The 2017 Halloweensie Contest WINNERS!!!

Golly, would you look at us?!

We are something else, aren’t we?

Masters of accomplishment!

All the way to Friday already!

Which of course means Perfect Picture Books.

Except for today.

Today it does not mean Perfect Picture Books.

This is because the people in charge around here have had a scheduling foul-up of monstrous proportions which clearly took place in the shadowy underbelly of the administration and left us all in a rut as sticky as candy corn!

There is no other explanation.

Although, now that I think about it, it may have been that, due to budget cuts, the lighting was extremely dim, making it very difficult to discern what was written on the calendar amongst the long shadows cast by the one remaining light bulb, and the PICOS (Person In Charge Of Scheduling…er… which would be me) was so hopped up on candy corn that she was trying to make sense of the schedule whilst dancing the monster mash and thus failed to realize that today – Friday – was supposed to be for Perfect Picture Books.

I think it must have been that.


It’s just possible that an army of candy corn led by General Sugarshadow rumbled into my office in orange camo monster trucks and staged a coups, and the new regime insists that every day is National Tri-Colored Undigestible Candy Day and to heck with perfect picture books because they are not made out of sugar nor can they be used as a traction aid in inclement weather.

Be that as it may, according to my sources it is Friday.  And that means, it’s time for Perfect Picture Books.  So let’s get to it, shall we?


Wait a minute.

Didn’t some monstrously candy-corn-headed nitwit just say something shadowy about a scheduling conflict?

I’ll have my people get in touch with your people and sort this whole scheduling conundrum out!

Meanwhile, perhaps you’d like to engage in the age-old debate over pop-tarts: toast them? or eat them cold?  Where do you weigh in on this critical issue?

Or maybe we should discuss the qualifications one should look for in a scheduling assistant… because clearly I could use some advice…

Or maybe…

…just maybe…

you’d like to hear about




As you are all aware by now, we had a record turnout for the Halloweensie Contest – 244 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!)

Vanessa Marcus for Scary To Someone

Ryan Roberts for Pumpkin Patch

Jennifer Buchet for Gobblewolly’s Halloweensie Treasure

Katherine Rothstein for Sharkcula

Jen Bagan for Shadow Monster

Nancy Granberry for Monster Had A Little Ghost

Nancy Riley for Monster’s Woe

Jill Proctor for Monster Marathon

Delfina Salimbene for The Sweet Tooth Trick Or Treat

Jennifer Raudenbush for Montgomery Monster



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

Greg Bray for Killer Candy Corn Costume

Ann Martin for Who Scared Who? (also very cute story!)

Diana (Peach?) for Monster Under The Bed


3.  For Best Descriptive/Mood Piece:

Terri Ross for Witchy (delightfully Halloweensie mood)

Meryl Cullom for Watch Out! (spooky)


4.  For Best Use of Poetic Language: (not already in the finals)

Maria Marshall for A Halloween Treasure (lovely mood)

Janie Reinart for Parade Of Horribles (spooky mood)


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

Brianna Zamborsky for The Lock

Lynley Stace for Sweetie


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

Nina Q. Haines for Broomstick Sale

Sandy Perlic for Trick Or Treats For Monster?


7. For Sweetest Entry: (not already in the finals)

Jennifer Prevost for Candie’s Monster Shadows

Candace Kubinec for No Costume Required


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

Kaye Baillie for House Hates Halloween (POV of a haunted house)


9. For Fun Concept With Great Potential:

B.L. Bachman for Witch Hiccups


10.  For Favorite Character:

Julie Abery for her Teensy-Weensy Witch

Jean James for her Evil Dr. Gerbil 🙂


11.  For Best Entry In 12 Words! 🙂 :

Danielle Hammelef for A Shadow’s Secret


12. For Cleverest Parody Close To Judge #1’s Heart 🙂 :

Julie LaCombe for When Your Monster Has The Sneazles


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


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


If you already have all these, or can’t decide, or want to build up your wish list fund:

A $5 Amazon Email Gift Certificate

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

We have 12 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 shadows under your bleary eyes. . .

. . . and the candy corn that is stuck in your monsterly bed head!!!

. . . THE WINNERS OF THE 2017 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…

Dawn Young


Clomp, Stomp, Chomp!

Congratulations, Dawn, on a delightful and humorous entry with good tension that was all around well done and clearly very popular!!!

