Storystorm is a yearly challenge created by author extraordinaire Tara Lazar. The challenge asks participants to write down an idea a day for the entire month of January. This year was my first time participating and I LOVED it!
I had no idea how many ideas I let slip away throughout the day before I started writing everything down! It's amazing how many picture book ideas come up in everyday conversations with my kids. I ended up with a whopping 104 ideas and have already drafted two new manuscripts from my Storystorm list.
This challenge was a great reminder for me to stay open to ideas at all times and to WRITE THEM DOWN while they're still fresh in my mind!
Did you participate in Storystorm 2021?
This piece was originally posted on my other site on February 12, 2021.
Hello, hello! I guess I am eventually going to have to start a separate blog to focus on my writing... but for now, I will post my contest entries here!
It's the 6th Annual Valentiny Writing Contest from Susanna Leonard Hill. Here are the rules: the piece must not exceed 214 words, it must be geared toward children (12 and under), and it must have a full story arc. This year's theme is all about being brave!
Read more about Susanna's contest here: https://susannahill.com/2021/02/12/be-brave-my-heart-the-6th-annual-valentiny-contest-is-here/
Thank you for reading my Valentiny story:
by Gennie Gorback
The hive was a-buzz about this year’s Valentine’s day writing contest. Well, except Beatrice.
Two years ago, Beatrice had an idea for a poem. She’d call it: “The Pollen Not Taken.” But thinking about someone else reading her work made her knees knock and her stripes wobble. She broke out in hives and never finished a first draft.
Her cousin won that year:
It was sweet. It was succinct. It was bee-utiful!
Last year was even worse. She considered entering her poem, “Buzzing Through the Woods on a Snowy Evening.” But doubt wormed its way into her brain and stuck like honey. She never even submitted it.
Another cousin won:
Bee My Valentine
BEE My Valentine.
The judges thought it was genius.
This time would be different. Beatrice spent the entire year busily building up her confidence. She joined a critter critique group. She attended Snail Silverstein’s writing courses and a webinar hosted by Laura Ingalls Spider.
She was determined to be brave and enter the contest. Her antennae shook as she finished her poem, “How Do I Love Bee?” She was filled with fear… but she submitted it anyway.
Beatrice was proud. It didn’t matter what the judges thought, she already felt like a winner.
Here's another writing contest entry that I'm copying over from my other site. This one was originally posted on December 6, 2020.
I'm back again, entering another Kidlit writing contest!
This one was super fun! It's the 10th Annual Holiday Contest from Susanna Leonard Hill. Here are the rules: the piece must not exceed 250 words, it must be geared toward children (12 and under), it must have a full story arc and it must be about a Holiday Helper.
Read more about Susanna's contest here: https://susannahill.com/2020/12/07/ho-ho-ho-the-10th-annual-holiday-contest-is-here/
I am honored to present to you, my Holiday Helper Contest Entry:
A NEW SPIN ON HANUKKAH
By Genevieve Gorback
The smell of freshly fried latkes filled the air.
Everyone except my brother Eli.
He had stepped away from the table. We’d been practicing our Hanukkah skit all day. Eli said he wanted to participate, but his furrowed brow told a different story. I handed him his noise-canceling headphones. Relieved, he returned to the cheery group.
While the adults cleaned up dinner and set out platters of ooey-gooey jelly donuts, the cousins went to play. But Eli was spinning in the corner.
Eli is autistic and he is always spinning. When he is upset, he spins as fast as a tornado. When he is happy, he twirls like a graceful jellyfish. Sometimes I spin with him, which makes him laugh.
Now, Eli was spiiinnnniiiinnnnggg! He was definitely worried about the skit. I had to help… but how?
I watched Cousin Jonah playing dreidel. The little top wibbled and wobbled until it fell down, showing the gimmel. He’d won! Then, I had a winning idea.
“Change of plans!” I told the kids.
When the grown ups finally sat down, it was showtime. We sang, “I have a little dreidel…” and twirled in circles. Eli happily spun around, too.
Near the end of the song, Eli fell.
Everyone froze, worried that he might be upset.
But instead, he continued acting like a dreidel and yelled, "Gimmel!"
Everybody cheered. Eli’s smile was as bright as the light of the menorah. And I’m pretty sure mine was, too.
The Kindling Education Blog usually features tips and tricks for educating young children, but today I am offering you something completely different: an original Board Book manuscript!
I am thrilled to be entering my *first* writing contest. If you know me in real life, then I've probably talked your ear off about my passion for children's books.
(Do you follow my picture book themed Instagram page?)
The Fall Writing Frenzy is a #kidlit contest, featuring entries that fall [see what I did there?] into the following categories: Board Books, Picture Books, Middle Grade or Young Adult. The Fall Writing Frenzy writing contest was created by #Kidlit superstars Lydia Lukidis and Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez. All entries must be 200 words or less and inspired by one of the 15 photos provided. To learn more about the Fall Writing Frenzy, click here.
For more about my writing journey, follow me on Twitter!
My entry was inspired by image #14, the sunflower.
By Gennie Gorback
[Wordless page: A small sunflower watches Trick-or-Treaters on a cloudy Halloween evening. Speech bubbles indicate that children are saying, “Trick or treat!” “Thank you!” and “Happy Halloween!”]
Splish, splash, roar.
“Poor sunflower, you’re getting a shower!”
[Illustration: A young girl in a sunflower costume is holding an umbrella. The sunflower is drenched.]
[Wordless page: The girl holds her umbrella over the sunflower]
Just a tickle.
[Illustration: raindrops are not falling on the sunflower’s petals anymore, but the mist is tickling its leaves.]
Clouds don’t stay.
[Illustration: The girl is smiling at the sunflower under the umbrella. The rain is slowing.]
Small seeds drop.
[Illustration: The sunflower is dropping seeds into the girl’s trick-or-treat bucket.]
“Thank you, Sunflower! Happy Halloween!”
[Wordless page: The happy sunflower raises a leaf to wave goodbye as the girl waddles down the sidewalk, holding hands with her grownup.]
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