top of page
  • Stephanie Fitzpatrick

How a Writing Contest Continues to Help Me on My Journey - #50PreciousWords

Updated: Mar 3

I have wanted to be a children's author for as long as I can remember, but as an elementary teacher and then an assistant principal, it was hard to consider a world outside of a school building. But about two years ago, the thought finally crept in that I could design a business doing what I love - creating activities and curricula for teachers and librarians and helping them bring beautiful books to life for kids - all while working from home, giving more time to my two little boys, and building greater connections in the KidLit world. In June 2023, I took a leap. I left the school building where I worked for 16 years and formed The Book Links!


But how does that connect to a writing contest? And where does it fit in on my journey? Well, a few years ago, I came upon KidLit author Vivian Kirkfield's website and discovered her writing contest, #50PreciousWords. Can you write a story with a beginning, middle, and end in just 50 words?! At first, I was too nervous to enter the contest. Although I had been getting good feedback on my writing from some local critique buddies, I wasn't ready for my writing to be out...like, "out out"...in the world. And 50 words...that's tough!!!


But in 2022, I was considering alternatives to working at my school, and decided it was time to garner some courage and start putting myself, and my writing, out there. I entered #50PreciousWords and got some positive comments on my story. I entered again in 2023 and was an honorable mention. Now, with more encouragement and a friend by my side to help me cut words line-by-line and talk through the structure of my story, I am happy to share that I am submitting a 2024 entry!


Most of my writing is based on personal experiences, and this story is no different. My childhood up to adulthood was spent with my grandparents...my mom and I moving in with them when I was 2. Although my grandpa passed away in 2021 at the age of 98, I am still able to spend one or two days a week with my 97-year old Granny. My love and admiration for them run deep within my veins and writing stories that incorporate some of our experiences is how I know I'll keep them with me forever.




Take a look at my 2024 #50PreciousWords entry here and then go take a look at all the other amazing writers taking a leap this weekend and putting their writing out there for the world to see! Click the image below to visit the contest site and check it out!






36 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page