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
MaisieFriendanger
ChipSibling (older, younger, twin, step)sadness
BentleyMom or Dad or Stepbetrayal
EsmeBabysitter (any age or gender)boredom
EnzoDragonworry, anxiety, nervousness
XanderDinosaurjoy
DylanFairy Godmotherlove
AprilEnemypride
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

    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

    ⭐️ 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

    ⭐️ 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! 😊

    2021 Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge Week #5

    It’s a hot, hot Monday in June, so what better way to spend the day then on a cool porch, in a shady hammock, or in the air-conditioned library with an iced beverage, your writing implements, and the prompt for Mix ‘n’ Match Week #5?!

    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)

    Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #5 for Week of June 7:

    So far we’ve played with character needs/goals, writing a cumulative story, a picture prompt with random words and a secret, and turning songs into stories with themes! 😊 This week, we’re going to have fun with concepts!

    Kids have a lot to learn about the world, and picture books can be education disguised as entertainment 😊. Think Z IS FOR MOOSE by Kelly Bingham, MOUSE PAINT by Ellen Stoll Walsh, and ROUND IS A TORTILLA by Roseanne Thong.

    For this week’s challenge, choose a concept from Column A and a setting from Column B and write a 100 word concept story for kids in which you utilize the setting to show your concept.

    Column A – ConceptColumn B – Setting
    ShapesHalloween
    ColorsBeach
    Numbers/CountingFarm
    AlphabetSchool
    TimeCar Trip
    Place/Location (in, on, above, under, around, through, etc.)Circus
    EmotionsCity or Country
    SeasonsAmusement Park or County Fair
    WeatherSupermarket
    • 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 concept or a setting 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 concept and setting you’re using at the top of your entry along with your name, word count, and title if you have one.

    Can’t wait to see what amazing, creative things you guys come up with this week! 

    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 #5 stories!

    F Is For Fish Farm – Candice Marley Conner

    The Reason For Seasons (At The Beach) – Laura Bower

    Go To The Beach And Find. . . – Erika Romero

    Circus Countdown – Sue Lancaster

    ABCs Of Abstract Art – Christine Alemshah

    What Color Is Fall? – Jen Subra

    Toucan Counts His Berries – Marty Findley

    Weather Check – Dawn Young

    The Colors In The Farm – Isabel Cruz Rodriguez

    One Fine Bluebird – Rose Cappelli

    Road Trip! – Erin Cleary

    Wise Willie Wonders Where – Susan Schipper

    On My First Easter Party – Ashley Sierra

    Senses Dance At The Beach – Lyn Jekowsky

    Roller Coaster – Barbara Renner

    Alphabet Road Trip – Aly Kenna

    A Trolley Full Of Feelings – Elenore Byrne

    It’s Time For The State Fair – Joyce Uglow

    They’re Coming! – Jill Lambert

    The Colorful Car Trip – Deb Sullivan

    Are We There Yet? – Marta Cutler

    The Number Line – Colleen Owen Murphy

    Five At The Fair – Bevin Rolfs Spencer

    Are We There Yet? – Leslie Degnan

    A Win At Walmart – Sara Kruger

    Circus Opposites – Lauren Scott

    Runaway Stroller – Allison Strick

    Ghost Crabs At The Beach – Susan Summers

    Ups And Downs – Jeannette Suhr

    Sleepytime ABCs – Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf

    I’ll Grocery Shop For You – Bru Benson

    Weather Or Not – Marta Cutler

    At the Beach – Marty Bellis

    Counting the Colors of Sunset // Contando los colores del atardecer – Hannah Roy LaGrone

    Farm Time – Robin Currie

    Halloween Alphabet – Sally Yorke-Viney

    Alphabet Road Trip – Deb Buschman

    At Grandma’s House – Sarah Meade

    Not The Only One – Amy Leskowski

    Beach Day – Katie Schwartz

    At The Beach – Sarah Hawklyn

    Monday Mornings – Padgy Soltis

    Farm Life – Michelle S. Kennedy

    Seasons Market – Linda Schueler

    Untitled – Lauri Meyers

    Roller Coaster – Nicole Loos Miller

    Ten Little Sea Creatures – Mia Geiger

    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

    ⭐️ 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

    ⭐️ 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

    2021 Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge – Week #4

    Good Monday Morning, Everyone!

    I know it’s Memorial Day and many of you are busy with family celebrations, parades, and honoring those who have done so much for all of us.

    But in case you also have the day off and a little free time. . .

    . . .let’s have some Mix ‘n’ Match fun because it’s time for Week #4!

