Spring Fling Writing Contest

And Our Spring

Fling Winners Are...

Can I just start by saying that you all are so talented?

We sat for HOURS deliberating. Some of you made us chuckle. Others painted pictures so beautiful, you left us awed. We marveled at your creativity. And dagnabbit, some of you even made us cry...

AND growl...because we couldn't put ALL the entries in the top 18! Amazing work, my friends!

Now to our winners... Drum Roll Please...

  1. Animal at the Zoo- Liz Tipping
  2. Sweet and Sour Rabbit’s Tale- Jill Proctor
  3. Spring Break- Rebecca Heller
  4. Mother’s Day Gift for Mami- Carmen Gilbert
  5. Afikoman Hunt- Judith Klausner
  6. Sam’s Stormy Night- Leah Kolidas
  7. April Snow! Oh No!- Sarah Tobias
  8. Change of Plans- Colleen Murphy
  9. Forest Fairy- Mary Beningo
  10. Willow: The Sprite of Spring- Kelly Conroy
  11. The Perfect Present-Heather Bell
  12. Susie and the Daffodil- Danielle Hicks
  13. Birdie’s Spring Wish-Jaclyn Crawford
  14. While You Were Sleeping- Karen Pickrell
  15. A Tale of Two Sisters- Anne Lipton
  16. Growing Pains- Nicole Loos Miller
  17. Louie’s Announcement- Jessica Potts
  18. Be A Bird- Dedra Davis

Honorable Mentions-

Saavy Scientists-

If You and I Recycle- Sarah Hetu-radny

A Symphony of Bees- Glenda Roberson

Where Does the Rain Go?- Eleanor Peterson

Lyrical Ladies-

The Promise of Spring- Laura Roettiger

Dappled- Paulette Sharky

Spring Emerges- Katie Williams

Tear Jerkers-

Four Little Eggs- Jessica DiCicco

Rain Drops on a Kite String- Candice Connor

Unique Story-

Sassy’s Coat- Kathi Morrison-Taylor

Spring Stew- Jolene Guiterrez

Sign of Spring- Joyce Schriebman

Congratulations to everyone! Your entries were excellent. Winners, please look for an email from us soon. We will be contacting you about prizes!

Your Challenge:

Find a gif and write a spring-inspired story. Blossoming flowers? Sure! Easter eggs? You bet! Mothers day? Of course! Anything related to Spring is yours for the telling.

Spring Fling Rules

1. Your story should be geared towards kids ages 12 or under.

2. Choose a gif to inspire your story.

3. All gifs should be child appropriate and in no way be derogatory towards any faith, race, etc.

4. Now for the dreaded word count! You have 150 words. That’s it! No more but less is always welcome.

5. Your title is not included in the word count.

6. No illustration notes pretty please.

7. Your gif should be the only visual with your story.

8. The Spring Fling contest officially begins on Wednesday, April 17th.

9. From April 17th to April 19th, post your gif and story on your blog. (If you have one.)

10. Then, add the link to your blog to the form on the Entries page of this website.*

11. Deadline for posting your story or the link to your story is Friday, April 19th, at 11:59pm CST.

12. Only one entry per contestant is permitted.

***If you do not have a blog, post your entire story in the section provided on the form.***

Check out our example stories!

Kaitlyn's Example: SPLASH!

Guest Judge, Cindy Lurie's Example: Sunshine for Emily

Kaitlyn's Second Example: PETALS

Ciara's Example: Slim Pickings: Dear Diet Diary

The NON-EXAMPLE (what not to do, dun, dun, duuuuunnn)

Winners should be announced on April 26th

There you have it! Don’t let this chance pass you over. Hop to your computer and spring into writing!

Questions? Comments? You can use the FAQs tab to contact us or message us on the Spring Fling Writing Contest Facebook Page, or Ciara's Facebook, Kaitlyn's Facebook, Ciara's Twitter, or Kaitlyn's Twitter (we love new friends/followers!)

And don't forget to stop by the Entries page and read the stories posted. Follow, like, comment, and share the blogs of your fellow writers!

We also have a facebook page, where you can discuss stories, check in, and just have fun!


