Let’s Do The May Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge Again!

Does your brain feel like marshmallow mush?

Do you dread sitting down, all alone, to face the blank screen for yet another day?

Are you unable to remember the last time you had a good idea… or ANY idea?

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

We’re going to shake things up!

Yessirree Bob we most certainly are!

It’s just your butt in a chair
And a pen in your hand
A kind of far off stare
As ideas expand

But it’s the lightbulb moment
That really makes you exclaim
Let’s do the Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge again!
Let’s do the Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge again!

(yes, I know “Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge” has way more syllables than “time warp” but its the vibe that counts! 😊)

Now that I’ve gotten that tune stuck in your head for the rest of the day 😊 ARE YOU READY???

(Not a contest exactly… no room in the blog calendar, no time for judging, no gigantic prizes on offer…but still (hopefully!) tons of fun!)

Here’s how it works:

Starting today, each Monday until June 19th (which makes 7 Mondays total and will get us pretty much to the end of the school term) I will post a Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt for a 100 word story.  Post your story in the comment section for that week’s challenge (or if you have trouble posting it, email it to me and I’ll post it for you.)  At the end of the 7 weeks, everyone who has posted one story for each week’s prompt will

A) have 7 brand new stories to play with!  (Who knows? Your next picture book or even chapter book or longer might be sparked by something you write for the Challenge!)

B) be able to take credit for entertaining lots of fellow writers and/or their kids/students (not to mention you’ll entertain yourself and your own kids/students if you have any!)


C) if you complete all 7 you will qualify to win a prize from the Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Mystery Bag of Marvelous Prizes for Writers! (In the past we have managed to scare up enough prizes that all of the approximately 40 people who completed the challenge got something, but we’ll have to see how the available prizes stack up this year – if there aren’t enough for everyone who completes the challenge we’ll have to randomly draw winners until we run out of prizes, but you will still win A and B above!)

In an attempt to answer possible questions in advance I will say:

  • you can write as many stories as you want each week
  • you can post them at any time during the week (just make sure they’re on the Monday Mix ‘n’ Match Mini post for the week you’re entering – e.g. below for Week #1))
  • you can play catch up (so if you miss a week you can go back and add to an earlier week if you’re trying to complete the challenge and qualify for prizes as long as all entries are posted on the correct week and are posted no later than Saturday June 25th at midnight Eastern time.)
  • no illustration notes
  • You may go over the word count if you’re on a roll and you wish to (because there is no judging 😊)
  • You may write in poetry or prose

You can compete with yourself to see if you can write all 7 stories!  You can compete with your writing friends to see if you can write more than they do! Above all, you can have fun with lots of other writers and get those ideas flowing!

When the muse has turned to marshmallow mush, children’s writers whip out the chocolate bars and graham crackers and make S’mores!

So here we go!

Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #1 for Week of May 8:

Choose a character from Column A and an action from Column B and write your 100-word story!

Column AColumn B
Maria Sophia Louisa Soufflé *tells a lie (or falsehood, fib, untruth)
Giraffewill not!
Picklesis bored
Little Red *pilfers a pie
Haroldwon’t take a bath
Cap’n Dreadful *puts pepper in the pancakes
T-Rexloses his/her library book

* Name (or any portion of the name) counts as 1 word

You may also include Mother’s Day in your story if you’d like, since that will be occurring at the end of this week 😊, but that is NOT required.

A little sampling of the prizes up for grabs appears below the list of Week #1 Stories to whet your competitive spirit 😊 LOTS MORE TO COME!

Read the Week #1 Stories!