    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)

    Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #4 for Week of May 31:

    So far we’ve played with character needs/goals, writing a cumulative story, and a picture prompt with random words and a secret!  This week we’re going to have some musical fun with themes! 😊

    Choose a song from Column A, a theme from Column B, and an important item from Column C (optional.)  Write a 100 word story for kids where your version of the song tells a story that shows your chosen theme (including your important item if you wish!) You may use the original song opening if you like, but you are not required to (just make it obvious in your writing and/or identify which song you’re using along with your title and word count), and if rhyming isn’t your thing you can write in prose as long as it’s still clear which song you’re working with.  You may add or subtract characters (e.g. Bob and Joe rowed their boat gently down the stream), change the destination (e.g. Row, row, row your boat up the mountainside), change the type of action (e.g. Row, row, row your boat wildly down the stream) etc… Anything you like!  Have fun with it! (For examples in kidlit, see Iza Trapani’s extended nursery rhyme songs.)

    Column A – SongColumn B – ThemeColumn C – Important Item (optional)
    Row, Row, Row Your BoatIt’s important to try new thingsNecklace
    The Itsy Bitsy (Eensie Weensie) SpiderEven when you’re bad, you’re still lovedTeddy bear
    Twinkle, Twinkle Little StarIt’s important to stay true to yourselfBlackberries
    Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?Just because it looks good doesn’t mean it isPink Blankie
    The Bear Went Over The MountainIf you work together you can solve a problemStory book
    Here We Go Round The Mulberry BushYou don’t have to be big to stand up for yourselfMap
    It’s Raining, It’s PouringFriends should always stick togetherTractor
    Jack And JillBelieve in yourself and you can achieve your dreamsMoon
    Rock-A-Bye BabyIf you don’t succeed the first time, try againDaisy

    Post your story in the comment section below! (If for some reason you have trouble posting, you may use the contact form to email your entry to me and I’ll post it for you.)

    • 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 theme 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 song, theme (and important item if you choose to use one) you’re using at the top of your entry along with your name, word count, and title if you have one.

    I am SO looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with!  You continue to knock my socks off with your creativity every week!!!

    Now 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 #4 stories!

    It’s Raining! It’s Pouring! – Leslie Degnan

    Dreams Inside! – Robin Currie

    Jack And Jill’s New Adventure – Jen Subra

    Untitled – Lauri Meyers

    Charlie’s Search – Rose Cappelli

    Rock A Bye Daisy – Laura Bower

    Arachnid At Your Service – Jill Lambert

    The Itsy Bitsy Spider And The Moon – Erika Romero

    About Our Friends Who Tried To Row A Boat (Perhaps Under A Full Moon?) – Erin Cleary

    Untitled – Lauren Scott

    Believe In All You Imagine – Sally Yorke-Viney

    The Itsy Bitsy Puppy – Marty Findley

    All That Glitters Is Not Gold – Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf

    Spunky Little Teddy – Joyce Uglow

    Flap Flap Flap Those Wings – Marty Bellis

    Dress Dress Dress For Rain – Amy Leskowski

    Mark And Grace – Colleen Murphy

    I Love Shopping With My Mom – Sara Kruger

    Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Pet Spider Gone – Aly Kenna

    Where, Oh Where Has My Story Book Gone – Ashley Sierra

    Ninja, Ninja, Little Sneak – Bevin Rolfs Spencer

    Jack And Jill Revisit Their Hill – Ashley B. Pedigo

    Jo And Flo – Christine Alemshah

    Little Lilly’s Blunder – Elenore Byrne

    Ride, Ride, Ride My Bike – Sue Lancaster

    Friends For Life – Deb Sullivan

    Fireflies – Lyn Jekowsky

    The Rescue – Marta Cutler

    Bear’s Fresh Start – Allison Strick

    Rock A Bye Zombie – Susan Summers

    Rainy Day Problem…Solvers – Susan Schipper

    To Grandmother’s House We Go – Jeannette Suhr

    It’s Raining, It’s Pouring – Dianne Irving

    Tinkle, Tinkle, Potty Stress! – Michelle S. Kennedy

    Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone? – Isabel Cruz Rodriguez

    Use Your Map – Padgy Soltis

    The Daisy – Barbara Renner

    Oopsy Daisy! – Marta Cutler

    Yummy, Yummy, Little Pie – Nicole Loos Miller

    The Bat Flew Over The Pumpkins – Sarah Meade

    Read A Book – Dawn Young

    Sun And Moon – Dawn Young

    The Itsy Bitsy Scratchy Spider – Bru Benson

    Wait For Me – Candace Kubinec

    Untitled – Sarah Marhevsky

    It’s Raining, It’s Pouring – Sarah Hawklyn

    Don’t Row The Boat Please – Linda Schueler

    How Much Is That Bicycle In The Window – Mia Geiger

    The Itsy Bitsy Tadpoles– Hannah Roy LaGrone

    Rock Star Baby Brother – Katie Schwartz

    Albert Went Over The Mountain – Deb Buschman

    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

    ⭐️ 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

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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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    ⭐️ 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

    2021 Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Challenge Week #3

    Ok, writers, are you ready?

