#FallWritingFrenzy contest 2020

Here’s my entry for #FallWritingFrenzy 2020, a fantastic kidlit contest run by agent and author Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez (@KaitlynLeann17) and children’s author Lydia Lukidis (@LydiaLukidis). Many thanks to them for organising such a fun competition!

You can read more details about the contest here: https://lydialukidis.wordpress.com/fall-writing-frenzy-contest-2020/ or read the other entries (guaranteed to get you in the mood for Autumn!) here: https://lydialukidis.wordpress.com/2020/09/30/fall-writing-frenzy-entry-form/

The task was to select one of the fifteen Fall-themed images provided as a prompt to write a kidlit piece of 200 words or less – ‘a poem, a story, a mood piece, (…) happy, scary, beautiful, grotesque, whatever suits your fancy for any kidlit age’.

This image of a girl with a beautiful red leaf was the one that spoke to me! By the way, in case you don’t know, ‘Oma’ is a German word for ‘Grandma’.

Orla’s Leaves – a Fall Faery Tale           (200 words)

Orla kicks up whirling blizzards of color. A damp-earth smell rises into mist.

Of all seasons, Oma misses Fall most. So, Orla will bring leaves to Oma.

First, oak – crimson… russet…

Next, hickory – lemon-yellow… amber…

Then, a maple mosaic – scarlet… magenta… gold…

Mist is now thick fog. Orla is lost.

A voice stirs like shifting leaves: ‘Help me!’

On clammy moss lies a deer, shivering. Orla sighs. Such beautiful leaves she’s chosen. But Oma is warm, and this poor creature is not, so she spreads her whole collection over the deer like a blanket.

‘Kindness begets kindness,’ says the deer. ‘Hurry home, then shake out your knapsack three times.’

‘But it’s empty,’ says Orla, ‘and I’m lost in this fog!’

‘Don’t look too far ahead,’ the deer replies. ‘Follow the leaves at your feet, step by step: maple, hickory, oak. When you look up, you will be home…’

‘I’m back, Oma!’ Orla says, and shakes her knapsack three times. Leaves flutter down, rich pigments aglow, then fit themselves together to form an intricate quilt. Orla tucks it around Oma. The forest smell envelops them. They will endure winter step by step, and when they look up, Spring will be there.

49 Comments

  1. How beautiful! Good luck Claire

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sue!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a lovely autumnal tale, Claire.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so beautiful. Congrats, Claire, and best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Ashley!

      Like

  4. How lovely and magical. So many beautiful lines. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sara, you’re very kind!

      Like

  5. This is lovely! So many wonderful details.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Allison!

      Like

  6. What a wonderful tale. Beautiful. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Rosanna!

      Like

  7. brittanypomales

    I love the tender moment when having to decide between bringing the leaves back or warming the deer. I could feel the tug at her heart. Great entry!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Brittany! 😄

      Like

  8. Colleen Owen Murphy

    Kindness does beget kindness and the world needs more Orla’s. Thanks for sharing! Good luck with the contest.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, agreed – kindness is more important now than ever! Thanks for commenting, Colleen 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely! Your words have painted such a beautiful image in my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kelly – I’m happy you enjoyed it!

      Like

  10. Janie Reinart

    Claire, beautiful story of hope!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Janie!

      Like

  11. chardixon47

    Lovely–simple kindness has a great bounty. Well done. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much for your kind comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Beautiful story and imagery. There’s such a tenderness here, and I love the bit of magic at the end. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Alicia – you’re very kind!

      Like

  13. This is so magical. I enjoyed reading it very much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sarah! I’m happy you enjoyed it!

      Like

  14. kerryg60

    I love the descriptions of the color of the leaves and the way they weave together to make the quilt for Oma. This is a beautiful story of love and kindness Claire.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Kerry!

      Like

  15. I love the magic! Such a sweet story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Melissa!

      Like

  16. I love the color descriptions and how you integrated some elements from classic fairytales for a modern, fall remake. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comments!

      Like

  17. Your way with words is magical, Claire. The superb sensory details and description in this story are so atmospheric and evocative. I can smell the “damp-earth,” and I shiver on the “clammy moss” with the deer. Charming, generous Orla warmed the deer, Oma, and my heart. @AnneLipton

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are such lovely comments, Anne – thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Lovely, Claire! It makes miss the change of seasons! (I’m out in Arizona!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Colleen!

      Like

  19. Love the Grimm-esque of this story, Claire. The colors really brought the story to life and the message of kindness was beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for your kind comments, Candice!

      Like

  20. So beautiful and magical, Claire! I love your word choices!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jolene!

      Like

  21. kathalsey

    Claire, you paint such a lovely story with your lyrical language and leaf gifts! Kindness begets kindness is shown in such a magical way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! I appreciate it!

      Like

  22. Thanks for sharing this sweet tale of kindness for the Fall Writing Frenzy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, Kaitlyn! I enjoyed writing it!

      Like

      1. That’s so wonderful to hear!

        Liked by 1 person

  23. A magical story of kindness! It reminds me of one of Aesop’s Fables, The Lion and the Mouse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Karen!

      Like

  24. Wonderful, vivid descriptions. I love the conflict between bringing leaves to Oma or helping the deer. I pray that many kids come from living situations that produce empathetic and resourceful humans like the little girl in the story. Lovey fable with a great message. Kids will get it. Good luck. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comments, Annie! I appreciate it!

      Like

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