Analysis Week 1 Fall Writing Frenzy 2020

Hi Math is Everyone and Fall Writing Frenzy Friends,

Happy Veterans Day! I hope you get a chance to honor the veterans in your life, those who have passed away, and their friends and family who have also sacrificed. Sending a big thank you to all how have or are currently serving!

This is the first week of analyzing the Fall Writing Frenzy winners’ work from 2020!

Every week, I will try my best to share 5-8 pieces from the Fall Writing Frenzy Winners that have something similar—a theme, if you will. (**Figurative gold star if you get the theme in your comment 😉 **)

Please use the comments to share what you think is working for the pieces and why, and you can even share what you think can be improved if you notice anything.

Then you can respond to each other’s comments, and of course, come back to the blog on Fridays for interviews and giveaways!

Please make sure to be constructive. We want to learn and grow together in a safe environment. 

For example, if you think a piece was rambling (something I often do lol) please don’t say, “They’re rambling forever, can’t they just stop?” Try, “It seems to be a bit on the wordy side, maybe consider cutting out certain parts.”

Thanks for joining in the conversation!

Now off we go! 

Fall Writing Frenzy Winner Pieces to Analyze

Before I share the first piece, I have to share how Liz’s piece inspired me:

Skeleton’s Change of Heart -(sung to the tune of the Pina Colada song)

By Liz Kehrli 

I was tired of my old life

Been scaring kids for so long.

Too much screaming and crying

I knew that something was wrong.

So I’m throwing a party

But without any fear.

If you choose to cross over

Grab a mask and come here.

If you like bobbing for apples

On a dark, stormy night.

If you’d rather eat candy

Than cause terror and fright.

If you like dancing in the moonlight

With a cool autumn breeze.

Help me convince these young humans

That we are now here to please.

I can guess what you’re thinking

Why should I change how I live?

I’m so tired of taking,

I’ve learned it’s more fun to give.

So fill your glass and come party

And do not think that I’m daft.

I’m just very committed

To change each scream to a laugh!

If you like carving a pumpkin

And trick or treating ‘round town.

If you’re fed up with scaring

And you are heaven bound.

If you like playing until midnight

and singing the Monster Mash.

You are welcome to join me

Before our bones turn to ash!


by Carrie Karnes-Fannin


a new moon 


in an ancient



a red shadow

of a girl,


between trees


spread her hood

on the

damp ground,




who ran

with a wolf’s silence

through the forest




will talk,”

Rose whispered.

“Let them,”

Lupe replied,

her dark hair 

a shining tangle 

weaving them


“We don’t have to.”


Lupe was right—

no words

were needed





as they held 


and watched 

stars spin 

round the sky.

When morning

was still a




tracking deer,




and Lupe,



in the scarlet


Rose’s heart


as Lupe leapt to 

shield her.

“What will you do?” 

Lupe demanded 

of him,

knowing Rose 

was afraid 

of her village’s words

biting and cutting


“I will keep

your secret,”

the boy offered.


though a hunter,

he wasn’t 


“Thank you, friend,” 

Rose replied, 

borrowing bravery from 

Lupe’s kisses.

“But there’s no secret here.”

They walked homeward,

with fingers


A crowd gathered, but 

no words were said, 

except one: 



people saw,

shining like the full 


a love

that would become



by Dana Miroballi

Once upon a time in a kingdom by the sea, there lived a builder named Sinclair. Because Sinclair crafted cinder blocks, everyone called him Cinderfella. But what they didn’t know, was that Sinclair was also a sculptor. He tried adding artistry to the buildings, but his creativity was always struck down. So, Sinclair sculpted in secret. 

One day, the princess announced a competition. Sinclair wanted to enter, but the artists laughed. “Stick to building, Cinderfella. Leave the art to us.” Sinclair sat amongst his sculptures and cried. As his tears mixed with cement dust, a fairy appeared. She transformed Sinclair’s hard hat and overalls into a cap and smock. A diamond chisel was in the pocket. “Create,” said the fairy. “But be back before midnight.”

Spectators gathered as Sinclair’s sculpture took shape. Just as Sinclair finished, the clock struck midnight. Sinclair dashed away, dropping his chisel. The princess searched every studio for the owner of the chisel, but no artist wielded it just right. Then Sinclair stepped out from the shadows. “I believe you’re looking for me,” he said. Sinclair took the chisel and transformed a boulder before the princess’s eyes. From that moment on, Sinclair created happily ever after.

Cry Wolf: Poem for Two Voices

By Janie Reinart

Each person reads a column in this performance piece. Lines said at the same time are written on the same line in both columns. A blank space in the column—reader remains silent. 

Sun’s almost down.                                                                                      

                                                                    Shadows lurk on the edge of night.

OWWW!                                                      AHHH!

                                                                     The hair on my neck stands up! 

OWWW!                                                        I run!

I run…faster!  

I am coming for you.                                  It’s coming.

I smell your fear.

I break branches.                                         I break down.

I will win this race!                                                         

                                                                         It’s getting closer!

My claws…swipe.                                                          


I run…faster!                                                      I run.

Full moon!                                                         Full moon shining!

                                                                            What’s happening to me?

The hair on my neck stands up.                    The hair on my neck stands up.

I see you.                                                            I see you in the dark.

OWWW!                                                               OWWW!

We lurk like                                                                          




 on the edge of night.                                            on the edge of night.

We run…                                                                    We run… faster!

OWWW!                                                                     OWWW!     OWWW!

We are coming… for you!                                        We are coming… run!


                                                                                     Calling in the night!

Calling in the night!                                                    OWWW!

OWWW!                                                                         OWWW!


RUN!                                                                                 RUN!



By Laurie Carmody

Are you bummed about having no bum? 

Is the “No Shirt, No Skin, No Service” policy at fine establishments 

throwing a wrench in your metatarsals?

Are you sick and tired of having no body to love?

Well, my skeleton friends, pull yourselves out of the grave and into the sunlight, 

because today is your lucky day.

In an exclusive offer to our Skelevision viewers,

we are offering patent-pending pre-shrunk skin suits for the bone-rattling low, low price 

of $49.99.

Wait a second, what’s that sound? 

