Hello kidlit friends, are you as pumped as I am? The only thing more exciting than pumpkins in October is the #FallWritingFrenzy!
Writing contests are a great way to find community and discover new and wonderful stories from diverse creators all over the world. Speaking of which… if you’re a kidlit writer or illustrator, please take a moment to subscribe to my blog. Trust me- you won’t regret it!
Among the many helpful blog posts I put out for readers like librarian-recommended book lists specific to reading group age or genre, one of the most exciting things I offer are monthly Feature Interview segments. On the first of every month, I publish feature interviews with members of the writing community, where we discuss all things publishing.
These interviews are an INVALUABLE resource for creators at all stages of the publishing journey. We talk about writing workshops, resources, diversity in literature and why it matters, where to find support and community, how to improve writing craft and set goals, how to deal with setbacks, disappointments, and waiting, helpful tips and suggestions for aspiring authors and illustrators, querying agents, contract negotiations, book deals, and time frames, and of course- new books!
Now that I’ve shared that little tidbit with you… back to our Fall Writing Frenzy!
I’m so excited to share my story with you all.
But before I do, I want to explain a little bit about the background of what this story means to me and why I wrote it.
From a very early age, I had a deep emotional connection to music. Though I enjoyed all music, I found a “home” in orchestras and symphonies because they allowed my mind to form a connection of understanding that I had never before experienced with people. For me, a symphony is a neurodiverse lullaby.
Being on the neurodivergent spectrum (ADHD), my mind doesn’t always stay on one path or at one volume. It ebbs and flows, sometimes unexpectedly. This can present challenges for me in everyday verbal communication because my emotions and thoughts don’t translate or flow into words in the same pattern as many of my neurotypical peers. The chaos and structure in my mind play out differently… much like a symphony.
So, now that you have an idea of my inspiration, here is the image that I associated with this story. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
All my love,
Photo 7 by Jonas Mohamadi
My Mind is a Symphony (199 words) by Chelsea DiCicco
When I hear the rushing sounds of the clarinet…
The zip of the flute…
The swish of the violin strings…
The calming purr of the cello…
The sharp squawk of the oboe…
The gentle strum of the harp…
I am home.
My mind whirs
To the warm embrace of chaos and structure
Quick! LOUD bursts
And slow, soft melodies
Blended together to create something spectacular
Like my thoughts
Never staying in one place
…Or at one volume
S c a t t e r e d
Like wild notes
Strewn across a sheet of music
One moment, fast and excited like Flight of the Bumblebee,
The next, calm and smooth, like Moonlight Sonata.
A constantly moving orchestra of dreams…
Leaping, wriggling, cascading off one another.
Flitting from one idea to the next.
I shut my eyes and take a deep breath,
Letting the vibrations pulse through my brain,
Like a kaleidoscope of butterflies.
An ensemble of energy fills me from head to toe.
Here, only here, is my mind in complete harmony.
Finally, at peace.
My thoughts echo every long pause
And shift of volume…
And mirror each sudden blast of sound and change in tempo.
My mind is a symphony.
Thank you for reading!
If you have a friend or family member on any spectrum under the neurodiverse umbrella, and are looking for a list of neurodiverse reads (for any age) be sure to check out my personalized list of over 100 book recommendations + resources. Additionally, if you’re looking for a gentle picture book, (with gorgeous watercolor illustrations) that explores ADHD/Autism and embraces themes of finding beauty in your differences- aka “gifts,” take a peek at my book, ADHD and Me.
And now, a round of thank you’s
For everyone reading today, please give a warm thank you in the comments to all of our guest judges & prize donors who have worked so hard to volunteer their time and energy to sift through these gems and select winners from among them, to help mentor writers on their path to growth and publication. And of course, we can’t forget our wonderful host, Kaitlyn Sanchez! I believe 2023 marks the fifth year of this wonderful annual contest. If you don’t know who Kaitlyn Sanchez is… please, by all means, go and visit her website! Not only is she a champion and supporter of writers and illustrators as a Literary Agent, she’s also the host of various writing contests and events like the Spring Fling Contest, Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy Contest and Kidlit Zombie Week, – and she offers a ton of fantastic resources to other fun writing contests and events on her website, so please, take a moment to stop by.
Host X Handle
Guest Judges X Handle
Prize Donors X handles
@AndreaYWang @chanastiefel @JStremer @amandarhill32 @AutumnLeaflet @HovorkaSarah @readbystephanie @Ms_Holliday93 @SerendipityLit @BrianGehrlein @IvanTaurisano @ErDiPasquale @ShannonStocker_ @ebonylynnmudd @kaitlynleann17 @AReynosoMorris @DianaMWrites