Halloweensie Contest 2013 WINNERS!!!


What are you all doing here?

Don’t you know it’s Thursday?

I don’t post on Thursdays.

Go home.

I’ll see you tomorrow for Perfect Picture Books.


You’re here for a reason?

Well, I’ll be darned!

You must have all come over to hear about my hangnail!

Aren’t you just the sweetest to be so concerned!

Let me tell you, it’s a doozy.  It started on Monday when I was washing the dishes.  It was just that little tiny painful beginning, you know?  And I noticed it when I went to dry my hands and that painful little poinky end got caught on the dish towel and I was like, “Oh, man!  Not a hangnail!”….

Wait a minute.

You’re all managing to look very patient.

But I heard yawning…

…and I see some eye-rolling in the back over there….

You didn’t really come over to hear about my hangnail, DID you!

I KNEW it!

So why are you here on a Thursday?

Go home, I tell you!

Jeez Louise!  You’d think I had nothing better to do than to entertain you lot with the


Heeheehee!  I’m sorry!  I just can’t help myself.  Heeheehee.  I don’t even HAVE a hangnail!  Heeheeheeheehee!

Okay, really.  I’m sorry for tormenting you with my juvenile behavior.  Let’s start with a few surprises, shall we?

As you are all aware by now, we had a record turnout for the Halloweensie Contest – 79 entries!

I was thrilled beyond measure to see so many wonderful stories!

But with large entry numbers come hard choices.  My assistant judges and I worked hard to winnow the total down to a manageable number of finalists that we felt were truly all-around deserving of that distinction, and those were the ones we presented to you on Monday for your vote.

There were, however, many other entries that were outstanding in certain areas even though they might not have qualified all-around for one reason or another.

So my assistant judges and I would like to award recognition and a small prize to the following authors for the following merits:

1.  For Honorable Mention In The Competition As A Whole:
     Vivian Kirkfield for Halloween Dance Party Countdown
     Carrie Finison for Callie’s Prize-Winning Potion
     Lauri Meyers for White Cat’s Halloween
     Suzy Levinson for Black Cat Goes To Spooky School

2.  For Best Use of Poetic Language:
     Kathy Moncrief for Halloween Night!
     Heather Greene for Untitled (Hallowed Eve)
     Julie Rowan-Zoch for Halloween Comes To The Farm
     Bradin Farnworth for The Witches’ Song
     Kimberley Moran for Black Glass Cat

3. For Spookiest Entry: (not already in the finals)
     Teresa M.I. Schaefer for Grim Concoction
     Laura Shovan for The Old Hotel
     Jackie Wellington for A Disappearing Act
     Deirdre Sheridan Englehart for The Spookiest Night!

4.  For Funniest Entry: (not already in the finals)
     Mike Allegra for Spooky Piggy
     Janet Johnson for Brewster’s Trick
     Sheila Renfro for Helga’s Black Cat Search

5.  For Sweetest/Cutest Entry: (not already in the finals)
     Deb for Boo: The Scaredy Halloweenie Cat

6.  For Great Kid Appeal: (not already in the finals)
     Michelle Barnes for The Witching Hour
     Meg Miller for The Halloween CAW Ball
     Kirsten Bock for Scare D-Cat

7.  For Most Original Format:
     Nancy Hatch for Cackle… The Spooky Black Cat – in rap! 🙂

8.  For Best All-Around Entry By A Newcomer To The Blog: (not already in the finals)
     Juliana Lee for Sleepless Hallow’s Eve
     Doris K. Stone for The Fat Black Cat Sat

9.  For Favorite Character:
     Stacy Couch for her Ninja Ballerina in Olivia vs. The Witch 🙂

Congratulations to all of you for fantastic elements of your stories!  You may all email me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com to collect your prize, which is your choice of one of the following: (the titles are all links so you can go see what they’re about)

For Kindle:
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi , OR

The Postitive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Attributes by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, OR

The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Flaws by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, OR

In paperback:
Show & Tell In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions From Telling To Showing by Jessica Bell

And now…

…the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

…a picture of my hangnail!

… THE WINNERS OF THE 2013 HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST ACCORDING TO THE POPULAR VOTE!!! (which did not have the consideration to work out very neatly as you will see…)

In First Place, winner of a picture book manuscript critique from Corey Rosen Schwartz (celebrated author of The Three Ninja Pigs and other wonderful picture books) AND a copy of Linda Ashman’s brand new Nuts & Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books


Nata Romeo
for Drusella, The Black Spooky Cat

Congratulations, Nata!!!