    Forget the dishes in the sink, the pile of work in your inbox, and the fact that it’s your mother-in-law’s birthday on Thursday and you still haven’t thought of a good present!

    It’s time to Mix ‘n’ Match your way to a new story! 😊

    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)

    Mix ‘n’ Match Mini Writing Prompt #3 for Week of May 24:

    So far we’ve played with character needs/goals, and with writing a cumulative story.  This week we’re going to play with a picture prompt, 3 random words. . . and a secret!

    Here’s the picture, drawn by the incredibly talented Julie Rowan-Zoch (author/illustrator of I’M A HARE, SO THERE! HMH Books For Young Readers 2021, and illustrator of LOUIS by Tom Lichtenheld HMH October 2020!) and used with her permission for your writing fun 😊 (Thank you, Julie!!! 💕)

    illustration copyright Julie Rowan-Zoch 2021 used by permission, all rights reserved

    And here are random words! Choose one from Column A, one from Column B, and one from Column C.

    Column AColumn BColumn C
    raindropspicnicstrawberry tart
    nestrope swingpond
    cherry treemistakebucket/pail
    unicornlosttantrum
    bridgespringadmire

    But wait! There’s a twist! One of the characters has a secret! Which character? What secret? And how does it impact the story? You will probably want to think up your own secret, but in case anyone needs an idea, here are a few suggestions:

    -took something that didn’t belong to them
    -hid something on purpose
    -told someone something that wasn’t true
    -doesn’t want to play hide ‘n’ seek (or duck, duck, goose, or musical chairs, or tag, or. . .)
    -only wants to play hide ‘n’ seek (or duck, duck, goose, or musical chairs, or tag, or. . .)
    -is allergic to acorns
    -wants to invite someone to their birthday party (or for a sleepover, or. . .)
    -is afraid of dogs (or cats, or bicycles, or bees, or swimming, or. . .) and doesn’t want anyone else to know
    -plans to bake a surprise cake for someone
    -has a special present for someone
    -isn’t telling someone something they should
    -secretly really likes someone
    -secretly doesn’t like someone
    -is getting something they know everyone will love

    Write a 100 word story for kids about the pictured characters, using three random words and giving one of the characters a secret which you incorporate into the story, and post your in the comment section below! (If for some reason you have trouble posting, you may use the contact form to email your entry to me and I’ll post it for you.)

    • 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 random words that are not on the list you can use them instead – 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 random words you’re using you’re using at the top of your entry along with your name, word count, and title if you have one.

    I am SO looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with!  There have been so many amazingly creative, clever, fun, and entertaining stories written so far!!!

    Now 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 #3 stories!


    Ruth’s Birthday Surprise – Sue Lancaster

    The Perfect Gift – Erika Romero

    Getting There – Rose Cappelli

    A Hare Raising Mistake – Bru Benson

    Acorn Day – Jen Subra

    The Secret – Marty Findley

    The Secret Spot – Isabel Cruz Rodriguez

    The Smashed Bash – Laura Bower

    The Secrets of Beryl The Bunny – Elenore Byrne

    Hare…Or Not – Susan E. Schipper

    Better Than Acorns – Erin Cleary

    Acorns And, Er, What?! – Marty Bellis

    Bunny’s Problem – Deb Sullivan

    Floppy And The Rope Swing – Dawn Young

    Untitled – Elizabeth Volkmann

    The Cherry Pie Problem – Ashley B. Pedigo

    Chip, Drip, And Skip – Meg King-Sloan

    A Small Mistake – Leslie Degnan

    Turtle’s Strawberry Hill Surprise – Joyce Uglow

    Disappearing Dewberries – Candice Marley Conner

    Rabbit Won’t Have To Wait – Sara Kruger

    Hare Today And Gone Tomorrow: From Brey To Form, A Secret That Saved! – Sally Yorke-Viney

