My sincere apologies that the finalists are not going to be listed for your votes until at least Wednesday! Editorial deadlines… enough said. I’m so sorry for the delay and will do my very best to get the finalists posted as soon as possible! Thank you for your patience and understanding ❤
Ear of bat and toe of worm! It’s finally time for. . .
The 7th Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!!!!
~ for children’s writers ~
The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words candy corn, monster, and shadow. (Candy corn will be counted as 1 word.) 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. monsters, monstrous, shadowy, shadowed, whathaveyou 🙂 NO ILLUSTRATION NOTES PLEASE! (And yes, you may submit more than one entry if you’re so inclined 🙂 )
Post: your story on your blog between right now this very second and Tuesday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list below. There will be no Perfect Picture Book or Would You Read It posts for the duration of the contest so the links will stay up for everyone to visit and 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 below (please include your byline if your posting handle is something like AwesomeWriter92 so I can identify you.) If you have difficulty posting in the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com and I’ll post it for you. Please place your entry in the body of the email including your title and byline at the top – NO ATTACHMENTS!
Please Note: although you are welcome to submit more than one entry, please only post each entry ONCE! If you post it on your blog (preferred method) everyone will come visit you and you’ll make new friends! 🙂 If you don’t have a blog, post it in the comment section below. If you’re unable to post, please email me with your entry and byline in the body of the email. Please DO NOT post on your blog, and in the comments, and send me an email to post. It makes things confusing!
P.S. Although I try to stay glued to my computer 24/7 I am sometimes forced to leave my desk. If you haven’t commented on my blog before, your comment won’t show up until I approve it. It may take a little while if I’m away from my desk. Likewise, if you send me an entry to post, I promise I will do it as soon as I can!
The Judging: in a grueling marathon over the following days, my devoted 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 6th (sooner if possible, although I’m warning you ahead of time I have a deadline for something else and if time gets dicey the finalists may get posted later.) The winner will be announced on Thursday November 9th, good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise 🙂 If we get more than 25 entries, I will post 6 finalists and give prizes for 1st – 3rd. If by some chance we get the kind of turnout we’ve had the past couple years, I may post as many as 10-12 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.
– a read and Skype critique of a picture book manuscript by the fabulous editor Callie Metler-Smith of Clear Fork/Spork Publishing!!!
– a spot in Renee LaTulippe’s fantastic INTENSIVE RHYME AND METER SELF-STUDY COURSE!!!
– a 30 minute Skype conversation/critique of a picture book manuscript with the amazingly wonderful and talented author Penny Klostermann!!! (THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT – Random House 2015, A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE – Random House 2017)
– a picture book manuscript critique from accomplished author/illustrator Cori Doerrfeld (PENNY LOVES PINK – Little Brown 2011, LITTLE BUNNY FOO FOO: THE REAL STORY – Dial 2012 and the forthcoming THE RABBIT LISTENED – Dial 2018 and THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF ESTHER THE WONDER PIG – Little Brown 2018, and many, many more!)
– a picture book manuscript critique from talented author Lynne Marie (HEDGEHOG GOES TO KINDERGARTEN – Scholastic 2011)
– a query letter critique from SubIt Club Founder and fabulous author Heather Burnell (BEDTIME MONSTER – Raven Tree Press 2010, KICK! JUMP! CHOP!: The Adventures of the Ninjabread Man – Sterling 2017)
– an e-pub or PDF copy (winner’s choice) of Linda Ashman‘s Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books. OR a paperback copy of Ann Whitford Paul’s Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation To Publication (on the off chance you don’t already have it 🙂 )
– a Bundle Of Books from KidLit411 (must be selected by someone in the USA due to postage) which will include picture books and middle grade book, about 7 in total, details still to come. (Totally awesome for writers, readers, parents, teachers, or gift-givers!!!)
– a personalized signed copy of MANJHI MOVES A MOUNTAIN by Nancy Churnin
– a copy of MEET WOOF & QUACK by Jamie Swenson and donated by the illustrator, Ryan Sias
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 🙂
Now then. Time for my sample entry which I provide because I would never ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself. Also, in case anyone is worried about the quality of their entry they have only to read my truly horrific attempt to be filled with confidence that their’s is MUCH better! I have to confess, I was really down to the wire this year (my schedule is a lot nuts!), I have some looming deadlines for various things… which is why I may be a little behind getting started reading entries and why the judging may be slightly delayed… just so you know… but I digress!
So, here goes nothing…!
Sneak Attack! (95 words)
Minnie Monster feels forlorn.
How she craves some candy corn!
Why do children have no clue
That monsters covet candy too?
Min peers out the closet door.
Plastic pumpkin on Jen’s floor
Brimming full of trick-or-treat
Surely more than Jen can eat!
What’s a monster girl to do
But help herself to just a few?
Min darts left, then tiptoes right.
Silent, stealthy, out of sight.
Candy corn within her reach,
Min emits a fearful screech!
Hurtles underneath Jen’s bed.
Hides her hairy monster head
From the THING that scared her so –
Nothing but her own shadow!
[And the two lines I had to cut from the end because they took the word count to 105:
Moral of this monster tale?
Don’t filch from another’s pail! 🙂 ]
Now then, darlings! Is everyone feeling better about their way-better-than-that! stories? I certainly HOPE so! 🙂
I can’t wait to read all of your entries! I’m so looking forward to them! I hope there will be a lot – the more the merrier! And there are still nearly 5 days to write, so you have time if you haven’t written yet. Feel free to spread the word to your writing friends as well. And your reading friends – parents, teachers, etc. The more people who read and enjoy your stories, the better!!!
Contest Entrants, remember to add your post-specific link to the google form below so we can all come read your awesome stories! (Post-specific means not your main blog url, but the actual url of the post that has your story in it – otherwise if you post again before the contest ends, your link will take readers… and judges!… to the wrong place!)
Eager Readers – just go along the list of links, click on them, and enjoy the stories!
Happy Writing and Happy Halloween!!! 🙂 🎃