Valentiny Contest: The Snurrple

It’s that time of year again when I and many other children’s writers (perhaps we’ll top 214 this year?) sharpen our pencils to share our love & creativity for…



valentiny writing contest 2019!


The Contest (copied from Susanna’s site):  since writing for children is all about “big emotion for little people” (I forget who said that, but someone did so I put it in quotes!) and Valentines Day is all about emotion, write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone feels guilty!  Your someone can feel guilty themselves or make someone else feel guilty.  They may feel guilty for good reason, or just because they think they should!  Your story can be poetry or prose, sweet, funny, surprising or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes someone guilty (can be the main character but doesn’t have to be) and is 214 words (get it? 2/14 for Valentines Day 🙂  You can go under the word count but not over! (Title is not included in the word count.)

And so, I present, my humble but heart-felt entry, at 204 words (including the poem in the self-made “illustration”)…


“Ta da! Finished! Fifteen shimmering, glimmering Valentines! Oh no! I forgot that pesky new boy, José! What’ll I do? I know. I’ll write a quick poem and scribble a picture. He should be happy I’m even making him a Valentine.”

“Brilliant! He’ll think Snurrple’s a real thing, some English word he hasn’t heard. Should keep him wondering for hours. Maybe he’ll stop pestering me, stop asking “what’s this” and “how do you say that in English….’”


Guess I wasn’t the only one to forget about José. His pile’s SO small. He’s holding my Valentine. He’s smiling. Grinning. Looking right at me. He’s turning it around. Staring at the words. Looking confused. Spelling it out:


“Hey, José! You don’t know the mighty Snurrple? Why everyone knows that.”

“Right, everybody?”

Everyone’s laughing! Except José. At José! His eyes look so big. His face is bright red. He’s blinking. Is that a tear?

“Hey! José! It’s a joke.”

“I made up the Snurrple to…”


“I thought…”


“Hey, José! Want to come to my house after school? We can draw Snurrples and create other crazy creatures. Together.”

“Hey, José! Amigos?”


Text of the POEM, for those who couldn’t read it:

Roses are red,

Violets are purple,

I hope you like

This bright blue Snurrple.

Happy Valentine’s Day! And check out the other entries – a great way to bring smiles to the faces of your loved ones & spread love to those who shared their creativity.

24 responses to “Valentiny Contest: The Snurrple

  1. I’m so glad the mc had a turnaround in his thinking…maybe he and Jose will be good friends. You had me engaged from the very beginning…well done! And I love the word ‘snurple’.

  2. Your story does a great job of showing how kids can be thoughtlessly mean and then figure out that it wasn’t the right thing to do. I, too, hope these two build a bridge and share it. Good luck!

  3. Lots to make up for hurting someone’s feelings! Enjoyed your snurrple entry. Very clever.

  4. It’s all fun and games until someone gets surrpled! Love your made up word! And I also am happy your MC saw the error in his ways. Good Luck!

  5. Wonderful. I felt all the emotions here.

  6. Happy Valentine’s Day! This is wonderful. Good luck in the contest. 💜💜

  7. OH, I actually felt so bad for Jose! Good entry. Good luck!

  8. So many of us have a shame story to tell, and I think Valentines are an especially difficult thing to navigate. The turnaround is the important thing!

  9. Poor José:( I loved his initial reaction to snure though!

  10. I really enjoyed reading this story. I love your made up Snurple, it is definitely a Dr. Seuss worthy word!

  11. A heartfelt story. I felt all the emotions for Jose. Good luck!

  12. Great job with the guilt, Patricia! I felt awful and I didn’t even do it! 🙂 I’m glad your MC had a change of heart. I hope he and Jose will be good friends! Thanks for joining in the Valentiny fun!

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