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  • Writer's pictureSharon Fujimoto-Johnson

Fall Writing Frenzy 2020

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

UPDATE: September 29, 2021

Almost a year ago, I entered this contest on a whim, and I was one of the lucky winners of a critique from an established children's book author. When I received this wonderful news, I was actually in the hospital with complications from cancer treatment. I'm lucky to be alive. Thank you to the creators and judges of this contest who granted me this win that helped keep my picture book dreams alive.

I'm excited to be participating in Fall Writing Frenzy 2020, a contest created by author/agent Kaitlin Sanchez and author Lydia Lukidis.

Below is my entry, based on my picture book manuscript Mama's Sunflowers:

Image courtesy of Susan Kaye Leopold

Mama’s Sunflowers

By Sharon Fujimoto-Johnson

On the last day of the summer sunflowers, we found out Mama was sick, very sick. Daddy said we all had to be brave. But I didn’t know how. Mama was so sick she missed the first day of Kindergarten.

When autumn winds blew through the trees, Mama had to have surgery. That day, my tummy felt like a bucket full of rocks, and I couldn’t eat my lunch even though it was my favorite.

Winter dusted the trees with frost. Mama rested a lot. I helped her pluck the seeds of the dried sunflowers. “In the spring, we’ll plant them,” Mama said.

At Christmas, I gave Mama the bravest idea I had ever had.

“Superhero capes,” I whispered when Mama opened her gift. “To make us brave. You can only see them if you believe.”

“They're perfect,” Mama said. And then she put on her superhero cape and helped me put on mine.

In the spring, new bird songs filled the air. Mama was getting better, day by day. And our sunflowers sprouted, like hope and courage and love. No matter what happens, I know we’ll be okay. Because Mama and I are superheroes.


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