A BRAND NEW contest opens today and it’s one I’m really excited about because the judges are KIDS! The Kids’ Choice Contest is the brainchild of Kailei Pew (you can find her blog with all the entries here). It’s open for all kidlit writers — picture book, middle grade, and young adult. The only rules are: 1. The story can’t exceed 200 words and 2. It has to appeal to kids!

My entry is written for the young adult audience, meaning children ages 12-18. Although it’s not the age range I usually write for, I had a lot of fun. Let let me know what you think in the comments!

Image credit: Shutterstock


By Lindsey Hobson

199 words

Shards of sunlight pierce my eyelids. Groaning, I force them open and squint at the bright blue sky.

When I struggle to my feet, I see sand stretching for miles in every direction.

Where am I?  

A single building wavers like a mirage in the distance and I move toward it. Soon, images begin flickering in my mind. 

A bonfire, flames licking the night sky.

Bodies swaying to the music.

Bright eyed, beautiful girls, celebrating graduation.

I spin around, searching for my friends.

But I’m alone. 

I stumble forward. Then, with a jolt, I remember —

A tall man, all smooth-talk and cologne, offering me a drink. 

A long stretch of highway, sitting close, legs touching. 

Stars above and… headlights ahead.

Squealing tires.

Shattering glass.

The rumble of an idling bus snaps me back to the present. After walking for what feels like years, I’ve finally reached my destination.

“Time to go,” calls a voice.

“I don’t have a ticket.”

“Check your left front pocket.”

My hand is shaking as I reach down. He’s right. 

Shuffling forward, I find a seat among empty-eyed strangers.

“Now leaving Purgatory,” the driver calls.

I rest my head against the seat and exhale.


3 thoughts on “KIDS’ CHOICE CONTEST

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