2021 Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge Week #7!

Can you believe it?

We’ve arrived at Week #7!

The last week of the 2021 Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge!

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)

To read the Week #6 entries of add your Week #6 entry, please go HERE (Week #6)

Before we get to today’s challenge, one little housekeeping detail:

If you want to qualify for the prize drawing, you must have completed an entry for each of the 7 weeks and posted them on the appropriate week’s post by Saturday June 26th at midnight Eastern time in order to qualify, so that I can post the winners on Monday June 28th! So take note of that deadline – all 7 completed and posted by Saturday June 26th at midnight!

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #7 for Week of June 21:

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, concept stories in particular settings, and relationships and emotions between characters! 😊 This week, since it’s the last week, it seems fitting that we do something with endings.

But not just anything. . . 😊

Endings do not exist in a vacuum. In order for endings to feel satisfying – make readers, laugh, cry, gasp with amazed delight, or sigh with satisfaction – the ending must feel connected to the beginning.

So. This week, choose a beginning from Column A and an ending from Column B and write a 100 word story for kids that fits between them using a tidbit of onomatopoeia from Column C if you want to (just for fun 😊).

Column A – BeginningsColumn B – EndingsColumn C – Onomatopoeia (optional)
Once upon a time…And that is why she/he tucked it very carefully into her/his pocket.splish, splash, sploosh
When [Character Name] woke up, a thunderstorm was brewing.  “OH, NO!” (or, “HURRAY!”)Then he/she snuggled close and whispered with a smile, “I love you more than marshmallows.”kackata-kack-krack-POP!
It all began when the mermaid’s tail got caught on the handle of [Character Name]’s umbrella.Never let an alligator get in the way of your plans!plink-plank-plunk
She/he wasn’t always a bad piggy.So he/she/they rushed back out of the woods shout-singing Ain’t No Bugs On Us until he/she/they was/were really, truly, sure it was true!slurrrp
There was a sloth who lived all alone.[Character Name] knew summer was here at last!buzzz bzzz-bzzz
[Character Name] was all ready for the beach!Aunt Ruby was right.  It had been a better day!splop
We’re finally on our way! We’re having the best time ever! Until…Inch by inch, step by step, they made it all the way to the tippy top.chirp
Holly, Molly, Ollie, Wally, and Little Boo packed a picnic and set out in search of adventure.And so he/she/they did.bee-beep
On the Fourth of July, Max went into hiding.And they lived happily ever after.murmur
[Character Name] had a problem with watermelon.Shushshush, the waves whispered. Shushshush.hissss

  • 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 just a guideline.
  • If you’re deeply inspired by a beginning or ending or some onomatopoeia that isn’t here, go for it! – the purpose here is inspiration and to get you writing! Please just tell us what you’re using at the top of your entry.
  • For simplicity’s sake (and to aid skimming readers who might be interested in a particular thing) please say which column items you’re using at the top of your entry along with your name, title, and word count.
  • I have been so enjoying reading all your amazing stories every week – so many different, creative, delightful, entertaining stories! – that I’m sad this is the last hurrah for this year!

    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 #7 Stories:

    Beach Baby – Bru Benson

    The Worm’s Halloween Adventure – Marty Findley

    Perfect Piggy – Robin Currie

    Watermelon Woes – Rose Cappelli

    Beach Bound – Sue Lancaster

    The Unexpected Ride – Dawn Young

    Sloth Finds A Friend – Jen Subra

    The Fairy And The Thunderstorm – Erin Cleary

    Will Summer Begin? – Erika Romero

    Max And The Fireworks – Sara Kruger

    Melodia’s “Mis” Adventure – Susan E. Schipper

    Untitled – Lauren Scott

    Max And The Alligator – Marta Cutler

    Duck’s Creek – Bevin Rolfs Spencer

    Sam’s Trouble With Watermelon – Lyn Jekowsky

    Game, Game, Go Away! – Hannah Roy LaGrone

    Watermelon Delight – Jeannette Suhr

    The Fear Of Fireworks – Amy Leskowski

    Merchant Pips – Elenore Byrne

    The Very Slow Sloth – Isabel Cruz Rodriguez

    Sloth And The sUAS (Small Unmanned Aircraft System) – Laura Bower

    Why Piggies Have Curly Tails – Jill Lambert

    Dorothy’s Umbrella – Brenna Jeanneret

    Beach Adventure – Ashley Sierra

    Sloth And Bee – Linda Schueler

    Maddy Wants More, More, More – Sarah Meade

    Climbing Up – Marty Findley

    This Little Piggy – Marty Bellis

    Sloth And The Bees In The Tree – Barbara Renner

    Munch Goes The Pirate – Aly Kenna

    Marianna And The Mermaid – Sally Yorke-Viney

    Undersea Soiree – Nicole Loos Miller

    Ella’s Wild Ride – Michelle S. Kennedy

    A S’more By The Fire – Allison Strick

    The Ant Raid – Deb Sullivan

    A Wagonful Of Trouble – Susan Summers

    A Nap And A Watermelon Field – Jana Mattern

    Rules For A Pig-Perfect Life – Joyce Uglow

    Wanted: ESPR – Colleen Own Murphy

    Not So Bad After All – Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf

    Watermelon Problem – Mia Geiger

    A. Sloth Or Not A. Sloth – Katie Schwartz

    Saltwater Kisses – JC Kelly

    Where There’s A Skate There’s A Way – Sarah Hawklyn

    The Prince And His Alligator – Deb Buschman

    The Lonely Sloth – Ashley B. Pedigo

    Untitled – Lauri Meyers

    Tilly’s Mermaid – Dianne Irving

    Untitled – Padgy Soltis

    PRIZES & PRIZES OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES!

    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)

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is penny-parker-klostermann.jpg

    ⭐️ 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)

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jennifer-buchet.jpg

    

    ⭐️ 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)

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jen-raudenbush.jpeg
    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)

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is becky-scharnhorst-collage.jpeg

    ⭐️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.

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screen-shot-2021-05-23-at-7.58.46-pm.png

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

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is alayne-kay-christian.jpg

    ⭐️ 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

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is writing-irresistible-kidlit.jpg

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

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is squarecover.jpg

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

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is email-header-final-susanna-hill.png

    ⭐️A copy of A FLOOD OF KINDNESS by Ellen Leventhal

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is a-flood-of-kindness.jpg

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

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is making-their-voices-heard.jpg

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

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2c5b9-dragon2bcover.jpg

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

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is sloth-cover.jpg

    ⭐️A copy of BINDU’S BINDIS by Supriya Kelkar

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bindus-bindis.jpg

    ⭐️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! 😊

    ⭐️Writing Journal (with a side of prompts 😊)

    5358C071-383B-4EF4-ADFD-353F737E23E5_1_201_a

    328 thoughts on “2021 Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge Week #7!

    1. Katie Schwartz says:

      A-There was a sloth who lived all alone
      B-and so he did
      C-splop; murmur
      Word count – 559

      A. SLOTH OR NOT A. SLOTH

      There was a sloth who lived all alone.

      Just like he liked.

      Plod, plod, plod, went his days.

      Just like he walked.

      Plod, plodding, plod.

      Until one day.

      A summer day. The ground was HOT.
      Sloth started hopping. And he couldn’t stop.

      Sloth had never moved so fast.
      He started thinking about how he must look.

      Pretty silly, he thought as he hopped higher and faster.
      Sloth started to laugh. Sloth belly laughs, deep and rumbly.

      Just then he reached a soft mossy area, and since he couldn’t hop and laugh at the same time he fell in the middle of the cool damp moss. SPLOP!

      As he rolled around in the moss giggling at himself, a group of toucans gathered.
      They had never seen a rolling and giggling sloth before.

      So they decided he must be an . . . ALIEN SLOTH!

      Sloth frowned, looking up at the googly eyes staring down at him. The rain forest was huge, so why were they all here pestering HIM?

      The toucans moved even closer. They walked by him, first one side, then the other, heads tilted as they puzzled over the newcomer. To the right. Then to the left.

      Peering upside down while hanging on branches. Waiting for him to do something, well, ALIEN.

      Sloth crawled under the moss.

      Still the toucans celebrated their new alien friend.

      They watched him blink. They watched him sleep.

      They watched him stretch. This was their favorite thing to do, they never knew which leg Sloth would start with. They thought, “Maybe he will stretch both arms. And both legs. All at the same time!”

      They brought him fruit and slugs and bugs. “Save your energy Sloth, so you can stretch all your arms and legs at the same time.”

      Isn’t that what ALIEN sloths do?

      There was even a write up of him in the Toucan Times.

      ALÍEN SLOTH VISITS TOUCAN TOWN.

      Sloth smiled for the photo.

      Once darkness fell, the toucans went off to sleep. Sloth slunk out of the moss, and made his way back to his canopy of trees.

      He climbed up HIS tree, about to reach HIS favorite perch, when a trespassing sloth suddenly lifted his head right in front of him, grinning like a cat.
      Sloth stared, and tried not to smile.

      “Thank you for this perfect perch, it fit my needs nicely last night” new sloth chatted.
      “I am a bit lost,” he added.

      He then laid back and stretched out all his arms and legs as far as they would go, looking as relaxed as any terrestrial sloth.

      Sloth gulped, moving away and down the tree, not looking back. This was no ordinary sloth. An ALIEN SLOTH had taken over his tree!