Gerald The Giraffe Will Not – Tomi Rockey Rues

The Spelling Knee – Kelly Clasen

Maria-Sophia-Louisa-Soufflé – Afraid to be Bored – Holland Paley

Untitled – Penny Taub

Bath Time – Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf

Maria Sophia Lousia Souffle Pilfered a Pie – Mary Zychowicz

A Tall Tale – Anjali Amit

Maria Sophia Louisa Soufflé Won’t Take a Bath – Elizabeth Thoms Charles

Maria Sophia Luisa Souffle // will not! – Sara Kruger

Giraffe and the Lost Library Book – Angel Gantnier

Untitled – Linda Schueler

T. Rex Will Not – Debbie J. Arnn

Untitled – Lindsey Hobson

Pickles Pilfered A Pie (or several) – Patricia Nozell

Little T-Rex Tells A Lie – Haley Hendrickson

Little Red – Kelly Kates

Pickles The Prankster – Sarah Meade

Timothy T. Rex – Susan E. Schipper

Tricera-CHOPS – Bri Lawyer

Giraffe Needs A Bath – Stephanie Maksymiw

Pickles Is Bored – Ben Jeder

Pilfering Pickles and Peter – Jen Bagan

T-Rex Pilfers A Pie – Ryann Jones

T-Rex’s Tall Tale – Jill Lambert

Where’s My Library Book – Ellie Langford

Do Not Feed The Fish – Dianne Borowski

King Tommy T-Rex – Lyn Jekowsky

Maria Sophia Louisa Souffle – Julianna Kurtz

Harold T-Rex Must Tell the Truth – Jessica Milo

Pickles and Pals Have A Picnic – Deborah Ishii

Leave the Cake, Take the Wolf Repellent – Julie Hauswirth

Pie, Please! – Elyse Trevers

Untitled – Suzy Grossman

Cap’n Dreadful Beats The Doldrums – Leslie Degman

Consequences for Whom? – Colleen Murphy

T-Rex Will Not Tell One More Lie! – Ashley Sierra

Cap’n Dreadful vs. The Bath – Katie McEnaney

Cap’n Dreadful will NOT – Marta Cutler

No Bath For Tiny T-Rex – Dawn Renee Young

Little Red Puts Pepper In The Pancakes – Tiffany Hanson

Cap’n Dreadful Will Not Take A Bath – Jenna Elyse Johnson

Little Red Relaxes – Marie Prins

Little Red and the Peppered Pancakes. – Lisa M. Horn

Giraffe Won’t Take a Bath – Marta Cutler

Maria Sophia Louisa Soufflé Does Not Like Her Name – Jen Lee

Little Red – Michelle S. Kennedy

Maria Souffle’s Peppery Pancakes – Bev Schellenberg

Giraffe Won’t Take A Bath – Sara Petersohn

Maria Sophia Louisa Soufflé Puts Pepper In The Pancakes – Krithika Santhanam

Maria Louisa and the Lost Library Book – Elizabeth Muster

Stella Loses Her Library Book – Lauren N. Simmons

Harold Loses His Library Book – Isabel C. Rodriguez

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

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Penny Parker Klostermann, talented author of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT (Random House 2015) and A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE (Random House 2017) as well as the forthcoming SPIDER LADY: Nan Songer and Her Arachnid WWII Army (Astra/Calkins Creek 2025) and another as yet unannounced 😊

⭐️ Mary Munson and Kate Talbot are offering a “Love Bundle”. They are the author and illustrator of LOVE WILL TURN YOU AROUND. Mary will sign the book and send swag (US only), and Kate will offer a critique (picture book manuscript OR art, winner’s choice!)

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique OR Ask-Me-Anything Chat OR a signed copy of SCIENCE, MATTER AND THE BASEBALL PARK (winner’s choice!) from author Catherine Ciocchi. Catherine is a multi-published author and a teacher with a knack for STEM-themed rhyming texts. Her books include SCIENCE, MATTER AND THE BASEBALL PARK (Gnome Road Publishing, March 28, 2023) and THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND (Arbordale Publishing, May 2015)

⭐️ a 20 minute Zoom or phone Ask Me Anything with Jilanne Hoffman, author of 2 board books, THE HONEY BEAR HIVE (Mudpuppy January 2023), HAPPY CAMPER (Mudpuppy January 2022), and the forthcoming picture book A RIVER OF DUST

⭐️ Copy Editing/Proofreading Of Up To 5 Picture Book Texts (All Types and Lengths) from Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf, professional technical writer and copy editor.

Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf

⭐️ a first read-through recording package from children’s author and poet Sarah Meade, contributor to HOP TO IT: POEMS TO GET YOU MOVING (Pomelo Books, 2020!) where she will read aloud and record up to five PB manuscripts for one author (1,000 words or less each, fiction or nonfiction, rhyming or non-rhyming) so you can hear how your stories sound to someone who is unfamiliar with them on a first read-through! Very helpful and emlightening!

⭐️ Ask Infowoman: A Library Consult Regardless of where you are in your writing career – brand new or seasoned author – Kathy Halsey has a wealth of information to help you! From insight into what books school librarians need/want in their collections (which can help you target your writing for success) to helping you create an engaging school visit and all kinds of things between…and beyond… check out her website to see what this fantastic prize can offer you!

Kathy Halsey currently serves on the State Library of Ohio’s “Choose to Read Ohio” program and writes curricular toolkits for SLO’s award-winning children’s books. She is a former K-12 school librarian, seventh grade English teacher, and bookseller for a children’s independent bookstore. Her first work for hire board book releases fall, 2023. 

2019 PBChat Mentorship
SCBWI Ohio Central-South Co-Assistant Regional Advisor
Former Community Manager, Storyteller Academy
Ohio Educational Library Media Association Past President

⭐️ a signed copy of ANIMALS IN SURPRISING SHADES: POEMS ABOUT EARTH’S COLORFUL CREATURES (Gnome Road Publishing, March 28, 2023)from author Susan Johnston Taylor! This book is great for classrooms and recommended by SLJ!

