Perfect Picture Book Friday – Turkey Trouble AND Announcing The 3rd Annual Holiday Writing Contest!!!

So many great things to share today!

First, a Perfect Picture Book just right for this week!

Title: Turkey Trouble
Written By: Wendi Silvano
Illustrated By: Lee Harper
Amazon Children’s Publishing/Two Lions, Oct. 2009, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: problem solving, holidays, animals

Opening: “Turkey was in trouble.  Bad trouble.  The kind of trouble where it’s almost Thanksgiving… and you’re the main course.  But Turkey had an idea…

Brief Synopsis: In an attempt not to be Thanksgiving dinner, Turkey tries to disguise himself as another animal.  After all, “Farmer Jake wouldn’t eat a horse for Thanksgiving…”  But for one reason or another, no disguise is quite right.  Will Turkey be dinner after all?

Links To Resources: Children can think up or draw their own disguises for Turkey.  Children can think up what would make a good Thanksgiving dinner besides turkey.  Turkey contemplates disguising himself as Rooster and rejects the idea – discuss how are Turkey and Rooster alike?  How are they different?  Here’s a great Activity Guide recommended by the author, Wendi Silvano.  Very fun activity HERE.

Why I Like This Book: The concept of this book is fun.  Haven’t we all imagined turkeys trying to come up with a way to escape being Thanksgiving dinner?  Turkey has a plan.  And when Plan A… and B… and C… don’t work, he proves that he’s resourceful by coming up with a backup plan that does the trick.  For now…  But the art is what puts this cute story over the top.  You have GOT to see Turkey in his various disguises!  It would be a pretty tough audience who wouldn’t at least chuckle over Turkey dressed up as a horse, cow, etc.  The short simple text is perfect for a wide range of ages, and kids will have fun guessing, at least the first time through, what Turkey’s going to think up next 🙂  And after this, you’re probably going to want to read Turkey Claus 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Now then!  As per approximately half of your requests from Monday’s informal poll, may I present

The 3rd Annual Holiday Contest!!!


The Contest:  Write a children’s story about a Holiday Mishap, mix-up, miscommunication, mistake, or potential disaster (a la Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer :)).  Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 350 words (aren’t I being generous?! 🙂  It can be as short as you like, but no more than 350!)  Did the dog knock over the Christmas Tree?  Did little Johnny’s costume get grape juice all over it moments before the holiday pageant?  Did the menorah go missing?  Did travel arrangements get snarled or miscommunicated?  Did Santa’s sleigh have to make an emergency landing?  The field is wide open!  Have fun!  And I’m adding, because so many people have mentioned this, the story does not have to be funny!  You can have a holiday mishap that is serious or sweet or mysterious…  Please don’t feel that you have to go the humor route!

Post:  Your entry should be posted on your blog between Monday December 9 and Friday December 13 at 11:59 PM EST (no WYRI or PPBF that week), and your post-specific link should be added to the link list on the official holiday contest post which will go up on my blog on Monday December 9 and remain up through Sunday December 15.  If you don’t have a blog but would like to enter, please copy and paste your entry into the comments on my December 9th post.  (If anyone has trouble commenting, which unfortunately happens, please email me and I’ll post your entry for you!)
The Judging:  My lovely assistant(s) and I will narrow down the entrants to 6-12 finalists (depending on the number of entries) which will be posted here on Monday December 16 for you to vote on for a winner.  The vote will be closed on Wednesday December 18 at 5 PM EST and the winners will be announced on Thursday December 19.  Whoever gets the most votes will be first and so on down to sixth place.  Remember, judging criteria will be kid appeal/friendliness, suitability of mishap, quality of story, and quality of writing.
The Prizes!:  Well, I hope these prizes are going to knock your socks off!!!  In the spirit of the holidays, winners will be named for 1st – 6th place.  In addition to the incredible fame of being able to say you won (or placed in) the Pretty Much World Famous 3rd Annual Holiday Contest, the following AMAZING prizes will be awarded:

 – A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Written Critique by Karen Boss, Editor at Charlesbridge!!! (Priceless!)  Karen Boss is the editorial assistant at Charlesbridge Publishing in Watertown, MA. She has a master’s degree in children’s literature from Simmons College and is currently editing projects that range from picture books for younger readers to picture books for older readers to middle-grade novels, both fiction and nonfiction. (But let’s face it, folks!  You’re getting YOUR picture book manuscript in front of an actual editor at a highly regarded publishing house!  Who knows where that could lead?)