      Sloth didn’t move quite as fast as when he was hopping on the hot ground, but he was faster than molasses, and made his way to the next canopy of trees before stopping.

      As he trudged up the tallest tree, he thought about the soft moss, the toucans, but especially how hard it was to tell the difference between a SLOTH sloth and an ALIEN SLOTH.

      He finally reached a lovely new niche to call home, leaned back, and sighed, deep and rumbly. But mostly he felt like stretching out all his arms and legs at the same time, as far as they would go. And so he did.

    2. Katie Schwartz says:

      Thank you Susanna for another inspiring seven weeks! The weeks have gone by fast. They have been fun, challenging, amazing, with so many creative entries to read through. This has been one of the good things to come out of the pandemic and quarantine. Love the variety of the prompts, and ability to post early, or late, each week, writer friendly! And thanks to all the generous donors for their prizes, which add icing to this opportunity! And now that I think of it, me, and others, will be able to say we were part of the first ever ‘Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge’, started in 2020, and now has gone on to become an annual event, woo-hoo!

    3. writestuff99 says:

      Saltwater Kisses
      By JC Kelly
      (WC: 108, Ready for the beach/A version of “and so they did”/Slurrrp)

      I am READY for the beach.
      After an endless drive,
      The ocean is finally within reach.

      I tear across the sand
      And grudgingly agree
      To hold dad’s hand.

      The icy water tickles my toes
      Swirls past my knees
      And splashes right up my nose.

      Saltwater kisses cover my eyes
      And upon foam bubbles
      Up, I rise.

      Slurrrp…my feet pull free
      From the sand
      That had anchored me.

      I lift and float
      I tumble, I’m tossed
      like a capsized boat.

      As I flip
      I feel my hand
      start to slip.

      But dad’s hand
      Tightens and
      Pulls me onto the sand.

      We share a grin
      And …
      Race back in.

      • Katie Schwartz says:

        Wonderful sensory imagery in this, nice rhyming arc, it flows along just like a wave! Love your rhyming pattern and rhymes. So much in just 108 words, great job! This should be in print, maybe expanded into a longer PB, or just as is.

    4. writestuff99 says:

      Thank you, Susanna, for these seven amazing prompts. Over the last year, I’ve grown very lazy about my writing, and quite frankly, I’m shocked that I was able to complete this challenge. And, I enjoyed it tremendously!

    5. Grinny Butler says:

      This is the first one that I went over the 100-word count. WC 137
      Where There’s a Skate There’s a Way
      By Sarah Hawklyn

      We’re finally on our way! We’re having the best time ever! We sang songs and played I Spy. Until…

      kackata-kack-krack-POP!

      The car let out a finally wheeze and wouldn’t go any further.
      “I can’t be late.”
      “I know Bugs. We still have time.”

      I checked my backpack for the gazillionth time.
      Lunch. Check.
      Roller skates. Check.
      Sour worms to share. Check.
      And the birthday gift for Lily.

      The party started at 11:00.
      All the families would skate at the park and then picnic around the duck pond.
      I was nervous at first, but I practiced skating all week.
      “We’re only 3 blocks from the park”, Dad said.

      I thought of the cake and games I would miss.
      “I can skate there.”
      “You’re sure.”
      “If you hold my hand. We can skate there together.”
      And so, they did.

    6. Deb Buschman (@DebBuschman) says:

      Thanks again Susanna! Your ears should be burning because I talk about your blog all the time with my SCBWI members in Wisconsin and my critique partners. You have such great contests to get our ideas following.
      For this last one I decided to use a beginning as the ending too.

      THE PRINCE AND HIS ALLIGATOR
      By Deb Buschman
      Beginning: Once Upon A Time
      Ending: Once Upon A Time
      Onomatopoeia: Splish, Splash, Sploosh-Chomp, Chomp
      Word Count 124

      Once upon a time there was a prince and…
      “And his alligator, don’t forget about his alligator.”
      There is no alligator in this story.
      “But every prince has an alligator.”
      Since when.
      “Since now. You don’t need a stallion or a dragon in this story. What you need is an alligator. Just like me.”
      What can an alligator do?
      “I can scare off princesses!”
      What if the prince wants a princess?
      “I’m fun in the water.” Splish, Splash, Sploosh! Chomp! Chomp!
      That doesn’t look like fun.
      “I’m easier to ride than a stallion.”
      Really?!
      “I won’t scorch like a dragon.”
      Good point.
      “And I love a good moat party.”
      Okay you’re in. Once upon a time there was a prince and his alligator.

    7. ashleybpedigo says:

      The Lonely Sloth (117 words. Finally kept it short!)
      by Ashley B Pedigo (There was a sloth who lived all alone…. And so they did.)

