Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy 2019

***Please note this post is from last year, for this year’s info, please go to: ****

Hey there Kidlit community,

Something about the seasons changing has got me all excited! SCBWI British Isles just posted a picture on Twitter yesterday that inspired me to write a short little poem, and I just can’t help myself. I’m ready to do a fun contest.

This will hopefully get your creative juices ready for the amazing Susanna Hill’s Halloweensie contest at the end of October, which I just can’t wait for myself!

My wonderful friend, Lydia Lukidis, is going to help out with planning and judging this fun contest!


artist bass close up drum

Photo by JTMultimidia on

Here’s the contest:

1. Pick one of the Fall Images below and write about it. You can write a poem, a story, a mood piece, whatever comes to mind. Happy, scary, beautiful, grotesque, whatever suits your fancy for any kidlit age: board book through young adult.

Maximum length: 200 words

2. You can write about the picture or EVEN oppose it, like write the opposite of what it makes you think. Just let the photo inspire you and have fun!

3. Between Oct 7 and Oct 11, 2019 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time, post your response as a comment on the contest blog post (I’ll link it here on the 7th). (**Edit: we’re going to use a Google Form so you can post to your blog and hopefully get some new subscribers**)

4. Please include your: name, contact info for if you win a prize (ie. twitter handle, facebook name, or email–sorry I haven’t figured out Instagram yet), the image you chose, the word count of your piece, age level of the prize you’d prefer (BB, PB, CB, MG, YA), and the country you’re in, as some prizes are US only.

One entry per person please.

4. Share share share. You all know I love reading, especially original work. 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. You all know how much I LOVE excitement!!!

Winners will be selected by me OR their prize donor on whatever qualifications they want. For me, I’ll choose whatever speaks to me most, could be sentimental, sweet, powerful, funny, lyrical, scary, inspiring, or something I haven’t thought of. I’m excited to be surprised!


pile of books
Photo by Pixabay on
  • Query Letter Critique (2 winners) AND a Pitch Critique (3 winners) from Lynne Marie
  • Non-rhyming PB manuscript critique, or 1st chapter of CB, MG, or YA critique from Candice Marley Conner
  • Non-rhyming Fiction Picture Book Manuscript critique from Rosie J. Pova
  • Winner’s choice of Nonfiction PB critique or Queen Of Physics swag (blank notebook or tea towel) from Teresa Robeson
  • Winner’s choice of Query Critique or MS critique, Rhyme or Non-rhyme, and Nonfiction Bio by Amber Hendricks
  • A first chapter critique plus synopsis of a contemporary MG or YA novel from Sarah Aronson
  • Winner’s Choice of PB Manuscript or first chapter CB/MG critique or signed copy of ROCK AND ROLL WOODS from Sherry Howard

Fall Frenzy Images 2019

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4

Image 5

Image 6

Image 7

Image 8

Image 9

Image 10

light sky space abstract

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.comImage

Image 11

backlit birds branches dawn

Photo by Tejas Prajapati on

Image 12

photo of abandoned house

Photo by kalyan deep on

Image 13

red and orange autumn leaves on the ground and on trees beside body of water

Photo by Jake Colvin on

Can’t wait to hear about how excited you all are! Make sure to support the 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.

And as always on the MathisEverywhere blog, we ask, where’s the math? Everywhere!

In this case, mainly counts:

We have over 30 amazing prizes donated by generous people.

We hope to have a high number of entries.

The spread of the news of the contest is likely to be exponential, one person tweets, then others retweet and from their retweet many others retweet.

Here’s some background for exponential, exponential basics and some more advanced stuff.

And of course, I hope this contest will go on to thrive for many years to come!

Also the giveaway for Annemarie Riley Guertin’s signed copy of Why Evergreens Keep Their Leave ends on Thursday, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, do so here and now!

111 thoughts on “Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy 2019

    1. Thank you! The Free WordPress Library is pretty impressive. I hope that means you’ll participate, too. Prize donors are totally allowed to participate, plenty of other prizes to go around and thank you so much for you generous donations! 🙂


  1. Wow Kaitlyn! So many Halloween’y’ images.
    Thank you so much for organizing this. I’m fairly new to the kidlit community and people here are so supportive ❤️
    Much excited.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re very welcome! I was inspired by the Greats like Susanna Hill and Vivian Kirkfield as well as my CP Ciara O’Neal. Last Spring when we put that on, it was because we were sad that there was such a long gap between Susanna and Vivian’s contests. Ciara said let’s do our own and I said, let’s share with the world, and it was so much fun that when I was inspired yesterday, I just had to make it happen, which I could only do with the immense generosity of the writing community, so I’m super glad you recognize that too 🙂 So excited for your entry, Riya!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so happy you like them; I honestly was having the hardest time choosing. Luckily, Lydia got me focused, and I thought 13 was a fun, spooky number of choices to have hehe. You’re very welcome for the opportunity, but I could not have done it without these amazing authors and illustrators. Please make sure to show them your support through shares and reviews if you can 🙂 So excited to see you entry, Susie!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, Sarah, hope it’s super fun, and thanks for sharing with your group!! That’s how hosting a contest first came about for me, my group and I had so much fun that when there was no new contest, we created the Spring one. I hope you and your group have just as much fun!!


