Viper fangs and dragon claws. It’s time for. . .
The 10TH 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 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 right now this very second and Saturday October 31st by 11:59 PM Eastern Time and add your post-specific link to the list below. 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 below (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 in more than one place because it becomes confusing.
The Judging: in a grueling marathon over the following days, my devoted assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to
3 6 9 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.
- 6. PLEASE FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS! Large numbers of entries make it easy to cut entries that haven’t been entered as we asked.
The Prizes: SO AMAZING! What a generous community we have to donate so much awesomeness!!! 😊
1 – Get Your MS in Tip Top 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!
Vivian Kirkfield is the author of SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), PIPPA’S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN (Pomegranate 2019), MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD (Little Bee, January 14, 2020), and more…
2 – 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.
Penny is the author of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT (Random House 2015) (now available in board book and with matching pajamas! 🙂 ) and A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE (Random House 2017)
3 – Picture Book Manuscript Critique (rhyme or prose) from Carrie Finison, author of DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS (Putnam, July 2020) and DON’T HUG DOUG (forthcoming from Putnam in January 2021.)
4 – Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Lydia Lukidis, author of NO BEARS ALLOWED (Blue Whale Press 2019) and many educational titles.
5 – Picture Book Manuscript Critique (fiction or nonfiction) from Teresa Robeson, author of Queen of Physics (Sterling, 2019) and Two Bicycles In Beijing (Albert Whitman, 2020)
6 – Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Kirsti Call author of The Raindrop Who Couldn’t Fall (Mazo Publishing, January 2019), Mootilda’s Bad Mood (Little Bee, September 2020), as well as COW SAYS MEOW (HMH) and COLD TURKEY (Little Brown) which will release in 2021.
7 – Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Ellen Leventhal, author of DON’T EAT THE BLUEBONNETS (Spork 2017), LOLA CAN’T LEAP (Spork 2018), and HAYFEST A HOLIDAY QUEST (ABCs Press 2010)
8 – Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Heather Gale, author of Ho’onani Hula Warrior (Tundra Books, October 2019)
9 – a personalized signed copy of The King Cake Baby and 15 Minute “Ask Me Anything” Video Chat with Keila Dawson, author of The King Cake Baby (Pelican 2015), No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History (Charlesbridge 2020), and Opening The Road: Victor Hugo Green and His Green Book (forthcoming from Beaming Books, January 2021)
10 – Making Picture Book Magic Self Study – an online picture book writing class – any month of winner’s choice!
11 – a personalized signed copy of EITHER ROCK AND ROLL WOODS (PB) or an ARC of SPIRITS AMONG US (MG) from author Sherry Howard
AND a personalized signed copy of TWO DOGS ON A TRIKE (Abrams Appleseed, May 2020) by Gabi Snyder
12 – a personalized signed copy of NOT SO SCARY, JERRY (Spork, 2017) by Shelley Kinder
AND a personalized signed copy of MARS’ FIRST FRIENDS: COME ON OVER ROVERS! (Sourcebooks 2020) by Susanna Leonard Hill
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 then, my pretties! It’s past the witching hour in the dead of night – very appropriate for a Halloween story, don’t you think? – and the time has come for me to
embarrass myself my sample entry which should fill you with confidence in your own MUCH MUCH better efforts!!!
A pumpkin moon
A ghostly ship
A still lagoon
Like swirling mist
Creaks and twists
Skull and crossbones
Far and near
His broomstick leg
breathes Captain Jack,
our sneak attack!”
The ghost ship glides
Closer . . .
Closer . . .
On the tides
The murky blue
By the ghastly
it comes abreast
warm with light
of their plight
Unmasks and shouts out, “Trick-or-treat!”