It’s the sound of slashing prices – you can have two suits – for only the cost of shipping and handling!


Buy within the next thirty minutes and you’ll also receive 50% off skin-ny jeans!

Don’t just trust us, though, listen to this testimonial from the distinguished Napoleon Bone-a-part:

“With my new skin, I can conquer anything!”

Don’t use your lack of guts as a reason not to take the plunge! 

Pick up your skel-phone and call 1-800-SKIN-2020 today. 

Refuse to be a lazy bones because this offer will decompose soon! 

Halloween candy will not be honored as legal tender. Not affiliated, licensed, or endorsed by The Dermatological Association of America. 

I can’t wait to get this discussion underway about what we can learn from these creators and their pieces! I’m excited to read all your comments and your interactions with each other! Don’t forget to share what you think the theme is!

If you’re having a hard time seeing the comments, one trick is to click the “Like” button and usually a link pops up that asks if you want to comment.

Please RT on Twitter and share this wonderful analysis opportunity!


Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez

PS. We’ve just recently got photos up for all my clients, so please take a minute to check out my wonderful Literary Clients page, and follow all these amazing creators on social media!

PPS. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and come back Friday for an interview with author-illustrator Abi Cushman and come back next week for more fun analysis!

162 thoughts on “Analysis Week 1 Fall Writing Frenzy 2020

  1. I love love no bones about it.Everything about it the play on words, the humor .. it’s absolutely my writing style so I gravitate towards it..Well done Laurie!

    The others are also very well done as well ..such a talented group of writers!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Haha! Laurie’s is such a funny, punny peice! I love when authors can see their style. Besides being punny, what else do you love? Is there anything about the other pieces that stood out as to why they would be selected as a winner? I’m excited to see you dig deeper here!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I also love A red legend because I love the whole forbidden angle but more so overcoming adversity, standing firm against the odds. For Cinderfella I like the power of self belief that is shown…and for change of heart I take away that it’s never too late to change, to explore something new, to learn and grow. Thinking about it all three show that there are more to character than your perception of them or what’s on the surface (forgive any typos! On my phone :))

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Omg yes (and who cares about typos when we have such beautiful words to discuss! I tell my students the same when they say they don’t have a pencil, write in pen, highlighter, crayon, I don’t car what you use as long as we’re doing math!) Back to your thoughts yes I totally agree all about perception and forbidden is always a fun angle and self belief yes yes yes!

          Liked by 3 people

            1. I agree about the imagery in Red Legend. The red riding hood undertone is my favorite part about this. It never says that Lupe is a wolf, just that she possesses a wolf’s silence. And I love how this story creates a new folktale with the addition of a legendary love between Red and Lupe and as Neesa said, focusing on overcoming adversity. Although I also love that in the end, the village welcomes them because they can see the love.

              Liked by 4 people

    2. I agree. Humor in No Bones about it is spot on. The word choice is so deliberate and it is an unusual/fresh take on a Halloween story. I think would tickle the funny bone of my second grader and soon to be third grader.

      Humor works because it is surprising and because the reader has to have e the context. 2nd or 3rd graders would have heard/seen enough commercials to have the context for why this is funny to begin with a fantastic job!

      Great work to the other winners!

      Liked by 3 people

        1. The grin my kiddo made when I explained what a bum was was priceless. He also thought it was silly that skeletons would only wear a skin costume with no clothes. 🙂


    3. Thank you so much! It’s funny because I usually talk myself out of going “all out” with the puns in my work. This contest took away some of that pressure and I went as overboard as I possibly could go. It taught me a lot.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. For liz’s piece, I feel like what is working is that the rhyme seemed secondary to the story. In other words, the story held together on its own. Of if you please, the story was the bones of the piece and the rhyme was a amazing bonus.
    For me, the line “I’m just very committed To change each scream to a laugh!” had great placement. When I got there, I was like YES! I feel like juicy lines like that about 2/3 of the ways into a piece help with the YES! Factor. The magical ingredients in this piece for me: Elements of surprise (clever lines, different perspectives taken), story first, great voice, Great rhyme.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Omg yes yes yes!! I didn’t think of that, but you’re so right, the story came first and the rhyme and song just added a later, that’s SO important to remember for rhyme (and something I’m totally guilty of not remembering, I have definitely let my rhyme lead me)

      Liked by 4 people

      1. So true! The rhyme in this piece also ADDED to the story, like it was meant to be part of the story in the first place. It all came together so organically in that way.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. These are all such fun pieces! I love the puns in No Bones About It. Hilarious! It would be really fun to have the viewpoint of the skeleton watching the commercial slipped in here and there. Are they skeptical? Hopeful?
    What a great piece!


  4. I just read A Red Legend by Carrie Karnes-Fannin. From the beginning, I could visualize the story. I could picture the characters, the scenery and the emotion of the characters. I was immediately drawn into this story, what a wonderful piece.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. The “red shadow of a girl” brought a beautiful vision of the Rose immediately. When they were speaking, I could hear them in an almost whisper. One of my favorite lines is “When the morning was still a rumor.” It really was such a great piece of “showing” instead of “telling” a story.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Yes yes yes! So much to that red shadow line, remembering this is a take on red riding hood, the secrets to come, the color of love and I got the chills when you mentioned the rumor line so well placed and beautiful. I love that you can hear them whisper, I wonder if that’s our own preconceived notions or if there something Carrie did with her words that made us feel that

          Liked by 3 people

    1. I loved each of these entries, but A Red Legend is my personal fave of this batch. Totally agree, the language is so vivid and I love all the references to the classic fairytale. It’s told in such a unique, distincitive way.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I adored the richness of that piece. I found myself getting closer and closer to the computer screen as I read through it. Like each line was drawing me in. The way she expressed longing and difficulty brought me to tears.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. In No Bones About It, the first line drew me right in. I actually giggled out loud when I read the first line, and then the second. There was humor and creativity throughout the piece, but it was the first line that drew me in. The play on words such as “skin-ny” jeans and Napoleon Bone-a-part, was creative and throughout. It was humorous and catchy throughout, all the way to the last line.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Haha! Yes! I don’t think there is a way to read this aloud or in your head without a tv infomercial voice. “But WAIT! There’s MORE!” is my ultimate favorite line simply because I burst out with the line randomly throughout the day–it’s just the epitome of those informercials. Great word play throughout.

