Design a site like this with WordPress.com
Get started

2022 Fall Writing Frenzy

This is my second Fall Writing Frenzy submission and I’m still pretty darn stoked about it. The prizes, y’all! They are still gush-worthy. THANK YOU to Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez and Lydia Lukidis for working their tailfeathers off to help fledgling writers test their skills with this contest. Plus(!), they recruited guest judge, author and speaker, Alyssa Reynoso-Morris!

The rules, you ask? Choose one of their pre-selected photos to inspire a 200 word (max!) masterpiece for audiences ranging from ages 0 – 17. Easy! OK, here is my submission below. It is a modern take on the little known tale from 1882 by Frank R. Stockton, “The Lady, or The Tiger?”. Enjoy!

BEAUTY OR THE BEAST
By Melisa Wrex
YA Horror (WC 200)

Photo credit: Fall-Daniele Colucci for Unsplash

It takes a moment to find what I’m looking for —The Accused. You never know how they’ll react to Judgment Row. Some stand in the light, others seek shadow. Some shriek, others mute. Scanning the umbra of entryways, I see a profile, angled toward the two lights. Already weighing her choices—right or left. My eyes finally adjust and my insides heave.

I know her.

I know her so well that I’m certain she thinks she would rather die at the hands of the Beast behind the door of Guilt than receive the reward of Innocence. But Innocence isn’t so bad.

The bell sounds. Will she talk to me? I’m limited to just twenty words–if she chooses to talk to me at all. Guides are often untrustworthy.

Her: “I didn’t do it.”

Me: “Right.”

Her: “Where’s the Beast?”

Silence.

Her: “Which DOOR?!”

Me: “You know I can’t answer that.”

Her: “And I can’t be Innocent; the reward is…twisted. A surgeon corrects. Every. Physical. Flaw. detected by A.I., making me perfect. Unrecognizable. What kind of “reward” is that?”

Me: “A reward for the shallow. Or the resilient. Right for so many.” Hear me!

She nods—resolute—strides forward, and reaches…

Advertisement

2021 Halloweensie

Hello again! It’s fall, which seems to be Contest Season. Susanna Leonard Hill offers several seasonal writing contests and Halloweensie is one of them. The challenge is to write a kid-appropriate story (up to 12 years old), with a traditional story arc and main character in 100 words or less. To add to the fun, it has to be Halloween-themed and include the words glow-in-the-dark, goodies and goosebumps.

My entry for 2021 borrows heavily from a poem I wrote for another of SLH’s challenges that I never finished. I make this solemn pledge to my critique group now that I will never again subject them to rhyming stories without studying meter more. A big thanks goes up to Jess Hinrichs for posting a link to her rhyming rescue blog just in the nick of time. I still don’t know if it was enough, but here goes nothin’!

Halloween Hide and Seek
(WC: 95)

There’s a hole in my backyard.
Does a creature live inside?
Is it a goodie or a baddie?
Will it make me run and hide?

Sit a lid atop the tunnel end,
slit a slot so air can flow.
Fit a harmonica in the groove.
If this mystery breathes, I’ll know!

The tinny notes start to sail,
first faint, then bright and shrill.
Goosebumps…Eek! What will it be?
Fear spikes as notes fall still.

Glow-in-the-dark eyes look fierce!
I lean in, squeamish to my roots.
Burrowing owls? Oh, good grief!
I skipped trick-or-treat for HOOTS?

******
I’m still not sure that I got the meter quite right, honestly I think I permanently melted some brain cells. Feel free to put your thoughts in the comments. At a bare minimum, I hope you got a giggle out of it.

See you at the next contest, Friends!

#PBCritiqueFest (Oct 17 – 31, 2021)

Woohoo! Special thanks to Brian Gehrlein and the plethora of authors, artists, author/illustrators and agents who make this event possible!

If you write PICTURE BOOKS, listen up…register for this event at (Click this!–> pbspotlight.com <–Click that!) and you could win one of THIRTY-ONE critiques up for grabs. It is raffle-style, so by registering, you get one chance, and then by doing various other things, you can put your name in the hat up to 200 times. For those keeping count, that’s a lot more than one.

So, give it a whirl, party people. What have you got to lose? I’ll see you there.

2021 Fall Writing Frenzy

This is my FIRST Fall Writing Frenzy submission and I’m pretty darn stoked about it. The prizes, y’all! They are gush-worthy. THANK YOU to Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez and Lydia Lukidis for working their tailfeathers off to help fledgling writers test their skills with this contest. Plus(!), they recruited guest judge Ameerah Holliday from Serendipity Literary Agency!

The rules, you ask? Choose one of their pre-selected photos to inspire a 200 word (max!) masterpiece for audiences ranging from ages 0 – 17. Easy! OK, here is my submission below. Also my first blog post. I can’t think of a better way to birth my blog baby.

RUBY AND RUST
By Melisa Wrex
YA Horror (WC 198)

Photo credit: Fall-Julia Solonina/Unsplash

Our soles crush leaves small and smaller still. Ruby and rust.

“I’m terrified, Em.”

“Of what? Wait! I’m sensing something…” Em places her fingers on her temples, eyes closed, as if channeling my thoughts. “Bears. Definitely bears.”

“Be serious!” I plead. “I’m turning into my mother.”  

“This is serious. Tell me.”

We find a mossy wall that serves as my confessional. First, I tell Em about waking up at 6am. Refreshed. No alarm, no reason. Then, the coffee confusion. About how I was drinking my Starbucks when Mom came into the kitchen drinking my actual Starbucks—my name scrawled on her venti. Same/same. Finally, the worst thing. Mom complimented my sweater.

“This sweater?”

“No!” I scoff. “I gave it to my sister.”

“You’re a monster.”

I smirk and shrug. “I try.”

“There’s a more logical explanation…easier to fix, too,” Em offers.

My brow arches, questioning.

“Demonic possession. You think churches take Venmo? This one looks like exorcisms are a specialty.”

“Absolutely. I’m in,” I say, feigning hope. Fake it ‘til ya make it. Because I’m not ready for what I know comes next, whether twenty years or tomorrow—

My soul crushes small and smaller. Still. Ruby, then rust.