It’s truly spooky how willing I am to embarrass myself for you! 😊😊😊
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 3 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!!! 😊 🎃
- Midnight Rescue – Laura Bost
- You Don’t Scare Me – Brenda B. Covert
- Rattle, Rattle Skeleton – Vashti Verbowski
- Corona’s Evil Plan – Marty Findley
- Littlest Witch’s Wild Ride – Marty Findley
- Shy Skeleton’s Dance – Marty Findley
- A Night Out. . . – Deb Sullivan
- See Billy Bony – Helen Addyman
- Scare School – Laura Howard
- Is It Time? – Sue Lancaster
- The Skeletons’ Masked Ball – Sue Lancaster
- Halloween Masquerade – Jamie Donahoe
- The Curse of Halloween – Bru Benson
- Halloween Hesitation – Beth Volkmann
- The Phantom Of The Library – Natalie Cohn
- Trick Or Treat – Alli Straus
- No Bones About It – Judy Sobanski
- Family Business – Natalie Cohn
- Tattered Treats – Marilyn Garcia
- Halloween Surprise – Anna Ouchchy
- A Spider’s Tale – Darcee A. Freier
- Grandfather’s Clock – Sarah Heaton
- Halloween Peeps – Jamie Donahoe
- Mystery Guest – Dawn Young
- Nelly O’Skelly – Danielle Sharkan
- First Halloween – Carol Jones
- One Noisy Halloween – Rebecca Thill
- Polly’s Not-So-Perfect Potion – Susan Summers
- Masquerade – Kathiann Weatherbee
- Howl-o-weenie – Ashlee Hashman
- Trick Or Treat – Stephanie Mena
- Skelly The Skeleton – Michelle S. Kennedy
- Trudy’s Toothy Halloween – Kelsey Gross
- Class Pet Trickery! – Mary Bleckwehl
- Hola Halloween! – ‘Boo Darkling’ (Roo Parkin)
- BOO! – Rebecca Woodall
- Haunted – Anne Lipton
- Creepy D’s – Martha Holguin
- Trick Or Treat – Marla Yablon
- Skellie’s Closet – KeelyWrites
- Skelly B. Skeleton – Cathy Chester
- When Skally Nearly Didn’t Show His Face – Diana Webb
- Sammy Goes Home – Courtney Rubo
- GRRRRRRRRRR! – Donna Kurtz
- Teeth Love HalloweenToo! – Donna Kurtz
- The Halloween Fair – Donna Kurtz
- Skeleton And Ghostina – Gail Hartman
- Little Bonesy Loves Halloween! – Paul Kurtz
- Mousey’s Batty For Halloween! – Paul Kurtz
- Spider-Claws Is Comin’ To Town – Paul Kurtz
- A Bone-afide Friend – Kristen Reinsel
- Wendy’s Sugar Spell – Caitlin Eslinger
- A Very Scary Halloween – Kerrie Elizabeth Godding
- Haunted Hallo-weave – Cathrene Valente Youngquist
- Spider’s Can’t Dance! – Cathrene Valente Youngquist
- The Beady Eye – Libby Hartwell
- Stitch – Amy Duchene
- Halloween Surprise – Sarah Hawklyn
- Four Dancing Skeletons – Isabel Rodriguez
- First Trick-or-Treat – Carol Samuelson-Woodson
- BIG Boney Story – Yolanda Danyi Szuch
- Skeleton Knights – Islancy Guada
- Halloween, This Year – Nina Nolan
- The Arnold Rock – Polly Sheldon
- Skeleton’s Scare – Erin K. McCabe
- Skeleton’s In The Closet – Karen Keesling
- Vampire And Skeleton Go Shopping – Jay Reece
- Haiku – Corine Timmer
- Opportunity Wanders – Florbela Nienaber
- The Skele-Mummy – Linda Staszak
- All On A Halloween Night – Linda Staszak
- Creep A Little Closer – Yvonne McCutchen
- Moonlight Party – Yvonne McCutchen
- Stella Decorates – Melissa Warren
- Candy Heist – Sarah Hawklyn
- Pillows In Pants – Christine Menke
- The Masked Skeleton – Deborah Dolan Hunt
- Mask Required – Lucretia Schafroth
- Psyched Out – Karen Pickrell
- The Case Of The Missing Skeleton – Karen Pickrell
- All Hallows’ Eve – Liz Kehrli
- My Worst Thirty-first – Obbverse
- Scary Mary – Geraldine Jones
- Sweet Escape – Allison Strick
- Bones: A Love Story – Keatley Eastman
- Phoebe’s Magic Stew – Linda Hofke
- Paco And The Skeletons – Katie Schwartz
- Lester Skeleton’s Halloween Hunt – Ford Waight
- Little Frankie Patches Things Up – Rozana Rajkumari
- Witch’s Fiery Broth – Corine Timmer
- Jack’s Halloween – Kara Sibilia
- The Jolly Skeleton – Linda Staszak
- Sammy Skeleton’s Warm Halloween – Lily Erlic
- Slinky Skeleton – Penelope McNally
- Annabelle’s Halloween – Penelope McNally
- The Hungry Corpse – Robert Schechter
- Little Goblin’s Halloween – Kathleen Mazurowski
- The Curse – Glenda Roberson
- Moving Day – Laura Bower
- Halloweenie – Lauren Harris
- Letter On The Door – Jessica Reed
- Sebastian’s Halloween – Polly Owen
- Skeleton’s Halloween Party – Polly Owen
- Halloween High Jinx – Stacey Miller
- Weensie’s Potion – Lisa Lee Furness
- The Nightmarish Place – Suzie Olsen
- I’m Not Scared – Desirae Moten
- What A Haul! – Diane Hanington
- The Halloween Trick – Aimee Larke
- A Skeleton’s Fright – Nadia Ali
- The Maple Tree Fright – Rebecca Allain
- Creepy Cookie Night – Annette LaFortune Murray
- The Night Stacey Saved Halloween – Autumn Haley (age 8)
- The Skeleton Ball – Jenny Caddy
- The Halloween Car Parade – Laura Bower
- The Halloween Ball – Crystal Lamb
- A Halloween Scare – Sarah Hetu-Radny
