• Gennie Gorback

Holiday Helpers Writing Contest

I'm back again, entering another Kidlit writing contest!

This one was super fun! It's the 10th Annual Holiday Contest from Susanna Leonard Hill. Here are the rules: the piece must not exceed 250 words, it must be geared toward children (12 and under), it must have a full story arc and it must be about a Holiday Helper.

Read more about Susanna's contest here:

I am honored to present to you, my Holiday Helper Contest Entry:


By Genevieve Gorback

The smell of freshly fried latkes filled the air.

Silverware clattered.

Everyone chattered.

Everyone except my brother Eli.

He had stepped away from the table. We’d been practicing our Hanukkah skit all day. Eli said he wanted to participate, but his furrowed brow told a different story. I handed him his noise-canceling headphones. Relieved, he returned to the cheery group.

While the adults cleaned up dinner and set out platters of ooey-gooey jelly donuts, the cousins went to play. But Eli was spinning in the corner.

Eli is autistic and he is always spinning. When he is upset, he spins as fast as a tornado. When he is happy, he twirls like a graceful jellyfish. Sometimes I spin with him, which makes him laugh.

Now, Eli was spiiinnnniiiinnnnggg! He was definitely worried about the skit. I had to help… but how?

I watched Cousin Jonah playing dreidel. The little top wibbled and wobbled until it fell down, showing the gimmel. He’d won! Then, I had a winning idea.

“Change of plans!” I told the kids.

When the grown ups finally sat down, it was showtime. We sang, “I have a little dreidel…” and twirled in circles. Eli happily spun around, too.

Near the end of the song, Eli fell.

Everyone froze, worried that he might be upset.

But instead, he continued acting like a dreidel and yelled, "Gimmel!"

Everybody cheered. Eli’s smile was as bright as the light of the menorah. And I’m pretty sure mine was, too.


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