The 2016 Halloweensie Contest WINNERS!!!

As you all know, I do not normally post on Thursdays.

That is because Thursday is my day for lying on the couch eating bonbons.

I am making an exception today because I have something VERY important to discuss with you.

Something that I know has been weighing as heavily on your minds as it has on mine.

Something very crucial!

Something so earth-shatteringly important that it probably kept you up all night!

So let’s just lay it out on the table, shall we?

What is the deal with that 5th dentist???

I’m serious!  4 out of 5 dentists recommend Trident for their patients who chew gum.  But the 5th dentist won’t step up!

Obviously s/he is holding out for something!

A vacation in the Caribbean?  A fancy car?  A nice fat donation to his/her bank account?

Or maybe s/he is just a nonconformist – bucking the establishment – refusing to follow the rest of the herd sheep-like!

But, whatever!  Cave already!  Give us the confidence to know that ALL 5 dentists are on board with Trident!  How can we chew it if the non-recommending 5th dentist is right?  If s/he knows something s/he’s not telling us???!!!

Ah!  I feel better now that I’ve gotten that out in the open!

What do you guys think?  Should we track down that 5th dentist and get a straight answer?


You don’t CARE?

Why?  Were you expecting a discussion on another topic?

I’m not sure anything needs our attention as much as that 5th dentist…

…except maybe…





As you are all aware by now, we had a record turnout for the Halloweensie Contest – 150 entries!  Holy Halloweensie!  Who’d-a-thunk it?

I was thrilled beyond measure to see so many wonderful stories and meet so many new writers!

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 (one reason being that, at a certain point, we just had to stop adding finalists to the list! :))

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: (all-arond well-written stories we loved that just missed the finals for one small reason or another!)

Ann Kelly for BooBoo Ghostie Caught A Sneezy!

Wendy Greenley for Halloween Costume Countdown

Marla LeSage for Where The Candy Went

Jen Garrett for Too Old For Halloween

Patricia Nozell for Another Halloweensie Tale

Shelley Kinder for Four Finicky Ghosties

Jessica Dunnagan for Ghost Saves Halloween

Kristen Foote for The Spiders Who Stole Halloween



2.  For Great Kid Appeal: (not already in the finals)

Laura Gutman for Untitled

Kelly Darke for Spider-Ghost


3.  For Best Descriptive/Mood Piece:

Jill Proctor for A Headless Halloween

Johnell DeWitt for Spiders, Spiders, Everywhere

Alistair Lane for Halloween Haiku

Kirsten Bock for Into The Forest


4.  For Best Use of Poetic Language:

Susie Sawyer for The Ghost Of The Moon Spider


5. For Spookiest Entry: (not already in the finals)

David McMullin for BUZZZZZ!

Merriweather Kane for Dare


6. For Funniest Entry: (not already in the finals)

Matthew Lasley for The Haunted Outhouse

Gabi Snyder for Zombie Mommy

Michele Blood for Hesper’s Revenge (dark humor 🙂 )



7.  For Best Written Original Point of View: (not already in the finals)

Vivian Kirkfield for The Trick Or Treat Bag (POV of… you got it!…the trick or treat bag!)

Lindsay Leslie for Cornered (POV of Halloween candy)


8.  For Originality/Creativity:

Hilary S for Entry #2 (mom’s a dentist!)

Kristy Rachal for Monster Chef (a monster halloween food network style 🙂 )


9.  For Favorite Character:

Julie Abery for her Teensy-Weensy Witch

Angela Hawkins for her Gertude The Hornless Unicorn

Patricia Tilton for her Matilda in All Hallows Eve


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:

Picture Books: The Write Way by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard, OR

Rhyming Picture Books: The Write Way by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard, OR

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


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

Creating Extraordinary Characters by Angela Hunt, OR

Evoking Emotion by Angela Hunt, OR

Picture Books: The Write Way by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard, OR

Rhyming Picture Books: The Write Way by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard

Now then.  A word about the prizes before I announce the winners.

We have 10 fabulous prizes, generously donated by authors and various professionals in the writing field.  My policy is to let the first place winner have first pick of all the prizes, the second place winner have second choice, etc.  That way hopefully nobody gets something they already have, and hopefully everyone gets something that’s valuable to them.  All prizes are listed at the bottom of this post for your convenience in perusing the goodies 🙂



Onto the moment you’ve all been waiting for. . .

. . . the reason you got out of bed this morning. . .

. . .  in spite of your bleary eyes and rumpled hair. . .

. . . to once and for all get a straight answer about chewing gum out of that stubborn 5th dentist!!!

. . . THE WINNERS OF THE 2016 HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST as chosen by you, our esteemed voters!!!!!

In First Place, winner of the whole entire contest and top of the heap who gets first choice of all the prizes…

Judy Sobanski


The Witch’s Broom

Congratulations, Judy, on a delightful and humorous entry that was all around well done and clearly very popular!!!