    Miss Bun’s Secret – Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf

    A Happy Tail – Marta Cutler

    Safe Cracking Squirrels – Susan Summers

    Clueless Squirrels – Lyn Jekowsky

    Scratch And Scritch’s Show Stopper – Ashley Sierra

    Fireworks – Aly Kenna

    Late Lunch – Hannah Roy LeGrone

    Bunny’s Magic – Dianne Irving

    Thoughtful Harry – Padgy Soltis

    A Secret Entrance – Lauri Meyers

    The Scavenger Hunt – Barbara Renner

    Vanishing Act – Marta Cutler

    Rabbith’th Thee-cret (Rabbit’s Secret) – Allison Strick

    Harah Helps Look – Sarah Meade

    Momo’s Cherry Tree – Bevin Rolfs Spencer

    In The Mood To Play? – Amy Leskowski

    A Couple Of Nuts – Jill Lambert

    Mr. Bunny’s Secret Skill – Mia Geiger

    B-U-N-N-Y Spells Trouble – Jeannette Suhr

    Rainy Picnic – Nicole Loos Miller

    The Secret of Sassafras – Linda Schueler

    A Friend In Need – Candace Kubinec

    Untitled – Lauren Scott

    The Unicorn – Lynn Katz

    Unicorn’s Secret – Michelle S. Kennedy

    The Happiest Habit – Christine Alemshah

    The Bunny’s Secret – Marla Yablon

    Watch Out For Bear? Watch Out For Hare! – Katie Schwartz

    The Will To Win – Colleen Owen Murphy

    Magic Unicorn – Robin Currie

    Happy Spwing – Deb Buschman


    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)

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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

    ⭐️ 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.

    ⭐️ 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)

    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

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

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

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

    ⭐️A copy of BINDU’S BINDIS by Supriya Kelkar

    ⭐️ 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

    The 10th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest ~ aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!!!

    Viper fangs and dragon claws. It’s time for. . .

    The 10TH Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!!

    Halloweensie Pumpkin

    ~ for children’s writers ~

    The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words skeleton, creep, and mask.  Your story can be scary, funny, sweet, or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!)  Get it?  Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 🙂  (And yes, I know 100 words is short, but that’s part of the fun and the challenge!  We got over 325 fantastic entries last year, so I know you can do it!)  Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. skeletons, creepy/crept, masked/unmasked, whathaveyou 🙂  NO ILLUSTRATION NOTES PLEASE! (And yes, you may submit more than one entry if you’re so inclined 🙂 )

    Post: your story on your blog between right now this very second and Saturday October 31st by 11:59 PM Eastern Time and add your post-specific link to the list below.  There will be no Tuesday Debut, Perfect Picture Book or Would You Read It posts for the duration of the contest so the links will stay up for everyone to visit and enjoy.  If you don’t have a blog and would like to enter, you can simply copy and paste your entry in the comments section below (please include your byline if your posting handle is something like MamaWritesByNightlight so I can identify you.)  If you have difficulty posting in the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com and I’ll post it for you.  Please place your entry in the body of the email including your title and byline at the topNO ATTACHMENTS!  And please do not submit entries in more than one place because it becomes confusing.

    The Judging: in a grueling marathon over the following days, my devoted assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to 3 6 9 12? top choices (give or take… you know how hard it is to choose!) which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Wednesday November 4th or Thursday November 5th (if the judging takes longer than we expect if could be later…but we will do our best!)  The winner will be announced on Monday November 9th (good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise 😊 )

    Judging criteria will be as follows:

    • 1. Kid-appeal! – These stories are intended for a young audience (ages 12 and under), so we’re looking for stories that children will enjoy and relate to.
    • 2.  Halloweeniness – the rules state a Halloween story, so it must be crystal clear that the story is about Halloween, not just some random spooky night.
    • 3. Quality of story – entries must tell a story, including a main character of some kind and a true story arc even if it’s tiny 🙂  Entries must not be merely descriptions or mood pieces.
    • 4. Quality of Writing: check your spelling, grammar, punctuation etc.  If you’re going to rhyme, give us your best 😊  Overall writing quality and use of language are also important.
    • 5. Originality and creativity – because that is often what sets one story above another.
    • 6. PLEASE FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS! Large numbers of entries make it easy to cut entries that haven’t been entered as we asked.

    The Prizes:  SO AMAZING! What a generous community we have to donate so much awesomeness!!! 😊

    1 – Get Your MS in Tip Top Shape With Vivian Kirkfield!

    Vivian is offering a PB MS Critique (fiction or nonfiction/rhyming or prose), along with a 30 minute Skype or FB video chat to discuss, along with a read-through of the revision. And top it all off she will also help you with a query/cover letter edit to go with your polished up ms! WOW!