⭐️ a copy of Becky Scharnhorst‘s brand new picture book – just coming out on May 16th! – HOW TO GET YOUR OCTOPUS TO SCHOOL (Flamingo Books, May 16, 2023)

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

⭐️ A copy of Making A Living Writing Books For Kids by Laura Purdie Salas

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

⭐️ Magnetic PoetryLittle Box of Happiness

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

149 thoughts on “Let’s Do The May Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge Again!

  1. Michelle S Kennedy says:

    I’m finally feeling inspired to write something after a bit of a break… Thanks for the incentive, Susanna! I love your Mix N’ Match prompts!!! (I’m playing catch-up now)

    WEEK 1

    Little Red (WC 190)
    By Michelle S. Kennedy

    Little Red was feeling bored,
    so left for Granny’s house…
    But as she walked, she tripped her feet,
    and snagged her brand-new blouse.

    She went back home to change her clothes—
    and donned a cape instead.
    Since it was thick, it kept her warm
    and covered up her head.

    The woods were dark. She couldn’t see,
    and got her cellphone light.
    Red flashed it outwards to the trees,
    which made her path ignite.

    Then suddenly, she heard a shriek—
    A wailing, howling sound…
    Her ears pricked up; she looked around.
    Red’s heart began to pound.

    Alas, she reached her Granny’s door,
    and knocked with all her might.
    But when she saw her Granny’s face,
    well, something wasn’t right…

    Red went inside and there she saw—
    a wolf in Granny’s chair.
    as Granny held a razor up,
    the wolf cried in despair!

    “I told Wolf he must be shaved
    to dine with us this eve.
    He smelled like rotting garbage,
    and he made me want to heave!”

    Red laughed out loud and held Wolf’s paw,
    And patted his poor head,
    as Granny finished with the shears,
    so they could share a spread.

  2. Bev Schellenberg says:

    Maria Souffle’s Peppery Pancakes

    “I’m sick of souffles,” Maria moaned to her mom,
    There are recipes screaming for you;
    Like fish sticks with chocolate and taco ice cream,
    Blue pizza and mac and cheese stew.”

    Mom gave her a squeeze as she whisked up some eggs.
    She listened, her eyes closed; no fuss.
    “You want to be different, but Maria Souffle,
    You were born to make souffles. That’s us.”

    “I know I’m Maria Sophia Louisa,
    From the kingdom of fluffy egg glory.”
    Maria tied on her ladybug apron and said,
    “But there’s more we must add to our story.”

    Maria whisked and she mixed and she poured and she baked.
    Her mom snored away all through the night.
    And in the morning, Maria declared,
    “Come see all the frabjous delight!”

    “There’s peppery pancakes and snookles with jam,
    And apple sauce tacos with zoodles.
    There’s pizza chip chompers with mango puree
    And gooey cheeze hamburger noodles.”

    Mom opened her mouth a wee tiny bit:
    “I guess I’ll try that and some this.”
    She shovelled in mouthfuls like a bulldozing machine,
    “Each mouthful is absolute bliss!”

    “You’re right. I hear bacon with gravy potatoes,”
    Said Mom, “And shrimp curry bread.
    We’ll fry them and try them and people will buy them.
    We’ll focus on creating instead.”

    “Now hold on, dear Momma.” Maria put up her hand.
    “Let’s keep some old with the new,
    I’m Maria Sophia Louisa Souffle.
    Let’s fry, try, and keep souffles too.”

  3. sarapetersohn says:

    Giraffe Won’t Take a Bath

    “Look here, Giraffe, your feet are all muddy,”
    Said Monkey on Monday at one.
    “It’s time for a bath.”
    “Not now,” said Giraffe.
    “I’m eating a cinnamon bun.”

    “Look here, Giraffe, your knees are all muddy,”
    Said Tiger on Tuesday at two.
    “It’s time for a bath.”
    “Not now,” said Giraffe.
    “It’s only a small bit of goo.”

    “Look here, Giraffe, your tummy’s all muddy,”
    Said Hedgehog on Wednesday at three.
    “It’s time for a bath.”
    “Not now,” said Giraffe.
    “I’m off to see the Red Sea.”

    “Look here, Giraffe, your back is all muddy,”
    Said Zebra on Thursday at four.
    “It’s time for a bath.”
    “Not now,” said Giraffe.
    “I think I’ll go join the Peace Corps.”

    “Look here, Giraffe, your neck is all muddy,”
    Said Ostrich on Friday at five.
    “It’s time for a bath.”
    “Not now,” said Giraffe.
    “I’d rather step on a beehive.”

