You guys sure know how to give a judge a run for her money!
Gone are the days of the first Halloweensie Contest when we got 7 or 8 entries!
My assistant judges (yes, I called in reinforcements!) and I agonized over winnowing this amazing field of entries down to a manageable number for you to vote on.
And I have a few comments. (Don’t I always :))
First of all, I want to thank EVERYONE who took the time and care to write an entry for this contest. It was far and away the most well-subscribed contest we’ve ever had. 79 entries at the final count (because yes, I counted wrong on Friday :)) and the quality of the entries across the board was fantastic. There were no easy cuts. (Except, sadly, for one that went over the word count to 114 and had to be disqualified.)
Second, I’d also like to thank EVERYONE – writer, reader, or both – who took the time to go around and read as many entries as you could and leave supportive comments. This means so much to the writers who worked hard on their stories. It helps them see what they did well, as well as giving them the joy of knowing that their stories were read and enjoyed. I hope you all got as much delight and entertainment out of the reading as I did! Plus, we got to meet quite a few new people which was a wonderful added bonus! 🙂
Third – SURPRISE! – as a result of the quality and quantity of entries, I have decided to give prizes through 6th place instead of only through 3rd. I have also decided that you might need a little extra time to vote and that the post that announces the winners should be exclusively devoted to that celebration. So the post with the winners will go up on THURSDAY November 7 (not with WYRI on Wednesday as I originally planned.)
Before I list the finalists, I want to say once again how difficult it was too choose! There were so many fabulous entries. Really. I could find at least something terrific about every single one. There were so many good ones that in the end some got cut on the basis of a word or phrase that we felt was a little off, or a concept we weren’t quite sure a child would get. So if yours didn’t make the final cut please don’t feel bad. There was a huge amount of competition. Judging, no matter how hard we try to be objective, is always subjective at a certain point – we all have our own preferences for what makes a great story. And the fact that you didn’t make the final cut DOES NOT mean you didn’t write a great story. Everyone who plonked their butt in a chair and worked hard to write a story for this contest is a winner! You showed up. You did your best work. You practiced your craft. You wrote to specifications. You bravely shared your writing with the world. And you have a brand new story that is now yours to expand beyond 100 words if you like and maybe submit at some point to a magazine or as a PB manuscript. So bravo to everyone who entered!
Now, without further ado, here are your finalists. There is a mix of poetry and prose, stories for youngest readers and stories for older kids, funny, cute, and spooky – quite a spread! We really tried to keep it to 10… but we couldn’t… though we came close 🙂
Remember that the judging criteria were:
1. Kid-appeal! – These stories are intended for a young audience, so entries that were well-written but lacked child-friendliness did not make the cut.
2. Quality of story – the rules stated that entries were to tell a story, so if they appeared to be more of a description or mood piece, they didn’t make the cut.
3. Halloweeniness – the rules stated a Halloween story, so entries that failed to mention anything Halloween-y did not make the cut even if they were well-written.
4. Originality and creativity – because that is often what sets one story above another.
Finalists will be listed by title and without author for now in case that helps you be more objective 🙂
#1 Are You Scared Yet?
“I’m ready, ” said the little black cat.
“Let’s hear it,” said the big black cat.
“Booooooo,” said Little Cat.
Big Cat curled up. “Not spooky enough.”
“Ah ha ha ha,” she cackled, wrinkling her nose.
Big Cat yawned. “Not creepy enough.”
Little Cat bared her teeth. “Mwah ha ha,” she said.
“I’m still not scared,” said Big Cat, closing his eyes.
Little Cat took a deep breath and growled from her belly, getting louder until her body vibrated.
“Rawr!” she bellowed, and Big Cat jumped straight into the air.
“Not bad,” Big Cat said.
Little Cat smiled. I’m ready.
#2 Treat Or Trick
#3 Miss Sadie
#4 Drusella, The Black Spooky Cat
“I give up!” Drusella sighed, “Next year I’m gonna be a Princess!”
#5 Black Cat, Black Cat
Black Cat, Black Cat
where are you going
this Halloweensie night,
a foul wind blowing?
Off to join the witchesfor their spooky spree.
Every Hallows Eve – a creepy jamboree.
Black Cat, Black Cat
who’s that on the broom
sat twixt the witch and you,
spewing words of doom?
That’s my bud, Ghoul One,
he plans his hex all year.
Ghouls Two, Three & Four
join in to up the fear.
Black Cat, Black Cat
what’s that in the pot,
cackling & bubbling,
oozing smoking hot?
Tis my Haloweensie meal –
tuna bake with spice.
Me and the neighbor kits
we like it with fried lice.
#6 The Dare
#7 Foe Or Friend?
#8 One Ghostly Halloween
#9 Witch And Ghost
#10 The Scary Spell
#11 On Halloween
The moon was full,
And the night was still.
Raccoon and Badger crept up the lonely path.
A cackle echoed from the trees,
And Raccoon froze. “A witch?”
“A bird,” said Badger.
A dark streak dashed across their path,
And Raccoon jumped. “A monster?”
Badger shook his head. “A black cat.”
Up ahead, glowing eyes flickered,
And Raccoon trembled. “A goblin?”
“A Jack O’ Lantern.”
They approached a spooky old house.
The door slowly opened.
Raccoon stuttered. “A g…g…ghost?”
Badger laughed. “My Grandma!”
And Raccoon giggled.
Raccoon and Badger raced to the door.
“Trick or Treat!”
I can’t wait to see who the winners will be! And I have some more surprises planned for Thrusday’s Special Halloweensie Contest Winners post, so stay tuned!!! (And don’t forget WYRI on Wednesday :))