 – A Gold Membership to Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 in 2014 (a $100 value)
    Little GOLDen Book Membership includes:

  • Full access (view and post) to the Main 12 x 12 Forum and Critique Connect (where you can find critique partners)
  • Access to the members-only 12 x 12 Facebook Group
  • Ability to view the Events, Member Books, Videos/Trailers and Help An Author Out (HAAO) sections of the 12 x 12 Forum
  • Opportunity to win craft-related prizes from the monthly featured authors
  • Full (view and post) access to the Events, Member Books, Video/Trailers and HAAO sections of the 12 x 12 Forum
  • FULL (view and post) access to these additional sections of the 12 x 12 Forum: Query Corner (get feedback on your query letters), Pitch Perfect (get feedback on loglines and pitches), and Manuscript Makeover (get feedback on the first 250 words of your ms)
  • Access to the Submission Station section of the 12 x 12 Forum, which will provide information about that month’s agent or editor and instructions on how to submit to him or her.

 – 2 signed Picture Books by Linda AshmanRAIN! and PEACE, BABY! (Keep for yourself or give as a holiday gift to a little person in your life :)) AND
    a $25 Amazon Gift Card

 – A Picture Book Manuscript Critique by Erin Molta Erin is an experienced senior editor of picture book, early readers, chapter, middle grade, and YA books, as well as novelty and licensed titles. She has been in childrens publishing for more than twenty years and has a keen understanding of early reader through YA audiences. She has an excellent reputation with established authors, illustrators, and agents.

 – Enrollment in the Online Writing course Making Picture Book Magic in the month of your choice (a $99 value)

 – A signed copy of TUGBOAT by Michael Garland (not even released yet!) AND
    a signed copy of A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS by Julie Hedlund (Keep for yourself or give as a holiday gift to a little person in your life :))  AND
    a $25 Amazon Gift Card

 – A Picture Book Manuscript Critique from author/illustrator Sarah Frances Hardy, author and illustrator of PUZZLED BY PINK (Viking Juvenile, April 2012) and the forthcoming PAINT ME!. A great choice for someone who is both an author and an illustrator – and I know we have quite a few of those here 🙂

 – 2014 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market by Chuck Sambuchino (your choice of paperback or Kindle edition)

 – The Crock Of Charms Anthology – a three volume collection of stories for readers of all ages from writers all over the world including some you probably know 🙂  Robyn Campbell, Cheryl Secomb, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, Theresa Milstein, Lenny Lee, and me, to name a few 🙂

(Run your mouse over the prizes, books, authors, etc… most of them are links)

The Contest Winner will have first choice of the prizes.  2nd place will have next choice of what’s left and so on.  (I’m doing it this way in the hopes that no one will get something they already have – for example, if you’ve already signed on for Julie’s 12×12 or taken Making Picture Book Magic or own RAIN! and PEACE, BABY! etc. and also because I think all the prizes are fabulous and I wouldn’t want to make anyone feel less valued by giving them as 6th place as opposed to 1st.)

Wow!  I hope you think everything on that list would be worth getting!  Plus bragging rights!  So put on your thinking caps!  Sharpen your pencils!  Fire up your imagination!  And start writing those holiday stories 🙂  You’ve got 2 whole weeks! (plus a couple extra days thanks to the people who wanted a little more time 🙂  Actually, if you were to post on Friday December 13 you have 3 weeks from today!)

AND, as if all that Perfect Picture Book and Holiday Contest Excitement weren’t enough, tune in Monday for my official Holiday Gift-Giving Guide For Writers (a link you’re going to want to give everyone you know so they’ll get you the right presents this holiday season! :))

You’ve probably forgotten all about PPBF by now, so let me remind all you lovely PPBF bloggers to please leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you! (assuming we’re not so giddy at the prospect of those prizes that we can’t concentrate on anything but starting our Holiday Contest stories! :))

Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂

68 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Turkey Trouble AND Announcing The 3rd Annual Holiday Writing Contest!!!