      Liked by 7 people

  6. Cry Wolf: Poem for Two Voices By Janie Reinart blew me away!

    First, never in a million years would I have thought to write a performance piece. Second, crafting TWO distinct voices within a 100-word limit was a tall order, but she succeeded admirably. Lastly, the piece is essentially all dialogue without any description or exposition, YET I easily see the story playing out like a movie inside my mind.

    Well done, Janie. Well done.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes yes yes!! I felt the same when I read it, this was actually one of two pieces that used dual voices and BOTH won! I think that speaks volumes to how creativity plays a huge role and as you said great execution, so well done with both voices and intrigue!

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Dana,I actually read it aloud with Janie as we are critique partners. It is FUN as a read aloud and that is one of Janie’s trademarks – unique formats, thinking outside the box in poetry. So proud of her and Carrie Fannin, my other CP.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. The pacing definitely captured that gasping feeling of running and of hunter vs hunted. I absolutely LOVE where the voices overlap and the two opposing sides become one. I was most certainly howling at the end and enjoying the intensity of reading it aloud (ignore the fact that it was just myself attempting both sides). Brilliant take!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Love reading your inspiration!! All of this came across so clearly in your piece, amazing job. And cheers to you and your husband for reading through it together. Mine is super supportive but I still have to leave the room whenever he reads anything of mine because I get anxious, ha!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I was enthralled with this, Janie. Crafting dialogue is difficult for me, so I really enjoyed studying how you approached it in such a low word count. I loved seeing where you did something as simple as adding one word to create such a drastic personality change.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. NO BONES ABOUT IT By Laurie Carmody—> Opening line “Are you bummed about having no bum?” had me laughing from the get go & then we were off to the races! Oh my…this piece was full of fun wordplay from top to bottom. I think this entry could easily become a picture book that would be read to pieces by any kid who had it.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. I would love to hear your thoughts on turning contest entries into actual picture books, Kaitlyn. In my BONES piece, it feels like there isn’t much to go on in terms of motivation or arc… but it definitely is fun and might be marketable? I don’t know. I often feel like that after contests. What’s next?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think I answered this in a tweet, I’ll need to add it to the FAQs page 😉 it comes down to an imprint, editor, or agent wanting it. And then if it’s already been out in the public, they generally want to know it’s worth making it into a book, ie not too many people saw it when it was free, there’s stuff added that makes it worth people’s investment, and/or it’s been taken down so people will want to buy it to have it. And of course be honest with agents and editors that it was out on the internet before. If you want it taken down let Lydia and I know 🙂



    Liked the complete reimagining of the traditional Cinderella story. Gender flipping is such a fun way to rework a fairy tale.

    This was my favorite part: “As his tears mixed with cement dust, a fairy appeared. She transformed Sinclair’s hard hat and overalls into a cap and smock. A diamond chisel was in the pocket. “Create,” said the fairy. “But be back before midnight.” The image of tears mixing with cement dust as the means of conjuring the fairy is terrific.

    One small thing did throw me & this was probably just a coincidence. The very first line “Once upon a time in a kingdom by the sea, there lived a builder named Sinclair” calls back to Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Annabel Lee’ poem, which set an expectation in my mind of a different sort of story than what it was. But, that is a tiny thing.

    Overall, great piece! Thank you for sharing it with us, Dana.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. So I waited a bit to post my analysis because I wanted to give others a chance to share but I can wait no longer! The first part of my analysis is what I wrote when reading the entries, short and sweet so I can narrow the choices. After the slash is what I’ve added now after taking a deeper look.

    Skeletons change of heart (pina colada) by Liz Kehrli

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! was singing and dancing to it and so creative.


    Finding a new, creative way to put a spin on something people already love gives you a built in audience that already loves what you might do. I also loved that this piece had a beautiful message about change being okay even for these great monsters who have always been the same, taking a usually dark holiday and putting a positive spin that kids can learn from while the adults reading are also having fun is another great hook!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I completely agree with the built in, buy in that comes from using something well-loved as the foundation for your writing. That being said, I do think it adds some extra pressure to pull it off just right. I found this story did just that. Nothing seemed forced or out of place to me, so I could enjoy the rhythm and the new story being told. I also loved how the mc’s intentions an desire for change were made clear right from the first lines.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I absolutely love that you did this. My family and I are big on rewriting lyrics to songs throughout the day (usually for silly things, bathtime is perfect for this), but I never would have thought to use it as inspiration to write a full story. You made it look easy, and I think it’s a great idea for a writing exercise! I’m sure we’d all quickly realize that it’s actually SO tough.

        Liked by 4 people

  10. Skeleton’s Change of Heart -(sung to the tune of the Pina Colada song) -By Liz Kehrli

    I’m going to date myself here & admit that I remember when ‘Escape’ was a HUGE hit on the radio. That song is burned into the soundtrack of my childhood. Loved it then & love it now. I never celebrated Halloween as a kid, so I have a hard time connecting to a lot of the holiday-themed stories. But, Liz pairing the set-up and rhythm of her piece to the music just ROCKED and made her a super fun read for me.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. So I waited a bit to post my analysis because I wanted to give others a chance to share but I can wait no longer! The first part of my analysis is what I wrote when reading the entries, short and sweet so I can narrow the choices. After the slash is what I’ve added now after taking a deeper look.

    A Red Legend
    By Carrie Karnes-Fannin

    Stunning, made me tear up, a beautiful take on little red riding hood. Ownvoices bisexual but didn’t put in doc, asked on Twitter.


