Coming From The Back Of Beyond And Taking You By Complete Surprise…!

Happy Monday, Folks!

Ooh!  Startled you, did I?

Sly as a fox!  Silent as a snake!  Stealthy as a panther!

And you didn’t think I could be stealthy! 🙂

Admit it.

You doubted my ability to sneak up and take you by surprise!

But, by George!, I believe I may have pulled it off today!

Because guess what?

It’s Monday and I’m unexpectedly posting.

And the thing I’m unexpectedly posting about is the upcoming, eagerly awaited, highly anticipated and yet still managing to come barreling at you sideways from out of left field announcement of the. . .

The 6th Annual Holiday Contest!!!!


WA-HOOO!!!! 🙂

The Contest:  Write a children’s holiday story (children here defined as approximately age 12 and under) using the basic format/concept of The Twelve Days Of Christmas!  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 300 words (I know!  So much freedom after the Halloweensie Contest 🙂 )  (It can be as short as you like (the judges will be grateful 🙂 , you are welcome and encouraged to write shorter, but no more than 300!  Title not included in word count.)  The field is wide open!  Have fun!  The more creative the better!  No illustration notes please. (And yes, if you feel compelled to submit more than one entry you may, just remember you’re competing against yourself!)


Post:  Your entry should be posted on your blog between 12:01 AM EST Thursday December 8 and Monday December 12 at 11:59 PM EST, 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 Thursday December 8 and remain up through Thursday December 15 for your reading pleasure (no WYRI or PPBF during that week.)  If you don’t have a blog but would like to enter, please copy and paste your entry into the comments on my December 8th post.  (If anyone has trouble commenting, which unfortunately happens, please email me and I’ll post your entry for you! But please don’t send attachments!  Just copy and paste your story into the email.)  Also, please only post your entry once – either in the comment section of my blog or on the link list.  Also please do NOT send me entries before December 8!


The Judging:  My lovely assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to 10-12 finalists (depending on the number of entries) which will be posted here on Friday December 16 (or, if we’re desperate for a little extra time, Saturday December 17) for you to vote on for a winner.  The vote will be closed on Sunday December 18 at 5 PM EST and the winners will be announced on Monday December 19.  Whoever gets the most votes will be first and so on down to tenth place.  Judging criteria will be kid appeal/kid-friendliness, creativity, quality of story, quality of writing, and originality.


The Prizes!:  Ok, so as usual I’m still working on the prize list and will have to update, but here are some of the prizes that will be offered, and I think we’re going to have some additional awesomeness to add!:

A Picture Book Manuscript Critique and Chat with Sarah (Miller) Rockett of Sleeping Bear Press (ms due January 1st, chat in February) kindly donated by Jodell Sadler and KidLit College

– Enrollment in literary agent Jodell Sadler‘s Pacing Picture Books 2 WOW picture book writing class!


– A Picture Book Manuscript Critique by the fabulous Cori Doerffeld, author/illustrator of Penny Loves Pink, Little Bunny Foo Foo, and many more…!

– A Picture Book Manuscript Critique by the awesome Vivian Kirkfield, author of Show Me How: Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting And Cooking, and the forthcoming picture book from Creston Books, Sweet Dreams, Sarah.

– A Picture Book Manuscript Critique by talented agent Jodell Sadler (or other staff of Kidlit CollegeKidlit College)

– Enrollment in Making Picture Book Magic (my online picture book writing class – in January or a later month to be mutually agreed upon by the winner and me)

 2017 Children’s Writer’s And Illustrator’s Market  and a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

– a pack of Susanna Leonard Hill’s amazing What’s The Story Cards  (scroll about 1/2 way down the page…)

– . . . and more to come . . .!

I can’t thank these authors and other industry professionals enough for their incredible generosity!  Please visit their sites, buy and recommend their books and services to your writer friends and/or friends with kids, write them nice reviews on Amazon, GoodReads etc if you’ve read and liked their books, and show your appreciation to them in any way you can!

And now!  Sharpen those pencils!  Top off those coffee mugs!  Get those derrieres in your chairs!  And start writing those prize-winning entries!!!  You’ve got 2 1/2 – 3 weeks (depending on if you post on the first or last day of the contest 🙂 )

I can’t wait for the festivities to begin! 🙂

30 thoughts on “Coming From The Back Of Beyond And Taking You By Complete Surprise…!

  1. viviankirkfield says:

    You are the best, Susanna! And your contests are fabulous. Such a great way for writers to test the waters and submit their work, knowing that they have our incredibly supportive kid lit community to encourage them..
    No question about it…I’m in!!!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Thanks for your kinds words, Vivian, and I’m SO glad you’re in! It’s the generous spirit of all the people who contribute – writing, reading, commenting, donating prizes, cheering people on, etc – that makes the contests so much fun! 🙂

  2. Traci Bold says:

    Thank you Susanna for creating these encouraging contests. They are refreshing and give us all a chance to write something new. HAPPY THANKSGIVING AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  3. David McMullin says:

    I can’t wait to start. Let’s see 12 days of Christmas, 300 words, that’s … 25 words per day of Christmas – I can work with that! Thank you again for another fun contest, Susanna

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