time!

      The Green Dragon
      (Tuck / Dragon + sibling / anxiety)
      111 words
      By Marta Cutler

      The green dragon snaked out far below us.
      “It’s too high, Tuck!” I whispered.
      “You can do this,” he said.
      My tummy flopped and flipped.
      “Together?” I asked.
      “Together!” he said.
      I closed my eyes and let go.
      And suddenly I was flying down, down, down,
      the wind wooshing in my ears.
      I catapulted off the end onto the sand, laughing.
      “Again!” I shouted, looking around for Tuck.
      I heard a “whoop!” and looked up.
      Tuck was still at the top of the slide, Cheshire cat grinning.
      “Told ya you could do it!” he yelled.
      And as I climbed back up, part mad, part happy,
      I knew my big brother was right.

    44. Colleen Owen Murphy says:

      The MC is never named, but the secondary character is her sister and the emotion is betrayal. Sorry to have gone over, once again, with 155 words.


      If I didn’t talk to someone
      then I knew, for sure, I’d bust!
      Though, a news flash this important
      needed someone I could trust.

      So I told my sis the secret
      and she promised not to tell.
      First she swore it on her pinky,
      then she crossed her heart as well.

      But the next day when Fernando
      tucked a note into my pack
      I gasped…
      I blushed…
      I clenched my fists…
      and I vowed to get her back!

      Though I’d little ammunition,
      I, at least, could tell my pop
      it was her who broke the picture frame
      he’d hung up in his shop.


      I kept saying sis I’m sorry
      and I’d pay for half the cost
      that my pop said she now owed him
      to replace the frame he’d lost.

      See, at last I found the nerve
      to open up his note and read…
      just a party invitation with
      no hint of what I’d said.

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