In Second Place, winner of a picture book manuscript critique AND a query letter critique from Heather Ayris Burnell, author of Bedtime Monster,

Marcie Rinka Wessels
for Miss Sadie

Congratulations, Marcie!!!

In Third Place, we have a tie between

Eric Weibel          and          Margaret Greenias
      for The Dare                  for One Ghostly Halloween

One of them will win the signed copies of Halloween Hustle by Charlotte Gunnufson, The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Haber, and Marathon Mouse by Amy Dixon, which was the original 3rd prize.  The other will win The Writer’s Workout: 366 Tips, Task andTechniques From Your Writing Coach by Christina Katz AND Rip The Page: Adventures In Creative Writing by Karen Benke – they will have to fight amongst themselves and/or come up with a way to split and share the spoils 🙂

Congratulations, Erik and Margaret!!!

In Fifth Place, we have another tie! between

Laura Renauld          and          Cheryl Secomb
for Foe or Friend?                     for On Halloween

Since I didn’t previously announce prizes past 3rd, I’m going to keep this tie fair by awarding both Laura and Cheryl a $20 Amazon Gift Certificate – that way they won’t have to fight like Erik and Margaret 🙂

Congratulations, Laura and Cheryl!!!

All the winners should email me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com with the subject heading Prize Winner so we can work out details for you to receive your prizes!  Finalists who did not finish in the top 6 (Joanna, Nancy, Katie, Donna and Buffy) may also contact me for their choice of the Kindle or paperback prizes listed above.

Congratulations again to all our winners – it was a stiff competition!! – and congratulations to EVERYONE who wrote and entered a story in the contest.  You all deserve a huge round of applause, a confetti parade, and a large amount of chocolate cake 🙂

Thank you to everyone who helped make this contest SO MUCH FUN, whether by writing an entry, reading people’s stories, leaving comments for the authors, and/or voting in the finals.  It’s because of all of you that this contest was such a success, so many, many thanks from the bottom of my heart!

And before we go, I will give you all advance warning so you can start planning a little time into your December schedule…

The 3rd Annual Holiday Writing Contest will be coming up sometime in the neighborhood of December 11-18.  I’m running it a little bit earlier this year so we can all fully enjoy it and still have time for last minute holiday things.  And to whet your appetites and get your thinking caps on, I will tell you that first prize is something AWESOME!  A picture book manuscript read and critique by an actual editor at an actual highly regarded publishing house!!!  But that is all I’m saying for now 🙂  You will just have to stay tuned for more details as the Holiday Contest approaches.  And I will do my best to post the rules well in advance so you all have time to work on your stories!

Have a terrific Thursday everyone, and thanks again for making the Halloweensie Contest such a wonderful time for all! 🙂

104 thoughts on “Halloweensie Contest 2013 WINNERS!!!

  1. Nata ArtistaDonna says:

    Thank you!!!! I am truly honored to be part of such a talented community of writers/Illustrators 🙂 Thank you to all who voted for Drusella!!! I loved everyone's story….you're all winners to me!!!

  2. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    WOO!!! Congrats to the long list of people who won! There were so many great entries 😀 For Ms. Greenias and I – I will say, Ms. Greenias can choose which prize pack she wants, they are both incredibly cool! Thank you Ms. Hill!!!

  3. Angela Brown says:

    I must say that you've done an awesome job with this years's Halloweensie contest and I'm thrilled the turn out for the competition was high! Yay to all the entrants, first of all, and Congrats to the winners!!!!!

    And best of luck with that hangnail, Susanna 🙂

  4. Donna L Sadd says:

    Congratulations winners! This was such a fun contest, thanks to the entire voting team. Susanna, I'm awarding you with an imaginary manicure to get rid of that nasty hang nail you made up to keep us all on the edge of our seats. The agony! :0)

  5. nrhatch says:


    Wait . . . my mouth is full of Halloweensie Candy.


    Wait . . . I've got a tickle in my throat. Or maybe a frog. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between the two.

    Oh, sorry, got a bit side-tracked.

    THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER is . . . drumroll please . . . no, not the digital drums, the snares . . . great . . .

    AND THE WINNER IS SUSANNA LEONARD HILL!!! Thanks for making the blogosphere such a FUN place throughout the year.

  6. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    Congratulations Nata and all the winners! They were so fun to read and it was nice meeting some new writers through the process. Thanks for hosting the contest and those who took time to judge.

  7. Beth Stilborn says:

    Congratulations to all the winners!!!!