  1. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I'm impressed that your story is already done! Now you have the luxury of letting it “rest” so you can go back and tweak it before you post your final. I should be so disciplined! 🙂 And I'm honored that “Su” brings up my blog 🙂

  2. Kristen Foote says:

    Awesome contest Susanna! Just what I needed to force me to “step away” from other difficult manuscripts I am revising right now – putting the final touches on my entry!! Can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with as well 🙂 Thank you for the inspiration!

  3. pennyklostermann says:

    The prizes did knock my socks off!!! Hold on! I'm going to the next room to get them :-0
    Turkey Trouble sounds wonderful. The title alone is enough to get me to the library!!!!

  4. facebook.com/suthomasartist says:

    finally… a reason to pick up my pen again… sounds a wonderful challenge… already wondering what my character Molly Bunny might get up to…. and worried that I will struggle with the 350 word limit!! – about time to try…. thank you for the opportunity! I love this page – only just found you!

  5. facebook.com/suthomasartist says:

    finally… a reason to pick up my pen again… sounds a wonderful challenge… already wondering what my character Molly Bunny might get up to…. and worried that I will struggle with the 350 word limit!! – about time to try…. thank you for the opportunity! I love this page – only just found you!

  6. Cindy Williams Schrauben says:

    I'm so excited, Susanna. You have inspired and challenged me to write a tight story. Can't wait! Your blog is wonderful and always full of amazing information. Thanks!

  7. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Man, I don't know what it is about this contest! You're the 3rd or 4th person to ask about art notes when it's never come up before! Technically, there shouldn't be art notes… because I didn't put a provision for that in the original rules… A lot of people have written their entries already without art notes, and it won't be fair to them if some people have notes that don't count toward the word count and help them tell a better story… So if possible, I'd say please try not to put art notes in. I will be very clear in the contest rules from now on about art notes! Sorry for any inconvenience!

  8. Martha Hubbard says:

    A Christmas Surprise

    A Christmas snow was decreed by King Winter.

    “It must be cold, it must be grand, it must blanket all the land,” he declared.

    “I can do that!” exclaimed young Jack Frost. He set out to find the merriest land of all to paint with his crystal brush.

    “Take care where you travel,” said old North Wind.

    “I will!” promised Jack, and he dove into a strong, winter gale.

    He flew over mountains and forests and fields.

    “The mountains are lonely and forests too green; the prairies too flat for my work to be seen!” Jack rode away on a strong, gusty breeze.

    Soon, old North Wind caught up with him. “Have you made your decision?”

    “There is no perfect place!” Jack cried.

    “The first snow of Christmas is special, indeed,” said old North Wind. “Your time runs short.”

    Jack thought about Christmas and the joy that it brings. A Christmas surprise could be just the right thing.

    “I’ve got it!” he said. “Follow me!”

    Together they flew through the clouds and the air until Jack finally stopped.

    “Here!” Jack declared.

    Old North Wind looked. “I don’t usually work HERE,” he said.

    “Nevertheless, that’s what I want,” said Jack.

    Below was a beach with a colorful boardwalk. Merry lights dangled from coconut trees and a salt-bitten breeze ruffled the air.

    Jack laughed. “They won’t see it coming,” he giggled with glee. “They won’t expect it, can’t you see?”

    Old North Wind rumbled and grumbled.

    “It will be a Christmas surprise!” Jack’s smiling face pleaded his case.

    Old North Wind took a deep breath and blew. Jack’s crystal brush turned the rain into snow and painted the rooftops with a luminous glow.

    “Snow in the south!” the people exclaimed.

    “We haven’t seen snow since I was a small boy,” said an elderly grandpa, his face marked with joy.

    The crispy white flakes found the children below and many of them tasted their very first snow.

    Jack’s lively laughter pealed through the sky. “Merry Christmas,” he said to the people below. “You are special, indeed, to get this first Christmas snow.”

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