Official Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy Contest 2019

Do you know Kaitlyn Sanchez? If you’re in the world of kidlit, she’s a good person to know. She’s passionate, helpful, creative, and extremely hard working. And, lucky for all of us, she and Lydia Lukidis have put on a contest full of amazing prizes! You can check it out for yourself here!

With a photo prompt and a 200 word limit, here is my entry for this year’s contest:

THE AWAKENING by Nicole Loos Miller

Nessa couldn’t sleep.

Grandmother had told her to rest. But how could she sleep on the Eve of her Awakening?

It had to be close to midnight.

She pulled on the simple, black dress that had been worn by her mother and grandmother. She laced up her black, studded ankle boots. Tradition and personality. 

Mew? A calico kitten wrapped around her ankle.

“Ready for our big debut, Orion?” asked Nessa, scooping him into her arms.

They crept down the stairs, expertly avoiding each creak.

“There you are.” Her grandmother stood at the bottom of the stairs. “Ready?” 

Fireflies lined the worn stone path which wound through the fragrant garden and down to the edge of the stream. 

Nessa closed her eyes. Her grandmother and aunt formed a small circle around her, humming deeply. Orion’s purr rose to a roar.

The vibration started at her toes. Like waves lapping up higher and higher until the magic crashed powerfully around her temples. Her eyes burst open and laughter escaped her lips. 

Everything was different.

A reason to dance

Hey picture book writers,

Need a reason to throw a dance party? Oh, I see you are already dancing. Good for you. That’s why you write for kids.

Well, if you need ANOTHER reason for a dance party, please turn your attention to the #PBCritiqueFest!!

35 critiques are being given away! THIRTY-FIVE! By authors! Illustrators! Agents! Oh my!

Critiques are crucial to the writing process. I like to think that stories start as raw ingredients. I add some eggs, flour, baking powder. Some vanilla, cinnamon and chocolate. A little more chocolate. Mm, the batter tastes great.

But is it ready to go into the oven?

Enter critique groups and partner to make sure that story rises to the occasion! But even the very best critique partners can get a bit tired after their 8th slice of carrot cake . That’s why it can be so nice to get fresh eyes on your story. Especially PROFESSIONAL FRESH EYES like these!

So enter the fest, cross those fingers, and get dancing.

And if you don’t win, that’s okay! Maybe give the carrot cake a rest and try some cookies or a nice pie for a change. That carrot cake will still be there in a month.

Photo by on

Why I write

I applied to the #PBChat Mentorship hosted by Justin Colon and my favorite question was about what kind of stories I want to write. For my first blog post, I thought I’d share my answer.

Photo by Rahul on

I’d love to write stories that readers want to read over and over again (and that grown ups don’t want to hurl out a window). I want to create stories that resonate with my reader’s heart. I would love to make readers laugh and convey respect about the depth of their emotions at the same time. Even little readers can have deep hearts. Most of all, I want my readers to know they matter and can make a difference – even a tiny difference can be a big deal.