Valentine’s Day Mini-Writing Contest

News Flash: This contest ends tomorrow, Wednesday, February 22 @5pm (rather than February 23) in order to give the judge time to choose the winner before announcing the winner on Friday, February 24. I forgot about that part. πŸ’–πŸ˜‚

Was Valentine’s Day celebrated during Andi’s lifetime (1880s+)? Absolutely! So, when was Valentine’s Day first celebrated? 1860? 1900? Earlier? If you guessed earlier, you are right! In fact, Valentine’s Day was first celebrated in 496 AD. There are two different explanations for the origins of the special day. Which do you prefer? I prefer the second one.

1. Valentine’s Day is a very old tradition. Some believe it started as a Roman festival which officially kicked off their spring season (in the middle of February). Well, okay. Maybe spring came earlier in Italy (Rome). Part of the celebration included the boys randomly drawing names (of girls) from a box. They “courted” during the festival, and sometimes it was serious enough that many ended up getting married. (I find this hard to believe, but . . .)

2. This origin of Valentine’s Day makes more sense. It was originally called the Feast of Saint Valentine, celebrated on February 14. It started out as a Christian feast day, honoring two Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine. Later on, it focused more on love and romance. The “Valentine” martyrs have a lot of legends to go along with the day. One legend says that St. Valentine wrote the jailer’s daughter (after he healed her blindness) a letter and signed it as “Your Valentine” as a farewell before his execution. Another tradition says St. Valentine performed weddings for Christian soldiers, who were forbidden to marry.

St. Valentine performing a baptism

As the centuries rolled on (14th-15th centuries), Valentine’s Day morphed more into the romantic/love holiday we are more familiar with, using the idea of “love birds” since you could see those birds in the spring. Here is a poem by William Shakespeare from his play, Hamlet, Act IV, scene 5 (1600 AD)

  • Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine.

By the 18th century, the Day grew even more elaborate, where couples expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, candy, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines). Check out this little poem from 1784. Sound familiar?

  • “The rose is red, the violet’s blue, The honey’s sweet, and so are you.”

In one of Mrs. M’s favorite books, Caddie Woodlawn, (set during the Civil War, 1863), Caddie’s brother Tom works hard at the general store after school to buy the biggest and best Valentine there. Caddie is sure the valentine is for her, because they are best friends. At school, the kids exchange comical valentines, though some are sentimental, and Caddie learns Tom bought the Valentine for Katie, a shy, sickly girl that he is sweet on.

Valentine’s Day Mini-Writing Contest

I have never brought up Valentine’s Day in any of the Circle C books, so let’s see what you can come up with. Most Valentine’s Day cards have a little verse (poem) included. So, enter this contest by…

  1. Create a Valentine’s Day verse that Andi might have received in a card for Valentine’s Day at some time in her life. You can choose a humorous poem, a sweetheart poem, or a rude poem (but in good taste), depending on who sends it. Make sure you include who it’s from!
  2. Also include a Valentine’s gift from the same person. What would it be and why?

Here are some ideas:

  • from Cory during school (as a young boy or an older boy)
  • from Riley when they are courting
  • from Johnny Wilson . . . just because!
  • from one of Andi’s brothers or other family members

Use the Internet to research Valentine’s verses, or make up the poem/verse yourself. Submit your “Valentine’s Day Card for Andi” verse in the Google Form below the prize image. (Or click this link to submit on the Google Form page.) A judge will choose which card’s verse she likes best.

Word count? Your poem must sensibly fit into the space of a Valentine’s card, so no “ballads.” β™₯️ I will leave the rest up to you.

You may submit one entry.


What does the winner receive, whose Valentine’s Card verse is chosen? One single book (print), or one audio book (MP3 format), or any single item in the Circle C Store (does not include lapbooks, enrichment guides, MP3 audio book set players, or combo gift packs). How cool is that? I just want to show you fans a little “love” for Valentine’s Day. Click on the image to check out the store for prizes.

International entriesPlease choose a prize that can be delivered to you electronically. I cannot ship physical prizes internationally. Thanks!

Circle C Store

Deadline for Submissions

Mini-writing contest runs Tuesday, February 14 – Wednesday, February 22 (9 days), @5pm Pacific Time. Winner announced on Friday, February 24.

The ending date changed so I can give the judge a day to read all of the entries and choose a winner.

Published by Andi Carter

I'm the main character in the Circle C Adventures series. I live on a huge cattle ranch in 1880s California. These are my adventures.

69 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Mini-Writing Contest

      1. Ok thank you! That is what I am going to choose, but I am just curious, does that mean someone couldn’t get a Circle C Gift pack? Or would they only pick one thing from the pack?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Just . . . wow! So far, I’ve already seen four entries and they are very creative and I love them. I am very glad that I don’t have to be the final judge on these. I have asked my author-friend and Circle C adult fan to judge them. She’s going to have a hard time, I can tell that already!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for doing this! I am not very good but its still a fun way to practice and do it in a awesome way!!! happy Valentines day!!! And this is such a great idea

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I sent my answer in but I didn’t realize that you were supposed to put the person’s name that it was from. Is that a problem? It was supposed to be from Riley


  4. Can the “gift” be abstract, like a picnic or a trip somewhere?
    Does the poem need a title?
    Would the sender of the poem sign his name at the bottom?
    How big were Valentine cards? Would four short lines fit, or two longish lines?
    Thanks! Just wanted some clarity so I don’t put too long of a poem in! This looks really fun!


  5. Maybe if the judges have a hard time deciding on the winner, we vote for the best poem out of the top 3 or 5 (with everyone being totally honest). I understand why we can’t vote in the annual writing contest, but for this contest, i think it would be fun.πŸ˜€


    1. A sweet idea but for another time. I’m going with the judge this time and have already arranged it. She will pick the winner and if she has a hard time, I’ll ask for two runners up as honorable mentions. It’s just a quickie, fun mini-writing contest.


  6. News Flash! For those of you who like to wait until the very last minute to turn in your entries, this contest ends tomorrow, Wednesday, February 22, and NOT Thursday, February 23. Why did I change this? In order to give the judge a day to read through the entries and choose a winner. She lives in eastern time and would not have time to choose a winner between the contest end time and my announcing it the next day.

    So, head’s up!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is correct. I can’t afford such an expensive prize for such a small contest. I would not offer an MP3 player even if only ONE book were on it (for the same reason). They are very expensive for me to buy and have the books/series put on them. Except for when I was presenting them initially, they will never be a prize for any contest.


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