    Vivian Kirkfield is the author of SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), PIPPA’S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN (Pomegranate 2019), MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD (Little Bee, January 14, 2020), and more…

    Making Their Voices Heard Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 10.39.16 PM

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

    Sometimes it’s helpful to chat with a published author about your writing journey. Penny Parker Klostermann is offering her two cents. The prize includes General/Big-Picture Feedback on one picture book manuscript + One 30-Minute Chat (Rhyming or prose-750 words or under) Penny doesn’t claim to have it all figured out, (by any means) but she’s happy to share her two cents based on what she’s learned and continues to learn on her journey as an author.

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

    Penny Klostermann Cooked-Up Fairy Tale 2c5b9-dragon2bcover

    3 – Picture Book Manuscript Critique (rhyme or prose) from Carrie Finison, author of DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS (Putnam, July 2020) and DON’T HUG DOUG (forthcoming from Putnam in January 2021.)

    Carrie-Finison-200x300 Screen Shot 2019-10-27 at 8.35.37 AM Don't Hug Doug

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

    Lydia Lukidis        No Bears Allowed

    5 – Picture Book Manuscript Critique (fiction or nonfiction) from Teresa Robeson, author of Queen of Physics (Sterling, 2019) and Two Bicycles In Beijing (Albert Whitman, 2020)

    Picture Picture Picture6

    6 – Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Kirsti Call author of The Raindrop Who Couldn’t Fall (Mazo Publishing, January 2019),  Mootilda’s Bad Mood (Little Bee, September 2020), as well as COW SAYS MEOW (HMH) and COLD TURKEY (Little Brown) which will release in 2021.

      Kirsti Call

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

    Ellen Leventhal       Don't Eat The Bluebonnets

    Hayfest     Lola Can't Leap

    8 – Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Heather Gale, author of Ho’onani Hula Warrior (Tundra Books, October 2019)

    Heather Gale

    9 – a personalized signed copy of The King Cake Baby  and 15 Minute “Ask Me Anything” Video Chat with Keila Dawson, author of The King Cake Baby (Pelican 2015), No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History (Charlesbridge 2020), and Opening The Road: Victor Hugo Green and His Green Book (forthcoming from Beaming Books, January 2021)

    Keila Dawson

    10 – Making Picture Book Magic Self Study – an online picture book writing class – any month of winner’s choice!

    MPBM

    11 – a personalized signed copy of EITHER  ROCK AND ROLL WOODS (PB) or an ARC of SPIRITS AMONG US (MG) from author Sherry Howard

    Sherry Howard (4)Cover Rock and Roll Woods Spirits Among Us

    AND a personalized signed copy of TWO DOGS ON A TRIKE (Abrams Appleseed, May 2020) by Gabi Snyder

    twodogsonatrike_cov gabi-snyder-profile-pic

    12 –  a personalized signed copy of NOT SO SCARY, JERRY (Spork, 2017) by Shelley Kinder

    Jerry shelley-kinder_orig

    AND a personalized signed copy of MARS’ FIRST FRIENDS: COME ON OVER ROVERS! (Sourcebooks 2020) by Susanna Leonard Hill

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

    Now then, my pretties! It’s past the witching hour in the dead of night – very appropriate for a Halloween story, don’t you think? – and the time has come for me to embarrass myself my sample entry which should fill you with confidence in your own MUCH MUCH better efforts!!!

    Halloween
    A pumpkin moon
    A ghostly ship
    A still lagoon
    Tattered sails
    Like swirling mist
    Ancient rigging
    Creaks and twists
    Skull and crossbones
    Striking fear
    Warning sailors
    Far and near
    Captain Jack
    Comes thump-a-peg
    Limping on
    His broomstick leg
    “Steady now,”
    breathes Captain Jack,
    “Mustn’t blow
    our sneak attack!”
    Silently
    The ghost ship glides
    Closer . . .
    Closer . . .
    On the tides
    Guided through
    The murky blue
    By the ghastly
    Skeleton crew
    Stealthily
    it comes abreast
    creeping
    uninvited guest
    nearing windows
    warm with light
    no idea
    of their plight
    Captain Jack
    Deceit complete
    Unmasks and shouts out, “Trick-or-treat!”

    It’s truly spooky how willing I am to embarrass myself for you! 😊😊😊 

    I can’t wait to read all of your entries!  I’m so looking forward to them!  I hope there will be a lot – the more the merrier!  And there are still nearly 3 days to write, so you have time if you haven’t written yet.  Feel free to spread the word to your writing friends as well.  And your reading friends – parents, teachers, etc.  The more people who read and enjoy your stories, the better!!!

    Contest Entrants, remember to add your post-specific link to the google form below so we can all come read your awesome stories!  (Post-specific means not your main blog url, but the actual url of the post that has your story in it – otherwise if you post again before the contest ends, your link will take readers… and judges!… to the wrong place!)

