The 3rd Annual Halloweensie Contest – aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!

Eye of newt and toe of frog!  It’s finally time for


courtesy google images

The Contest:  write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words spookyblack cat, and cackle.   Your story can be scary, funny or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words (you can count black cat as one word) and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!)  Get it?  Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 🙂  [Note: of you choose to use cackle as a verb, any form is acceptable – cackles, cackled, cackling…]

Post your story on your blog between now and Thursday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list below.  There will be no Would You Read It or Perfect Picture Books this week, so the post and the list of links will stay up all week for everyone to enjoy.  I hope everyone will visit everyone and you’ll all get your friends and relations to visit, read and enjoy too!  If you don’t have a blog and would like to enter, you can simply copy and paste your entry in the comments section below.  (If you have trouble, and alas, people sometimes do, just email your entry to susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com and I’ll post it in the comments for you!)

The Judging: my lovely assistant and I will narrow down the entrants to 3 (hee hee hee – you know how much trouble I have with only 3, so we’ll see) top choices which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Monday November 4th.  The winner will be announced with Would You Read It on Wednesday November 6th.  If we get more than 20 entries, I will post 6 finalists and give prizes for 1st through 3rd.

The Prizes:

First Prize is a PB Critique from the amazing Corey Rosen Schwartz, author of The Three Ninja PigsHop! Plop!, and the forthcoming Goldirocks, Ninja Red, and What About Moose? AND a copy of Linda Ashman’s new Nuts And Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books (your choice of e-book or PDF)!  The winner will also be incredibly famous and able to boast that he or she won The Halloweensie Contest… and that is not something most people can say! 🙂

Second Prize is a PB manuscript and query letter critique from talented author Heather Ayris Burnell, author of Bedtime Monster.

Third Prize is a set of personalized signed picture books just in time for the holidays – Charlotte Gunnufson‘s Halloween HustleTiffany Haber’s The Monster Who Lost His Mean, and Amy Dixon’s Marathon Mouse (perfect timing because NYC Marathon Sunday is next weekend!)

Please join me again in thanking these very generous authors for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books for holiday purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazon, B&N or anywhere else if you like them, or supporting them in any other way you can dream up 🙂

I’m actually a little amazed (and worried) because the inaugural Halloweensie Contest, won by Cathy with Untitled was postponed due to 2 feet of snow – which around here is unusual for the end of October.  The 2nd Annual Halloweensie Contest, won by Julie with Hallow’s Eve was delayed and interfered with by Hurricane Sandy!  So fingers crossed we don’t get any wild weather this year!

Now then.  Time for my sample entry which I provide both because I wouldn’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself, and because in case anyone is worried about the quality of their entry they have only to read my abysmal attempts to be filled with confidence that their’s is MUCH better!

So without further ado:

A Witch For Spooky (100 words)

Spooky was a black cat with no witch.
Things just never worked out.
Grimelda’s potions were too stinky for his delicate nose.
“Scram!” said Grimelda when he kept sneezing.
Hauntabelle flew her broomstick like a maniac.
“Scat!” said Hauntabelle when he got broomsick.
Armathystle’s cackle made Spooky run and hide!
Spooky had almost given up when he found Serena.  She was very small, but she didn’t smell bad or fly fast or cackle.
“You can be my Pookie,” she crooned (which was close enough!), and she carried him home in a candy-filled plastic pumpkin.
Spooky had a witch at last!

and, to provide one in rhyme (kinda storta :))

Spooked! (100 words)

A pirate, a witch, and a gypsy queen
Went trick-or-treating one Halloween.
Away past the farthest edge of town
To the ramshackle home of Farmer Brown.
Up the dark lane where no one dared.
The gyspsy queen said, “We’re not scared!”
A spooky shadow loomed ahead!
“Relax,” said the pirate.  “It’s just a shed.”
“Eeeek!” shrieked the witch as she danced about.
“Something touched my leg!  Look out!”
“It’s just a black cat.  Come on, let’s go.”
But then came a sound they didn’t know.
Cackle-cackle!  “It’s witches on the loose!”
And they ran helter-skelter from the Farmer’s goose!