  2. This is so exciting! And you’re right, as soon as Fall hits something creatively magical fills the air. Thank you for putting this all together and thank you to all of the donators for offering such incredible prizes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right?! The changing of the seasons, especially Fall and Spring bring so much new life and ideas. This is why you and I are such great CPs, we get each other 🙂 I’m so happy to put it on, and you’re so right, it couldn’t happen or at least be as awesome without these wonderful donors 🙂


    1. Oh yay!! I’m glad you noticed that. I almost didn’t include the creepy ones (at first I only found super creepy…like I COULD NOT look at them), but my wonderful partner in crime, Lydia, had me look again, and when I searched Spooky, I was able to find these! Thank you for realizing that I had BOTH in mind 🙂 Can’t wait to see your entry.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yay! Excited, love the images! So we post the required info you stated and our story as a comment on the blog post? I just want to make sure I’m doing everything right. All this Halloween goodness… And maybe a candycorn pumpkin or like 10 have caused some cobwebs in my brain. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fabulous images! Fabulous contest! Fabulous hosts! Fabulous prizes!
    Thank you for putting this together, Kaitlyn…and thank you to Lydia for stepping up to assist. I just may have to write something for this!!! You are tempting me! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi Kaitlyn-
    One of my critique partners sent this link about the contest. I just may have to try it! I also signed up for your newsletter. Thank you so much for organizing this opportunity. I love contests!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and yes poems count! Feel free to post anyway, you don’t have to know what age group it’s for as omg as it’s 0-17 it qualifies. The age group is the prize you want 😁 so cool that you’ve been working on free verse, excited to see what you come up with!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great opportunity, Kaitlyn, and oh, my goodness, how EXCITING!! You’ve gathered such a cornucopia of prizes!! 😀 I can’t wait to participate!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, here in the South, the seasons don’t actually change so much as melt. 🙂 But maybe if I try writing something late, late at night when the coyotes and owls are doing their thing in my backyard? Yeah, that’s the creepy ticket–thanks, Kaitlyn, sounds like fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, Cathy, I know we just met, but you crack me up!! Sounds like you’ve got some mojo going, can’t wait to see what creeps up on you 😉

      Also, do you mean NO changing leaves or just soppy changing leaves?!?! Because the leaves is my favorite part. Hubby and I got married in the fall and still have the fake leaf strings…garlands…DECORATIONS, ha, sometimes it takes me a while to find the write words. Hoping yours come easily for the contest 🙂


      1. Hahahahha! I knew what you meant! So it’s 94 in my little corner of the world today so I guess what I meant is, when you live around Atlanta, fall is not so much sweater weather as sweatin’ weather. We do have fall leaves, however; they’re a lovely color of brown. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  8. So Sorry, The second Order of the Crow is the one I want to submit. My computer is on its last leg and it restarted and I didn’t know if I submitted the right one. It’s the second one I want not the first. Thank you. My name is Mawiyah Bomani and I have a PB book I an interested in sharing. My twitter handle is @YAWOYA.


  9. Thanks for the Twitter invite, Kaitlyn! Yes, this is definitely up my alley, and I will share with my critique group today!
    Did you have to have so many adorable pics? Choosing one will be the hardest!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: FRENZY! |
  11. I just ran across a post about this contest and I love it. Thanks to all the sponsors and donors! I’m going to have fun trying to get an entry in before the deadline and browsing all your books and websites. Yay #FallWritingFrenzy.


  12. 195 words
    Image #8
    PB Manuscript Critique

    Candy Crushed
    By Mia Geiger


    I zip up my superhero costume. My sister Sadie and I
    grab our plastic pumpkins.

    Tonight’s the only time Mom
    lets us have gummy
    candy. “Cavities,” she says.

    Gummy fish …
    gummy worms … gummy hearts —
    all that gumminess …

    First up: Mr. Robbin’s house.

    “Trick or treat!”
    Ooo, purple worms …

    Next, Mrs. Williams’.

    “Trick or treat!”
    Pink squishy fish?

    Now, Mr. Sanders’. He gives pretzels.
    Mom likes them, though.

    “Trick or treat!”

    Sadie grabs my hand.
    “STOP! Mom said
    no eating until we get home.”


    I hold my pumpkin tightly. “That’s a long time.”

    After a few more houses,
    I say, “Just one?”’

    “Mom said no!”

    Later …

    SPLAT! My candy
    takes up half the
    kitchen table.

    “LOOK, MOM!”

    “Mmmhmm,” she says,
    moving some to the

    “HUH? … HEY! Put those back!”

