Happy Columbus Day everyone!
Ah, Columbus Day! That wondrous day on which we all get to skip school and work because old Chris happened to bump into the Bahamas and thereby be forever remembered and credited as having discovered America which he did not remotely accomplish! 🙂 (Poor Chris. If only he’d had Sat Nav on the Santa Maria!)
But we don’t mind, do we?! We get the day off! And as I always say, what better way to spend that Columbus Day off than by thinking happy thoughts of Halloween?
And what happier Halloween thoughts to dwell upon than anything else (besides the delightful abundance of chocolate it will be your duty to collect – you know, the Mom Tax (or Dad Tax) – the percentage you discreetly skim from those heavy-laden plastic pumpkins to make sure your little darlings don’t overdo it 🙂 ) than…
The 6th Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!!!!
The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words spider, ghost, and moon. 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 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 🙂 (And yes, I know 100 words is short but that’s part of the fun and the challenge! We got nearly 150 fantastic entries last year so I know you can do it!) Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. moon, moons, mooned, spidery, ghostly, whathaveyou 🙂 No illustration notes please!
Post your story on your blog between 12:00 AM EDT Thursday October 27th and Monday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list that will accompany my special October 27th post. There will be no Perfect Picture Book post on Friday Oct. 28 so the post and the list of links will stay up all weekend for everyone to enjoy. If you don’t have a blog and would like to enter, you can simply copy and paste your entry in the comments section of that post once it’s up. (Or, if you have difficulty with the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me and I’ll post it for you! Please place your entry in the body of the email – NO ATTACHMENTS!)
The Judging: in a grueling marathon over the following days, my lovely assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to 3 top choices (hee hee hee – you know how much trouble I have with only 3, so we’ll see) which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Monday November 7th. The winner will be announced on either Wednesday November 9 or Thursday November 10. If we get more than 20 entries, I will post 6 finalists and give prizes for 1st through 3rd. If by some chance we get the kind of turn out we did last year, all bets are off. I may post as many as 10 finalists and I’ll probably end up giving everyone a prize 🙂 But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it 🙂
Judging criteria will be as follows:
- 1. Kid-appeal! – These stories are intended for a young audience (ages 12 and under), so we’re looking for stories that children will enjoy and relate to.
- 2. Halloweeniness – the rules state a Halloween story, so it must be crystal clear that the story is about Halloween, not just some random spooky night.
- 3. Quality of story – entries must tell a story, including a main character of some kind and a true story arc even if it’s tiny 🙂 Entries must not be merely descriptions or mood pieces.
- 4. Quality of Writing: check your spelling, grammar, punctuation etc. If you’re going to rhyme, give us your best 🙂 Overall writing quality and use of language are also important.
- 5. Originality and creativity – because that is often what sets one story above another.
The Prizes: yeah… I’m still working on the prizes 🙂 Feel free to chime in in the comments if there’s something you’d particularly like to win! 🙂 But prizes will include:
okay… I admit it… this part isn’t quite together yet since I’m still waiting to hear back from some people 🙂 but for starters…
– a read and comments on a picture book manuscript by the fabulous agent Jodell Sadler!!!
– a 6 month subscription to One Stop For Writers (value $50)
– an e-pub or PDF copy (winner’s choice) of Linda Ashman‘s Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books.
Plus stay tuned because other great stuff is coming including more PB critiques, signed books, etc! 🙂
I hope those fantabulous prizes will at least whet your appetite for the contest!
So sharpen your pencils!
Get your butt in that chair!
See what amazing, knock-your-socks-off story you can dream up!
It’s a chance to hone your writing skills, practice your craft, write to specifications and a deadline, win amazing prizes, AND get to read and enjoy the wonderful stories written by all your fellows 🙂
Many, many thanks to Jodell for her very generous prize offering!
I literally cannot wait to read your stories!!! 🙂
Have a Marvelous Monday everyone! 🙂
51 thoughts on “And Now…The Moment You’ve All Been Waiting For…!”
Sus, you always give back. We love you and think you are the best. I will ponder this with chocolate in one hand and pencil in the other. And isn’t it sad about poor CC? He thought he would go down in history (which he did) but for some wrong reasons. Ivy is home on fall break. YAY.
Ponder away! Write something brilliant! I know you will, Rob 🙂 Enjoy the chocolate and Ivy’s visit home!!! MWAH! ❤
Woo hoo…or should I say Boo hoo..perhaps not…people will think I am crying, which I am definitely not…unless I am crying for joy that Halloweensie is BACK!!!