In Second Place,

Meagan Friedman


Night Fright

Congratulations, Meagan, on a wonderfully written fun entry! You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Judy chooses!

In Third Place,

Jen Bagan
Little Witch’s Holiday


Congratulations, Jen, on an entertaining entry with a great surprise ending that we all loved!  You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Judy and Meagan choose!

In Fourth Place,

Ingrid Boydston
Little Miss Zombie

Congratulations, Ingrid, on a beautifully written version of the classic rhyme with a fun twist!  You get

In Fifth Place,

Linda Hofke
Tree’s Halloween Costume


Congratulations, Linda, on your cleverly written entry with a perfectly fitting ending!  You get to pick your prize after Judy, Meagan, Jen, and Ingrid!

In Sixth Place,

Sandy Perlic


The Dare

Congratulations, Sandy, on your deliciously just-the-right-amount-of-spooky entry! You get to pick your prize after Judy, Meagan, Jen, Ingrid, and Linda!

In Seventh Place,

Jim Chaize
Spider And Ghost

Congratulations, Jim, on a fun story with believably competitive characters and a great ending!  I’m sure you get the idea of the prize picking by now! 🙂

In Eighth Place, a tie! between

Karen LaSalvia for Candy Korn and Sara Gentry for Spider’s Trick Or Treat

Congratulations, Karen and Sara for clever, delightfully-written stories, Karen’s with a very original POV, Sara’s a masterpiece of perfect brevity!  You get to pick your prizes after Jim.

In Tenth Place,

Stefanie Tatalias
Moon’s Halloween Surprise

Congratulations, Stefanie, on a sweet and wistful entry that we all loved!  You get the prize that’s left… hopefully still something good that you want! 🙂

And, I don’t think I need to remind anyone that in addition to all these fabulous prizes, everyone mentioned on this page has bragging rights as having won or placed in the Pretty Much World Famous Halloweensie Contest!  Not just anyone can say that 🙂

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 10 (Leslie and Becky) 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 6th Annual Holiday Writing Contest will be coming up sometime in the neighborhood of December 8-12 so we can all fully enjoy it and still have time for last minute holiday things.  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! 🙂

The Prizes:

–  a Picture Book Manuscript Critique by wonderful editor Marilyn Brigham of Two Lions!!!


Marilyn Brigham

Marilyn Brigham edits picture books, chapter books, and middle grade for Two Lions, the children’s imprint at Amazon Publishing. Her recent titles include Go to School, Little Monster by Helen Ketteman, illustrated by Bonnie Leick and The Secret Knock Club: The Great Sleep-Under, by Louise Bonnett-Rampersaud, illustrated by Adam McHeffey. She is looking for commercial, character-driven picture books and chapter books; holiday picture books; and widely appealing, high-concept middle grade. She is not currently acquiring board books or nonfiction.

– a Picture Book Manuscript Critique by the fabulous agent Jodell Sadler of Sadler Children’s Literary Agency!!!


Jodell Sadler

– winner’s choice of a Picture Book Manuscript Critique or a 15-minute phone call for all your writerly questions from fantastic author Katy Duffield (LOUD LULA – Two Lions 2015, FARMER MCPEEPERS AND HIS MISSING MILK COWS – Cooper Square Publishing 2003, ALIENS GET THE SNIFFLES TOO – forthcoming from Candlewick, and many other titles)


Katy Duffield

–  winner’s choice of a Picture Book Manuscript Critique or a Query Letter Critique from amazing author Dori Kleber (MORE-IGAMI, Candlewick  2016)


Dori Kleber

– a Picture Book Manuscript Critique from the awesome Vivian Kirkfield, author of the forthcoming SWEET DREAMS, SARAH – Creston Books, 2017) AND personalized signed copies of her wonderful books SHOW ME HOW and the LUCKY DRAW ANTHOLOGY.


Vivian Kirkfield

–  a Bundle Of Books from KidLit411 (must be selected by someone in the USA due to postage) including:
Picture Books:

THEY ALL SAW A CAT by Brendan Wenzel

Middle Grade Books:

SUNNY SIDE UP Jennifer and Matthew Holm

(What a totally awesome book bundle for writers, readers, parents, teachers, or gift-givers!!!)

– 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.

– a personalized signed copy of THE PEDDLER’S BED by Lauri Fortino


– a personalized signed copy of GRIMELDA THE VERY MESSY WITCH by Diana Murray


Please join me again in thanking these very generous authors and other writing professionals for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books and services for holiday or other gift 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 🙂

61 thoughts on “The 2016 Halloweensie Contest WINNERS!!!

  1. Norah says:

    Sorry, Susanna, the 5th dentist pales in comparison. Congratulations to all the winners and to those who almost made the list. What fabulous stories, and wonderful prizes from very generous gift-givers. There were many involved to make this contest so enjoyable. I look forward the the holiday contest now. How exciting!