Winners get to select one of these 18 wonderful prizes!

From Annemarie Riley Guertin: A manuscript critique of up to 600 words of a PB, MG, or YA.

Annemarie Riley Guertin is a newly minted author. Her debut picture book How the Finch Got His Colors flew onto shelves in 2018. Annemarie graduated from Wheelock College and Fitchburg State University earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education (summa cum laude). Annemarie works as a literacy coach in Salem, MA and lives in Haverhill, MA with her husband Michael and their two children.

Visit: https://www.annemarierileyguertin.com/

From Charlene Chua: Your choice portfolio or picture book manuscript critique under 1000 words. (It can be a dummy or manuscript).

Charlene Chua is the illustrator of several picture books, including The Wind Plays Tricks (by Virginia Howard/ Albert Whitman) and the forthcoming titles, Shubh Diwali! (by Chitra Soundar/Albert Whitman) and Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao (by Kat Zhang/Aladdin). When not drawing, she enjoys cooking, video games and playing with her cats. Charlene lives in Hamilton, ON, Canada.


Website: www.charlenechua.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/charlenedraws

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charlenedraws

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/charlenedraws/

From Cindy Lurie: A signed copy of Cindy's picture book Sashi and Sam

Also from Cindy Lurie: A signed copy of Cindy's book of poems “Buried feet”

Last, but not least, from Cindy Lurie: A story critique less than 1000 words, rhyme or prose

Cindy Lurie is the author of three children’s picture books: Caroline and Her Tiny Red House, Sashi and Sam, and Together in My Heart. She is also the author of two Christian poetry books: Come to the Quiet and From the Heart, and one adult poetry book: Buried Feet. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Charter Oak State College in New Britain, CT, and a certificate in Pastoral Ministries/Spirituality from The University of St. Joseph, in West Hartford, CT.

Cindy is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and has been in Early Childhood Education for over twenty five years.

Cindy lives with her husband, Steve, and has two grown children, Ali and Mike, a son-in-law, Mark, and a five year old granddaughter, Rian.

From Diana Murray: An advanced copy of Unicorn Day coming out in June.

Diana Murray is the author of over a dozen books for children, including CITY SHAPES (Little, Brown, 2016), GRIMELDA THE VERY MESSY WITCH (Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2016), NED THE KNITTING PIRATE (Roaring Brook/Macmillan, 2016), PIZZA PIG (Step-into-Reading/Random House, 2018), and UNICORN DAY (Sourcebooks, 2019). Her award-winning poems have appeared in magazines such as Highlights, High Five and Spider. Diana grew up in NYC and still lives nearby with her husband, two very messy children, and a goldfish named Pickle. http://www.dianamurray.com

From Jackie Azúa Kramer: A signed copy of her newest picture book That's for Babies.

In That’s for Babies, on the morning of little Prunella’s birthday, she announces she’s a big girl, and ready for adventure. But one dark and stormy night, she discovers that growing up is a series of small milestones...two steps forward and one step back.

I loved writing this story that shares it’s okay for big girls to play and imagine, explore and be vulnerable.

Jackie Azúa Kramer studied acting and voice at NYU and earned her MA, Queens College, Counseling in Education. Jackie has worked as an actor, singer, and school counselor. Her work with children presented her an opportunity to address their concerns, secrets and hopes through storytelling. Now she spends her time writing children’s picture books. Her picture books include, the award-winning The Green Umbrella (2017 Bank Street College Best Children’s Books of the Year), If You Want to Fall Asleep and That’s for Babies. Upcoming books- The Boy and the Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla (Candlewick, 2020); I Wish You Knew (Roaring Brook, 2021); We Are One (Two Lions, TBD); Miles Won’t Smile (Clavis, TBD).

Jackie lives with her family in Long Island, NY. When not writing, you’ll find Jackie reading, watching old movies and globe trekking.


Jackieazuakramer.comTwitter @jackiekramer422Facebook Jackie Azúa KramerInstagram

From James McGowan: A query critique

James McGowan

Literary Assistant and Social Media Manager

Since interning at BookEnds as an undergrad in the summer of 2015, James has (basically) never left. He's just continuously level-up-ed inside of BookEnds. Now he is the Literary Assistant and Social Media Manager for the team.

