Samples for Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy

Hey Kidlit friends,

It’s only two days before the Fall Writing Frenzy begins! If this is the first you’re hearing about it, check out all the details here!

I hope you’ve all been super inspired by the images. I know I have! So here’s my treat for you: two samples that will hopefully inspire you as much as the images.

Before I share them, I have to give a HUGE shout out to my CPs who helped me condense and edit—wow, 200 words is hard, isn’t it?—shout outs go the the wonderful Nicole Loos Miller and the amazing Jolene Ballard Gutiérrez

Image #13


Tess comes here once a year.

She sits upon the bench—it creaks more than it did then, when they danced atop it.

Looking out across the water, she sighs, closes her eyes, and is transported back to that day.

The sky teemed with fog, making the day darker than usual.

At first it was fun. Just the two of them. Giggling, dancing, daring each other to do the stupidest things. Then, when the idea came pouring from Gina, the clouds condensed, the sky became darker.

Tess should have taken it as a sign, but she was done being cautious, done being boring. Gina made her feel electric. She couldn’t lose that, especially not because she was a “scaredy-cat.” Those days were over.

The water looked harmless, still.
Tess shook off the ominous feeling as they sprinted down the dock.

When Gina crashed out of the water, flopping, sputtering, Tess had laughed.

Typical Gina.

By the time Tess understood what was really happening, it was too late.

Even now, she can see Gina’s eyes, wide open, smeared with mascara.

Tess would never admit it, but it made her smile knowing Gina left this world as she lived in it: wild.


Image #5


Twitch-twitch, twitch-twitch.

He can’t control his tail. Not at a time like this.

Suddenly, he hears it: 


His tail goes stalk straight.

It’s time.

From high above—whoosh!—from down below—scratch!—from in between—shuffle-shuffle, they all come together to drink from the shimmering saucer in the sky.

Slurp-slurp, twitch-twitch, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


Hopefully these samples show you the full gamut of options for the contest: from a long, creepy YA-type to a short, fun PB/BB-type.

And, as always, here’s the numbers:

  • 200 word count for GINA
  • 59 word count for TWITCH
  • less than a quarter of a day to create & edit
  • 2 critique partners
  • 1 big dose of questioning if my writing is good enough
  • 1 friendly pep talk

I hope you enjoyed and are getting as excited as I am about Monday!

I’d love to hear in the comments how your progress is going:
Were you inspired immediately and wrote furiously?
Did it take some time but you’re almost there now?
Have you written many stories and are having a hard time choosing just one?
Something else entirely?

No matter what, I hope you’re writing❤️

23 thoughts on “Samples for Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy

    1. Nice! Two was my number of stories too. I feel like many of the images spoke to me, but I couldn’t out words to some. I hope the pictures are even more clear to you. So excited that you’re participating, my friend, and thanks for all the sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I was immediately inspired and wrote furiously. I love writing prompts. It’s fascinating as a pantser how the words take on a life of their own and go in a different direction than what you intended. I’m afraid to count the words. Love the examples. .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have little notes and partially written sayings and stories. I shared them with a CP. I think the ones that don’t make the cut are fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The pictures you chose were really inspiring; I’ve written two stories so far. I love the challenge of fitting a story into 200 words. It really makes the words fight to be included.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I really struggled this time. I don’t think it was the images as much as I have also been participating in Inktober. I had selected two photos as my inspiration to narrow things down a bit. My brain has been going in many directions. This morning an idea took hold, a combination of the inktober word, an image, and an acorn sitting on my table. I’m not sure it’s even a story. I m having fun and that’s all that matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve had the perfect character floating around for a while. Once I saw the picture, I knew it would be about her and wrote furiously. Love the prompts


  6. This is my first try… I’m inspired by one of the images as an “end” to a possible picture book story, but there would be assumption of other illustrations slotted throughout the text in order for the story to flow/make sense. Is this not recommended or is this kind of thing done? Does the question even make sense?

    Liked by 1 person

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