    Great contest, Susanna! Thank you! (and might I suggest that you start stockpiling chocolate now, to fortify yourself for the Holiday Contest judging… )

  8. pennyklostermann says:

    Congratulations to all of the winners and honorable mentions. A BIG, HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to you, Nata, on 1st Place!!! And thanks, Susanna for your hard work and for having these awesome contests! They really are a ton of fun.

  9. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Susanna, if you ever decide to give up writing fabulous children's books and running stupendous holiday writing contests, you will most certainly qualify for a top ambassadorial post! You are kind, clever, wonderfully smart and oh so diplomatic.:) What a lovely way to recognize hard work and good effort!
    CONGRATULATIONS to all of the winners…finalists…and everyone who participated either by submitting a story or by visiting blogs and commenting. And sincere thanks to the generous prize contributors!
    Looking forward to PPBF tomorrow and the Holiday Contest next month.:)

  10. Cheryl Secomb says:

    This is awesome! Congratulations to all the winners and all the contestants. Everyone wrote such great entries! Susanna, you're amazing. Thank you for all your hard work and thank you to your lovely assistants for their part, too. Your contests are so much fun!

  11. Darshana says:

    Congratulations to everyone who submitted a story. You are all winners since you wrote a story, unlike some of us who couldn't get our BIC. 🙂 Susanna you are awesome at putting on these contests. I do look forward to the Holiday contest. If you get the rules out ahead of time. I might even try to participate! 😉 I just wish all my Xmas ideas weren't song-based. eek.

  12. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Hahaha! An award announcer after my own heart 🙂 Thanks, Nancy, for the award and your very kind words! But it's really you guys that make everything such fun! 🙂 Have a lovely day in the 'hood 🙂


  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thank YOU for participating, Stacy! You are such a stalwart member of the contest-entering horde – I don't think you've ever missed one! I so appreciate your enthusiasm! I hope Enzo didn't get too many vegetables in his halloween pumpkin 🙂 And it was lovely to meet some new people, wasn't it?

  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I'm way ahead of you, Beth! I have a delivery truck coming today! 🙂 I'm so glad you enjoyed the contest, and thank you so much for a wonderful entry – your brave little kitten – so cute! 🙂


  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thank YOU, Penny, for always being such an enthusiastic participant! It's really you and everyone else who joins in that makes these contests what they are! I enjoy them so much – I'm always sad when they're over and there are no more fun stories to look forward to!

  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Aw shucks, Vivian! You're making me blush! I'm only one of a whole ton of wonderful children's writers who hang out in this community, and it's all of us together that make everything so fun 🙂 Thank you for all your kinds words – you made my day even if I'm also blushing 🙂 – and for always participating so enthusiastically in the contests with excellent entry after excellent entry and all your generous participation!

  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I didn't know you guys were critique buddies! What fun! I'm so glad you enjoyed the contest, and I thank you so much for once again participating with such enthusiasm! The contest are what they are because of everyone who joins in so whole-heartedly!


  18. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    You might be okay, Darshana! A look at the Holiday Contest history will show you that song-based has a solid place 🙂 I will really try to get the rules up early so people have time – I know it's a busy time of year – but the prize will SO totally be worth it!

  19. Marcie Rinka Wessels says:

    Thank you SO much!!!!! The contest was so much fun. Thanks for sponsoring it, Susanna. The real prize for me is finding such a creative and supportive group of writing friends.

  20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the entries, Diane, and I do hope you'll be able to find time to submit one for the Holiday Contest 🙂 Thanks so much for your very kind words! You're one in a million too! 🙂


  21. patientdreamer says:

    I intend to Susanna. Just had some minor tech hitches which forced me to forgo the Holloween contest. Would you believe last night there was a huge blackout in our city causing 2000 homes to be without power for many hours. Sheesh! Very unusual!

  22. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Oh my goodness! I hope you're okay, Diane. City blackouts can be very scary! And it's especially concerning if there doesn't seem to be a reason for such a widespread blackout – no storm or anything… Hope all's well!


  23. Lauri Meyers says:

    Congratulations to all the winners and participants who scared up a lot of good fun this Halloween! Thank you for hosting such a spooking good time Susanna and especially for the Honorable Mention. That really made my day today 🙂

  24. Margaret Greanias says:

    Thanks Erik, but I was actually going to offer for you to choose. I insist. I loved your entry! Congratulations!

  25. Margaret Greanias says:

    Congratulations to all the winners! This was such a fun contest, Susanna! We are really lucky to have you in our community.

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