James is a Staten Island native, and just recently graduated with his Master's Degree in English from the College of Staten Island. He’s been a reader since his mom gave him the first A Series of Unfortunate Events book, and ordered the sequels regularly through Scholastic book orders. When he’s not reading/working, James can usually be found watching an unhealthy amount of sitcoms.

James is now open to submissions! More information can be found on our submissions page, and you can query him here: http://QueryMe.Online/jmcgowan.

If you have any inquiries regarding our social media accounts, please contact him at jmcgowan@bookendsliterary.com. Follow him on twitter at www.twitter.com/jamerrson!

Agency website: www.bookendsliterary.com

From Kate Narita: Your choice of picture book manuscript critique of 500-words or less, non-rhyming or rhyming text is acceptable or a copy of 100 Bugs! A Counting Book

Kate Palaces Narita is the author of 100 Bugs! A Counting Book (FSG spring 2018). When she's not out and about driving, teaching or cheering on her two teenage sons, Kate lives, writes, and hikes on a small mountain in central Massachusetts. There's a magical part of Mt. Wachusett in every one of her stories. Be it small wonders like darting dragonflies and gorgeous garden phlox, or large wonders like munching moose and beautiful balsam firs, she celebrates nature's bounty each and every day.

From Kourtney LaFavre: A Picture Book Critique. Around 1000 words or less. Feel free to include your pitch and bio (not included in the 1000 word count).

Kourtney is a writer, educator, and a former elementary teacher. As a student, she used to skip classes to go to the library and believes every good library should have something to offend everybody. Kourtney lives and learns with the rhythms of nature in the woods of NH. As a homeschooling mother of four, she believes the world is their classroom and searches for beauty and lessons. Kourtney is a life-long learner, trying to live a life filled with purpose and passion. She writes to inform and inspire.

Website: http://kourtneylafavre.com

Facebook: kourtneylafavre.writer

Instagram: @bookkeeperofthewoods

Twitter: @kourtneylafavre

From Melissa Berger Stoller: A signed copy of her two picture books, Scarlet's Magic Paintbrush and Ready, Set, Gorilla! as well as book swag like stickers and bookmarks.

Melissa Stoller is the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection - Book One: Return to Coney Island and Book Two: The Liberty Bell Train Ride (Clear Fork Publishing, 2017 and 2019); and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush and Ready, Set, GOrilla! (Clear Fork, 2018) and Return of the Magic Paintbrush and Sadie’s Shabbat Stories (Clear Fork, 2019). She is also the co-author of The Parent-Child Book Club: Connecting With Your Kids Through Reading (HorizonLine Publishing, 2009). Melissa is an Assistant and Blogger for the Children’s Book Academy, a Regional Ambassador for The Chapter Book Challenge, a Moderator for The Debut Picture Book Study Group, and a volunteer with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators/MetroNY. Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer and editor, and early childhood educator. Additionally, she is a member of the Board of Trustees at The Hewitt School and at Temple Shaaray Tefila. Melissa lives in New York City with her husband, three daughters, and one puppy.






From Ruth Spiro: A copy of Baby Loves Thermodynamics!

Ruth Spiro is a freelance writer and author of the Baby Loves Science collection, which now includes 8 powerful board books that take complex STEM ideas and makes them baby-friendly. Now she's adding a Maker series, starting with Made by Maxine that came out in October.


From Sam and Becca's Children's Stories Editing: Individualized instruction and edits on your picture book story, for as many drafts as needed, and until it is published.

Sam and Becca are an editing and coaching duo that specializes in children’s stories. They will help you find or pick the story you want to tell, and will then work with you to unfold the concept into writing you love.

Sam focuses on plot and story structure while Rebecca specializes in sound, story flow, and voice. Together, they offer a full scope of editing on your picture book, from how to effectively tell a story to children to grammatical and rhythmical fundamentals.

Sam is a parent with a degree in alternative education, and has critiqued hundreds of children’s books. After twenty years of parenting, Sam has mastered the language children understand best.