    Eager Readers – just go along the list of links, click on them, and enjoy the stories! 

    Happy Writing and Happy Halloween!!! 😊  🎃

    And don’t miss the 169!!! fabulous entries that are posted in the comments
    below! (Hopefully each one is a link, but thanks to the new wordpress, I’ve redone the list twice with uncertain success!)
     
    1. Midnight Rescue – Laura Bost
    2. You Don’t Scare Me – Brenda B. Covert
    3. Rattle, Rattle Skeleton – Vashti Verbowski
    4. Corona’s Evil Plan – Marty Findley
    5. Littlest Witch’s Wild Ride – Marty Findley
    6. Shy Skeleton’s Dance – Marty Findley
    7. A Night Out. . . – Deb Sullivan
    8. See Billy Bony – Helen Addyman
    9.  
    10. Scare School – Laura Howard
    11. Is It Time? – Sue Lancaster
    12. The Skeletons’ Masked Ball – Sue Lancaster
    13. Halloween Masquerade – Jamie Donahoe
    14. The Curse of Halloween – Bru Benson
    15. Halloween Hesitation – Beth Volkmann
    16. The Phantom Of The Library – Natalie Cohn
    17. Trick Or Treat – Alli Straus
    18. No Bones About It – Judy Sobanski
    19. Family Business – Natalie Cohn
    20. Tattered Treats – Marilyn Garcia
    21. Halloween Surprise – Anna Ouchchy
    22. A Spider’s Tale – Darcee A. Freier
    23. Grandfather’s Clock – Sarah Heaton
    24. Halloween Peeps – Jamie Donahoe
    25. Mystery Guest – Dawn Young
    26. Nelly O’Skelly – Danielle Sharkan
    27. First Halloween – Carol Jones
    28. One Noisy Halloween – Rebecca Thill
    29. Polly’s Not-So-Perfect Potion – Susan Summers
    30. Masquerade – Kathiann Weatherbee
    31. Howl-o-weenie – Ashlee Hashman
    32. Trick Or Treat – Stephanie Mena
    33. Skelly The Skeleton – Michelle S. Kennedy
    34. Trudy’s Toothy Halloween – Kelsey Gross
    35. Class Pet Trickery! – Mary Bleckwehl
    36. Hola Halloween! – ‘Boo Darkling’ (Roo Parkin)
    37. BOO! – Rebecca Woodall
    38. Haunted – Anne Lipton
    39. Creepy D’s – Martha Holguin
    40. Trick Or Treat – Marla Yablon
    41. Skellie’s Closet – KeelyWrites
    42. Skelly B. Skeleton – Cathy Chester
    43. When Skally Nearly Didn’t Show His Face – Diana Webb
    44. Sammy Goes Home – Courtney Rubo
    45. GRRRRRRRRRR! – Donna Kurtz
    46. Teeth Love HalloweenToo! – Donna Kurtz
    47. The Halloween Fair – Donna Kurtz
    48. Skeleton And Ghostina – Gail Hartman
    49. Little Bonesy Loves Halloween! – Paul Kurtz
    50. Mousey’s Batty For Halloween! – Paul Kurtz
    51. Spider-Claws Is Comin’ To Town – Paul Kurtz
    52. A Bone-afide Friend – Kristen Reinsel
    53. Wendy’s Sugar Spell – Caitlin Eslinger
    54. A Very Scary Halloween – Kerrie Elizabeth Godding
    55. Haunted Hallo-weave – Cathrene Valente Youngquist
    56. Spider’s Can’t Dance! – Cathrene Valente Youngquist
    57. The Beady Eye – Libby Hartwell
    58. Stitch – Amy Duchene
    59. Halloween Surprise – Sarah Hawklyn
    60. Four Dancing Skeletons – Isabel Rodriguez
    61. First Trick-or-Treat – Carol Samuelson-Woodson
    62. BIG Boney Story – Yolanda Danyi Szuch
    63. Skeleton Knights – Islancy Guada
    64. Halloween, This Year – Nina Nolan
    65. The Arnold Rock – Polly Sheldon
    66. Skeleton’s Scare – Erin K. McCabe
    67. Skeleton’s In The Closet – Karen Keesling
    68. Vampire And Skeleton Go Shopping – Jay Reece
    69. Haiku – Corine Timmer
    70. Opportunity Wanders – Florbela Nienaber  
    71.  
    72.  
    73. The Skele-Mummy – Linda Staszak
    74. All On A Halloween Night – Linda Staszak
    75. Creep A Little Closer – Yvonne McCutchen
    76. Moonlight Party – Yvonne McCutchen
    77. Stella Decorates – Melissa Warren
    78. Candy Heist – Sarah Hawklyn
    79. Pillows In Pants – Christine Menke
    80. The Masked Skeleton – Deborah Dolan Hunt
    81. Mask Required – Lucretia Schafroth
    82. Psyched Out – Karen Pickrell
    83. The Case Of The Missing Skeleton – Karen Pickrell
    84. All Hallows’ Eve – Liz Kehrli
    85. My Worst Thirty-first – Obbverse
