contest, Susanna Hill, writing contest, Writing Picture Books

SUSANNA HILL’S 10th Annual Holiday Contest- ENTRY #1

I just love participating in these contests. They help keep me motivated throughout the year. So here is ENTRY #1 for the holiday contest. Word count needs to be 250 or less with the theme of holiday helpers. This year I have two entries, because hey, I’m not going anywhere!

A COMFORTING CHRISTMAS
by Lori Himmel
245 words

Oliver sleeps in room 245.
The hospital blanket tucks under his chin.
And while he dozes, his parents set up the game Monopoly on his hospital tray.

When Oliver wakes, he helps set up all the properties.
Equipment beeps and medicine drips, while they play.
Nurse Jocelyn checks the machines and takes Oliver’s temperature.
This is Oliver’s new normal since he was diagnosed.

He wishes he could be home for Christmas.
To wake up in his own bed.
To wrestle his sweet dog.
The noises in the hospital are far from the quiet he loves in his bungalow on 6th Street.

To try to raise spirits, Oliver’s parents buy matching pajamas and Santa hats.
They decorate the room with lights that reflect off Oliver’s sunken cheeks.
He tries to smile through the pain that runs through his body.

On Christmas morning, Oliver has little strength to walk to the window.
The floor is cold.
The grass dusts with snow, and the trees frost with white.
Oliver hears rustling in the hall—jingle bells and scratching.
“Ooo, maybe it’s Santa!”

Suddenly, a black nose pushes open the door.
A large dog, wearing a Santa hat, prances to Oliver’s side.
He jingles and jangles when he shakes.

“Merry Christmas, Oliver,” says Nurse Jocelyn. “This is Luca. He’s works at the hospital.”
Luca jumps on Oliver’s bed and licks his face.
“Whoa! Hi, big boy!”

Oliver’s pain disappears for a brief moment while he cuddles his new friend.

contest, Susanna Hill, writing contest, Writing Picture Books

SUSANNA HILL’S 10th Annual Holiday Contest- ENTRY #2

I just love participating in these contests. They help keep me motivated throughout the year. So here is this year’s holiday contest entries. Word count needs to be 250 or less with the theme of holiday helpers. This year I have two entries, because hey, I’m not going anywhere!

POMELO, THE BEE, SAVES CHRISTMAS
by Lori Himmel
248 words

The honey-bee Christmas celebration was in two days.
The flower plague shriveled up so many flowers that it left the honey supply dismally low.

“I don’t think I have enough honey to make my honey-filled cookies,” one bee buzzed. 
“My honey is almost gone,” said another.

Bees tried to prepare their dishes for the feast, with no luck.
Even Queen didn’t have enough for her honey cake.

Queen summoned the bees.
“Because of the honey shortage, the honey-bee Christmas celebration must be cancelled!” she announced.

All the bees hummed slowly back to their hives.
But not Pomelo.
She gathered her worker friends and they all zoomed to Pomelo’s hive.

Little did the honey-bee population know, but Pomelo had a secret storage spot in her honeycomb.
She learned about how to save at Bee Elementary.
Every time she deposited honey in her honeycomb, she added a third of it in her secret storage spot.

“I’ll get the hive slippers I’ve been saving for another day. Christmas can’t be cancelled!”
Pomelo and her friends worked day and night.

On honey-bee Christmas morning, bees swarmed around the town center, hoping for a miracle.
Without any food, it didn’t feel or smell like Christmas.
Pomelo and her friends buzzed down to the crowd, holding trays filled with honey-filled dishes and desserts.

“Christmas isn’t cancelled!” Pomelo shouted.
“Queen, we now present your honey cake for all to share!”
Queen smiled.

Bees crowded around Pomelo and friends, shouting cheerful congratulations. 
“You saved Christmas!”