Fall Writing Frenzy 2020 Winner Analysis, Week 8

The final Fall Writing Frenzy Analysis for the 2020 Winners is here!!!

Can I get a woohoo?

I have had so much fun learning and growing with you all, and honoring these wonderful writers as well was a nice added benefit that I don’t think we realized would come out of this analysis.

I hope everyone’s year is off to a great start and if not, that’s okay too. Some days, I’m doing great and others I’m just barely hanging on, and still others is a mix of the two. I’m a huge fan of feel your feelings, no matter who you are and what those feelings are, so I hope no matter how it’s going, you’re feeling your feelings and acknowledging that those feelings are valid. Then, if they’re bad feelings, I hope you have found ways to cope, for me it’s outright crying on my husband’s shoulder with my daughter asking if I’m sad and trying to cheer me up or dancing around my house or my classroom to upbeat songs like Don’t Stop Believing, Lover, and Better When I’m Dancing. That may be why I really loved and totally needed our Kidlit Dance Party in December and SURPRISE we’re totally doing another in spring, I’ll share more details here soon but it will probably be in March right before the Spring Fling Kidlit Contest, so I’ll be answering questions you all have about that live during the event too😍

Okay enough of my blabbering, it seems I stumped you all again in week 7, the themes you all found were phenomenal! The reason I placed them together was… characterization! All the pieces did a fantastic job of creating stellar characters in so few words.

Please remember our rules for analysis:
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 even 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.

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!

Without further ado, here is our week 8 of our Fall Writing Frenzy analysis of the 2020 winners!

Chapter One: String Magic

By Melissa Mwai



Some kids say the magic happened because Rosalina Reyes had walked into the school exactly when the first autumn leaf fell. Others say it was because she could make halfcourt baskets with her eyes closed. Maybe it was the lab beaker fumes that misted around Rosalina like a spell. 

Those things happened. 

But they aren’t the truth.

The magic happened to Rosalina because of a string. Not a real string, but the thread of fate that weaves truth through a story. Everyone has a string, but Rosalina’s is silvery, shiny and strong, like a galaxy bursting with stars. 

Rosalina’s string threads back to a long line of women with magic. Her abuela, Rosalina Carmen, creates paintings that change themselves if they are unfinished before the paint dries. 

Following the string back centuries, the very first Rosalina was a Taino princess. She prayed for protection when her people were dying from diseases caused by conquistadors. She had lived over a thousand years.

But without her best friend, Rosalina Reyes needs more than magic to survive seventh grade.

By Michele Ziemke

Karma danced on a
cool autumn night.
The wind swirled,
the leaves twirled,
when Granny flew in on her broom.

“It’s time to prove your witchcraft!
Before the sun rises, you must brew your own potion
under the moon!”

Karma rushed to her kettle…
adding virtue,
lots of fate,
and a dash of charity,
until her potion was perfect!

“Bippy boppy boo!
The kind of Kindness that you share,
will circle back to you!”

Karma waved her wand.
“Bippy boppy boo!”
The wind swirled,
the leaves twirled,
as her friends came out to play.

Sharita climbed a tree to rescue a kitten.
Wu fixed Jose’s broom.

Karma waited, but despite their good deeds,
nothing magical happened.
Charles sneered. “You’ll never be a real witch!”

Karma sighed. “Maybe I’m not ready.”
“Be patient, my lovely, and believe,” said Granny.

Karma waved her wand again.
“Bippy boppy boo!”
The wind swirled
the leaves twirled,
under the bright harvest moon.

Karma witnessed her magic…
Sharita’s new kitten purred in her arms.
Jose zoomed in on a fancy new broom,
with plenty of room for Wu!
But Charles flew by with toilet paper
stuck to his shoe!

Yes, Karma’s a witch!

The Bones

By Brittany Pomales



Nobody parties like the Bones  

The witching hour smash Bones   

best Hallows’ eve bash Bones     

The haunted house on the hill Bones,     

with decorations that thrill Bones.         

The jaw-flapping jabber Bones,              

laugh out loud blabber Bones.      

The shimmy-and-shake your rump Bones,  

do the skeleton bump Bones.     

The eyeballs in the punch Bones,   

finest food to munch Bones. 

The bob for apples —CHOMP Bones

Pumpkin carving champ Bones.   

The dawn is breaking, “Goodbye Bones” 

“Until next Hallows’ Eve,” reply Bones.   

The Adventure of Skeeter S. Squirrel
By Ashley Chalmers

Skeeter S. Squirrel was late again, and this time was bad, bad, bad. This time, he was far from home and winter was creeping in. He held his newfound acorn as he stroked his bushy tail and peered ahead. His ears perked. His nose twitched. The first crisp snow wasn’t far away, not far at all.

There had to be a faster way home, there just had to be!

Oh dear, oh dear, he thought, his tail growing puffier.

Off to his side, he heard a rustling.

Oh! …deer?

