Happy Columbus Day, Everyone!
As usual on this day, it’s time for a special message from our sponsors.
Remember how on a dark and stormy night in 1492 (I think it was Thursday) our good ole buddy Chris, involved in a heated discussion with his crew about what the 5 Little Pumpkins were doing on a gate in the first place instead of being home in bed where they belonged, accidentally sailed the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria into an island in the Bahamas for which he was credited with discovering America even though he missed the entire coast from Maine to the Florida Keys? (And incidentally never figured out why the 5 Little Pumpkins were on that gate. I don’t think Thursdays are his day.)
Anyway, the point is, thanks to his navigational shortcomings, we all have the day off!
And what better way to celebrate poor navigation skills and a day off than by warming up our writing utensils and setting forth to win a contest?
That’s right! (Or should I say, that’s write?!)
(Yeah. Okay. Sorry 🙂 )
In case you haven’t guessed…
It’s time to announce the guidelines for…
The 8TH 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 shiver, cauldron, and howl. Your story can be scary, funny, sweet, 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 235 fantastic entries last year, so I know you can do it!) Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. shivered, shivery, cauldrons, howled, howling, 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 12:00 AM EDT Saturday October 27th and Wednesday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list that will accompany my special October 27th post. 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 of my October 27th post once it’s up (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! And please do not submit entries before the start of the contest!
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 5th (if the judging takes longer than we expect if could be later…but we will do our best!) The winner will be announced on Thursday November 8th (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.
The Prizes: as usual, I’m still working on the prizes 🙂 Feel free to chime in in the comments if there’s something you’d particularly like to win! 🙂 Or if you have something awesome to offer! I’d be very grateful if anyone could put me in touch with an agent or editor who would be willing to be the big prize because I’m not having good luck with that so far!!! But for starters, prizes will include:
– several picture book manuscript critiques from amazing critiquers (details to come – I need to spread my generous volunteers out over 3 contests, so, planning…)
– a personalized signed copy of NOT SO SCARY JERRY by the wonderful and gifted Shelley Kinder
– Bundle Of Books – assorted PBs, MGs, YAs (details to come) – generously donated by KidLit411
– an e-pub or PDF copy (winner’s choice) of Linda Ashman‘s Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books. OR paperback of Ann Whitford Paul’s Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication.
Plus stay tuned because other great stuff is coming! 🙂
I hope those fantabulous prizes will at least whet your appetite for the contest!
Many, many thanks to Tania, KidLit411, and the PB MS critiquers for their very generous prize offerings!
So sharpen your pencils!
Get your butt in that chair!
See what amazing, knock-your-socks-off story you can dream up!
It’s a chance to hone your writing skills, practice your craft, write to specifications and a deadline, win amazing prizes, AND get to read and enjoy the wonderful stories written by all your fellows 🙂
I am SO looking forward to seeing what you all come up with!!!
Have a Marvelous Monday everyone! 🙂