In Second Place,

Debbie Day


Attack Of The Vampire Cookie

Congratulations, Debbie, on a creative, wonderfully written entry with a great title! You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Dawn chooses!

In Third Place,

Lucretia Schafroth

Marvin…The Monster


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

In Fourth Place,

Jennifer Broedel
Beware The Candysnatch

Congratulations, Jennifer, on a fun version of the classic rhyme with a great ending!  You get to pick a prize after Dawn, Debbie, and Lucretia!

In Fifth Place,

Judy Sobanski
Vampire Has A Sweet Tooth

Congratulations, Judy, on your well written entry with a resourceful MC!  You get to pick your prize after Dawn, Debbie, Lucretia, and Jennifer!

In Sixth Place,

Kelly Conroy


Werewolf Trick Or Treat

Congratulations, Kelly, on your well written just-the-right-amount-of-scary entry! You get to pick your prize after Dawn, Debbie, Lucretia, Jennifer, and Judy!

In Seventh Place,

Jessica Bennett
Shadow Play

Congratulations, Jessica, on your delightfully spooky story!  I’m sure you get the idea of the prize picking by now! 🙂

In Eighth Place,

Chambrae Griffith
Boogley’s Halloween

Congratulations, Chambrae, for a wonderful character and well written story with a nice surprise ending!  You get to pick your prize after Jessica.

In Ninth Place

Susie Sawyer
The Scariest House On The Block

Congratulations, Susie, on your humorous depiction of every kid’s worst Halloween nightmare 🙂  You get to prize pick after Chambrae.

In Tenth Place,

Katie Frawley
Vampette’s Visions

Congratulations, Katie, on a fun backward twist of an entry that we all loved!  You get to pick a prize after Susie…!

In Eleventh Place, a tie between

Jennifer Cole Judd                        and                  Sara Gentry
for                                                                         for
Bathilda’s Scary Surprise                                Jimmy’s Nighttime Guest

Congratulations Jen and Sara on your wonderful, kid-friendly, fun-spooky entries!  You two will have to fight over the last two prizes, but I’ll give priority to whoever emails me first 🙂

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 12 (Christine and Deborah) may also contact me for their choice of the Kindle or paperback prizes listed above.  If you choose a prize that requires snail mailing, PLEASE include your snail mail address so we don’t have to email back and forth too many times 🙂

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, or by donating a prize!  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 7th 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 (maybe the Saturday after Thanksgiving, good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise! 🙂 ) so you all have time to work on your stories!

Have a terrific weekend everyone, and thanks again for making the Halloweensie Contest such a wonderful time for all! 🙂

The Prizes:

– a read and Skype critique of a picture book manuscript by the fabulous editor Callie Metler-Smith of Clear Fork/Spork Publishing!!!

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.55.48 PM

– 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)

Penny Klostermann

–  a webinar of your choice from among the selection offered by Julie Hedlund on her Teachable site (details of selection choice to be discussed with Julie)

julie h

Julie Hedlund

– 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!)


Cori Doerrfeld

– a picture book manuscript critique from talented author Lynne Marie (HEDGEHOG GOES TO KINDERGARTEN – Scholastic 2011, HEDGEHOG’S 100th DAY OF SCHOOL –  Scholastic 2017, THE STAR OF THE CHRISTMAS PLAY – Sparkhouse Family 2018 and MOLDILOCKS AND THE 3 SCARES – Sterling, TBA. Her stories, articles and poems have appeared in many magazines, including Family Fun, Highlights, High Five, Spider and Baby Bug. She’s a Feature Columnist/On-staff writer for Children’s Book Insider, a book reviewer and a 2016/17 Cybils Picture Book Panelist. She’s a former New Yorker who now lives a simpler life on a lake in South Florida with her daughter and several resident water birds.

lynne marie

Lynne Marie

– 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)

heather burnell

Heather Burnell

– 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 GRIMELDA AND THE SPOOKTACULAR PET SHOW by Diana Murray PLUS a personalized signed copy of BIG SISTER, LITTLE MONSTER by Andria Rosenbaum
Grimelda 2big sis little monster







– 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

woof and quack

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 🙂

45 thoughts on “The 2017 Halloweensie Contest WINNERS!!!

  1. kathalsey says:

    Wow – what a competition this year. Susanna, judges, and those who generously donated prizes, many thanks. Congrats to all winners. I know lots of them!