This is so lovely of you, Susanna…what would October be without your Halloweensie contest! I’m excited to write mine and really excited to read the other entries. I hope you believe me when I say that your contests were my first attempts to put my work out there for everyone to see…you gave me courage…and I know you inspire our entire kid lit community!
Aw shucks, Vivian! 🙂 I’m just glad if everyone has fun and gets to know each other and practices a little writing and wins some prizes 🙂
Aaahhhrooooooo! It’s halloweensie time! 🎃 I second Vivian’s comment…what would October be without your contest? Thank you, Susanna! I am super excited to join in the Halloweensie fun!
And *I* am super excited to read your story, Julie! You never disappoint 🙂 Have you sold that paper owl yet? That was so cute! Hurray for Halloweensie – what fun we shall have 🙂
Yippee for Halloweensie! October might be my favorite month of the year and your fabulous contest, Susanna, is the icing on the creepy cake!
I love October for the pretty leaves and the chocolate. I have no need for creepy 🙂 But you can make your story as creepy as you like and I will still look forward to reading it 🙂
Bwaaaaa! So Halloweenie-happy to learn that the Halloweensie contest is back! Thank you, Susanna, for sponsoring this holiday tradition once again – so much better for the waistline than binge trick-or-treating.
Unless I start making all the prizes chocolate 🙂
Woot!! How exciting!!
I’ll look forward to your entry! 🙂
Are there demerits if the author “finishes” more than five times?😉
No demerits! Kudos! 🙂
Thanks for all you do for the writing community. =)
You’re very welcome, Greg, but I don’t feel like I do that much! This is all about you guys and your wonderful writing, and I just feel privileged to be part of the community!
This looks so exciting. I’m pleased Vivian sent me over your way. I’ll do my best to join in! Thanks.
I’m so glad Vivian sent you over Norah! The contest is usually lots of fun! 🙂
Usually???? All of your contests are ALWAYS lots of fun, Susanna…and Halloweensie is one of the best. 😉 Six years…I can’t believe it…actually, I’m going to see if I can find all of my past stories…maybe there is a picture book or two hiding in them. 🙂
I bet there is, Vivian – you’ve done some really good ones, and with a little room to expand on the 100 words I bet you would have some good PBs!
So excited!!! I love Halloweensie.
And *I* love your stories, Jen – can’t wait to read this year’s entry! 🙂
How do you submit this? In a Word doc. or can it be in InDesign, like a pb dummy, or as a pdf?
Can we include pictures we did?
Hi Virginia! As per the instructions in the post, you submit to the contest by posting your entry on your blog during the designated time frame and link to the list provided. If you don’t have a blog, you may copy and paste your entry in the comment section of my October 27 post, or, if for some reason you are unable to do that, you may email me your entry and I will copy and paste it. If you email it to me, your entry should be in the body of the email – no attachments.
If you post on your own blog you may include art, but it will not be counted in the judging, so your story should not depend upon it. If you submit to me to post, no art.
Woot Woot Woot! Dusting off my pencil!
Awesome, Erik! Can’t wait to read what you come up with this year!!! 🙂
Oh man. When you posted moon, spider and ghost, I thought this was going to be easy. But nope! Finding the right way to link and use the words is always trickier than it first appears!!
You know what’s really funny? I chose those words completely at random – I actually used the random.org list rearranger thinger – and when I went back and read my sample entry from last year I realized I had used a form of all three words! So if I get in a time pinch – which could seriously happen because I have a revision deadline – I could use last year’s sample! 🙂
I’m very excited! It’s not Halloween without your contest! Thank you Susanna!
Wow! That is SOME compliment! Imagine it not being Halloween without Halloweensie! Who’d’ve thunk it 6 years ago when I did the very first one and got 8 entries! All of which had to be posted and judged late because of a freak Halloween snowstorm of 2 feet that knocked out all the power and internet! 🙂
Love your contests, Susanna! Thanks so much for inspiring me and for all you do!
Oh, gosh! You’re so welcome, Joni! It is absolutely my pleasure! I look forward to reading your entry! 🙂
I cannot wait! I’m writing my story now. Does “moonlit” count for the use of “moon?”
Thanks for putting this together, Susanna!
Reblogged this on Denver Reading Block .
Thank you! 🙂
Thanks so much for organizing this for another year, Susanna! I always look forward to reading everyone’s stories and this year I’m finally going to write one myself. Eek! It will be my first ever contest and I’m terrified! But I guess that’s appropriate for a Halloween contest. 🙂
Don’t be terrified, Becky! You will have fun! Everyone is nice! And you’ll end up with a new idea you might be able to turn into a PB ms or ER or CB! Deep breaths! Chocolate! You can do it 🙂