    The opening is so reminscent of tales we were told as kids and yet has a twist that makes it new and fresh. The imagery created with these words and the rest of the piece draw me in like someone is pulling me to the story. The intrigue she creates with someone waiting and the beautiful way she brings in the world who is meant to be the bad guy in the original story but ends up being her love, is such a beautiful twist and underscores the idea that some may think something is bad but that doesn’t mean it has to be. The dark hair line, oh my, it pulled me to the love story, a feeling that Rose can’t resist Lupe conveyed in so few words and “no words were needed between them” oh, the power of love conveyed so we’ll so simply makes it so powerful. Also the stars spin around is not only beautiful but my partner and I when we first met had a similar experience, I’m sure many have with their love and this relatability, whether you’re married to a man, like I am, or whether you love someone of the same.gebder like Rose and Lupe, you can relate to their love. And oh my goodness, when morning was still a rumor, be still my literary heart, this piece is ALL about what people think and that slipped in right before they’re about to face the world is so well places. And the end oh the end, I’m tearing up reading it again. Lupe’s bravery helping Rose be brave and the words “borrowed from her kisses” is beautiful but the townspeople accepting them, that’s the happy ending we all wish there was back when these takes were created and it’s the perfect ending here, to take an old story in a time that we believe was probably filled with lack of acceptance and turning it into this absolutely beautiful story, is just the best!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. At first glance at the photo prompt (the one with a figure running toward a dark stand of trees), the Red Riding Hood story came to my mind. But I resisted writing it. I spent many hours roaming out in the woods as a kid, so a forest can never be a scary place for me.

      But the image kept surfacing and I decided to let it play out. I began following the runner in my mind’s eye. Who is she and where is she running? Who is waiting for her inside that forest? What do people think of her as they see her running?

      In the days before safety standards and recalls, fables were a way of warning kids about the world’s dangers. Gossip remains a tremendous deterrent against breaking norms. So, I liked playing with the idea of the power of words and making it positive, especially with the challenges LGBTQ+ kids (including me) face while growing up. (Which, honestly, don’t stop when you turn 18.)

      There are a couple of spots in the middle of the piece that feel a tad clunky and in need of a bit of revision. I wrote & submitted this piece in a single morning, so it probably could have used a bit more time to marinate.

      Thank you to everyone for your kind words! I’ve loved participating in this year’s Fall Writing Frenzy.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Carrie, thank you for sharing your process behind this wonderful story. I hope you continue to work on this one…I’d read it in a million variations!

        Liked by 2 people

  12. So I waited a bit to post my analysis because I wanted to give others a chance to share but I can wait no longer! The first part of my analysis is what I wrote when reading the entries, short and sweet so I can narrow the choices. After the slash is what I’ve added now after taking a deeper look

    Cinderfella the Sculpture
    by Dana Miroballi

    Solid, I wanted more.


    Essentially, I think due to the length limits of the contest, we so far see a wonderful foundation, like an outline, and now I want to see what beautiful language and great pacing can be added to form this beautiful story with a great message for our times, focusing not on love but on skill.

    (Note: another reason I want to share my original thoughts is to show that first, this was a team effort, so sometimes my original thoughts are changed by what the other judges see in the piece, and second, that sometimes a great idea can get picked up, not just in a contest, but by editors and agents even if it hasn’t been fleshed out all the way yet, this happens when editors or agents request revise and resubmits and this contest is about helping writers grow so they can flesh out wonderful idea like this.)

    Liked by 4 people

      1. You’re welcome, Dana! Where is the data on this? Many editors I talk to really want new twists on previous stories, so if for some reason they’re not selling, it could be they’re not talking to those who are looking for it or the pieces aren’t strong enough


  13. So I waited a bit to post my analysis because I wanted to give others a chance to share but I can wait no longer! The first part of my analysis is what I wrote when reading the entries, short and sweet so I can narrow the choices. After the slash is what I’ve added now after taking a deeper look

    Cry Wolf
    By Janie Reinart

    I like the creativity of the different voices and style, I’m not sure what was happening fully but I kinda like that mystery and it definitely intrigued me


    diving deeper here, I think Janie’s end was the one trying to escape became a werewolf and they are now running together. There’s so much adventure in this piece. I love the play on the boy who cried wolf really being chased like an extension of the story as well as the great word choices like hair standing up–genius as the hair is coming on one, almost making me think one of actually a werewolf, which is another added twists to the original boy who cried wolf and even makes me wonder, is Janie trying to tell us that the boy who cried wolf really did see a wolf all three times and it was a werewolf that just transformed back by the time other people saw? I also love that the voiced constantly play off each other like “break branches” “break down” such simple phrases amplified by the situation and the other character, and the end circling back to the beginning is wonderful!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I love, love, love this one, too! What a creative approach to invite the reader to grab a partner and turn it into a performance piece. Brilliant! I would love to see something like this is a real live picture book someday where it almost becomes a screenplay for kids to act out with their family or friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. So I waited a bit to post my analysis because I wanted to give others a chance to share but I can wait no longer! The first part of my analysis is what I wrote when reading the entries, short and sweet so I can narrow the choices. After the slash is what I’ve added now after taking a deeper look

    No Bones About It
    By Laurie Carmody

    Wasn’t sure at first, but metatarsals and no body to love turned the tide, then it just gets funnier and funnier, bonaparte sealed the deal for me, very original, great puns


    this piece is so great for a PB because it entertains the kids and adults at the same time, when you can do that, you’re already winning! One of our favorite books is Stef Wade’s A Place for Pluto because we love teaching about what happened in a fun way, Kiara loves space and the puns for the adults are spot on hilarious!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for the analysis, Kaitlyn! When I saw the pic of the upset boy in the skeleton costume the wheels started turning. Why would a skeleton be mad? I wrote a few quick drafts (some rhyming) about having difficulty getting into a yoga class without the skin. That made me start thinking about how funny it would be if he could just get a skin suit. After a sad couple of drafts from the boy’s perspective, I decided to flip it entirely and tell from the seller. It just clicked after that for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. A Red Legend

    I love so much about this story. First, I love the formatting and decisions of line breaks. I felt that added so much to the story and the way I read it. Second, I can’t get enough of the word choice and use of descriptive language. “…a red shadow of a girl” and “when morning was still a rumor” are two of my favorites. Last, I really appreciated how well I got to know the characters in so few words. “Let them. Lupe replied.” I felt like I understood so much of her personality and intentions just from this one line.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. I love this idea of analyzing the Fall Writing Frenzy winners’ work. It’s such a great way for us to learn and grow as writers, like a mini writing class. Thank you Kaitlyn!