      There was a sloth who lived all alone.
      He was lonely.
      He crawled down from his tree.
      “Hello!” Someone called.
      He looked around. There was no one there.

      He swam across the river.
      “Hello!” Someone called.
      He looked around. There was no one there.

      He was lonely.
      “Hello?” He said.
      “Where are we going?” Someone asked.
      “I am lonely. I am looking for a friend.”
      “But we’ve been with you the whole time.”
      The sloth looked down at his fur and saw a family of moths hiding there.
      “You’ve been here the whole time?”
      “Sometimes the answer to your problem is closer than you think.”
      Sloth smiled. He wasn’t alone.
      “Let’s go home.”
      And so they did.

      • Katie Schwartz says:

        Sloth and moths, fun combination! Sweet way to communicate that a problem can be solved more easily than we might think. Good job!

    8. Lauri Meyers says:

      Thank you Susanna! It’s been inspiring:)

      Once upon a tree a hungry woodpecker tapped for termites. Kackata! Kackata!
      The termites hid.
      The woodpecker was hungry and determined, so he pecked harder. Kackata! Kackata! Kackata!
      The termite waggled his tongue at the woodpecker and dug deeper.
      Now the woodpecker was hungry and determined and angry, so he drilled as hard as he could. Kackata! Kackata! Krack! Pop!
      The top of the tree fell over! Crash!
      A sparrow squawked from her fallen hole.
      A squirrel twitched his tail at his pile of acorns.
      The termite came out and waved his fist.
      The woodpecker was still hungry but he was determined to fix things.
      He pecked a new hole for the sparrow.
      A little higher he tapped a hole for the squirrel’s acorns.
      Finally he pecked a tiny hole for the termite. The termite whistled and another termite came out and another and another. Soon 132 little termites climbed inch by inch, step by step until the whole family made it all the way to the tippy top of the tree where the termite waggled his tongue, winked, and tunneled under the bark. And the woodpecker was still hungry.

      • Katie Schwartz says:

        Ahhh, poor woodpecker! Hopefully he’ll get a reward – some food – sometime, after being so thoughtful! Great descriptions of all the critters, and showing how they co-exist, all in the same tree. Fun to read!

    9. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      POSTED FOR DIANNE

      Tilly’s Mermaid
      By Dianne Irving

      It all began when the mermaid’s tail got caught on the handle of Tilly’s umbrella. The tail flapping in the breeze.

      Tilly stepped closer and was surprised to find a mermaid! Tilly squealed and danced on the sand.

      The mermaid’s scales shimmered in the sun. Tilly thought she was the most beautiful mermaid she had ever seen. She even had a tiara!

      Tilly built her mermaid a kingdom of sandcastles decorated with rocks and seashells. Her Mom smiled and thought she was rather silly.

      “Tilly”, her Mom said, “let’s take your mermaid for a swim”.

      Splish, splash, sploosh into the water they went.

      Laughing with joy and delight Tilly floated on her mermaid up and over the waves.

      Tilly knew summer was here at last!

    10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      POSTED FOR PADGY

      Untitled – Padgy Soltis

      We’re finally on our way! We’re having the best time ever!

      Until…

      We heard hissss

      The horses, spooked, ran back down the mountain.

      How will we ever get to the summit?

      “Maybe they will come back,” said Daniel “let’s wait a few minutes.”

      They waited…and waited…and waited some more.

      The sun creeping lower with every passing minute.

      “Let’s go. We can do this!”

      And so they did…

      Inch by inch, step by step, they made it all the way to the tippy top.

    11. sunflowerscribe says:

      The Three Little Siblings by Christine Alemshah

      A- Once Upon a Time
      B- knew summer was here at last
      C- Splish, splash, sploosh

      Once upon a time, three little siblings came home on their last day of school.

      FREEDOM!

      The three little siblings woke the next morning, put on their swimsuits, and opened the door.
      Splish, splash, sploosh came pouring rain crashing down.
      The three little siblings shivered – BRR!
      Where was summer?

      They knocked on Daddy’s office door, guiding him to the window.
      “Don’t worry, summer will come,” he said.

      So they waited…

      The three little siblings woke the next morning, put on their swimsuits and opened the door.
      No rain, but…
      Swish, whish, swoosh.
      The wind blew, and the three little siblings shivered – BRR!
      Where was summer?

      They knocked on Daddy’s office door, guiding him to the window.
      “Don’t worry, summer will come,” he said.

      So they waited…
      The three little siblings woke the next morning, put on their coats and galoshes, and opened the door.
      No rain, no wind — this time there was sun!

      They knocked on Daddy’s office door, guiding him to the backyard to be their lifeguard.

      The three little siblings knew summer was here at last!

    Leave a Reply

    Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s