- Skeleton And Jack – Jennifer Bochonowicz
- Halloween – Marjorie David
- Ben’s Biggest Fear – Maria Pichler
- Skeletons – Patty Wright
- GHOST On The COAST – Becky Loescher
- The Scare Dare – Nancy Derey Riley
- Lonely Spider’s Dance – Danielle Sharkan
- Things That Go Cronk – Carla Bourne
- Grrrr! Brothers! – Susan Drew
- Midnight Mortal Ball – Nicola Thackrey
- The Monsters Of Halloween – Ryan Roberts
- The Perfect Halloween Present – Jenny Buchet
- Hopeless Heist – Karyn Curtis
- A 2020 Halloween Bash – Kristen Foote
- Boneyard Ballet – Jennifer Broedel
- Halloween Night – Di Litwer
- Tom Bones Goes Rogue – Marty Bellis
- A Bone-Fide Halloween Tale – Marty Bellis
- Dad’s Halloween – Lisa Lipsey
- Final Moments – E. Elle Bea
- How To Hug A Ghost – Cathy Lee Patterson
- Not This Year! – Carmen Castillo Gilbert, PhD
- Shh! Party In My Room! – MeiLin Chan
- Little Witch – Tracy Detz
- A Pumpkins Story – Christine Graham
- Beware Of Humans – Janelle Springer-Willms
- Beware Of Skeletons – Lea Boyd (age 8)
- Little Badger’s Great Big Scare – Bridget Grey
- Lightning And A Mask Of Stars – Rhett Trull
- Creature Of The Night – Lindsey Aduskevich
- Thorny Lane’s Treasure – Rhonda Gatlin
- Argleby’s New School Adventure – Echo Roben
- A Cat-astrophic Halloween – Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf
- Two Can Play – JC Kelly
- Mia’s Halloween Celebration – Lily Erlic
- Seven Jack-O-Lanterns – Mary Arkiszewski
- A-Z: Who’s Behind Me? – Ashley Congdon
- The Attic Mask – Barbara DiMarco
- Not-So-Happy Halloween – Claire Schlinkert
- The Skeleton Creep – Tracy Curran
- The Brown, Brown Boots On The Cold, Cold Floor – Crystal Lamb
- Hedgehogs In The Garden – Nicola Holden
- Home Sweet Home – Mona Pease
- All Bones – Desi Valle
- Hallowcake Cravings – Katie Pals
- Foggy Halloween – Denise Seidman
- Halloween Is Scary – Valerie McPherson
- The Sweetest Halloween Treat On Earth – Jill Burns
1,001 thoughts on “The 10th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest ~ aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!!!”
One click from the skeleton key.
Maddie was in!
She clutched the black kitten close as she emptied the vial into the wine.
“Hush now, little one.” She ducked back into the shadows.
The rescued kitten’s purr threatened to unmask Maddie’s hiding spot as a pageboy banged into the room.
He grabbed the wine jug and vanished upstairs into the witch’s roiling masquerade.
“A toast!” cackled a witch.
“Yes, bring the cat, we drink to the Halloween sacrifice!”
May you choke on it! thought Maddie, creeping out the back door.
Holy water in the wine, the perfect poison for witches.
(I apologize, I tried to make a link-based submission, but I think it did not go through. Please enjoy this submission, and I apologize if it reached you twice. -Laura)
Creepy and intriguing! Glad she saved the cat!
Creepy fun! Love the rescued kitty
Interesting story. It would make a good, short, chapter book.
A great scary Halloween story! Love the way Maddie saves the black kitten and makes her escape!
Creepy! Yeah for the rescue!
A scary start to a Halloween story. I want to know what happens! Glad the kitten was spared. Good luck!
Great story for the bigger kids, a bit spooky and a character full of spunk.
You Don’t Scare Me by Brenda B. Covert
The scowling pumpkin glowed.
“Hello, Jack,” Nick said. “You don’t scare me.”
A bat swooped low.
Nick shivered but said, “You don’t scare me, bat.”
Nick kicked leaves, and a black cat hissed.
Nick jumped back. “You don’t scare me, cat.”
A little clown stepped onto the path and tripped.
Nick grinned. “Hello, clumsy clown! You don’t scare me.”
The clown tilted its head and rattled.
Nick crept closer. “Is that you, Alex?” He snatched the mask off the little clown.
“Boo!” said the skeleton clown.
Nick dashed away.
The skeleton picked up its mask and grinned. “My first scare!”
Very cute story, good luck!
Love the refrain and the last line is great!
A skeleton clown…two of the scariest things! Love it!
Clowns are creepy enough, but a skeleton clown….AAAAAUUUUUHHHH!
So cute and creepy! I love the repetition and ending twist.
A skeleton clown would scare me too! Cute story.
This is adorable! The repitition makes it a fun read!
Thank you, Jill!
Cute! My first scare.
Creepy fun story. Good luck!
RATTLE, RATTLE SKELETON
by Vashti Verbowski
(Sing to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”)
Rattle, rattle skeleton.
Shake your bones for tricks and fun.
Creep and creak or shriek and scare,
Sneaking up the haunted stair.
Rattle, rattle skeleton.
Shake your bones for tricks and fun.
Knock your kneecaps, drop your jaw.
Eat with zombies, bob and gnaw.