    In Skeleton’s Change of Heart by Liz Kehrli, I thought using the tune of Pina Colada was such a clever and creative device. The reader can’t help but sing along, which automatically makes it fun, add that to that the twist of the skeleton’s change of heart makes this a full on feel good piece.

    I found A Red Legend by Carrie Karnes-Fannin to be beautifully told; the line, “When morning was still a rumor,” leapt out at me, so gentle and evocative. I love Rose, “borrowing bravery from Lupe’s kisses” and saying “but there’s no secret here.” I was cheering them on! The villagers only saw love; a very hopeful message.

    I love twists on fairy tales and Cinderfella the Sculptor by Dana Miroballi didn’t disappoint. His tears mixing with cement dust, the diamond chisel from the fairy and no other artist yielding the chisel just right at the end; all perfect touches. I really like how the focus isn’t about finding true love, but about a passion for creating art. The last line is great, “…Sinclair created happily ever after.”

    I was blown away at how Janie Reinart was able to create two distinct voices in just 100 words in Cry Wolf: Poem for Two Voices! What a genius idea to write a performance piece! Really, really creative. I was drawn in right away – I read it as the boy being chased by a werewolf actually turns into one. I may be way off the mark here, but in any case, I loved this piece. Very well done.

    No Bones About It by Laurie Carmody is pure punny fun! “Bummed about having no bum?” “No shirt, no skin, no service” “BUT WAIT! There’s MORE!” all laugh out loud lines – and I learned a new word! Metatarsals. Very clever writing, fun for kids and adults.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you. @Penelope McNally Ding! Ding! Ding! Yes– “boy being chased by a werewolf actually turns into one.” That is what I was thinking. I had to read up about werewolf legends–if you get a bite or scratch you can be transformed. And since the transformation usually happens during a full moon–I had to add the line–Full moon shining! Yeah! Glad you enjoyed the poem.

      Liked by 4 people

  17. I love the snapshot into the way you read and evaluated these stories, Kaitlyn. While not a substitute for actually meeting all of you in person, reading these heartfelt, witty, creative stories, and supportive comments makes me feel like I’m making friends and getting to know you all.

    These stories are all so different and amazing, but I do believe their common theme is unique format.

    Skeleton’s Change of Heart is not only a funny premise, but the added layer of the song puts it over the top- you had me hooked. Pairing a well-loved, and laid back song about a change of heart with this skeleton’s love of fun and change of heart was perfect. The only constructive feedback I can think of (if you choose to take this further) is to add a refrain. Boy, do I love a good refrain. 🙂

    A Red Legend was captivating. I love it even more that I know it was, not only, about forbidden love, but an own voices story. The imagery was powerful and language so evocative and gorgeous. I’m impressed by how Carrie worked so many emotions into such a short story. I also love a happy ending…there’s so much disappointment and sadness in the world already. I did have to read it twice because I wasn’t sure if Lupe was really a wolf, but I think that adds a bit of intrigue and your audience will probably like that aspect.

    Cinderfella was a fun take on a Cinderella story. Clever name and great use of language. My favorite line was “As his tears mixed with cement dust, a fairy appeared”. I love “created happily ever after”. It’s really what it should be – whoever lives happily ever after anyway. 🙂 With more room, you could expand on the contest. You did a lot with few words and I could definitely see this becoming a picture book. Impressive.

    Cry Wolf was wow! Unexpected and so interesting. I felt like I was at a darkly lit, intimate, open mic night while I was reading it. I’m not sure if this was the intention, but I also think the story could be interpreted as the warring sides of one person (bravery and fear) and the fine line that separates and melds.

    No Bones about it was so funny, punny and unique. Definitely stand out on creativity and humor. This line “Refuse to be a lazy bones because this offer will decompose soon!” So good!

    Liked by 7 people

  18. I’m coming a little late to the party here, so I haven’t read all the comments yet, but this is such a good exercise for us. Thanks, Kaitlyn, and now I’ll have the Pina Colada song stuck in my head all evening! What struck me most about all the pieces were the unique and “borrowed” structures – a song, two fairy tales (Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella, poetry, and even an infomercial). I heard Tammi Sauer talking about varied structures in a webinar over the weekend, so maybe it’s still fresh in my mind. Recognizing something familiar can pull a reader in. I know I sometimes feel I am stuck in the same type of story, so mixing it up can really stretch those writing muscles. In all of the pieces you shared, the authors did a great job of making the structure their own.
    Also, the rhythm and rhyme seemed effortless in these pieces and really set the tone for the reader. We knew from the very first line if it would be funny, spooky, or something else. So well done. Thanks!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Ding ding ding, you may be later (there is no actual late to this party) but you sure came in with a splash, you’re the first to get the theme, it’s twists on something already out there, ie fairy tales, songs, and even infomercials 😉 very nice eye and yay for inspiring you, too! I hope you challenge yourself this week to write something from a familiar place but make it your own

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I love this challenge! Now I want to try one, too. 🙂 I’ve always made up my own lyrics to songs I sing to my kids. I never thought about writing them down before. Duh. There’s something about taking that purely playful approach to rhyme that makes it so much easier to pull off. Now, I just need to choose a song from my repertoire. Haha!

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Laurie’s No Bones About It-made me laugh. Such clever word play. From the first line on–no bum, 50% off skin-ny jeans! lack of guts. skel-phone Oh my! The voice of this piece is using a megaphone to speak! Laurie doesn’t stop-even the last line is connected–Not affiliated, licensed, or endorsed by The Dermatological Association of America. Tickled my funny bone!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Hehehe thank you, Janie! I was about to hit “submit” on the entry when I realized that informercials usually have “fine print” so I added the part about the dermatological association at the very last second. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. There is such a variety among all of these entries. Kudos to all of the authors for thinking outside of the box and writing some extremely creative pieces. I love the twist on the infomercial by Laurie. It certainly captures the tone of the advertisement with some wonderful word play.

    The change of heart in Liz’s piece is much needed. The transformation in Janie’s entry is well done. And I love the Cinderella and the Little Red Ridinghood adaptations.

    Congratulations to all!