“Deirdre?” Skeeter called. “Is that you?”

But instead of the voice of his dearest deer friend, Skeeter heard a squawk that sent his tummy into a somersault.

Holding his acorn tight, Skeeter knew he had to run, run, RUN!

He veered into a pile of leaves, grateful to be camouflaged amongst the russet and gold. But it wasn’t enough.

Suddenly, Skeeter was floating. Then, he was flying… and soon, he was soaring! He watched as the trees below blurred past in ginger and auburn, and he laughed into the wind.

“I’m flying!” Skeeter cheered, sending a joyful “WHEEEEEE!” out into the sky.

And then, Skeeter remembered how he got here.

By Alicia Curley

There’s a story brewing around me. It’s cool, and it’s damp as it twirls and swirls. Teasing, tickling, begging to play –

But I don’t know how to play with it.

This story that’s brewing surrounds me. I let it in, and feel it thrash. Tangly and mangly, contracting and pushing. Stifled, restrained, begging to grow –

But I don’t know how to grow it.

There’s a story brewing inside me. It hints at what it could be. It uncoils and lengthens, stretching and shooting. Budding, blooming, begging for me to write –

But I don’t know how to write it.

This story that’s brewing consumes me. It questions all that I know.

Am I smart enough?

Am I strong enough?

Am I good enough?

To find the words for it to grow?

It swells, and it builds, this story inside, makes me feel like I just might explode.

It twists and transforms, until we’re both shaped anew.

One writer.

One story.

One storm.

I’m a story that’s brewing. I’m expanding, and burning, a force that’s unfurling. Longing, learning, begging to dare –

Am I brave enough to dare it?

I can’t wait to get this discussion underway about what we can learn from these creators and their pieces!


Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez

PS I hope you’re all enjoying Storystorm! The post today with Winsome today was amazing! If you haven’t read it, make sure to check it out!

40 thoughts on “Fall Writing Frenzy 2020 Winner Analysis, Week 8

  1. I can’t really think of a theme except for maybe… FANTASTIC OPENING LINES. The opening is always a tough part of the process for me. They all have fantastic, gripping beginnings! Congratulations to each of the featured winners! I’m sad to see Fall Frenzy 2020 go, but I’m looking forward to my first Spring Fling!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Chapter One: String Magic–By Melissa Mwai

    Great visual of the string connecting the 3 Rosalinas across time. “Silvery galaxies” –delicious image. Magical realism–love! Coming of age story–love, love! Only 1 chapter–don’t love! (LOL) I need to read the rest of this story. Please tell me there is more to come after Chapter One…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. KARMA IS A WITCH–By Michele Ziemke

    “But Charles flew by with toilet paper
    stuck to his shoe!

    Yes, Karma’s a witch!”

    Oh my goodness, I’m laughing so hard at this! Great pacing throughout as you built to the punch line. Thank you for sharing such a fun story, Michele.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The Adventure of Skeeter S. Squirrel–By Ashley Chalmers

    The visuals of the bushy-tailed squirrel clinging to the one acorn & realizing he’s far too late into the season for gathering his winter horde are spot on. Perfect characterization, especially with the name Skeeter. Loved the building of tension with the dark twist at the end. Poor Skeeter…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Brewing–By Alicia Curley

    Your adjectives & verbs! ❤ "Tangly and mangly" has to be one of my favorite made-up phrases–instantly know EXACTLY what it means. The progression of 'story' as a character itself merging with the narrator is wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. These stories all pulled me in immediately, so at first I thought, like Laken, that the theme was great opening lines. But they all also left me with the feeling of wanting more. Not to say that the ending wasn’t satisfying, but just wanting the story to continue. I think that’s part of what makes a story great, whether it’s a picture book or a novel – you don’t want it to end.

    I’ve enjoyed the analyses, Kaitlyn! Thanks for this little added bonus to the contest.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I really have loved this series so much, thank you for taking this extra time, Kaitlyn!! I fell off of commenting each week because, you know, the holidays and life and general mayhem. But I’ve been reading each post and all the comments. What an amazing community you and Lydia have created! Thanks for everything.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Seconded! These contests are like little sparks un the community that lead to meteor showers of creativity. I love how everyone get so AMPED!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I was thinking ‘unfinished business’ was the theme (what MC wants, MC doesn’t necessarily get by the end of the story) but it doesn’t quite fit with KARMA IS A WITCH (such a cute story, by the way)! Or is it… alliteration/repetition? SKEETER S. SQUIRREL (also super adorable and action-packed like you’d imagine a squirrel’s life would be!)

    Was captivated by CHAPTER ONE: STRING MAGIC. Love the way string (magic) was explained and would love to see this spin-off: “creates paintings that change themselves if they are unfinished before the paint dries”.

    BONES was so cleverly written. 🙂 I enjoyed reading it then again without the ‘bones’ at the end — such different experiences within the same story!