    Mom explains.

    “Noooooooo …”

    Mom shakes her head.

    “Who made that rule,”
    I ask. “Unwrapped is fine —
    faster to eat!”

    Mom points.

    “Aw, man.

    “Lucky trash can!”

    I slowly refill my pumpkin.
    Wait … How’d I miss that? …

    … A crinkly package, stuck to the bottom.

    Sadie and I exchange looks.

    We both grab it.


    Ah, sweet gumminess.



  13. So happy to have this opportunity! Thank you, Kaitlyn!!
    Author: Susie Sawyer
    Twitter: @susiesawyer
    Image #5 (Silhouette of cat over moon)
    Word Count: 132
    Age Range: 4-8
    Prize choice: PB Critique
    Black cat waiting,
    twitching whiskers, glistening eyes.
    Watching, wishing,
    tail a-swishing,
    waiting for the Witch to rise.
    Once awake,
    he knows she’ll take
    a midnight flight amidst the gloom.
    Soon, at last,
    like Halloweens past,
    they’ll ride in tandem on her broom.
    Side by side,
    they’ll swoop and glide –
    planning all the tricks they’ll play.
    Teasing, taunting,
    gleeful haunting,
    looking for the perfect prey.
    Lunging, lurching,
    victim searching,
    darting through the moonlit sky.
    Casting curses,
    vile verses,
    causing chaos passing by.
    So anxious now!
    With soft meow,
    he hopes she’ll wake from slumber deep.
    A weary groan,
    a witchy moan,
    she slowly shifts and stirs from sleep.
    She rubs her eyes
    and starts to rise.
    The black cat paces to and fro.
    Yawning, stretching,
    broom a-fetching,
    finally she says…
    “Let’s go!”


  14. I chose image 8 for my 200 word YA story. I sure hope I’m participating correctly and you’ll like it!
    I Got a Rock
    Written by Kerry E.B. Black
    Gerta didn’t mean to poison children on Halloween.
    She dressed in cellophane fairy wings and held her plastic jack-o-lantern bowl in hands trembling with excitement when trick-or-treaters arrived at her door. She returned their cheerful “thank you’s” as she closed the door to return to her paused holiday special.
    “Who would give that poor bald boy with the hole-infested sheets rocks,” she wondered sadly and she listened for the next round of candy mendicants.
    Gerta didn’t know an evil had infected her candy bowl, one that crept through the wrappers and settled beside the dazzling crystals. An insidious powder had filtered every ill-intention of previous owners through the heavy oaken rafters of her ancient brownstone.
    As darkness deepened and the time for tricks and treats ended, Gerta sighed. The Vince Guaraldi Trio punctuated Linus’ appeal for a sincere pumpkin patch.
    “Maybe next year,” Gerta reassured Linus, and perhaps herself. Maybe next year she’d have friends and host a party, or a beau to snuggle beneath her crocheted blanket.
    She unwrapped the unclaimed candy and munched, licking sticky goodness from her fingertips, until despair choked her insides. As her intestines knotted within her, Gerta repeated her hopeless reassurance. “Maybe next year.”


  15. “OK, what do you think?” And she spreads her arms to the side, wide, and her lip dips a smile. “Melissa. Melissa, I said what do you think? I know it ain’t too pretty. But..”

    “No, it ain’t too pretty.” I turn full circle, taking it all in. “Come Spring though that Maple will give good shade and we can plant gobs of zinnias. Butterflies love zinnias!” I hop from foot to foot showing what we’ll plant where and how we’ll paint to bring in some color. “Maybe steal some blue curtains from the Dollar General if need be,” I say.

    “Right! Yes! I knew you’d love it! So this is where we’ll come.” Peering at me now in all seriousness. “And we ain’t telling a soul about it either! Not Momma. Not John. Not Grandma.This is OUR spot for getting away.”

    “You ain’t gotta tell me. I won’t whisper a word to a soul. Not even a bee gonna hear me telling.”

    “What should we call it? Call ourselves? Something official, right?”

    I stand up tall now. Look her straight in the eyes. “Don’t need no other name for ourselves. Sisters. Sisters what we is.”


    1. Meant to say this story goes with image # 12. Reading everyone’s stories now and loving them all! Thank you for a fun way to be creative!

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Audra Brown
    Wc: 78
    Image # 5
    Autumn Falls
    Quietly on black padded paws
    With pumpkin moons
    And coal dust skies
    Her breath perfumed
    By spiced apple pies
    She changes her dresses
    From green to bright red
    A crown made of spiders’ web
    Rests on her head
    Red licorice hair
    caramel chunk cheeks
    Jack-o-lantern smile
    With candy corn teeth
    Hot chocolate mornings
    Mulled cider nights
    Leaf pile blankets
    Candles for lights
    When harvest is over
    She gives her last yawn
    Autumn falls quietly
    And quietly…..she’s gone


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