Wear your mask and ask for treats.
Run with werewolves, prowl the streets.
Rattle, rattle skeleton.
Shake your bones for tricks and fun.
Hide with vampires, spooks and ghouls.
Follow pirates to their jewels.
Tie-up mummies with a stitch.
Drink a potion – kiss the witch.
Rattle, rattle skeleton.
Rest your bones, your tricks were fun.
I enjoy rewriting nursery rhymes, too. “Rattle, rattle skeleton” made me smile. Nice job!
Thank you Helen!
Fantastic entry, Vashti. I really like the refrain, and teaming the whole thing with the ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ tune adds extra creep factor. Brilliant.
Thank you! Glad you found it creepy:)
Terrific action – I can see the illustrations vividly. Nicely done!
Thanks for this! I’m glad you’ve got pictures (in your head) to go along with my story – I do too;)
This is adorable and fun! I can see it as a board book. Great job!
Thanks for your kind words Sarah:)
So fun! My favorite line- “Knock your kneecaps, drop your jaw”. Good luck with your entry!
Thanks so much… I liked that line too:)
Very clever rewrite! Spooky and fun
Thank you Penelope:)
I love this. Just creepy and fun enough for kids. I love the refrain too!
You did such a great job on this, Vashti. You had me singing along! Nice!
A sensational twist on a classic! Whereas “twinkle, twinkle” has us focusing on the sight of a star, you prick up our ears with the skeleton’s “rattle, rattle” and other sounds. You likewise employ clever and ingenious rhymes, like “drop and jaw” with “bob and gnaw,” to great advantage. I love the bags of ingenious Halloween actions and characters, as well as how your song comes to a soulful rest at the end. Your line, “Follow pirates to their jewels” is so fitting, Vashti. Because this is a true gem. @AnneLipton
Ooo. Love this! Very fun to read and great imagery.
This is great! Singing!
This is clever and creative. It’s fun to read.
Very clever! Good luck!
Love the repetition. Cute story.
Thanks for this contest. It was so challenging and so much fun! I have 3 entries. Here’s the first:
CORONA’S EVIL PLAN By Marty Findley 99 words
Corona, the crazy creepy creature from the canyon cave, raised his ugly skeleton head and slithered outside into the deep darkness. It was Halloween! People were scouring their neighborhood for treats. “It’s a great time to scare them!” considered Corona. “No one will notice me since all are in costumes and masks.” He stealthily crept along the sidewalk. Suddenly, he met a small child dressed up as a bottle of hand sanitizer. “Gadzooks!” exclaimed Corona as he fled back to his cave. “What a bummer,” he sighed. Between those masks and the clever costume his evil plan was thwarted!
Sent from my iPhone
Cute and clever! Loved the hand sanitizer!
How funny with that unexpected twist 😄.
Great alliteration and a story for our time. Glad the costume won the day!
Terrific story. I love the hand sanitizer!
Littlest Witch’s Wild Ride By Marty Findley 99 words
It was Halloween night but tears rolled down Littlest Witch’s face. All the other witches were mounting their brooms to soar through the night sky. She didn’t have her learner’s permit yet to drive her broom so she was left behind. Suddenly, Big Bat swooped down from the sky. “Want a ride?”” he squeaked. “Yes, please!” replied Littlest Witch. As they flew across the golden orb of the harvest moon, children below wearing masks and costumes gazed upward in wonder and cheered! Later, Littlest Witch blissfully entered her house and crept silently to bed. What a crackerjack exhilarating Halloween!
Sent from my iPhone
Adorable! Glad that Big Bat could help Littlest Witch out and make her Halloween happy!
So clever with the learner’s permit and the helpful bat. Sweet story!
What a sweet friend Big Bat turned out to be! Nice job.
It’s so nice and sweet, a story of friendship is always fun.
Shy Skeleton’s Dance By Marty Findley 100 words
All ghosts, ghouls, and goblins please come as a pair, The hair-raising Halloween Ball’s sure to scare!
Shy Skeleton thought, “Why, what fun! I must go! Will someone go with me? I surely don’t know.”
Shy Skeleton sat all alone by the wall, But in his brave mask was beginning to bawl.
“I’m fearlessly frightening and I will not weep! With bone-chilling fun I will crawl and I’ll creep!”
Bones began to jiggle, guests started to snap; Bones rattled and wiggled, as friends cheered and clapped!
Come monsters and bats wearing fanciest pants See spine-tingling sights; watch Shy Skeleton dance!
Sent from my iPhone
So cute! I’m glad Shy Skeleton decided to dance.
Good for shy skeleton! I love the image of him dancing with his friends cheering him on.
What a brave skeleton! It takes courage to get up and dance.
Cute story! I’m glad Shy skeleton found his courage!
Cute story! Great story for kids to see he was brave and danced.
So glad that Shy Skeleton was brave enough to dance. Fun story and good luck!
A Night Out…(91 words)
by Deb Sullivan
This will be fun
I’ll just jump in the dish,
Like a chocolate delight
Or a red Swedish Fish.