  2. Deborah Boerema (@Deborah_Boerema) says:

    My sincere thanks to the following:
    Susanna, of course, for hosting this fun contest!
    Your team of judges. Your task could not have been easy with so many great stories.
    Everyone who voted, wrote, commented, just stopped by to read, or participated in any other monstrous, candy corny, shadowy way!

  3. nancyriley7 says:

    An Unexpected Honorable Mention

    I read your blog with bleary eyes.
    Can you imagine my surprise
    when I read and realize,
    I won an honorable mention!

    I used the words – I’ll toot my horn,
    shadow, monster, candy corn,
    And with them was my story born.
    It won an honorable mention!

    Thank you Susanna and judges! Congratulations to all the participants and winners!

  4. Angela Brown says:

    Many congratulations to the winners and honrable mentions!

    Being a participant was huge as well. It takes bravery and a tinker attitude to form the words into a Halloweensie piece.

    Congrats all around!!!

  5. Beth Stilborn says:

    Huge congratulations to all the winners and the honorable mentionables! And to you, Susanna, and your team of helpers. You have done a stellar job, as you always do, but oh my, 244 entries? You deserve a medal! Now, rest up. Rest really hard! Santa’s on his way with a sleigh full of holiday stories!

  6. ptnozell says:

    Congratulations to all of the winners & entrants who shared their creativity, and HUGE thanks to the awesome judges, prize donors, and, most especially, Susanna, for this amazing opportunity.

  7. Jennifer Raudenbush says:

    Congratulations winners, honorable mentions, and participants! Thank you to all the judges and especially Susanna.

  8. Sue Heavenrich says:

    wow! look at all the cool stories (and writers) that are winners! Congratulations to all, and to all a good – oh wait, wrong season.

  9. Jennifer Cole Judd says:

    So exciting! Congratulations to everyone! I can’t believe I placed in this–I am over the moon, and so honored. Such cute, cute, stories–everyone is amazingly talented! Thank you, Susanna, for hosting your spooktacular Halloweensie contest!

  10. Kelly says:

    Congratulations to:
    -Everyone who entered! (It takes guts to put your stories online.)
    -The Honorable Mentions. Cute ideas!
    -The Finalists. Your stories were each so wonderfully Halloweensie!
    -Dawn Young. I loved sound effects!
    -Susanna for creating such a safe and kind writing community.

    Now I’m off to eat some monsters…err, I mean candy. My story was NOT autobiographical, I swear.

  11. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    Congrats all around! It was another fabulous contest! Thanks to Susanna for creating the space for all of this hilarity mixed with learning to happen. And thanks to all of those who donated prizes! Cheers!

  12. Judy Sobanski says:

    Congratulations to Dawn, the finalists, the honorable mentions and all who participated in the Holloweenise contest!! Susanna, thank you to you and an your team for all the hard work. Thanks to all those who donated prizes. Always a fun contest!

  13. chardixon47 says:

    Congratulations to the winners and all the participants! Thank you Susanna and staff for a terrific Halloweensie 2017 🙂 You all make the writing community a fabulous place to thrive!

  14. viviankirkfield says:

    Congrats to all of the winners! So much fun to see so many familiar names! And a big thank you to all of the generous prize donors and of course, to our hostess with the mostest, Susanna and her hard-working assistants.

  15. Jennifer Broedel says:

    Congratulations to everyone, and a big thank you to our prize-donors, judges and voters who took the time to review our work, and most of all, THANK YOU, Susanna, for hosting this fun and festive contest! I’m tickled to be honored as a winner!

  16. Jill Richards Proctor says:

    Congratulations to all the winners and all the entrants! The stories have been so fun to read. Many thanks to Susanna and her elves, and all the prize contributors! Can’t wait for the holiday story contest to begin!!!

  17. Katherine Rothstein says:

    Congratulations to all the winners and thank YOU Susanna for organizing another inspiring contest! I was so thrilled to receive honorable mention. May Sharkula live on! I look forward to your XMAS contest.
    All the best chocolate, Katherine

  18. jeanjames926 says:

    Oh my, congratulations to all the winners! What a talented bunch. I had a blast reading all of the entries. Thanks for the nod to The Evil Dr. Gerbil, and big thank you to Susanna and her Helpers for another great year of Halloweensie fun.

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