    86. Scary Mary – Geraldine Jones
    87. Sweet Escape – Allison Strick
    88. Bones: A Love Story – Keatley Eastman
    89. Phoebe’s Magic Stew – Linda Hofke
    90. Paco And The Skeletons – Katie Schwartz
    91. Lester Skeleton’s Halloween Hunt – Ford Waight
    92. Little Frankie Patches Things Up – Rozana Rajkumari
    93. Witch’s Fiery Broth – Corine Timmer
    94. Jack’s Halloween – Kara Sibilia
    95. The Jolly Skeleton – Linda Staszak
    96. Sammy Skeleton’s Warm Halloween – Lily Erlic
    97. Slinky Skeleton – Penelope McNally
    98. Annabelle’s Halloween – Penelope McNally
    99. The Hungry Corpse – Robert Schechter
    100. Little Goblin’s Halloween – Kathleen Mazurowski
    101. The Curse – Glenda Roberson
    102. Moving Day – Laura Bower
    103. Halloweenie – Lauren Harris
    104. Letter On The Door – Jessica Reed
    105. Sebastian’s Halloween – Polly Owen
    106. Skeleton’s Halloween Party – Polly Owen
    107. Halloween High Jinx – Stacey Miller
    108. Weensie’s Potion – Lisa Lee Furness
    109. The Nightmarish Place – Suzie Olsen
    110. I’m Not Scared – Desirae Moten
    111. What A Haul! – Diane Hanington
    112. The Halloween Trick – Aimee Larke
    113. A Skeleton’s Fright – Nadia Ali
    114. The Maple Tree Fright – Rebecca Allain
    115. Creepy Cookie Night – Annette LaFortune Murray
    116. The Night Stacey Saved Halloween – Autumn Haley (age 8)
    117. The Skeleton Ball – Jenny Caddy
    118. The Halloween Car Parade – Laura Bower
    119. The Halloween Ball – Crystal Lamb
    120. A Halloween Scare – Sarah Hetu-Radny
    121. Skeleton And Jack – Jennifer Bochonowicz
    122. Halloween – Marjorie David
    123. Ben’s Biggest Fear – Maria Pichler
    124. Skeletons – Patty Wright
    125. GHOST On The COAST – Becky Loescher
    126. The Scare Dare – Nancy Derey Riley
    127. Lonely Spider’s Dance – Danielle Sharkan
    128. Things That Go Cronk – Carla Bourne
    129. Grrrr! Brothers! – Susan Drew
    130. Midnight Mortal Ball – Nicola Thackrey
    131. The Monsters Of Halloween – Ryan Roberts
    132. The Perfect Halloween Present – Jenny Buchet
    133. Hopeless Heist – Karyn Curtis
    134. A 2020 Halloween Bash – Kristen Foote
    135. Boneyard Ballet – Jennifer Broedel
    136. Halloween Night – Di Litwer
    137. Tom Bones Goes Rogue – Marty Bellis
    138. A Bone-Fide Halloween Tale – Marty Bellis
    139. Dad’s Halloween – Lisa Lipsey
    140. Final Moments – E. Elle Bea
    141. How To Hug A Ghost – Cathy Lee Patterson
    142. Not This Year! – Carmen Castillo Gilbert, PhD
    143. Shh! Party In My Room! – MeiLin Chan
    144. Little Witch – Tracy Detz
    145. A Pumpkins Story – Christine Graham
    146. Beware Of Humans – Janelle Springer-Willms
    147. Beware Of Skeletons – Lea Boyd (age 8)
    148. Little Badger’s Great Big Scare – Bridget Grey
    149. Lightning And A Mask Of Stars – Rhett Trull
    150. Creature Of The Night – Lindsey Aduskevich
    151. Thorny Lane’s Treasure – Rhonda Gatlin
    152. Argleby’s New School Adventure – Echo Roben
    153. A Cat-astrophic Halloween – Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf
    154. Two Can Play – JC Kelly
    155. Mia’s Halloween Celebration – Lily Erlic
    156. Seven Jack-O-Lanterns – Mary Arkiszewski
    157. A-Z: Who’s Behind Me? – Ashley Congdon
    158. The Attic Mask – Barbara DiMarco
    159. Not-So-Happy Halloween – Claire Schlinkert
    160. The Skeleton Creep – Tracy Curran
    161. The Brown, Brown Boots On The Cold, Cold Floor – Crystal Lamb
    162. Hedgehogs In The Garden – Nicola Holden
    163. Home Sweet Home – Mona Pease
    164.  
    165. All Bones – Desi Valle
    166. Hallowcake Cravings – Katie Pals
    167. Foggy Halloween – Denise Seidman
    168. Halloween Is Scary – Valerie McPherson
    169. The Sweetest Halloween Treat On Earth – Jill Burns 
     

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

    Roses are red

    Violets are blue

    Valentinies rock

    And so do YOU!