    Liked by 5 people

      1. So, i loved all the comments and loved reading the winning stories grouped tonight, but misinterpreted the analysis pary entirely. I hunted for a theme…
        Here’s what i came uo with
        The Pina colada stury is about Halloween being fun instead of scary, so theyre reasy fir something different; Ted is abiut forbidden love, secrets, bravery and facing your village anyway regardkess the repercussions; cinderfella is a play in dinderella challenging gender roles and he has a crystal chisel; I see cry wolf as one person going through a transformation, “whats happening to me? I run. I run…faster. Owww. Owww.”, And No Bones has you belong…”out of the grave and into the sunlight…today’s yiur lucky day!” “I can conquer anything!” Message
        So, i see atransformation, change, and breaking/challenging barriors theme in these 5 stories
        Thats what i saw
        Although, now i have read your analysises (pl??) Of each and did learn a lot. Thanks. This is fun to see the winners and take a good look at them and think about them.
        I really like Red.
        I really like the Never Cry Wolf two parts read at the same time…that’s a super cool concept.
        Funny, cuz I so do not write anything like that. At all.
        Missie Matt


  21. Carrie’s the Red Legend is beautiful. With 9 words she sets the scene–

    a new moon


    in an ancient

    wood,–I love the way Carrie uses the white space to pull us down the path into the story.

    Using the name Lupe is lovely then pow adds-who ran with a wolf’s silence. Wow! Succinct lyrical language. Also love-when morning was still a rumor– Wow! Ties into the question –what will the hunter do? afraid of her village’s words biting and cutting them. What a finish-there is no secret here. Welcome! A love that would become legend. Love a happy ending! The style is written like a legend. Awesome. Just amazing!

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Thank you everyone for the kind words about CINDERFELLA.

    I love the song aspect of SKELETON’S CHANGE OF HEART. I don’t know the Pina Colada song very well, but I definitely know the melody. It was nice to sing the story in my head.

    I love the name choices, imagery, and poetic writing in A RED LEGEND. It feels like the prologue to a novel, and I am amazed at how wonderfully a story is captured in so few words.

    Favorite line: “When morning was still a rumor…”

    The format of CRY WOLF: POEM FOR TWO VOICES is neat. I’ve never seen a piece like this. The action is conveyed so well. I could feel myself running.

    NO BONES ABOUT IT is simply adorable. The concept and puns are quite clever.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Dana, I just have to say, my favorite part of your Cinderfella tale was that not only did you take the story and twist it, but you added more to it. Sinclair wasn’t just a stable boy. In this story, instead of stepbrothers he has to deal with other artists mocking his ability. This is such a clever addition of something to overcome. And of course the end line of creating happily ever after not only fits the sculpture aspect of the story perfectly but shows the reader the beauty in following your dreams. Lovely story!

      Liked by 6 people

  23. (So sorry I’m joining late. We are taking care of my brother in law. He was just released from the hospital after undergoing minor surgery !)
    The #FallWritingFrenzy submissions are absolutely outstanding! The Idea to put the “Skeleton Change of Heart” to music was so clever!
    “Red Legend” hmm could Lupe be a wolf.
    “Cinderfella” The name was a super play on words..He received his name because he worked with “Cinder”blocks, as well as the fractured fairytale angle!!!
    “Cry Wolf” Very well done! It certainly leaves the reader questioning …does the boy become a werewolf???
    “No Bones About It” I loved this unique idea..a commercial!!!! Wow!
    Each piece was able to pull the reader in..Well done!!!!
    Thanks Kaitlynn! This is a great learning experience. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  24. I love how SKELETON’S CHANGE OF HEART captured the mood of the song. It didn’t just borrow the tune (and matched the words sooooo well), but also stayed true to its weariness and wisdom (of things we chased in youth and later realized weren’t what made us happy).

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Love that point about staying true to the song. Wow! Yes, so right! I think by doing that the story/song nestled further into my heart, since I love the original so much!

      Liked by 2 people

  25. I think the theme here is old tales retold in a new way. I loved all of them! Great job everyone. The Red Legend just took my breath away with its fresh take. Each line was so beautiful and had so much depth! No Bones About It was laugh-out-loud-funny , each line getting funnier and cleverer than the one before it. I am so inspired now. Thanks again Kaitylen , Lydia, Donna and all the winners for inspiring us with your talents.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. Cry Wolf is such a different way of expression. I loved it! I would have never thought of that way to do it. I would love to know what went through Janie’s mind while writing it.

          Cinderfella is a such a cute gender twist apt and much needed for young kids these days. I can already see it as PB!

          Skeleton’s Change of Heart again was a beautiful story that I can see as a PB for young readers.

          Can’t wait for the next set of winner entry pieces.

          Liked by 2 people

  26. Loving this chance to look at everyone’s entries in this way! Coming to read this post on Thursday, but what are days anyway right now? These are all such wonderful pieces and I love the creativity of turning a familiar story upside down.
    Skeleton’s Change of Heart is interactive and I can envision a class full of kids boogying to this song on Halloween.
    A Red Legend is just gorgeous. I read it through several times and picked up on something else each time. Others have mentioned the line, “morning was still a rumor,” but it was breathtaking. What a powerful piece in just a few words!
    Cinderfella is a cute twist on the tale we all know. I would love to see even more details about Sinclair if more words were allowed! I like that the end says he “created happily ever after.”
    Cry Wolf is a creative format and I especially enjoyed the overlapping lines that were almost the same but only differed by a word or two. This would be fun to use as Reader’s Theater! I wondered if the “OWWWs” at the end were ‘OW’ as in ‘ouch,’ or like wolf howling. Once I realized it was a wolf howling, it changed the whole piece!
    No Bones About It had me laughing the entire time. Puns are my favorite thing. What a creative piece of persuasive writing and so on theme! “No body to love” really got me.
    Looking forward to diving into a new batch next week! Thank you, Kaitlyn!


  27. Thank you for sharing your process! It was great to hear how your story came to be.Loving this chance to look at everyone’s entries in this way! Coming to read this post on Thursday, but what are days anyway right now? These are all such wonderful pieces and I love the creativity of turning a familiar story upside down.

    Skeleton’s Change of Heart is interactive and I can envision a class full of kids boogying to this song on Halloween.

