"Snippet" -- a small piece or brief extract
Don’t Bug Me!
This year, I have been enjoying entering tons of little writing contests! It's been a blast, has challenged my writing, helped me hone my skills, and think outside the box. Halloweensie is the latest writing contest, and the challenge was to write a kid-friendly, Halloween-themed story of 100 words or less with a story arc, using the words (or variations on) skeleton, creep, mask. The link to the contest (and the other amazing stories) is here: https://susannahill.com/blog/ I hope you enjoy my little humorous buggy piece about Boneita. It's exactly 100 words. Happy Halloween!
DON'T BUG ME!
Boneita’s a skeleton with a bone to pick!
She’d never liked insects then or now. Her bones rattle and eye sockets bulge as she remembers the bugs that decomposed her. First, flies. Then beetles! Shudder!
Why won’t they leave her alone now that her bones are bare? She can’t mask her disgust as they crawl along her tibia -- their tickly feet creeping in and through her ribs. But this Halloween, Boneita has a secret weapon!
This October, flies flee and beetles bolt -- because she’s a black-belt skeleton in “fly-swat-do”. Now, Boneita is a happy skeleton and nothing “bugs” her anymore.
Twitter Contests Build Community
As a writer, I've decided writing is a team sport! Who knew? I did not. Yes, I teach my writing students the value of feedback every year, and yes, I know editors play a vital role in publication, but until this year -- 2020, I did NOT realize HOW valuable others are on the writing journey.
Enter, Twitter contests. No, literally. Go, now. Enter Twitter contests. At first, I didn't like Twitter. I'm a wordy Facebook girl. I don't like limits.
But, I have found an AMAZING kidlit community on Twitter and I now know the value of teamwork in writing. From inspiration to collaboration to celebration to lots of other -tions, Twitter's kidlit community has provided it since I got really active there in early 2020. In fact, it all started with #PitMad. That was the impetus for actually using Twitter. Then, I "met" Kailei Pew and entered her Corona Critique Giveaway. Then, it was Kaitlyn Sanchez and her Spring Fling. Then, SunWriteFun, FallWritingFrenzy . . . .and more. Then, there's the groups: PBChat with Justin Colon and PBParty with Mindy Alyse Weiss. Recently, I've been joining in with Brittany Pomales' Kid Lit self care group. I've won critiques, gained friends (not just followers). I went from one in-person critique group to a total of 5 groups now, plus a few individuals that I know are always ready for an impromptu swap.
That's a lot to accomplish from February 29 to October 26! I've been amazed by the support, even though some might say we're in "competition" with each other. None of us (at least not the crew I hang with on Twitter) feel that way! I saw a quote recently that said, "Someone else's success is not your failure." Thank you, Jim Parsons!
That quote is never truer than in the Kidlit community on Twitter. If you're an author who's needing to branch out, needing to learn, needing to network, needing to practice. . . there is room for you at the kidlit table on Twitter! I'm so thankful for all the lovely people who are in my life now because of it -- books I've read, trainings I've received. My life is richer and fuller. I'm a better author than I was on Feb. 29. I'm glad I took the Twitter leap on Leap Day.
It's another great time to LEAP into this community! This week, lots of cool things are wrapping up on Twitter, but you still have time:
PictureBookCritiqueFest -- Brian Gehrlein, another amazing kidlit community member and newly published author ends up on the 30th. That info is here:
https://www.pbspotlight.com/pbcritiquefestwww.pbspotlight.com/pbcritiquefest There are 36 critiques up for grabs, so go and enter! Now, before it's too late!
Susanna Leonard Hill's Halloweensie contest ends a minute before Midnight on Halloween! Don't turn into a pumpkin! Write a 100-word story for kids with a proper story arc using three secret words. You'll find them here:
And, this Thursday is PBPitch, where you can pitch your picture books to agents and editors who will peruse the feed. That info is here:
Lots of people have met their agents this way. I'll be pitching, and hoping it's my time. And, if not, that's okay, too, because this quote is in my email because I believe it and I need to be reminded EVERY SINGLE DAY.
So, keep writing, and check out the wonderful kidlit community on Twitter. It will change your writing, and your life!
The Legend of Purple Hollow
I love a creative prompt. A picture, a phrase, a list of items to include. They stretch you and make you imagine things you wouldn't otherwise. That's why I love these fun Twitter writing contests. The piece I'm entering for #FallWritingFrenzy is definitely a departure from my usual. You'll notice, too, it changed quite a bit from the original posting I did. That's the value of critique partners and revision. These contests are great practice, great fun, and great ways to make new author friends and encourage each other. Thanks to Lydia Lukidis and Kaitlyn Sanchez for this great contest and to all the prize donors who will be reading stories for the winners or sharing copies of their books. This is image number 3, at 199 words (the limit was 200), and this is The Legend of Purple Hollow:
Ike always won the costume contest, but this purple smoke powder would ensure this victory. He hoped to make a grand entrance at the Halloween party, but when he got the pumpkin on, the smoke burned his eyes and nose. He tugged and pushed, but he couldn’t get it off! He couldn’t see or hear, but he could smell -- smoke and pumpkin. He swallowed to avoid puking. He had started off the night as The Headless Horseman, but now wished he had gone with a little less drama than the story they’d read in English class..
A shudder rippled through Ike.. A chill enveloped him. His head twisted under someone else’s hands until he was free from the pumpkin. His eyes began to clear and he saw -- a girl? His eyes still burned, but it looked like a very old-fashioned dress -- like one Katrina Van Tassel might have worn. She held a knife. She was nebulous -- if she was even real. But someone had freed him from the pumpkin head. He reached for her, but she grew more wispy and her flowing hair and flirtatious expression were the last thing he saw before he gave in to the nausea.
I've been a teacher of K-3 students for over 20 years; I'm also a writer of poems, short stories, devotionals and picture books. I'm wife to an amazing husband and mom to Sparkles, Mocha, and Rusty -- our feline fur babies . I love reading, writing, singing and listening to music. I enjoy nature, Bible study and spending time with friends and family!
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