Welcome to the Winner’s Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we are cheering for Kitty Griffin!
What contest was your winning entry submitted to?
PreK Animal Contest
How many writing contests have you entered?
Tell us the title of your entry and a short summary of the story.
Little Mouse is the story of a young mouse taking the first lone venture out of the nest to get food for the family. The journey is dangerous, but the reward—so sweet.
What inspired your winning entry?
Children love stories about small animals, and mice are perfect. I struggle with poetry so this was a challenge to myself to work with a small animal in a small structure.
How has entering this contest helped your writing?
It came at a time when I needed a boost. What a delight to see that phrase, “Grand Prize Winner!” Writing can be lonely and suddenly feeling like a winner in a writer’s community gave me a dose of, “Keep Going!”
Are you a full-time writer? If not, what is your “day job”?
I’m in that stage of life where I’ve pulled back from teaching so writing is my focus, although I’m a new grandmother and now there are some little people who need me (and I need them). There’s nothing like sitting at the computer with a baby in your arms as you sing a revised chapter out loud, gently rocking them. If the baby throws up, well, maybe I need to read that section out loud to my group! Ha ha.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been creating stories all my life.
What will you do with your piece now that it’s been recognized?
Give it to my agent!
Any fun plans for the prize money?
Travel. Travel. Travel.
What do you do when you’re feeling discouraged or blocked? Do you have any tips for your fellow writers?
My problem isn’t blockage, it’s distraction. Look at that lovely problem over there! It’s much more interesting than my character’s. Oh! Look at that incident floating by. Let me grab it. I’ve learned to put my stories on a stovetop. Two burners up front each have a big stewpot with my works in progress. There can be other burners with pots on them, but I’m only allowed to lift the lid, drop a tidbit in, and the lid goes back on and I focus on the front two burners. Focus was my challenge as a writer. Ideas flow over, under, around, and through me constantly. Finding the story I love and the one that loves me—that is what works for me.
If you could go to the yard sale of any character in the history of children’s literature, whose would you go to, and what would you buy?
I would like to go to Max’s house and buy his private boat so I could sailor through night and day and in and out of weeks so I could go where the wild things are.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your ICL experience?
Everyone was so kind. I’m humbled and appreciative and want to thank those who read my story and found it grand.