I know it’s Thursday and not a usual posting day, but sometimes there just isn’t room for everything in the normal course of our weekly schedule.
This is one of those times.
And what is it we must make time for, you may wonder?
Well, I’ll tell you.
I feel it is imperative that we shake our booty. . .
. . . to the tune of
Your leg bone connected to your knee bone
Your knee bone connected to your thigh bone
Your thigh bone connected to your hip bone
Doin’ the Skeleton Dance!
etc… 😊 ☠️
It is a well known fact that a little dancing sparks creativity!
(And if that isn’t well known. . . or a fact. . . it should be! 😊)
I believe, under the circumstances, that the Hokey Pokey would also be an excellent choice, given that body parts get shaken around in that one too 😊
Any dance will do, however, because all that matters is that your creativity gets fired up as we (I’m using the Royal We here) announce the rules for. . .
The 10TH Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!!
~ for children’s writers ~
(Holy Caped Crusaders, Batman! I just have to interject here! Can you believe this is the 10th year of Halloweensie? The TENTH???!!! ZOWEE!)
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 skeleton, creep, and mask. 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 over 325 fantastic entries last year, so I know you can do it!) Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. skeletons, creepy/crept, masked/unmasked, 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 Eastern Time Thursday October 29th and Saturday October 31st by 11:59 PM Eastern Time and add your post-specific link to the list that will accompany my special October 29th post. There will be no Tuesday Debut, 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 29th post once it’s up (please include your byline if your posting handle is something like MamaWritesByNightlight 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 12 top choices (give or take… you know how hard it is to choose!) which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Wednesday November 4th or Thursday 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 Monday November 9th (good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise 😊 )
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: SO AMAZING! What a generous community we have to donate so much awesomeness!!! 😊
(and I’m still working on this part of the post so it’s incomplete and will be updated with links and photos and more prizes!)
– Get Your MS in TipTop Shape With Vivian Kirkfield!
Vivian is offering a PB MS Critique (fiction or nonfiction/rhyming or prose), along with a 30 minute Skype or FB video chat to discuss, along with a read-through of the revision. And top it all off she will also help you with a query/cover letter edit to go with your polished up ms! WOW!
– Penny’s Two Cents – an incredible opportunity for any picture book writer!
Sometimes it’s helpful to chat with a published author about your writing journey. Penny Parker Klostermann is offering her two cents. The prize includes General/Big-Picture Feedback on one picture book manuscript + One 30-Minute Chat (Rhyming or prose-750 words or under) Penny doesn’t claim to have it all figured out, (by any means) but she’s happy to share her two cents based on what she’s learned and continues to learn on her journey as an author.
Picture Book MS Critiques from
Signed book and 15 Minute “Ask Me Anything” Video Chat with Keila Dawson
Either A Signed Copy of ROCK AND ROLL WOODS (PB) or an ARC of SPIRITS AMONG US (MG) from author Sherry Howard
A signed copy of TWO DOGS ON A TRIKE by Gabi Snyder
2 Picture Books donated by Darshana Khiani
Please join me 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, recommending them for school visits, or supporting them in any other way you can dream up 🙂
Now! Lay in a good chocolate supply (no better time than right before Halloween for THAT!)! Butt In Chair! Pencils, pens, or keyboards ready! Fire up the old idea generator! And write those prize-winning stories!!!
I can’t wait to read them!!! 😊