Genuinely it’ll be very short and would really help decide what improvements, features and services would be of benefit to users. So please take a few minutes to let us know what you think. We’d really appreciate it.
Thanks to Sharon Blumberg, narration has arrived on Short Kid Stories! Sharon Olivia Blumberg is a recently retired school teacher, having taught Spanish and English for over 20 years. In addition, she is a children’s writer and voiceover artist. She is married with two grown children. She resides with her husband outside of Chicago. View Sharon’s profile on her profile page and go on over and check out her first narrated story – Sleeping Beauty.
Congratulations to the wife and husband writing duo of Deirdre and Jim McCarthy for winning this year’s St. Patrick’s day story competition with their joint entry Micheleen Emmett O’Shea. This story will be featured on the site through St. Patrick’s day and for the rest of next week. Alongside is featured one of Deirdre’s other works,The Rescue of Fairy Queen Maeve. You can read more aboutDeirdre McCarthyandJim McCarthyon their author bio pages.
It’s been a big year for Short Kid Stories. 2014 finally saw the launch of the site after a longer-than-expected period of development! Eventually we did get launched and as of now we have the work of 60 authors featured on the site.
Traffic has been growing well, we are now approaching 20,000 page views a month. What I find wonderful is the locations around the world that are reading stories on the site:
Any country coloured in blue is one where readers have accessed the site in the last 3 months. The darker the colour, the heavier the traffic. As you can see there are a lot of readers coming from the US, Ireland and India, with Canada and the UK not far behind. Most countries in the world, apart from Greenland, a number of African countries and a small handful more have discovered the world of Short Kid Stories. However, therein lies a challenge for 2015 – to paint the whole world blue!
Here are the top 25 most read stories this year on Short Kid Stories:
CinderellaCinderella gets to go to the ball thanks to her kind fairy godmother.
Aesops FablesAll of Aesop's fables, beautifully illustrated by Milo Winter. Dip in and out, each one only takes a minute or two.
Jack and the BeanstalkJack exchanges a cow for a handful of beans. Even though his mother is angry, a giant beanstalk leads on to a great adventure.
Little Red HenThis story about a hardworking little hen whose friends won't help her teaches us a valuable and timeless lesson. Includes audio narration.
Sleeping BeautyA mean fairy casts a spell on a young girl. Can she avoid pricking herself on a spindle until she is sixteen? Includes an audio narration by Sharon Blumberg.
Hansel and GretelHansel and Gretel find a house made of cake and sweets and start to eat it, but don't realise that a wicked witch lives there.
The Frogs’ RaceA group of frogs decide to race to the top of the tower, but will they all be discouraged when everyone says they can't do it?
Puss In BootsA miller's son inherits a clever cat who helps him win power and fortune.
The Three Little PigsThree little pigs build houses to keep safe from the bad wolf, but he keeps trying to blow them down.
Aladdin and the Wonderful LampAn evil sorcerer tricks Aladdin into thinking that he is Aladdin's uncle so that he can retrieve for him a powerful and magical lamp. The classic Middle Eastern folk tale retold and illustrated by Walter Crane.
The Little Match GirlThe little match girl lights her matches to stay warm in the freezing weather and is reunited with her loving grandmother.
The Girl behind the MirrorLucy and her mum come across a weird and wonderful Chinese shop and in it they find the perfect dresser for Lucy's room. Imagine Lucy's shock when the mirror on it turns out to be far from normal.
Midnight O’ClockA strange magic starts when the clock strikes midnight. What are you afraid of?
RumpelstiltskinCan the queen save her new child by guessing the name of the dwarf who spun straw into gold?
The Adventures of BirdBird is his name. And he is a bird. Large, a little ugly and clumsy, but lovable. Eats too much junk food so has lost the ability to fly. Is befriended by two children and they embark on an adventure together.
The Emperor’s New ClothesTwo swindlers pretend to weave the vain emperor new clothes, but claim it's invisible to stupid people. Will anyone be brave enough to say there's nothing there? Includes audio narration.
The Children of LirThe legend of the four Children of Lir, turned into swans for nine centuries by their wicked stepmother.
The Fisherman and his WifeA fisherman saves the life of a fish and is rewarded when his wife suggests to ask for a pretty cottage. Unfortunately she keeps wanting more and more and is never satisfied.
The Wonderful Wizard of OzL. Frank Baum's classic about a girl from Kansas transported to the land of Oz is a must-read for all children. Although this is in fact a short novel of about 40,000 words, one chapter a night (on average about 10 minutes each) makes for perfect bedtime reading!
I’ve really noticed an upturn in the number of stories being rated every day. I didn’t want to present that just yet on the site until there are a critical mass of ratings across the board, however I thought you would like to see what are the top rated stories on the site to date. This list only includes stories that have at least 5 ratings:
I was delighted with the quality of the entries received for the Christmas story competition and for other submissions generally with a Christmas theme. It was a very difficult decision to make as any number of stories were worthy winners. But unfortunately I had committed to announcing one winner and putting them on the front page of the site, so in consultation with my co-judges (aged 8 and 11) we decided upon a winner.
But firstly there are a number of honorable mentions I would like to make.
It’s Christmas-time, and Santa is tired – too tired to visit all the children of the world. Who can he possibly find to take his place? Can he find someone who understands what it takes to be Santa – who understands the heart of Christmas?
A re-telling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match-Seller set in modern times. It is the story of a child without a family who finds an older woman living on the streets and befriends her on Christmas Eve.
Dulce’s explanation of the history of the famous story about Rudolph, the most famous reindeer of all and retells it in her own words. Not specifically a competition submission, but is proving very popular on the site this Christmas
Everyone else was having such fun writing their Christmas stories, I had to get in on the act! Here’s a story I made up for my daughter, who kindly agreed to illustrate it. When the annual Santa Flower doesn’t bloom properly, everyone is worried. Then Annika gets a visit from a famous reindeer and takes a magical trip to the North Pole. Can she help Santa and save Christmas?
It’s not easy for Noel being the son of Santa, especially when he’s the naughtiest kid in the North Pole.
A bit about the author:
After moving from Kentucky bluegrass to the deserts of Arizona, Nathan Oser has found a home with his wife and daughter on the Japanese oceanside where he spends his days teaching English as a second language, exploring the cuisine, restringing his shredded guitars, sketching the scenery, and scribbling out stories.
Congratulations Nathan, your story will be featured on the front page of Short Kid Stories over Christmas.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the first ever Short Kid Stories story competition. I really enjoyed receiving and reading all the entries and the quality was extremely high. I look forward to running more competitions next year, so keep writing!
To think I did all that
And may I say – not in a shy way
“Oh no, oh no not me
I did it my way”.
Sung by Frank Sinatra, lyrics by Paul Anka
I was listening to a podcast yesterday, James Altucher was interviewing Simon Rich, an American comedy writer. They were discussing the fact that there must be only three or four basic story ideas. All stories fit into one of these basic themes, such a deal with the devil, or the ugly duckling turns into a swan such as in My Fair Lady etc.