No one will notice
I’m not like my peers,
As I creep through the wrappers
Without any fears.
All the skeletons, witches,
And mask wearing folk,
Will think I’m a treat
It’s my little joke.
That all of the children
Perhaps parents too,
Will happily eat me
I’m one of the crew.
I did it! I did it!
I’m sly like a fox,
“Hey raisin,” Twix shouts.
“Get back in your box.”
Haha! I love this!
Thanks so much for reading it!
HAHAHAHA! Fantastic! Kept me guessing to the end what the mystery treat was.
Fun ending – I had no idea where it was going!!
Thanks for reading it!
Ha ha!! I love the ending!
Many thanks for your kind words.
Loved it! Very funny!
Thanks so much!
Very cute. The ending was a surprise! Well done!
Thanks for your feedback – much appreciated!
Ha! Raisins…you either love them or hate them. I love them and your entry! Good Luck!
Indeed…..many thanks for your kind words!
Hah! Deborah, this cracked me up! So clever!
I’m so glad you enjoyed. Thanks for reading it!
So cute! Great rhyme💛
Thanks so much Dawn!
So funny! Great job!
Thanks Deborah – appreciate it!
Aww. This is so cute! They always break loose, don’t they?
They do! Thanks for reading it, Shannon!
So cute and funny and Halloween-y! Well done:)
Thanks so much, Vashti!
Fantastic! Go little raisin! This was really clever! Good luck with your entry!
Thanks so much Michelle!
Well done, this is great fun – if you’re not full of sugar, you’re not coming in!
Totally! I appreciate your comments, Laura.
This totally cracked me up! Well done and good luck.
Yay – thanks so much for reading it!
This is so clever. 😄 Good luck!
Thanks so much, Ashley!
LOL! This is so much fun. Love the final reveal.
Many thanks Sarah!
Haha I love this! Great surprise ending, very funny.
Thanks for reading it, Penelope!
Funny! No wonder the raisns in the halloween haul seem sweeter. Good luck!
Hah! Thanks so much for reading it!
Cute, clever, and fun! I LOVED the ending! Nice!
Very clever, love the ending! Good luck!
I like raisins, so even if it was being sneaky I like that it was in there with the candy.
Whoop, whoop! Love your poem Susanna! Good luck everyone!
Sorry! My entry is listed twice. Feel free to delete one and this comment. I don’t want to clog up the feed. Thank you! Excited to read everyone’s stories!
See Billy Bony by Helen Addyman
See Billy Bony
Creep down the street,
Mask up, hood up,
It’s time for Trick or Treat.
Tapping on the window,
Cackling at the lock,
It’s that ghoulish time of year,
Knock, knock, knock.
Hear Lassie Lady
Bark at the door,
Growl on, snarl on,
Pawing at the floor.
Chasing through the garden,
Snapping at Bill’s feet,
Skeletons have tasty bones,
What great rhythm and language! Super fun story too! Well done:)
Thank you 🙂
I love the cadence of your rhyme scheme. Well done!
Love this spooky nursery rhyme retelling! Creative, creepy, and cute!
Cute, clever, and a lot of fun! Great Halloween story!
Thank you 😊
Great rhythm and rhyme! Fun idea! Good luck!
Poor Billy Bony, hope he doesn’t end up buried in Lassie’s backyard! Great job!
Love the new twist of an old nursery rhyme! Very clever.
Great job reworking that into a Halloween rhyme!
By Laura Howard
My teacher screamed, “I do believe
Tomorrow is All Hallow’s Eve
So grab your masks and cast a spell
For this year’s creepy show and tell!”
Ghost was ghastly, Witchy scowled
Spider skittered, Werewolf howled
“You’re up next,” my teacher said
My bones turned cold, they filled with dread
I went to give a shrieky shout
Instead I coughed the candles out
A frightened skeleton in the gloom
The only sound… impending doom
But then my bones began to quake
My ribs did rattle, bang and shake
My classmates all began to bawl
Turns out I’m scary after all
I love the pace of this – great rhyme and metre and a great ending. ‘Instead I coughed the candles out’ is my favourite line!
This is very cute. I love the last line.
Well done Laura!
Very original! Rhyme and rhythm is really well done! Yay!
Fun story! I’m glad skeleton found his scariness!
Thanks. Yes, he got there in the end!
Love the story and creepy/sweet ending. The title is perfect too! Well done:)
Great rhyme! Super job! 🙂
He got his spook on after all! Lots of luck to you.
Thanks, Boo 😉
Great visuals – and who wouldn’t love a creepy show and tell! Fun story!
Love this! Good luck.
Love the image of his classmates being scared by their terrified school mate. A clever twist.
Good luck Laura
Fun and clever. I love how he came through in the end!
This is so cute! I love the idea of a creepy show and tell. Love the way it ends! Nice!
Very fun. Great pace and rhyme. Good luck!
Great rhyme and rhythm.
Is it Time? (87 words)
Ben secured his mask in place and entered the room.
His mum was on the bed; a skeleton of her former self.
She looked gaunt and pale, like the life had been sucked out of her.