    But Elephant said,
    “Stop right there, my friend!
    You stink like a swampy lagoon.
    You’re taking a bath
    Right this minute, Giraffe.
    And it is not a minute too soon!”

    Then Elephant sucked up
    A pond with her trunk,
    And hosed all the mud muck away.
    “Wow, that feels good!”
    Said Giraffe with a shake.
    “May I have a bath every day?”

      • sarapetersohn says:

        Thanks so much for your kind words, Michelle! What a fun and helpful writing activity this is. I’m trying to get caught up, and looking forward to reading others’ stories, including yours!

  4. Krithika Santhanam says:

    Maria Sophia Louisa Soufflé Puts Pepper In The Pancakes
    By Krithika S.
    (113 words)

    Maria Sophia Louisa Soufflé puts pepper in her pancakes.
    And pickles in her milk.
    Salt in her ice cream.
    And sugar on her eggs.
    “Ewwwww” says her brother.
    “Yuck!” says her sister.
    But Maria Sophia Louisa Soufflé does not care.
    She eats what she likes.

    Maria Sophia Louisa Soufflé puts band-aids on her ears.
    And balloons in her hair.
    A backpack on her chest.
    And a cape on her back.
    “What a strange little girl,” says her neighbor Mr. Grumpkins.
    “You’re weird!” shouts Liam during recess.
    But Maria Sophia Louisa Soufflé does not care.
    She wears what she wants.

    Maria Sophia Louisa Soufflé puts on her favorite song.
    And twirls across her room.
    She catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror.
    And she loves what she sees.

  5. Elizabeth LaGrange Muster says:

    Maria Louisa and the Lost Library Book
    by Elizabeth Muster

    Maria Louisa
    Has been looking all day
    For a library book
    That has plum gone away.

    She would blame her brother
    Or the family cat
    But hasn’t gotten one
    Or the other just yet.

    She looked in the cupboard.
    She looked all through the trash.
    She looked in her closet
    with her good-luck-charm stash.

    She looked high on the shelf.
    She looked under her bed.
    She reluctantly looked
    Where her Mom and Dad said.

    It’s not in her backpack
    Or tucked into her coat
    Or hid in a pocket
    With her permission note.

    She has to remember
    Where she read yesterday
    Otherwise Maria
    Must find ten bucks to pay!

  6. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Stella Loses Her Library Book
    by Lauren N. Simmons
    *Note: I used a stegasaurus instead of a T.Rex.
    147 words

    I am so worried! I just lost my library book. Now, I don’t like to lose things that aren’t mine ever, but I am so NERVOUS about this!

    I was so excited to go to the library to check out The Jurassic Cookbook. I waited and waited and waited. I loved looking at all the pictures of the food. My mouth watered reading the recipes for Moss and Strawberry Salad, Grilled Fern and Pineapple, and Sugared Conifers for dessert. But then I saw Omelets with Stegasaurus Plates. Me… I am an ingredient? I need my plates! They help keep me cool.

    I am so mad at myself; I should have eaten that book when I had the chance! A paperback book is really not that different from a plant. A T. Rex could find it and use it to cook other dinosaurs!

    Oh, wait… found it. GULP!

  7. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    2023 Mix ‘n’ Match – Week 1
    Harold Loses His Library Book
    Author/Illustrator: Isabel C Rodriguez
    WC: 126

    Harold sticks his head out from his covers.
    What day is this? Oh, no! My Library Book is due today.
    I must start my exploration or…Risk a Late Fee accumulation.
    Harold concentrates with great determination.
    Now, what did I do with it?
    I lent it to Georgie who lent it to Sue
    Who lost it to a monkey when she visited the zoo.
    The zoo keeper’s son was visiting that day and asked his dad for help.
    He returned the book to Sue who lent it to her aunt
    Who left it in her garden when she pulled flowers from a plant.
    Sue found it in the garden….What did she do with it?
    Aha! Here it is! “How to Improve Your Memory” – my favorite Library Book!

  8. Elizabeth Volkmann says:

    Beth Volkmann
    Little Red Loses Her Library Book
    108 words

    Little Red searched –
    high and low,
    in and under –
    but the library book was lost.

    She wrapped her cape around her sorry heart
    and shuffled towards town.

    Soon she stopped to rest.
    A gravely guffaw rolled from the forest.
    Little Red squinted into the darkness
    and spied –
    two furry ears
    four massive paws
    dozens of sharp white teeth …
    and one grey wolf
    whose long snout was buried in the pages of . . .
    Little Red’s lost book!

    Wolf had found the book under Little Red’s tree.
    He’d meant to return it –
    once he’d finished.

    So they sauntered, arm in arm, to the library
    reading the book
    until –

    The End.

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