Helllloooo, writers! I know your pencils are worn down and the wastebasket is full as you’ve been working to write your Lent-inspired story for kids these last few weeks. (If you haven’t written one, THERE’S STILL TIME, but none to waste–open a new document and WRITE!!)
You’re also welcome to join my email list and follow the blog to be notified when the next writing contest comes available! 🙂
A few notes before you post:
I’ve included a sample entry in the first comment so you can see an example of how to post an entry. This story will obviously not be included in the running for one of the fabulous prizes that have been donated by the Catholic kidlit community (see below).
Please re-read through all the instructions, and make sure you follow them when you post your entry. Posts which do not follow the rules will not be considered.
When you post your entry, there will be a delay before it appears on the site. Do not worry, as it will show up eventually. If you do not see your entry quite close to the deadline, shoot me a message via my contact page.
Let’s support our fellow writers! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Read through the entries, and comment! Let other writers know what you like or admire about their story.
- Share the contest with other writers who may not know about the opportunity.
- Feel free to post your entry to your blog so your readers can read it, and check out the blogs of the other entrants and share their posts!
There’s so much value in encouraging and helping each other along the way. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity, and have fun!
Let’s review the rules!
- Connect to other Catholic kidlit authors.
- Spur creativity!
- Get in some fun writing practice.
- Learn from other writers who participate.
- Encourage the writing of stories told from Catholic tradition/with Catholic values…for kids!
- and more!
How it works:
1. Write a 200 word children’s story! Write a poem, a story, a mood piece, whatever comes to mind that relates to Lent in some way. It can be Biblical, contemporary, mainstream, etc. It is welcome to but does not have to reference Catholic theology at all, as long as you follow the Lent-inspired guidelines below. Happy, sad, meditative, whatever you’d like for any kidlit age: board book through young adult. Length: 0-200 words. To summarize, your piece MUST:
- Include 0-200 words, (not a word more!), AND
- Relate to one of the photos included in this post (you must indicate which photo) OR include one of the following Lent-inspired words in your text: purple, sacrifice, or cross, AND
- Be intended for any kidlit age (0-17), AND
- Not contradict Catholic values or theology.
NOTE: You do NOT have to be Catholic to participate. This contest is open to all. The story simply must correspond with and be respectful of Catholic values/teaching. Can’t wait to read your story!
2. Between February 17 and February 19, 2021 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time, post your response as a comment on the contest blog post (I’ll link it here on Feb 17th). Do NOT post your entry on the page you’re reading now, as it will not be considered.
3. In your comment, please include (see my example post for formatting):
- your name,
- the word count of your piece,
- the word or image you selected (see instructions),
- age level of the prize you’d prefer (BB [board book, ages 0-3], PB [picture book, ages 4-8], CB [chapter book], MG [middle grade, ages 8-12], YA [young adult, ages 13-17]),
- country you’re in, as some prizes are US only, and
- contact info for if you win a prize (ie. twitter handle, facebook name, or email–sorry I haven’t figured out Instagram yet)
NOTE: One entry per person please.
4. Share, share, share! If you’re reading this far, you’re probably a writer, which means, like me, you probably love reading, especially original work. Let’s share to support and encourage more quality writing in the Catholic kidlit space. Share with your writing groups, on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. If we get a large response, it may become an annual thing.
5. Comment on this post if you have questions, comments, or just want to say how excited you are!
Judging criteria I’ll be considering:
- Kid-appeal/Kid-friendliness – remember, this is a story for kids!
- Creativity in using your Lent-inspired word or photo
- Quality of story – basic story elements and a true story arc
- Quality of writing – use and flow of language, correctness of mechanics, excellence of rhyme and meter if you use it.
- Originality – I’d love to see something new brought to the table in this Catholic children’s space! ❤
- *Bonus* – I’ll choose the pieces that speak to me most, be they sentimental, sweet, meditative, funny, lyrical, scary, inspiring, or something I haven’t thought of. I’m excited to be surprised!
THANK YOU to the talented professionals who have contributed prizes! This is such an exciting moment, and you are offering your talents and time to make this possible! Your generosity is helping to bring us together and make better Catholic kidlit!
Picture Book manuscript critique from editor Lindsay Schlegel
(Little Lamb Books) – Lindsay Schlegel is a freelance editor with over fifteen years’ experience in a bookstore, literary agency, and a number of publishing houses, including Candlewick Press, Abrams, and Simon & Schuster. She currently serves as editor-at-large for Little Lamb Books, a Christian children’s publisher.
Picture Book manuscript critique from me, Theresa Kiser
Find out more about my manuscript critiques here.
A Little Catholic’s Book of Liturgical Colors by Theresa Kiser
Introduce babies and toddlers to God’s LOVE through the symbolism of the liturgical colors!
The Lamb’s Gift by Brenda Ramirez
Friendships come in all forms, shapes and colors. In this story, it comes in the form of a little girl and a very special lamb that is dyed an array of colors throughout their journey. This story reminds us that sometimes holding on, is holding back.
The author is generously offering an English version or a Spanish version for the winner of this prize.
Merengue by Brenda Ramirez
Camila is a bright, joyful little girl who loved to dance merengue. After a devastating accident, she becomes paralyzed from the waist down. However, when she receives her new wheelchair she is in for a big surprise. Discover how Camila learns about herself and what she can do.
These titles from Hillside Education:
- City of the Golden House by Madeleine Polland
- Tripods Attack! (Book 1 Young Chesterton Series) by John McNichol
- The King’s Gambit by John McNichol
- Black Fox of Lorne by Marguerite DeAngeli
A little about Hillside Education, from their website:
“We publish reprints of historical fiction as well as language arts books, and other resources of interest to homeschooling families.”
It’s time! Post your story!
Let’s do this! You’ve written, revised, and edited…it’s time to bring your contest entry into the world! I can’t wait to be inspired and enjoy some Lent-inspired Catholic kidlit!
THANK YOU for doing this good work of writing stories of love for children. I believe it is an incredibly important calling.
All people (including our youngest!) deserve reminders of God’s great love. After all, isn’t that what we’re alive to do? Love and be loved? Bless you for using the talents God gave you to fulfill that call.
Again, please be sure to support the writers, authors, and illustrators by checking out their links, buying their books, reviewing them, requesting a purchase from your library, and sharing about their books on Facebook and Twitter.
Keep an eye on the blog for my posting of the winners! It will be at least a week and I can’t promise a specific date for the announcement, so stay tuned!
About Theresa Kiser
I’m Theresa Kiser, a speaker and award-winning children’s book author of the board book A Little Catholic’s Book of Liturgical Colors and the fantasy adventure series The Manakor Chronicles. I love supporting other writers through workshops, writing contests, manuscript critiques, and one-on-one coaching. On a rare moment when I’m not writing or changing diapers, I might indulge in fruity teas, dark chocolate, and a good book.Sign up for emails