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

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

    Valentiny Writing Contest 2019!

    ~ for children’s writers~

    The Contest:  since writing for children is all about “big emotion for little people” (I forget who said that, but someone did so I put it in quotes!) and Valentines Day is all about emotion, write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone feels curious!  Your someone can feel curious themselves or make someone else feel curious.  The curiosity may be about a person, place, thing, quality, idea, event, or about whether something will happen or something is true or real, or anything else under the sun you can think up!  Think beyond the obvious!  Your story can be poetry or prose, sweet, funny, surprising or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes someone curious (can be the main character but doesn’t have to be) and is 214 words (get it? 2/14 for Valentines Day 🙂  You can go under the word count but not over! (Title is not included in the word count.)  If you are so inclined, you are welcome to enter more than one entry – just remember you’ll be competing against yourself 🙂  No illustration notes please!

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

    The Judging: over the next several days, my lovely assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to 6-10 top choices depending on number and quality of entries (hee hee hee – you know how much trouble I have with the narrowing, so we’ll see) which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Wednesday February 19th (or possibly a day or two later if the judges need extra time.)   The winner will be announced Friday February 21st or Saturday February 22nd depending on judging and voting time needed. (And there will be no Tuesday Debut, WYRI or PPBF that week either so that everyone will have time to read and vote and so that we don’t confuse PPBF with announcing winners.)  The dates of the judging/voting/winner announcements are subject to finagling depending on how much time the judges actually end up needing!

    Judging criteria will include:

    1. Kid-appeal/Kid-friendliness – remember, this is a story for kids!
    2. Creativity in using curiosity and success in making us feel the curiosity!
    3. Valentine’s Day appropriateness – this is a VALENTINE story!
    4. Quality of story – we will look for basic story elements and a true story arc
    5. Quality of writing – use and flow of language, correctness of mechanics, excellence of rhyme and meter if you use it.
    6. Originality – surprise us with something new and different! 🙂

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

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

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

    Penny Klostermann

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

    495eb-penny      Cooked-Up Fairy Tale

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

    Rosie Pova                Sarah's Song

    If I Weren't With You Sunday Rain

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

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

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

    Ellen Leventhal       Don't Eat The Bluebonnets

    Hayfest     Lola Can't Leap

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

    Sherry Howard (4)Cover Rock and Roll Woods

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

    Lydia Lukidis        No Bears Allowed

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

    MPBM

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

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

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

    Not Quite Snow White      noah

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

    Emily's Idea HEY, HEY, HAY! Cover

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

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

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

    What Color Is Night? Caspian Finds A Friend

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

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

    Steel yourself!

    A Valentiny Mystery (184 words)

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

    What could it be?

    “Ribbon? Wagon? Redwood tree?”

    Ooh! I love a mystery!

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

    What could it be?

    “Candy apple? Raspberry?”

    Hmm… it’s still a mystery!

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

    What could it be?

    “A candy heart? A strawberry?”

    Hmmm… it’s still a mystery!

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

    What could it be?

    “A sparkle-sprinkled chocolate cherry?”

    Golly! What a mystery!

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

    What could it be?

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

    I warned you. . . 🙂

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

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

    I can’t wait to read all of yours!  I’m SO looking forward to them!  I hope there will be LOTS – the more the merrier!  And you still have until midnight Friday to write, so you have time if you haven’t written yet.  Feel free to spread the word to your writing friends as well.  And your reading friends – parents, teachers, etc.  The more people who read and enjoy your stories, the better!!!

    So!

    Contest Entrants, remember to add your post-specific link to the list below so we can all come read your awesome stories!  (Post-specific means not your main blog url, but the actual url of the post that has your story in it – otherwise if you post again before the contest ends, your link will take readers… and judges!… to the wrong place!)  Please allow a few minutes and possibly refresh your browser before deciding that your link hasn’t posted and adding it a second time or emailing it to me.

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

    Happy Valentines Week, Everyone! 💕

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

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