Everyone feeling better about their stories now?  I HOPE so! 🙂

I can’t wait to read all of yours!  I hope there will be a lot – the more the merrier!  And there are still 4 days to write, so you have time if you haven’t written yet.  Feel free to spread the word to your writing friends as well.

Remember to put your post-specific link (not your general blog link or people will find the wrong page if you post again before the contest is over) in the list below!

Happy Writing and Happy Halloween!!! 🙂

Don’t miss 19 entries in the comments section from Megan, Pia, Linda, Michele, Stacy, Laurie, Kathy, Patricia, Eileen, Nancy, Pam, Pat, Kristen, Teresa R., Teresa S., Suzy, Tracy, Heather, and Karen!  (Marcie is now on the link list at #15, Jackie is now on the link list at #33 – she has a brand new blog!, Laura S is on the list at #40, and Deirdre is on the link list at #52.  I hope I’ve caught all the doubles, but there may be a couple more.)

538 thoughts on “The 3rd Annual Halloweensie Contest – aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!

  1. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Susanna…over 500 comments…this is amazing…what an incredible kid lit community this is! This level of support and encouragement to fellow writers is fantastic!

  2. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Isn't it wonderful? I'm thrilled with the whole thing. I can't believe how many people entered, how good the overall quality is, how enthusiastic and supportive everyone has been of each other. I hope people's individual blogs are getting lots of visits too – especially the ones near the end… I worry that they may get less attention at the end of such a long list. And now, back to judging. I have less than 12 hours to come up with the final list of finalists!

  3. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    I remember when my kids were little and they got excited over using a broom– alas, those days are no more. Nice job on your story!

  4. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    Love “witches weave spells/across the skies/in spiderweb gossamer.” What a beautiful and entrancing image!

  5. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    Wonderful! Can't think of much that's scarier for kids than “the dark corner”… except maybe the dark closet. Your last line is worth a hundred words by itself.

  6. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    Great idea for a fun Halloween story! I hope Monster Tuna Fish don't decide to visit me in my dreams. 😉

  7. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    Yes, I remember this story but don't think I was able to comment. I wanted to tell you how much I especially loved the line “spreading the cool black dirt around her like a blanket.” What a wonderful image!

  8. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    I love the idea of a town called Black Cat that is cheerful instead of spooky. Way to turn Halloween on its head! Still, I'm glad Bitsy got her wish.

  9. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    Ha! Love the fact that the witch is giving out pencils! Seems to me, that by itself, is enough to get kids to stop going there. 😉

  10. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    Awesome poem! Love that this little princess kitty found her angel and purred all the way home. A great twist on the traditional Halloween story.

  11. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    I so love your take on the theme! And your poem is outstanding. I especially loved the lines, “Fear slipped away/With a purr and a coo.”

  12. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    Love that the jolly old witch is telling jokes and it's the trick-or-treater doing the cackling! Thanks for the fun read.

  13. Patricia J. Weaver says:

    I watched my granddaughter win 4th in sr youth yea Lakelynn
    I watched my son win 7th in class 3 yea Ron
    there was over 2200 teams at the USTPA World Championship this year … that included the penning teams that rode earlier in the week

  14. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    I honestly don't know how you are doing it…just reading all of them and commenting on each is like a full-time job…albeit an amazingly fun one.:)

  15. Karen Bezella-Bond says:

    Michelle, thanks! I was inspired by how one of my sons used to sweep himself with a toy broom when he was a toddler. 🙂 But, alas, brooms are no longer exciting in my house either.

  16. Grannymar says:

    Having a day away from blogland, I am now playing catchup, on entries I may have missed.

    'Lizards, gizzards, flys and snakes. What will this concoction make?' O love it!

  17. Makrima Monni says:

    entry, cash prizes, raise money for Kids In The Spotlight

    Welcome to our 2013 Halloween costume contest!

    The Haunted Knoll Awards are an annual Halloween costume contest, where you
    can submit pictures of your best costumes and win cash prizes, while helping a
    great cause!

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