Ben tried not to look away, but found eye contact hard.
“Is it time?” he asked, hesitantly.
“Yes,” his mum whispered, her eyes red. “It’s time.”
A smile crept over Ben’s face.
“Thank goodness,” he said. “Now, let’s go trick or treat!
Your make-up looks great by the way.”
I love the suspense you’ve built up through this, then the big relief at the end!
Love, “…; a skeleton of her former self.” Spooky story with a fun ending!!
Nice twist at the end! Good Luck!
Great ending! Good luck with your entry!
Phew, glad it had a happy ending – I didn’t see it coming. Good luck!
So tricky, Sue! I was convinced this story was too dark, then that twist at the end…so great! A perfect gotcha! Best of luck in the contest.
Ah, you had me! That was a terrific twist at the end!
Ah scary! Nice twist at the end.
Great Halloween story with a nice twist at the end! Wonderful!
Nice build-up! I wasn’t sure where it was heading. Good luck!
Great suspense and fun twist at the end. Good luck!
Great twist at the end!
The Skeletons’ Masked Ball (50 words)
By Sue Lancaster.
Skeletons’ Masked Ball,
Having a blast, all
Pile of bones.
This is great fun to read, Sue – and I love the last line!
Uh Oh! I think the skeletons over did it at the ball! Fun read!
Wow! I love this…especially the tag line!!! 🙂
Poor party-hard skeletons, we’ve all been there! And not only does it sound good, it looks great on the page as well!
Really fun and visual, Sue. Love the ending.
I enjoyed this entry as well, Sue. Too much partying ended in disaster! Great job!
Love this! So much fun to read aloud and another GREAT ending!
Ha! This is what I feel like after a night of partying!
This is great, Sue. Great fun to read!
Original and fun! Love the ending.
There’s a lot of action here. Well done!
Creative, cute, and fun to read. I love the ending!
What great action and visuals. Such a clever structure! The line is great! Good luck!
❤️Party Foul! ❤️ Good job!
Quite the skeleton party. Fun!
Great descriptive rhyming words.
by Jamie Donahoe
Gorg wasn’t sure what this “Halloween” was, but he wanted to be part of it. “Trick or treating” sounded fun. On the big day, he chose his outfit carefully and headed out.
But the trick or treaters turned him away. “What a creep! That kid didn’t even bother to dress up!“ jeered someone wearing a skeleton costume.
Poor Gorg. All he wanted was to fit in. He went home, tore off his Human Child mask and gazed at his reflection. A tear rolled from each of his five eyes. Next year, he’d go trick or treating just as he was.
I love the surprise at the end! Great fun!
Thanks! I love your illustration style – just followed you on Insta. These contests are so great for finding and connecting with other #kidlit folks!
I agree – there’s a really great community surrounding competitions like this. Thanks for the compliment and for following me – have just followed you back!
He should have taken off his mask right then and there!
Ack – now why didn’t I think of that!!!
Ha ha! Good luck!
Great twist at the end!
Aw…. poor Gorg! 🙂 Fun ending!
This would make a great picture book! Love the twist at the end!
Thanks Judy – maybe I’ll do that! Illustrations could be very fun.
Aww….poor Gorg! (love the use of “jeered”..great verb!)
Thanks Deborah – and to think the initial draft used “said”! 🙂
Poor Gorg 😦 next year he’ll scare them! Nice ending.
Cool. I love sci-fi. This is a good ending!
A friend of mine is keen on getting more sci-fi into picture books…
this is great, Jamie. The last paragraph changes everything. Love the five eyes.
I also like Colleen’s suggestion.
Thanks Linda – loved yours too!!
Poor Gorg. I love the way that he’s determined to go trick or treating next year. Great story, Jamie!
Oh no 😕. What a great twist on reversing roles. Good luck!
Thanks – to you too!!
Poor Gorg, always better to be yourself! Good luck!
Thanks – to you too!
A super story about just being yourself. Good job!
Thanks so much – always nice to get some positive feedback 🙂
The Curse Of Halloween
By Bru Benson
Every year on Halloween night, there is a time which children dread. It creeps upon them as the night grows old. Children cry and wail. Some have a tantrum. The Mom, or Dad, or older brother or older sister, sometimes it’s your friends, whoever you’re with, mask their smile; they know it’s coming too. Dress up like a skeleton, a mummy, or a villain if you wish. You can’t hide from it. It won’t get scared. It knows. The Last House on Halloween is here for you. “Time to go home now.” “Nooooooooooo!”
Fun build up to the ending! “It creeps upon them as the night grows old.” – fabulous line. Well done!
Great Halloween story and so true! “Time to go home now.” That line brings back memories!
😄 So clever, funny, and true. Great job. Good luck!
Always hard when the party is over. Great story.
HALLOWEEN HESITATION (99 words)
By Beth Volkmann
I quiver, I shake!
I creep and I hide!
Nothing can make me
It’s dark and it’s spooky!
Zombies and witches,
monsters that groan.
I thought I was ready!
I thought I would try!
I’m not really scared.
I’m just feeling shy.
