The Fall Writing Frenzy Kidlit Writing Contest is near and dear to my heart. I met my beloved critique partners while preparing to enter this contest three years ago! We call ourselves the Frenzy Friends, as an homage to this fun contest that brought us together!
This contest is run by Kaitlynn Leann Sanchez and, this year, she'll be joined by two fabulous guest judges, Ebony Mudd and Ameerah Holliday!
The rules of this contest are seemingly simple: Pick one of the images to inspire a piece of writing for children. BUT - it must be fewer than 200 words! This is not as simple as you may think!
Here's the my inspiration photo:
And here is my entry. I hope you love it as much as I do!
I am so proud to enter the #50PreciousWords contest again this year!
Hosted by the lovely, Vivian Kirkfield, the contest challenges writers to create a children's story, with a beginning, middle, and end, in 50 words or under.
You can read all of the beautiful entries HERE!
Please enjoy reading my 2023 entry, THE MOON DISAPPEARED.
Dedicated to my dad, Dix Bruce [Sept. 10, 1952 - Feb. 1, 2023]
A few days ago,
My dad went to Safeway
And got himself a 4-pack
of those chocolate chip muffins that no one else likes.
He ate one for breakfast
And went about his day.
But now I’m holding a container
With three muffins left.
So, you see, he cannot be gone.
There are still three muffins
That’s at least three more mornings
That he should be here.
We’ve already scheduled him
To sing at Cece’s preschool on her fourth birthday
In a few weeks.
He has to be there.
It’s a family tradition.
He wouldn’t miss it.
And there’s the thing with the three muffins.
Like I said, he’s the only one who likes them.
So, he can’t be gone.
There are still three muffins left.
And Tilly’s ballet recital is already on the calendar.
Who’s going to take her photo
With a fancy camera?
He loved seeing her perform.
He wouldn’t miss it.
And, you see, he’s the only one who can make the girls giggle-squeal.
When they played Baba-Mountain
Who’s going to play those games with them?
He can’t be gone, because we had plans to play those games.
And, not to repeat myself,
But there are these three muffins.
We can’t throw them away.
He wanted to eat them.
He’s the only one who likes them, you see.
He was going to write a song
For my debut picture book
But I’ve been trying to get published for years
And haven’t sold a manuscript
He was so proud that I never gave up
He wouldn’t miss my first book release party.
Who’s going to write that song?
And what about all of his favorite trails?
Who’s going to pick eucalyptus leaves for us to smell?
Who will have a penny to stick in the cracking old log?
Who’s going to hold my mom’s hand?
“The poor dear,” you may be thinking,
“She is oscillating between the denial and bargaining phases of grief.”
But that’s where you’re wrong, my friend.
Because I cannot be experiencing grief.
On account of the three muffins.
Waiting for him.
We were waiting.
We had time.
He was going to teach the girls to play guitar.
Like his grandfather did for him.
But their fingers are still too small.
We were waiting.
We had time.
So you can take back your condolences.
No need to send anything.
There has been a mistake.
He cannot be gone.
Because there are these three muffins
Sitting on the counter.
Who is going to eat them?
The challenge: Write a 50 word kidlit story for the #50PreciousWords Kidlit Writing Contest.
Update: My entry didn't win or place this year... but that's ok!
Check out the amazing 749 entries and the list of winners and honorable mentions HERE.
Put on your party hat-shaped thinking cap, and get ready to WRITE! WRITE!
Who's ready to party* with the #kidlit birthday twins???
Have I told you about how I got my agent? No??
Getting quality critiques on your work is THE BEST way to improve your craft. So what are you waiting for?? Register now and hopefully you'll win one of 31 amazing critiques from #PBCRITIQUEFEST!
In honor of the new #CookiePitch, silly pitching event on Twitter, I thought I'd share my famous chocolate cookie recipe with you!
GENNIE’S QUARANTINE COOKIES!
(A chocolate chip cookie recipe perfected during social isolation in 2020)
*NOTE: I LIKE TO MAKE THE DOUGH BALLS AND PUT THEM IN THE FRIDGE. THEN I JUST TAKE 6 OR SO OUT OF THE FRIDGE AT A TIME TO BAKE THROUGHOUT THE WEEK. THEY ARE ESPECIALLY DELICIOUS AFTER BEING REFRIGERATED FOR 2-4 DAYS.
1. With a stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugars for about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla paste, and mix for about 30 seconds.
2. In the same bowl (!!) add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and mix it around a little using a fork, then use the mixer on medium-low speed to combine the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Don’t over mix. Stop while you still see some flour, because mixing the chocolate chips in the next step will mix the rest.
3. Mix in the chocolate chips until they are evenly combined.
4. Using a dough scoop (or a large tablespoon), make double scoop sized cookies and roll them into balls. (Yes, they're really big!) Refrigerate for as long as you can wait (overnight is best, but an hour would be fine).
5. Heat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
6. Then place the dough balls on baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Using a spoon, pastry brush or clean fingers, put a little bit of water on each dough ball, then sprinkle a few salt flakes on top.
7. Bake for about 12-14 minutes, or until the edges are slightly crispy and the tops of the cookies are very lightly golden. The centers may look slightly undercooked. (Note - if you make smaller cookies, start checking them at 9 minutes.)
8. Remove the cookies and let them cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes. Enjoy the cookies while they are warm! Or, transfer to a sealed container and store for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.