Last week I visited an amazing school – Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa. Everything about it was awesome – the school, the teachers, the kids, and even the lunch! It almost made me wish I was in Middle School again.


Okay, maybe not.

But the visit was great!


The students had all read REBELS as a companion piece to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. My presentation was about mining their own family history for story ideas and creating characters. It was fun to show them the people and places in my life that I had used for “inspiration” in the book.


Those are my, “I’m an author” serious clothes. They are also my “I need to workout because these pants are too tight” clothes, but being comfortable is second to being fashionable, am I right?


David Schumacher, Librarian Extraordinaire, set up the event, drove me around Tampa, and made sure I was comfortable the entire time.


This is Susan Alexander, a great teacher and an AWESOME WRITER. I know, because I’ve read her stuff and it was so good I wanted to cry. Mainly ’cause I wasn’t the one who wrote it. She and David, and two other teachers – Jen Brown and Jen Martin- took me to dinner the night before the presentation. That could be the reason for the aforementioned pants issue. We all sat around talking books, and every one of them had a great story idea that they were mulling over.

Thank you, Berkeley Preparatory School, for hosting me. I am an official Buccaneers fan for life!


One of my favorite things about publishing my debut novel, LAST IN A LONG LINE OF REBELS, has been hearing the affection for one of its characters, Bertie. She’s been described as feisty, hilarious, out-spoken and even flirtatious! Pretty good for a grandmother. So in honor of the character that brought me so much joy to write, I am excited to announce:



A Short Story Contest for students ages 11 – 13

Entries accepted March 1 – April 1


 1st Place $250

 2nd Place $150

 3rd Place $100

 Honorable Mention – $100.00 to be divided between winners.

 The winning entries will be posted online on the Middle Grade Mafia website

The details, rules, etc. are below but I wanted to introduce you to some of the great people I’ll be partnering with to bring you this contest.

Would you like to meet them? Yes, please!

The lovely folks at Locker-Logo2Time have agreed to oversee the technical aspects of the contest. Once the contest goes live (more about that later) you’ll find the form to upload your work on their site at (Link won’t work until March 1.)


It couldn’t be a contest without awesome judges! I am pleased to have the Middle Grade Mafia folks along for this journey. They will be judging the entries, as well as posting the winning entries on their site. Yay, Mafia!

And finally, my terrific sponsor –


 Winnwood Retirement has graciously agreed to provide the prize money – $600.00 dollars worth!

General Guidelines

The submission window is between March 1 and April 1

Writers may submit only one story per contest year

 Stories must be written by only one writer

 Writers must be ages 11, 12, or 13 years old

Previously submitted or published stories will not be accepted

Story must be no longer than 1500 words total

Story MUST contain a intergenerational aspect (two characters from different generations) no matter how minor.

Finalists posted online May 1, 2016

Winners posted online May 15, 2016

Submitting Your Story

Write your story in any word processing program

Go to

Click on the submission form link

Fill out the submission form. Copy and paste your story into the text box

Submit your story!

Writers will receive an e-mail confirmation upon submission.

I’m excited to see read your stories. If you have any questions, email me at Bertie (at) LisaLewisTyre (dot) com.  Now as Bertie would say, “Get crackin’!”

Download the contest info HERE.

Contest Writing