    A Red Legend is just gorgeous. I read it through several times and picked up on something else each time. Others have mentioned the line, “morning was still a rumor,” but it was breathtaking. What a powerful piece in just a few words!

    Cinderfella is a cute twist on the tale we all know. I would love to see even more details about Sinclair if more words were allowed! I like that the end says he “created happily ever after.”

    Cry Wolf is a creative format and I especially enjoyed the overlapping lines that were almost the same but only differed by a word or two. This would be fun to use as Reader’s Theater! I wondered if the “OWWWs” at the end were ‘OW’ as in ‘ouch,’ or like wolf howling. Once I realized it was a wolf howling, it changed the whole piece!

    No Bones About It had me laughing the entire time. Puns are my favorite thing. What a creative piece of persuasive writing and so on theme! “No body to love” really got me.

    Looking forward to diving into a new batch next week! Thank you, Kaitlyn!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Woohoo! I’m so glad you’re getting as much out of it as I am, and not just because of COVID, but because of how blogs work, there’s no specific day to come, I just chose Wednesday as the day to launch the conversation, pop in anytime you can, that’s the beauty of blogs! Also, I love that you pointed out the end to Cinderfella, great point, and you’re so right, I also took a beat to figure out what ow meant, I wonder how that could be edited to be clear.

      Liked by 3 people

  28. Just getting a chance to read through all the comments today. Love the conversations and analyses here!

    Skeleton’s Change of Heart – So clever. I found myself singing the entire piece. It fit perfectly with the tune and I’m sure that was not easy to do!

    A Red Legend – the structure taking us down the page and into the secret between Lupe and Rose. Just beautiful.

    Cinderfella the Sculpter – besides the obvious twist on the fairy tale, I loved the ending. Sinclair “created happily ever after.” This was so perfect because I didn’t know or even care whether the princess was a part of that “ever after.” Just the fact the Sinclair was now the sculptor he wanted to be was the happy ending I wanted!

    Cry Wolf – I especially loved the lines that were said at the same time. This was so effective, to me, at conveying the emotions from each character. The transition from “I” to “We” was a great way to show the transformation taking place. Very cool!

    No Bones About It – Just plain funny and clever from the get go! My kind of punny humor! 🙂

    All of these entries were special in their own uniqueness and execution. Wonderful job everyone!

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Hi Everyone,

    What great stories! Okay, here goes my analysis:

    “Skeleton’s Change of Heart” : Every word counts. The poem starts with what the skeleton didn’t like about his old life, to what he now would rather do. The rhetorical question “Why should I change how I live?” cleverly explains why he is changing his life and helps encourage the other skeletons to join him. The last line of the poem, “Before our bones turn to ash!” adds the final touch of finality. The skeletons will not be around forever, so they should make the best of their life and have fun while they can! Finally, the poem itself follows a series of stressed, unstressed beats for its entirety making it a light, fun, and rhythmic read. (and I now have Pina Colada stuck in my head!)

    “A Red Legend” : The imagery is amazing. On first read, one might think it’s a Little Red Riding Hood fractured tale, but the story itself follows two girls, Rose and Lupe, and their forbidden love. With so few words, Carrie was able to strategically characterize Lupe as strong, protective, and brave. She didn’t care what others thought of them, while Rose did. Then, the huntsman added an extra element. “For though a hunter, he wasn’t cruel.” This line was what showed that their love was not readily accepted by others. Rose realizes that they should not be ashamed of their love at the end. The one word “Welcome” indicates that not only does Rose now welcome their love to be exposed, but the village, unlike what she thought, welcomes it as well.

    “Cinderfella The Sculptor” : Within 200 words, Dana was able to encapsulate every element of Cinderella, or I should say, Cinderfella. There are hardly to no passive sentences in this story which enriches every image. For example, “She transformed Sinclair’s hard hat and overalls into a cap and smock.” and “Sinclair dashed away…” Every word here counts and clearly shows the actions of Sinclair making it possible for this story to be told in 200 words.

    “Cry Wolf: Poem for Two Voices” : This was cleverly and uniquely done. This may be my own interpretation, but having the two different voices shows how the wolves, or werewolves, hunt down and transform others. When the lines are read together, it’s the human transforming into the wolf and becoming one with them. It starts with the chase and ends with transformation. The human words on the right slowly digress as he transforms into the howling wolf. Again, cleverly done!

    “No Bones About It” : This was simply hilarious! I wasn’t expecting to read an advertisement for skeletons! The puns here were cleverly done and helped to tell the story along with writing an ad. Parts of advertisement/marketing were cleverly included: rhetorical questions, glittering generalities, the phrase “No Shirt, No Skin, No Service,” and using a celebrity figure (Napoleon Bone-a-part). Every skeleton will surely jump on this sale!

    Overall Theme: Transformation. Either in thought or as a person.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh I love that you noted the meter for Liz’s piece, that’s a great point that the meter made it more light hearted! And I totally agree, the characterization Carrie does in so few words is amazing! Oh, I didn’t realize the lack of passive sentences in Dana’s very nice eye! I agree with the idea for Cry Wolf and how fun was No Bones About it? As for your theme, it’s a good guess, but not quiiite why I paired these 5 together 😉 I hope you have fun reading through the other comments when you get a chance (btw, one person did get the theme correct ;))

      Liked by 2 people

  30. Hi everyone,
    This is such a fab discussion, thank you Kaitlyn for setting this up, you always go above and beyond. I just want to say these stories blew me away, they are exceptional and every one of them gave me goosebumps. I love the running theme but also that they tackled them in such different ways. Such a unique take! Absolutely amazing!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  31. These are all creative pieces with a lot of thought behind each word. My thoughts on a common theme is ‘be you.” We are all influenced by outside sources, but I felt a close connection to the feeling of “the self’ and carving your place in the scheme of things.

    I liked Liz’s story for it’s cleverness, lyrical language, and the free to be me vibe. I could see the change and picture each possible transition offered.

    Carrie did a fantastic story of revisiting the old fable. Her lyrical language jumps off the page with mood and heart. I felt that satisfying ending.

    Dana’s story is refreshing. The gender flip was unexpected and carried out so well. The setting and twist drew me in as I wound my way to the end.

