Birthday! Birthday! Honorable Mention 🎉

I was excited to find out today that my story won an Honorable Mention in the Birthday! Birthday! contest from last month.

Thanks to Gennie and Amy for hosting such a fun contest!

Check out the other winners and honorable mentions too!

And, if you missed my silly/dark contest entry, you can read it here.

Have a great rest of your week!

Birthday! Birthday! Contest 2021

I’m so excited to participate in this brand-new contest, started by one of my own critique partners and one of her critique partners.

Gennie Gorback and Amy Leskowski discovered they have the same birthday…and thus, this contest was born!

Read all about the Birthday! Birthday! Contest here.

The rules are pretty simple. The stories have to stay at 100 words or fewer, and we have to include at least one word from each birthday girl’s list below.

I thought it would be fun to take it juuust a little further. So my silly story includes, not two, but 10 of these 12 words. 😄 Enjoy!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GENNIE and AMY!!! 🎉🎉

BEDTIME
By Jessica Hinrichs
100 words

Turtle yawned, and switched off the lamp. “Bedtime!”

“Nope!” Monkey switched the lamp back on.

Monkey did crafts and puzzles, munched on cookies, and noisily slurped his milk.

“Seriously?!” Turtle said. “I’m trying to sleep here.” He switched off the lamp.

“And I’m trying to play here.” Monkey switched the lamp on.

“This is a conundrum.” Turtle sighed.

“Let’s compromise.” Monkey suggested. “One game of baseball, then I’ll go to bed.”

Monkey pitched. Turtle swung the bat.

Whoosh! The baseball flew through the air, bonking Monkey smackdab in the noggin.

Monkey snoozed.

Turtle switched off the lamp, smiling slyly. “Finally.”

Halloweensie 2021

Here we go again! If you haven’t figured it out, it’s contest season in the #KidLit #WritingCommunity! 👻🎃🍁

For the Halloweensie contest, our stories have to stay at 100 words or less. That’s tough! My first draft came in at 140 words, so I had to cut, cut, cut. ✂️ The rules for this contest also state that we must incorporate 3 specific words into our story: goosebumps, glow-in-the dark, and goodies.

Thanks to Susanna Leonard Hill for always putting on such fun writing contests! Read more about the Halloweensie contest here.

My entry is below. Happy Halloween! 🎃

BRUCE GOOSE
By Jessica Hinrichs
100 words



Bruce Goose had a problem. He had no goosebumps.

Who ever heard of a goose with no goosebumps? Ridiculous.

Bruce determined this would be the Halloween he got his goosebumps back, so he asked his friends to scare him, and scare him good!

Duck dressed as a vampire and circled overhead.

Sheep dressed as a glow-in-the-dark skeleton and shimmied and shook.

Pig dressed as a witch and cackled a spooky spell. “Honkus Ponkus!”

But still, no goosebumps. 

Then, Lucy Goose—Bruce’s crush—held out a treat bag. “Wanna share my Halloween goodies?”

And she planted a kiss smackdab on Bruce’s beak...

GOOSEBUMPS!

Fall Writing Frenzy 2021 Winner

Great news to start a Monday! I wasn’t expecting Fall Writing Frenzy winners to be announced until the end of the week, but when I woke up I had a message from one of my lovely critique partners letting me know and cheering me on! Supportive CPs are worth their weight in gold, aren’t they??

Anyway, I was thrilled to see my name among the winners for this year!! Check out the rest of the winners and honorable mentions here.

And, if you want to read my contest entry, you can find it here.

I’ll see y’all again at the end of the week when I post my entry for Halloweensie! Have a great week! 🍁

Fall Writing Frenzy 2021

It’s contest time again!

This particular contest holds a special place in my heart because this is the contest that brought my critique group together ONE YEAR AGO! Last year, we dubbed ourselves The Frenzy Friends in honor of the Fall Writing Frenzy contest that brought us together, and the name has stuck.

It’s hard to believe we’ve been together for a year already, but on the other hand, these special ladies have become great friends and I feel like I’ve known them forever. 🥰

So, for the Fall Writing Frenzy contest, we were given some fall pics to choose from as our writing prompts. Our stories can’t go over 200 words. But, other than that, there aren’t many rules. We can write funny, spooky, scary, dark—basically, whatever we think about when we look at the picture.

Read more about the Fall Writing Frenzy contest here.

I usually write picture books. But, for my contest entry this year, I went for a darker mood piece that definitely has a more middle-grade vibe. And then I decided, what the heck, I’ll make it interesting and write it in haiku.🤓

Here is the pic I chose, and my story is below. Enjoy! 🍁

MISS ANNABELLE:

A Haiku

By Jessica Hinrichs

196 words





I was ten years old
the day Miss Annabelle died.
She was my neighbor.

My very best friend.
Closest thing I’d ever had
to a grandparent.

She made the best tea
this side of Mississippi.
Tea and biscuits, both.

When Mama told me,
my heart felt like it shattered.
Grief-stricken, I cried.

A deluge of tears.
I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t speak.
Pain unparalleled.

A few days later,
we walked to the funeral,
somber and solemn.