How ‘bout a flashlight?
A hand to hold tight?
I guess that could work –
it might be alright.
I’ll get my mask,
a bag for the loot!
I can be brave
in my Superman suit.
I jump down the stairs!
I’m ready to run!
I don’t want to miss
all this Halloween fun!
Well done! I am glad the MC actually got out.
Great rhyming! Loved it!
“I can be brave in my Superman suit!” Love that line! Good luck!
Well done! I feel the angst of this little guy/gal turn to bravery…great ending!
Great job! I can just picture this story in my head perfectly!
Great voice and fun images, Beth! I felt the kid’s trepidation. Love it!
Thank you, All!! This is my first contest … the kind words help ease the trepidation! 🙂
You already know I love this tiny story! Way to go!
Great rhyming, and I love the sentiment. Happy he got out!
Nice! So relatable, the little kids always need a little time to get excited about all the strangness of Halloween. This was a fun read,
Aww, I’m cheering for this brave little Superman!
This is adorable! I loved the Superman suit and watching him find his courage! Nice!
What a great story that would make a great PB for those feeling unsure about Halloween. Well done! Good luck!
❤️Great rhyme and build up until the end.❤️
Fun! YOu captured the spirit of an anxious trick-or-treater. Nice rhyme too. Good luck.
Great start-off story Susanna!! I am looking forward to reading as many entries as I can! Good luck to everyone!
I LOVE your skeleton pirate Susanna!!
The Phantom of the Library by Natalie Cohn
Today’s the day I’ll unmask the phantom of the library. The phantom stood there in a dark loose outfit and half crescent shaped mask.
A skeleton decoration dangled from the ceiling above the phantom as he read stories to kindergarteners. I crept behind the bookshelves trying to peek, but couldn’t see. I inched closer pulling out the picture revealing who he really was. Should I reveal his true identity or let him be? Oh, no he winked at me. Should I run? No, I’ll wait until he’s done.Then afterwards I’ll hug the Phantom of the library because he’s my dad.
Yet another fabulous ending! Love the tension in this – and the relief at the end. Great!
Nice surprise ending – and great that it’s dad too!
Haha. Love the wink and surprise!
A library phantom–how fun!
I like the idea of a library phantom to the kids. Great ending. Good luck!
Love the idea of a library phantom. A great Halloween mystery with a wonderful ending!
So sweet! Good luck!
❤️Great build up with a loving end.❤️
Very cute! Good luck!
Fabulous story! It would definitely make a great picture book!
Trick or Treat
by Alli Straus
On Halloween night I go door to door
But lurking is no easy task.
For my cape is too long
My bag is not strong
And I can’t see out of my mask.
It’s the promise of candy that keeps me on track
I continue to creep and demand.
Give me nice treats
For skulking the streets
Trick or treat is what I command.
Skittles for skeletons, Whoppers for witches,
Gum for the ghosts who go boo.
These ghoulish confections
Have my utmost affection
But only the king-size will do.
What’s this? A pencil? Ugh.
Great rhythm and alliteration! And yes, the ending …. very cute. Kids can relate to those disappointing households who go ‘practical’. 🙂
I could SO visualize this little trick-or-treater with the crooked mask, oversized cape & about-to-break bag. Well done.
Very cute! Good luck in the contest!
Darling! Loved that mask line so much!
Yep – no one wants a pencil. Great entry – hope you do well.
Love the ending and ever so true! Worse..a toothbrush 😉
Really cute and I love the ending.
This one is so much fun. You can see the personality come through. What a great ending 😄. Good luck!
This is so cute! I loved the description of the trick-or-treater and the problems with their costume and bag. I also loved the ending! Nice!
Ha ha! love the end. Could have been worse though – raisins! Good luck!
Hahahaha! You captured the Halloween experience!
NO BONES ABOUT IT
By Judy Sobanski
Two skeletons, Tib and Fib went trick or treating for the first time.
Creepy howls and screams echoed from the house by the cemetery.
“Let’s go there first,” said Tib.
They straightened their spines and knocked on the door.
C-R-E-E-A-A-K! A little masked girl appeared.
“Peanut butter cup?” she asked.
The skeletons’ jaws dropped. They picked them back up, screamed, and rattle-clacked away.
“That was horrible!” said Tib.
“I couldn’t believe my eye sockets! Peanut butter cups! Disgusting!” said Fib.
“I am DONE with Trick or Treat!” said Tib.
“Me, too,” said Fib shaking his skull. “No guts for it!”
Fabulous word play!! This will get lots of chuckles! Well done.
Absolutely groan-worthy – love it!!
Love the names Tib and Fib!
“No guts for it” LOL, great ending!
Hah! (Hard to imagine turning away a peanut butter cup 🙂 And “rattle clacked” gives me a great visual…perfect for skeletons!
Oh, this is hilarious! Well done!
Haha – this was fun and love the last line!
Ha ha, great ending! Very fun.
This was fun. I love the idea of skeletons trick or treating, great word play and funny ending.
So funny 😄.
Cute, clever, and so much fun! “No guts for it!” Great ending!
