Fun writing contest. Hurry!

Susanna Leonard Hill is at it again – sponsoring her third annual holiday contest. She asks writers interested in entering the competition to write a children’s story of no more than 350 words that’s about a holiday mishap, mix-up, miscommunication, mistake, or potential disaster.

It’s free to enter. Interested? Find out more by clicking on the link above. You can read my entry here, inspired by a true event. And links to other entries are on Susanna’s site.

Spread the word. Enter something yourself (entries accepted through 12/19). It’s all good holiday fun!

The Unexpected Holiday Guest
by Carol Munro (349 words)

“Mom! I’m so glad you’re home. Something’s in the chimney. I hear scratching.”

“Let me put my Christmas shopping in my bedroom before I look. Where’s your grandpa?”

“Looking for his flashlight.”

Mom rushed to her bedroom. Buddy heard her sliding bags of Christmas gifts under the bed. He heard her stashing them in the closet. He heard FWOP!

“Hurry, Mom! It’s a squirrel! It fell out of the chimney!”

“I’m hurrying.”

“It’s in the living room!” Buddy shouted.

Mom ran from her bedroom with the Christmas tree skirt she bought for under the tree. Buddy was as far from the fireplace as he could be, his back pressed against the wall. She searched the room. No squirrel.

“There!” Buddy pointed to the Christmas tree. It swayed. Ornaments clinked. The squirrel was perched near the decoration Buddy made last year in first grade.

“What should we do?” asked Buddy.

“I’ll throw the skirt over it if it comes down on the floor.”

“Then what?” Buddy asked.

Mom shrugged. She took a step. The squirrel dashed up the tree. It clung to the stuffed polar bear that sat at the tip-top.

“Look . He’s hugging Angel Bear, Mom. He’s afraid.”

“I think you’re right.”

“Maybe if I open the front door, he’ll run outside,” Buddy suggested. When he reached for the door, the squirrel chattered. Buddy jumped back against the wall.

“It’s okay, Buddy. Try again. I have the skirt just in case.”

Once again, Buddy reached for the doorknob. He turned it and pulled. Cold air blew into the house. The squirrel sniffed the air and in one great move, it leaped onto the couch. One more long leap and it was outside. Buddy slammed the door shut.

“Yay! Good work, Buddy!”

Buddy began to giggle.

“What’s so funny?” Grandpa asked, flashlight beaming.

“It was a squirrel, Grandpa.” Buddy laughed harder. “Do you think his friends will believe we have a tree inside the house?”

Grandpa reached up the chimney and shut the flue. “I hope not,” he said. “With a tree this pretty, they’ll all want to move in.”


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40 responses to “Fun writing contest. Hurry!

  1. Such a cute story… it feels so real! Great job.

  2. Hah! Great minds, Carol…I have critters in my story tree too! Fun read!

    Oh by the way, your link at Susanna’s blog doesn’t work for me. I came here through your email notification.

  3. What a great story, Carol! I’m always afraid that one will stow away in my Christmas Tree! Good luck!

  4. What a fun story, Carol! We often seem to find a spider in our tree, but no squirrel yet. 🙂 I loved the ending. Nice job!

  5. Yikes! We had squirrels in our attic last year, so this is a very believable story! And charming, too.

  6. Carrie Finison

    Great story, Carol! We had a squirrel come in last year – it chewed through our kitchen window screen. Ugh. It was definitely not as charming as your story! 🙂

  7. Cute story! Especially loved the ending and Grandpa’s last line (though the hugging of angel bear was really sweet as well).

    BTW, did you know your link from Susanna’s blog is connecting to a “not found” page? You might want to see if you can fix that.

  8. sirvivhor

    Very cute story Carol and not unrealistic – actually almost happened in my house one year. Squirrels love my attics 🙂

  9. Never underestimate those squirrels! Fun story!

  10. What a fun story, Carol! And I can’t believe it’s based on real life! A squirrel in the house – that must have been something! And I love Grandpa’s line about “With a tree this pretty they’ll all want to move in” 🙂 Thanks for such an entertaining entry!

  11. So well done, Carol! You kept the tension throughout the story…I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen. And thank you…you gave a great example of how to tell the main character’s age without actually saying it…’the ornament he made last year in first grade’ was a super way to show, not tell.:)

  12. Thanks, Vivian. I appreciate the specifics of your feedback.

  13. “Do you think his friends will believe we have a tree inside the house?” Loved that line!!!
    Squirrels are so cute when they’re nibbling on an acorn in my back yard…but I would go nuts if one came down the chimney!
    Cute story, Carol!

  14. AAWW! so sweet. Maybe I’ll tell our squirrels to go over there with their buddies so the birds can eat in peace. ha ha.

    Merry Christmas! 🙂

  15. Wendy

    I’m so glad the squirrel ran back out the door. Mom with the tree skirt was very brave!

  16. Martha Hubbard

    Cute story, Carol! I don’t know what I’d do with a squirrel in the house! 🙂

  17. good on Buddy for thinking up a solution. A neat little story with real life elements. well done

  18. I love the “inside tree” and squirrel. Watching squirrels right now diving under the snow… looking for lost peanuts.

  19. cute story! I love the “inside tree” vs “outside tree” – not to mention that squirrels are just funny.

  20. Love that it was Buddy who let the squirrel out–clever ending, too!

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