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WRITING SMALL: my "spring fling" entry

I am delighted to share with you, the 150-word story I just submitted to Ciara O’Neal, and Kaitlyn Sanchez' Spring Fling KidLit writing contest. You need to use a Spring GIF for inspiration. I just love this one!

In my story, Spring is a conductor flitting around, trying to wake up the flowers, animals and plants after an icy winter, to play their blossoming symphony. Much like a conductor taps his baton to gather the attention of his orchestra, Spring, along with help from his assistant Sun, nudges the earth into its first blossom. In the end, all the 'instruments' erupt in a joyous ovation after their performance.! Hope you enjoy it!

The Stirring: ©Cathy Stenquist

Why did I start writing small? In the Kidlit writing world, the current picture book target for word count is 500 WORDS. There are 500 dots on this circle.

This is what 50 WORDS looks like... Yikes! A lot more challenging , eh?

A few years ago when I entered Vivian Kirkfield's #50preciouswords contest. I had to write a complete story in 50 words or less. I loved the challenge, which felt to me like doing a crossword puzzle. It was really fun to write small and make it fit. I was hooked!

One of my first stabs at writing small, was "Two Plus Two." With a little tweaking, (well actually, A LOT of tweaking) it soon became my debut picture book "Forever Home."

(you can find it here:

Two Plus Two: ©Cathy Stenquist

Some little friends enjoying FOREVER HOME.

Earlier this year, I found Susanna Leonard Hill's "Valentiny Contest" where you get a bit more wiggle room with the word count. 214 words... Get it? February 14!

When figuring out what to write, the image of a porcupine who loved to cook came into my head. Though I did not win a prize, I definitely am a winner with the beginnings of a wonderful new story to expand on :) Time to get revising!

The Canapé Caper: ©Cathy Stenquist

Next up, I believe is the Susanna Leonard Hill's Halloweensie Contest. Better put my ghoulish thinking cap on :)

Bwaaaah, Haaa, Haaa!


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