    With BREWING, I really like that in the beginning the story almost sounds like a monster, but the switch is flipped and the reader realizes that he/she is the one in control of it.

    Fantastic job, everyone!!! 🙂 Thank you so much, Kaitlyn, for Fall Writing Frenzy Analysis. Will miss it!

    Liked by 4 people

  9. First of all thanks so much for creating this great opportunity to analyze the #Fall Frenzy stories! It has been an amazing learning experience!

    “Chapter 1 String Magic” – This was quite the intriguing tale! Great beginning as well as tag line!!
    Karma is a Witch – Great, fun story!!! My favorite line was “Bippy, boppy boo! Still giggling over the “toilet paper” part! 🙂
    “The Bones” – The rhythm was great.
    “Skeeter”- What can I say …poor, poor Skeeter 😦
    “Brewing”- The use of descriptive words was amazing!
    All of the winning entries this week appear to have the common thread of creative endings as well as humor!

    Thanks again! Looking forward to my first attempt at “Spring Fling” 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. These stories all felt so different to me, but perhaps there’s a bit of magic in all of them?!

    String Magic – I loved the lineage described in String Magic. There’s something captivating about understanding our roots and this story has intrigue and fun anecdotes about the ancestors.

    Karma Is A Witch – What a clever set up and premise – Karma personified. Such a fun ending too – toilet paper on the shoe! Ha! My favorite line – “be patient, my lovely, and believe.”

    The Bones – This one reads like a song. This story did it’s job because now I want to “shimmy and shake my rump” with the Bones. So great – “Laugh out loud blabber bones” “Eyeballs in the punch bones”

    The Adventure of Skeeter S. Squirrel – The squirrel voice in this one is adorable – I felt the worry, fear, and excitement. What a fun romp, but poor little Skeeter.

    Brewing – This one really resonated. Such evocative adjectives and verbs – brewing, teasing, stretching, blooming…and we are both shaped anew. Writing the story changes us for sure! What a great description of the process and an awesome story to wrap up with.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Brewing is a love letter to words. ❤️

    Skeeter has an amazing voice! Oh Dear!

    Bones and Karma are full of surprising and specific word choices.

    Stellar work everyone!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Right? I live Brewing as I love yours and almost used Skeeter for the characterization list but then I wasn’t sure others would see it that way so I changed my mind at the last minute, so wonderful to see so many people thought that too!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Chapter One: String Magic – That first line! It gets the reader interested and makes you connect with the main character at the same time. Rosalina Reyes seems like a girl that I could be friends with or better yet, be. And I love how even thought she has magic and comes from a long line of magic there are something that magic just can’t help with. The horror of seventh grade.

    KARMA IS A WITCH – Love the play on the phrase Karma is a B*tch. I would love some of her potion, virtue, fate, and a dash of charity.

    Brewing – The word choice in brewing is superb. It really helps bring the storm to life. “Tangly and mangly”…really great!


  13. Thanks Kaitlyn for this terrific series analyzing the Fall Writing Frenzy winners! It’s been such fun connecting, reading, learning and growing together. I missed last week as life got in the way, but have truly enjoyed keeping up as best I could with these. My first thought on theme was along the lines of magic, but not sure it holds for all.

    STRING MAGIC – I was riveted from the start! I wanted to get a cup of tea, curl up and read this terrific story. The first sentence is everything! And the beautiful description of Rosalina’s silvery, shiny string connecting her to her lineage of Rosalinas left me wanting more.

    KARMA IS A WITCH – I love the idea, and the play on the usual phrase about karma. Never too early to learn about karma kids! I love what Karma adds into her kettle – virtue, fate and a dash of charity – and the ending – toilet paper on his shoe…perfect!!! Karma is a witch!

    THE BONES – terrific word selection and rhythm, such fun to read aloud!

    SKEETER – poor Skeeter! I like him so much, his voice rang so true. Lovely descriptions of autumn as well. And funny that he was enjoying his flight for a moment.

    BREWING – lovely lyrical language to convey the angst a writer often feels. I think we all can relate. I love the ending as well, changing from the story brewing around her to, “I’m a story that’s brewing…am I brave enough to dare it?” well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I have to say: I feel semi-terrible that everyone assumes Skeeter dies!!! I wrote it very much imagining it to be a cliff-hanger (hawk-hanger?!), but as soon as I posted it on my site people were like… wow, you killed a squirrel for this, really going for it. Sincere apologies, everyone! I like to think the story continues and spoiler alert: Skeeter escapes!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I LOVED all of these stories! At first I thought the universal theme was magic and/or karma, but then I thought great openings and powerful language.

    Thank you, Kaitlyn and Lydia for running this contest – I had the BEST time and learned so much from everyone’s stories!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It was such a treat to read the comments and analysis for these stories. My heart is FULL seeing how BREWING resonated with so many. I too thought there was a common theme of magic and taking the image in a different direction. All of these were great and it’s an honor to be among this company!

    Liked by 2 people

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