  2. Becky Scharnhorst says:

    Congratulations to all the winners and honorable mentions! There were so many wonderful stories and I had such fun reading them. I’ve always loved the Halloweensie contest and I’m so glad I was finally brave enough to enter. 🙂 Being in the finals was such an honor and an absolute thrill. Thanks, Susanna, for another fantastic year of Halloween fun!

  3. Wendy says:

    Thank you, sweet Susanna, for recognizing my story with an honorable mention. I love the challenge of writing to your prompts! And I love seeing how many different stories are generated. (And taking my mind off election season when it was needed) Congratulations to all of the winners!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      We LOVED your story, Wendy! The only reason it didn’t make the finalist list was because all the judges agreed – the ending would have been a little stronger if they all got together to make one costume instead of 4 separate ones! But it was a great idea, well-executed and written with great humor…and we truly enjoyed it!

  4. David McMullin says:

    Another fun contest! Congratulations to everyone. Thanks, Susanna for giving us the opportunity to get creative, exercise out writing chops, meet new people, enjoy a bunch of stories, and have fun.

  5. Jen Bagan says:

    Wow! I am so thrilled and honored to have received 3rd place! Thank you so much to Susanna for organizing another amazing contest and to everyone who voted. This has given me a real boost!
    Oh and I totally agree about that 5th dentist … just get over yourself already! 🙂

  6. viviankirkfield says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! What a fabulous contest,Susanna…the entries were incredible…and the finalists had some very stiff competition! It’s a thrill to see so many familiar names…we are so fortunate to be in a community of such talented writers!
    And thank you, dear Susanna…Trick-or-Treat Bag and I are thrilled with the honorable mention. 😉 😉

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      We really are, Vivian! So many wonderful people, and so much talent and creativity and good will! It makes my heart full 🙂 Thank you for a wonderful entry, and I hope we’ll see one from you for the upcoming Holiday Contest!!!

  7. julie rowan zoch says:

    Congratulations to the winners and participants alike! And many, many thanks to our host and all the hard-work and effort you’ve put in to this so that we may stretch, grow and challenge ourselves in such a fun contest!!! Thank you, Susanna!!!

  8. Kidlit Tidbits (@KidlitTidbits) says:

    What fabulous entries for this year’s Halloweensie contest! Settling on just one finalist was a tough choice, indeed. Thank you, Susanna, for all the time, work, creativity, and passion you put in to this providing this opportunity for the kidlit community. It certainly made my Halloween much more fun this year, and seeing Hesper’s Revenge among the list of honorable mentions has absolutely MADE MY DAY. You rock, Susanna Hill!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      It was an amazing show of talent and creativity! SO hard to pick! And we LOVED Hesper’s Revenge! It just didn’t make the finals because one judge didn’t quite get it (I’m having her head examined 🙂 ) and some of the others felt it was a little dark 🙂 But clever and funny!

  9. Judy Sobanski says:

    WOW!! I am super duper thrilled to have won this year’s Halloweensie contest! I am honored to have been selected from so many wonderful entries. Thank you so much, Susanna, for putting together this contest and allowing all of us to take on such a fun, creative challenge ~ and with such amazing prizes, too! Thanks to everyone who voted. This has given me a surge of self confidence that I need right now! I love the children’s writing community! #blessed 🙂

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      I’m so glad you had a good time, Judy! We LOVED your story – so fun! I’m still pictureing that witch riding off on the vacuum cleaner 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with for the Holiday Contest… no pressure… 🙂

  10. Shelley Kinder (@KinderWrites) says:

    Congrats to all! Super cute stories! And thank you for the Honorable Mention 🙂 What did I learn from this contest? That there are moon pies (not capitalized) and MoonPies (capitalized and no space). May have to make me some homemade moon pies some day 🙂 Or now…….

  11. Linda Evans Hofke says:

    I am thrilled to be a finalist among such fine work. I see poems with pitch perfect rhyme, new POVs, great plots, and fun storylines. What a delightful contest.

    Congrats to all the other winners and even to those who weren’t finalists because I saw some great work that didn’t make the list.

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      There are always great entries that don’t make the finals 😦 It’s so hard. And partly because, as a system of checks and balances, we try to have a certain amount of agreement amongst the judges. Sometime there’s an entry one of us loves that the others don’t feel as strongly about… so it ends up off the list even though it’s good. Congratulations to you on an entry we ALL loved! 🙂

  12. Susie Sawyer says:

    Congratulations to all the winners and Honorable Mentions! This was such a fun contest – thank you so much Susanna! I’m beyond thrilled to have received Honorable Mention for “Best Use of Poetic Language”!!!! Woohoo!!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      I’m just biding my time, Angela, waiting for you to enter one of these contests! 🙂 The Holiday Contest is coming up in a couple weeks… you could write for the older end of the age range – still kids, but not teeny 🙂 Just sayin’… 🙂 What kind of prize should I offer to tempt you in?

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