Rebecca is a copy editor who freelances for large online publications such as Money Crashers and The Foundation for Economic Education. She’s been involved in the alternative learning movement for a decade now, and has been working with children for 17 years.


From Sherry Howard: Your choice of Sherry's debut picture book Rock and Roll Woods or a picture book critique from her less than 1000 words critique, rhyme or prose.

Sherry Howard lives with her children and silly dogs in Middletown, Kentucky, a stone's throw from the beautiful horse farms Kentucky is always bragging about. During her career in education, she served as a middle school principal in one of the largest metro school districts in the US. She was an award-winning educator, serving as teacher, consultant, and principal in one of the largest urban-suburban school districts in the US. She specialized in working with children with special needs, and believes that all children face learning challenges and have their own unique gifts. Sherry loves to read, write, cook, and sit in the sand watching the waves when she can. She credits her ability to write a complete sentence in English to her training in classical Latin. Sherry is the author of the picture book ROCK AND ROLL WOODS, which delves into Sensory Integration through a story relatable to kids. Her poems and stories have appeared in multiple journals and anthologies, and she writes for the educational market.






From Stephanie Kehr a Writing Critique. A personal evaluation of your manuscript's strengths and weaknesses can be vital to your success as a writer. Each critique comes with a short review of each chapter or work, plus comments and suggested edits.

Stephanie Kehr is a Junior Agent for the Cyle Young Literary Elite (C.Y.L.E.), specializing in children’s and YA books for both general and Christian markets. She currently lives in Northern Virginia and serves on the publishing board of Illuminate YA Fiction, an imprint of LPC Books. She is an adventure lover with a special place in her heart for travel and culture. Although she grew up reading books, writing and representing them became an accidental passion. To connect with Stephanie, visit www.stephaniekehr.com.

From Suzie Olsen: A copy of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (paperback edition) by Elizabeth Gilbert (US Residents for shipping/paperback; e-book for anyone outside of the US)!

Suzie Olsen is a systems engineer who writes children's books and a blog about inspiring kids in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Suzie says, “I've listened to some of Elizabeth's podcast, and the podcast have inspired some of my writing, so I think her book will be beneficial and helpful to others.”


From Teresa Robeson: Your choice of a copy of Teresa’s debut picture book, QUEEN OF PHYSICS: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom, or a critique from Teresa of a picture book manuscript up to 1,000 words (rhyme or prose. Note from Teresa: “Rhyme not my strongest suit but I have had a number of poems published in Babybug and Ladybug magazines in the past so I’m no stranger to poetry.”)

Teresa Robeson draws upon her Chinese heritage, Canadian-American sensibilities, as well as her background in science and love of nature when she writes. She has been published in children and adult magazines. QUEEN OF PHYSICS, a picture book biography, is her debut. Teresa’s hobbies include making art, making soap, knitting, baking, helping out around the homestead, and wowing the chickens with her bilingualism (they are not impressed). https://www.teresarobeson.com/

From Vivian Kirkfield: A signed copy of her latest picture book, Sweet Dreams, Sarah.

Writer for children—reader forever…that’s Vivian Kirkfield in five words. Her bucket list contains many more than five words – but she’s already checked off skydiving, parasailing and banana-boat riding. When she isn’t looking for ways to fall from the sky or sink under the water, she can be found writing picture books in the quaint village of Amherst, NH where the old stone library is her favorite hangout and her young grandson is her favorite board game partner. A retired kindergarten teacher with a masters in Early Childhood Education, Vivian inspires budding writers during classroom visits and shares insights with aspiring authors at conferences and on her blog, Picture Books Help Kids Soar. She is the author of Pippa’s Passover Plate (Holiday House); Four Otters Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book (Pomegranate); Sweet Dreams, Sarah (Creston Books); Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe (Little Bee Books); and From Here to There: Inventions That Changed the Way the World Moves (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). You can connect with her on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin, or just about any place people with picture books are found.







Make sure to check out these amazing authors by going to their websites, buying their books, reviewing their books, following them on social media, or even dropping them a line in a contact form telling them how inspirational and awesome they are because they totally are!