And you know what THAT means! . . .
. . .
It’s National Tortilla Chip Day!
It is! I would not tease you by making something like that up! If you don’t believe me, you can go check!
It is also the 178th anniversary of Mr. William S. Otis receiving a patent for the steam shovel!
And as I’m sure you all know, the invention of the steam shovel is of EXTREME historical import not because of stuff like the Panama Canal but because without it we would never would have had MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL! 🙂
(And did you know that William’s cousin Elisha thought up the elevator ?- those Otises were clever boys!)
Today is also featherweight boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s 40th birthday, so we should probably have cupcakes 🙂
All around great day, wouldn’t you say?
Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you all have a great weekend!
I have this nagging feeling I may have forgotten something . . .
think. Think! THINK!!!
Seems like maybe we have a few winners to announce, and prizes to give away! 🙂
We had a great turnout for the 2nd Annual Valentiny Contest – 117 entries!
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 well-written, entertaining and very enjoyable even though they might not have made the finalists 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 the terrific entries on this longer-than-usual list were well-written and within a hair’s breadth of being chosen for the finalist list and were cut for the nit-pickiest of details and judges’ inability to reach a unanimous consensus!
Meagan Friedman for Bob’s Valentine Dilemma
Jill Proctor for Val N. Tine’s Day
Kimberly Delude for The Shape Of Love (also original POV – shapes!)
Leslie Liebhart Goodman for Showing Love
Anne Sawan for What Is Love?
Cathy Ballou Mealey for Something’s Fishy – A Valentiny Tale (also clever and funny!)
Molly Golden McDonough for Fiona’s Day (also likable/relatable character!)
Jim Jones for Balingtine Day Mix Up
Congratulations to the All-Around Honorable Mention Winners! Because of the outstanding quality of your entries, you are eligible for one of the 3 following special prizes should you prefer one of them to the regular honorable mention prize options below.
The Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books by Linda Ashman (for Kindle), OR
Writing For Children And Teens by Cynthea Liu (paperback), OR
$10 Amazon gift card
2. For Fabulously Written Entry That Didn’t Seem Quite Confusing Enough But We Otherwise Loved:
Linda Evans Hofke for Punny Bunny’s Valentine Dilemma
Vivian Kirkfield for A Valentine’s Day Cake For The Queen (also great use of language!)
Ingrid Boydston for Oh My Darling Valentine
Kimberly Delude for Ways To Say I Love You (also very sweet for younger readers!)
Allison Alley for Inseparable (also original POV – 2 halves of friendship necklace!)
Penelope Aaron for Abuelita’s Valentine’s Day Surprise (also lovely incorporation of Spanish!)
Jana Locke for Vampy’s Val-o-ween
Christyne Elizabeth for Love Makes Me Sick
3. For Stories That Had Us Until The Ending (for one reason or another):
Terri Ross for Mr. Zombie’s Undying Love (also great character!)
Christine Evans for A Martian Valentine (also humorous!)
Although in other contests here prizes are often awarded for best character or humor or kid appeal etc, in this particular contest the entries that would have qualified were chosen for overall good writing, so we did not feel the need for the extra smaller categories.
Congratulations to all of you for your wonderful stories! You may all email me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com, subject line Prize Winner 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)
Please email your HM prize choice within 2 weeks so we can wrap up the contest in a timely fashion 🙂
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
How To Query An Agent Or Editor: A Children’s Writer’s Insider Guide From Mentors For Rent by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard, OR
Getting Published: How To Access Editors: A Children’s Writer’s Insider Guide From Mentors For Rent by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard, OR
The Easy Way To Write Picture Books That Sell by Robyn Parnell 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
The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To City Spaces by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, OR
The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Personal And Natural Places by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi
The Ultimate Fiction Thesaurus by Sam Stone OR
if you choose an item that has to be mailed, please include your snail mail address 🙂
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 🙂 Since we had a problem with follow-through in the last contest, I’d like to ask that winners who choose a critique please be sure to use it within a month so that the professionals who are generously donating their time and expertise are not left hanging! 🙂
…the moment you’ve all been waiting for…
…THE WINNERS OF THE 2017 VALENTINY CONTEST as chosen by you, our esteemed voters!!!!!
In First Place…
Winner of the whole shebang…
who gets first choice of all the prizes…
Congratulations, Kayla, on a fabulous entry that was all around well done, and clearly very popular!!! 🙂
In Second Place…
Banana In Love: A Valentiny Knock-Knock Story!!!
Congratulations, Ryan!! You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Kayla makes her choice.
In Third Place…
Congratulations, Heather! You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Kayla and Ryan choose theirs.
In Fourth Place…
Misaki’s First Valentine
Congratulations, Geoffrey! You get to pick after Kayla, Ryan, and Heather.
In Fifth Place…
Cupid’s Heart Finds A Home
Congratulations, Jilanne! You get to pick after Kayla, Ryan, Heather, and Geoffrey.
In Sixth Place…
Congratulations, Katie! I’m sure you get the idea of how the prize picking goes by now 🙂
In Seventh Place… a tie!!! between
Colleen Murphy and Katelyn Aronson
Sebastian, Say Something Lilla, Not Just Vanilla (A Tiny Self-Love Story)
Congratulations, Colleen and Katelyn! You get to pick next – we’ll negotiate 🙂
In Ninth Place,
Never Text A Valentine
Congratulations, Jen, on a humorous entry! You get to pick your prize after Colleen and Katelyn.
In Tenth Place,
A Mixed Up Valentine
Congratulations, Aileen! You get to pick a prize after Jen!
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 2nd Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny 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 (David, Joanne) 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 standing ovation, a glitter heart confetti parade, and a large amount of Valentine chocolate 🙂
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!
Have a terrific weekend everyone, and thanks again for making the 2nd Annual Valentiny Contest such a smashing success and a wonderful time for all! 🙂
– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from “Dear Editor” Deborah Halverson!!!
– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from children’s literary agent Jodell Sadler!!!
– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from Andria Rosenbaum, author of the forthcoming Trains Don’t Sleep (May 2017) and Big Sister, Little Monster (September 2017) as well as others!!!
– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from children’s author Jodi McKay!!!
– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from Amy Dixon, author of Marathon Mouse, Sophie’s Animal Parade, and the forthcoming Maurice The Unbeastly!!!
– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from children’s author Jason Kirschner!!!
– A Picture Book Manuscript Read and Critique from Children’s Author Vivian Kirkfield!!!
– A Query Letter Read and Critique from SubIt Club founder Heather Ayris Burnell!!!
– a personalized signed copy of Jodi McKay’s delightful Where Are The Words?
– a personalized signed copy of Diana Murray‘s wonderful (and very seasonally appropriate!) Groggle’s Monster Valentine
Once again, please join me in thanking Deborah, Jodell, Andria, Jodi, Amy, Jason, Vivian, Heather, and Diana for their incredible generosity, and show your appreciation by visiting their sites, buying and recommending their books and services to your writer friends and/or friends with kids, writing them nice reviews on Amazon, GoodReads etc if you’ve read and liked their books, and showing your appreciation to them in any way you can! I truly can’t thank them all enough!