I have been working on a short story/picture book for the last few years. This summer, I entered one of the working drafts in a writing contest. Out of 700 entries, I was a shortlisted winner! Here is the draft I entered below. For editors, yes, I am shopping for a publisher. I still think it can be fine tuned to make it a great picture book.
I present to you now, the winning entry draft of:
Is Santa Claus Real?
“Is Santa Claus real?” asked my best friend Jake. We were both on the playground. Recess had run a bit late. Others started to surround us as we sat on the slide. Christmas was coming, and we just couldn’t wait.
Jake had a gleam in his eye as he looked at me. “Well, what do you think?”
I thought for a moment, this was a good debate. “I don’t know if he’s pretend?” I scratched my head just then. It seemed I created a pause that was filled by more outbursts from others around us.
Our partner in crime since Kindergarten came up to see. “Could it be true?” asked Jean. She looked a bit worried as she leaned in to me.
“Is he a fake?” piped in her little sister, Christine, who always tagged along in everything.
“Santa’s for Real!” insisted a kid jumping down. “No mistake. He brought me a stuffed seal.”
“I got an iPod. It’s what I asked for,” agreed Jean. “He’s got to be real.”
But Jake wouldn’t give in. He was onto something he seemed to believe. He interrupted loudly, “We don’t really see him except on T.V. Between all of you, that sounds fishy to me.”
I jumped into the debate helping Jake’s side. “What about the mall? There are too many Santas all dressed up all through town. They all can’t be him.”
“Unless it’s magic,” said little Christine. Her eyes were round and she smiled at her revelation.
A girl named Doris said with some hope. “What about the reindeer?”
“Don’t see them either,” said Jake.
“We can’t give up hope,” said Jean, holding little Christine’s hand. “Santa is real.”
The bell rang just then. We walked to line with a bit of regret. The debate about Santa hadn’t been settled yet. So, we decided to ask our teacher.
Pointing at me Jake said fast, “You can ask Mrs. Thompson, cause’ your the teacher’s pet.”
We hustled into our Third Grade class. I raised my hand and asked my teacher before class began. “Is Santa Claus real?”
She answered with a plea,”I can’t say a thing. I’m sworn to secrecy. Now, let’s get back to work. You want to be good, don’t you?”
All of us nodded. I wasn’t sure if she knew how the secret worked. To be safe, I got right to work.
I would think a teacher had connections to know every answer. But, a secret was a secret. I knew she wouldn’t budge. But I wanted to know the answer, even if there never was.
At home I asked Mom, Dad, Aunt Fran and Uncle Tim. Every time I asked one of them they gave me a big smile and said, “We’re not talking about him.”
That night, I lay awake in bed thinking. There had to be a way to get to the truth.
Was Santa for real down to his black boots? I climbed out of bed. I sneaked downstairs and out the back door. In my backyard, I gazed at the sky trying to find north. You can guess why.
If Santa had magic I figured he’d see my quest for the answer for curious kids like me.
“Hey you, Santa!
Do you really exist?
Please give me a sign
And keep me on your list.”
Suddenly, I grew tired. I tried to lie down. Before I closed my eyes,
I heard a jingling sound. I awoke in my room not sure what had gone on.
I felt a note in my hand, and sat up in my bed.
Quickly I looked, and this is what it said:
“Listen carefully, all children
If you want to believe
Look up at the sky
On all Christmas Eves.
You may not see Santa
Or his reindeer, or sleigh,
But believe he exists
And he’ll never go away.”
I hope you have a very Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!
Tiffany Turner is the author of the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. Her books can be found at Amazon.com.