    Janie’s story blew me away! She’s my critique partner who always spins stories so eloquently. I’d never seen this format–so creative. She paced the mood, suspense, and visuals on track as the werewolf changed form.

    Laurie’s story made me laugh all the way through it 🙂 Original, clever, humorous, and down right fun! Her word choices tickled my funny bone.

    This is my first time to participate in a writing frenzy. Thank you Kaitlyn and Lydia for adding creativity and fun rolled up in this amazing contest. Congratulations to the winners and everyone who participated.

    Liked by 4 people

  32. I was finally able to read through these pieces and I’m so glad I did! I learned so much!
    Kaitlyn, your challenge, that we find a commonality among them, made me read and reflect and reflect some more. THank you for that!
    Not sure if it registers with others, but here goes.
    Not only did each piece have a strong premise, but their uniqueness was evident from the first few lines. We stepped inside a reality that we may never have considered and line by line that initial specific perspective was confirmed. Each piece revealed its essence immediately and each new line was like a moment, or a new layer of understanding, except that instead of experiencing it from the outside in, we started at the core of each story/experience.
    Skeleton’s Change of Heart was an AFFIRMATION of childhood joy.
    In The Red Legend we entered into a magical setting, a special moment, and felt a KINDNESS that grew into COURAGE.
    In Cry Wolf we felt FEAR from the first mention of a shadow and saw that CHANGE IS INEVITABLE.
    Cinderfella taught us to HONOR OUR GIFTS and accept the essence of who we are.
    And No bones About It, as funny as it was, also teaches us to look at like from other PERSPECTIVES.
    All of these BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN pieces broaden the world we belong to. My day is richer for having read them all! THank you Kaitlyn, Lydia, Liz, Carrie, Dana, Janie & Laurie! Well done!


  33. I’m a little late to the game here but want to post a comment before reading the other responses.

    These stories are all so different, that at first it was hard to find anything they had in common. They are all so creative. But then I realized that that is what makes them the same–they are all quite original (in spite of being a spin-off of something else.) Skeleton’s Change of Heart is a spin off a song (and yes, I know the song well and I immediately started singing the story in my head from the first line. Pulled me in that quickly.) A Red Legend has the character Rose, so I am asuming Rose Red. It is obvious that Cinderella is the fairytale that inspired Cinderfella, the Sculpture. Cool that there is a male character this time around. Cry Wolf: Poem for Two Voices…the boy who cried wolf perhaps? Werewolves. Love this piece, Janie. An No Bones about It is hilarious! It it a great spoof on those infommericals.

    So, that’s my take. The writers all started with something familiar to most of us but twisted it to makes it something new and exciting. And they are all so creative. Great work.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. I absolutely love this exercise in reflection and celebration and I cannot wait to see the future posts as well!

    I felt like a middle school version of myself giggling over the keyboard as I wrote my story, NO BONES ABOUT IT. I could have easily had a couple of my BFFs hanging over my shoulder drinking cans of Snapple and snorting in my ear. It was fun to be a playful writer…I have to remember to do that more often, I think.

    I read the comments, so I know the theme is a “twist” on a familiar story, but I must say that I was absolutely blown away by the creativity and unique voices.

    Some things that really hooked me about each one

    SKELETON’S CHANGE OF HEART – The song is a favorite, but on top of that, each line pushed the story forward. There were no wasted words. I was brought through every moment like a guest welcoming me to the monster party.

    A RED LEGEND – Beautiful, so much depth of emotion and worldbuilding. I feel like I need to study the worldbuilding more here, actually. We didn’t get much backstory, but we do know so very much based on the feelings from the characters and the way they fear going to the village. So much said about the world without saying specifics. I love that.

    CINDERFELLER – As a mom of a boy, I love seeing books that celebrate boys in a gentle, creative manner. This story did that beautifully and encouraged the joy of making in an inclusive, encompassing way.

    CRY WOLF – VOICE, VOICE, VOICE! Wow, if RED LEGEND inspires me to learn more about worldbuilding, this one inspires me to learn more about voice. Lining them up like that really demonstrated how a few differences in language can paint such a different picture of a character.

    Thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to think about craft in this way, Kaitlyn. I look forward to more!

    Liked by 3 people

  35. I’m a little late to the comments here, but I really loved each of these pieces. Overall, there was great use of language, plot, and pacing, and I broke down different comments for each:

    1. A Skeleton’s Change of Heart – This one was so much fun! I hummed the song the whole way through. Very clever 🙂

    2. A Red Legend – This one was definitely a mood piece. I loved the imagery and subtlety, but also the power of so few words.

    3. Cinderfella Sculptor – This one had a great story arc – a fractured fairy tale done in a very imaginative way. And I loved the theme of perseverance.

    4. Cry Wolf – The structure of this one was great! I loved the anticipation/tension. Very creative!

    5. No Bones About It – This was one of my very favorite entries! I loved the language – so clever, pun-y, and funny!!

    Liked by 3 people

  36. I enjoyed learning from these authors’ entries. So much creativity!
    Writing a personals ad in SKELETON’S CHANGE OF HEART to the tune of the Pina Colada song. So clever!
    “Rose, a red shadow of a girl, slipped between trees …” Beautifully written! The spare, lyrical text in A RED LEGEND creates an air of mysterious allure. The mood reminds me of a line from a Robert Frost poem, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep.”
    CINDERFELLA THE SCULPTOR is a creative twist on a classic fairy tale. A man. An artist. A chisel. And what an inspiring message … Never give up on your craft.
    Using a performance piece format for CRY WOLF is brilliant! Love the eerie echo of “shadows, shadows, shadows.” The cries of the wolf, “Owww!” and “Run!” had me looking over my shoulder.
    I can just hear the informercial voice in NO BONES ABOUT IT. So hilarious! Skin-ny jeans and Napoleon Bone-a-part. Lol!
    Love how all these authors used a fairy tale, informercial, or song to inspire their winning stories. So ingenious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love all this detailed analysis but I really liked that you posted out the eerie echo of the shadows, no one pointed that out yet and it’s such a great point! Thanks for joining in and so sorry the spam filter prevented this before, I appreciate you checking!


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