Leaves crunched beneath us.
An earthy scent lingered, like
ashes to ashes.

The white church stood out
against the vibrant backdrop
of orange, gold, yellow.

How beautiful, and
how odd to notice beauty
in the midst of grief.

And those bells. Those bells.
The ethereal chiming. 
Still now, it haunts me.

A sorrowful song,
bidding eternal peace, and
a final goodbye.

I’ve tried to forget.
But, when I hear church bells, or
see the autumn leaves,

I can’t help but think
of that fateful day she left.
I miss my sweet friend.

But, Miss Annabelle
has been gone for two years now.
Two heartbreaking years.

So, why? I ask, why?
Why is she sitting on my
front porch swing right now?

4th Place Valentiny Winner!

I’m blown away and so excited to say that I won 4th place (out of 252 entries) in this year’s Valentiny Writing Contest! ❤️

Two of my lovely and talented critique partners won Honorable Mentions too, which just makes this win even sweeter! 💗

You can find the list of all of the winners here.

Speaking of my critique partners, I’m constantly amazed by their creativity and writing skills. They come up with ideas and stories much faster than I do! In fact, their stories were complete and ready to go before I even had any clue what to write for Valentiny! I considered not even entering this contest because I had so much trouble coming up with an idea. And then, one day, the idea just hit me…and I ran with it! I’m so glad I did!

See my previous post to read my story.

Valentiny Contest

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

It’s contest time again! The first writing contest for 2021. Author and blogger extraordinaire Susanna Leonard Hill is hosting her 6th annual Valentiny Writing Contest, and I’m so excited to be entering for the first time this year! Read more about the contest here: https://susannahill.com/2021/02/12/be-brave-my-heart-the-6th-annual-valentiny-contest-is-here/

Basically, this contest has 3 rules:

  1. Your story must be about Valentine’s Day.
  2. Your story must include someone being brave in some way.
  3. Your story must be 214 words or less (because 2/14…get it?).

I hope you enjoy my short and sweet story! My entry is below:

Valentine’s Gotcha Day

By Jessica Hinrichs

(213 words)

Valentine sat in her kennel, nervously thumping her tail against the floor.

Was today the day? She’d gotten her hopes up before, but everyone always said her fur was too scruffy, her nose was a funny shape, and her size was just too much to love.

Day after day, she remained at the shelter, watching families adopt her friends and hoping one day it would be her turn too.

Just then, Valentine’s ears perked up. She heard a girl’s voice. Her heart beat faster as the girl approached.

“Look, Mommy!” The little girl squealed. “Her fur is red! Her nose is shaped like a heart! And there’s a lot of her to love! She’s perfect.”

The little girl knelt down and smiled—the prettiest smile Valentine had ever seen. 

Valentine’s eyes pleaded with her. Could this be my Gotcha Day? I’m too scared to even hope. Be brave! She trembled, but she held the little girl’s gaze.

As if the little girl understood, she reached out her hand and gently whispered, “Sweet Valentine, will you be mine?”

Will I ever! Valentine’s fears faded in a split-second and she lunged into the little girl’s arms, peppering her face with wet kisses.

The little girl giggled. “You’re the best Valentine ever!”

No, thought Valentine, you are.

THE END

Fall Writing Frenzy

Earlier this month, I entered a writing contest called Fall Writing Frenzy. Contestants were given a choice of fall-themed images to choose from and told to write anything the image conjured in our minds. There were no writing restrictions, other than word count. Stories could be sweet, sentimental, funny, creepy, etc., just not longer than 200 words. It was such a fun contest and really got me into the fall spirit. I also met three new critique partners and we have formed a critique group we aptly named “Frenzy Friends”. Learn more about the Fall Writing Frenzy here. https://lydialukidis.wordpress.com/fall-writing-frenzy-contest-2020/

I based my story on Image #8 (see below).

I’m Thankful!-Image #8 

By Jessica Hinrichs
Word count: 195

The thrill of fall is in the air,

The summer’s last goodbye.

A little boy runs out to play

Beneath the autumn sky.

A pile of crunchy leaves looks fun,

So amber, yellow, gold.

A frolic, jump, and last hurrah,

Before the air turns cold.

No homework and a week off school!

Terrific! This is living!

Deliriously overjoyed,

He’s bursting with thanksgiving!

“I’m thankful for my Mom and Dad,

My uncles, aunts, and cousins,

My Grandma and my Grandpa, and

My best friends by the dozens.

I’m thankful for a hayride on 

A chilly autumn day. 

I’m thankful for the pumpkin pie

My Mom baked yesterday.

I’m thankful for hot cocoa and 

For apple cider, too. 

I’m thankful for amusement parks 

And field trips to the zoo.

I’m thankful for the stack of books 

The library lets me borrow,

and…

I’m thankful for the turkey that 

We’re going to eat tomorrow!”

The sun has set, as evening fades, 

So back inside he goes 

To sit beside the fire, read 

A book, and warm his toes.

Content and cozy, grateful heart,

He’s filled with festive cheer.

This thankful spirit, he resolves

To keep throughout the year.

THE END