Dashing through the snow!
In a one-horse open sleigh!
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
HA HA HA!……
Isn’t this a lovely treat?
Me, interrupting your Thanksgiving Sunday Family Breakfast with my melodious singing?
(Not to brag, but I’ve been told by QUITE a few people that my voice is unrivaled… 🙂 )
I don’t know about you guys, but at my house there is a method to our madness.
Hard to believe I have a method for anything 🙂
But it’s true.
No matter how they behave at the mall, what with all the North Pole displays and piped in holiday tunes before trick-or-treating is done, I have a self-imposed rule that there is No Listening To or Singing Of Holiday Music Until Thanksgiving Is Over!
It’s just good sense.
For starters, it’s hard to put much conviction into “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” when orange plastic pumpkins full of candy are still sitting on the kitchen counter!
And imagine how all the turkeys feel when we just gloss over their day as if it doesn’t even matter because we’re so busy looking forward to Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Solstice/whatever?!
I mean, poor turkeys! They give up a lot for their day! We can at least not marginalize them by singing “Dreidel dreidel dreidel” while the turkey is front and center on the dining room table!’
But some of you may have noticed that Thanksgiving is now over…
a) we can holler out a nice loud chorus of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, and
…It’s time for…
THE 8TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY CONTEST!!!
~for children’s writers~
The Contest: Write a children’s holiday story (children here defined as age 12 and under) about A Holiday Hero! Your hero’s act of heroism can be on a grand scale or a small one – from saving Christmas to leaving a fresh-baked loaf of Challah bread for a homeless person to something like Gift Of The Magi where two people give up the thing most important to them to be sure someone they love has a good holiday. Your hero can be obvious or unlikely. 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 250 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 250! 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 6 and Saturday December 8 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 6 and remain up for your reading pleasure until I post the finalists. There will be no regular posts (Tuesday Debuts, Perfect Picture Book, or Would You Read It) for the duration of the contest so the links will stay up for everyone to visit and enjoy. If you would like to enter but don’t have a blog you are welcome to paste your entry in the comment section of my December 6th post when it goes up. If you have trouble commenting, you can email me. (We’ll go over this part in more detail on the December 6th post! 🙂 )
The Judging: My lovely assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to approximately 10 finalists (depending on the number of entries – if we get a lower turnout we’ll post fewer finalists, a higher turnout possibly one or two more.) In the interest of finishing up the contest in a timely fashion so everyone can go about their holidays, we will do our best to post the finalists here by Friday December 14 for you to vote on for a winner. The vote will be closed on Sunday December 16 at 5 PM EST. Whoever gets the most votes will be first and so on down to tenth place (or wherever we place to), and the winners will be announced on Monday December 17.
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. Holiday Heroism! – the rules state a Holiday Hero story, so it must be crystal clear that the story is about Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever you celebrate, and it must contain a hero and act of heroism in some form! 🙂
- 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!: The prize list is almost – not quite – complete. But I wanted to get the guidelines up so you guys would have as much time as possible to work on your stories! Stay tuned for an updated list at some point 🙂
– A Rhyming Picture Book Manuscript Critique by prolific author Diana Murray!
– A Non-Rhyming Picture Book Manuscript Critique by talented author Amy Dixon!
– A 2-Pack of Personalized, Signed Picture Books by Tara Luebbe – I Am Famous and Shark Nate-O
– a spot in my online picture book writing class Making Picture Book Magic (in any month mutually agreed upon by the winner and me)
Children’s Writer’s And Illustrator’s Market 2019 – by Robert Lee Brewer (x2)
So there you have it! Fire up those brain cells! Grab a cup of hot chocolate, plonk your tiny hiney into a comfy chair, and get to writing your potentially prize-winning Holiday Hero story!!! You have nearly two full weeks!
On your mark…
I am SO looking forward to getting to read all your stories!!!
Have a great rest of the weekend! 🙂