Love the last line! Great imagination. Good luck!
I love the skeletons having to pick their jaws up off the floor. Cute story!
Second entry, I couldn’t decide which one to enter: Family Business by Natalie Cohn
Two little Skellys got ready for Halloween. Papa skeleton handed them masks.
Mama skeleton put on their costumes. Indiana Bones crept behind them, leash hanging in mouth.
They puffed out their chests. They were ready for their first haunted house.
“Are you boys ready to scare all the monsters?” Papa skeleton asked.
They rattled, shooked and shivered but this was their family business. They didn’t want to disappoint.
“We’re totally skeller!” They both said.
Little Skellys Boooooooed, shrieked, and scared monsters so bad they scattered like spiders.
Papa and Mama skeleton cheered, and Indiana Bones loved to play dead.
Love “Indiana Bones”!!! 🙂 Love the idea of a skeleton ‘family business’. Fun read!
Way to support the family biz, little Skellys! Love Indiana Bones too!
This is great fun! I love the line ‘scared monsters so bad they scattered like spiders’!
Ha-ha scattered like spiders, love it.
Indiana Bones! The family business 😄. Great job. Good luck!
Cute Halloween story and a lot of fun to read! I love the Indiana Bones!
Indiana Bones and totally skellar-love! Fun story. Good luck!
What a great name for a skeleton dog … Indiana Bones!
Tattered Bones, the skeleton,
was waiting near the street
to scare each kid who dared to come
Gumballs, chocolate, lollipops
were set out in plain sight.
The kids would have to pass him first –
and he’d prepared a fright.
He spooked the pointy-hatted witch,
who screamed and dropped her broom,
masked crusaders, dinosaurs –
a dragster squealed and vroomed.
But then a furry rattelbone
came creeping all alone
and slobbered when it caught the scent
of rattling Tattered Bones
Now Tattered Bones is scattered bones
sprawled upon the ground,
his femur turned into a treat for
a Halloweening hound.
Love this and the rhyme and the ending with the hound. Poor Tattered Bones! Good luck!
Thank you, it was fun to write. Made my daughter laugh, so it was all worth it!
Great, great twist in the last verse! Reminds me of an old fairytale or Mother Goose rhyme. Well done–good luck in the contest.
Poor Tattered Bones – a great name by the way! The rhyming is so well done and the story, very clever!
Thank you so much. It’s all just good fun and for a good laugh, hopefully.
This one made me giggle! Great Job!
Yay! It made my daughter laugh out loud. That’s a nice payoff.
Ha. So good! Great word play and original!
Thank you. I have to admit, the wordplay was fun to write. Made my daughter laugh, so it’s all good.
Great concept and lovely rhythm – really enjoyed this funny story.
Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it. We can all use a laugh about now, right?
Love this! Great job! Good luck with your entry. 😀
Thanks, Michelle. Glad you liked it. Just hoping to spread a smile. 🙂
Poor Tatter bones! A clever story! Nice rhyme!
Best of luck!
Thanks, Judy. Poor Tattered Bones? Nah, he got what was coming to him. 🙂
So funny 😄. He didn’t see that coming. Fun to read! Good luck!
Thanks, Ashley. I wasn’t sure the humor was appropriate for the picture book audience, but it is all me. So, I thought, why not? After I posted, my oldest daughter told me a kid unleashed a dog on a scary skeleton in the movie Halloween Town, so maybe I’m not far off. 🙂
I love this! So cute! Hahaa! Tattered Bones is scattered bones! Nice!
Thanks! That line came to me, where else, in the shower. Once I heard it in my head, I knew I had to get it into the story somehow. Glad you liked it. 🙂
That’s too funny, Marilyn. Glad you got it into your story!
I really LOVE this! A funny and cute story and told in rhyme is perfect. Also, what a great surprise ending. Good luck!
Thank you so much. I hope it gives people a little joy at this time when we can all use some of that!
Nicely done! Cute story and fun rhyme! Good luck
Poor Mr. Tattered Bones, but a great ending.
by Anna Ouchchy
The friends met on the corner,
decked out to beat the band,
a skeleton, a ghost, a witch
with candy bags in hand.
They knocked on every knocker.
They pressed on every bell.
The evening’s trick-or-treating
was going very well.
The night began to settle
with shadows dark and creepy.
Their feet began to drag.
They felt a little sleepy.
Their faces hot and itchy,
their tongues like styrofoam.
It’s time to ditch the masks, one said.
It’s time to head for home.
The skeleton protested.
“Masks off? Don’t be silly!
I was never wearing one.”
“Uh-oh! Where is Billy?”
Love it! That last line is— killer!
Spooky twist at the end!!
Exactly 100 words! Well done – and a great ending!
Fantastic! Great meter and love the ending! Good luck with your entry!
What a fun story – but poor Billy!
This is great, I do wonder what happened to Billy, great surprise ending.
Whimsical and surprising indeed. Nice one!
Great job Anna! You really set the story up nicely for that surprise in the end. Good luck!
❤️On no, poor Billy❤️
This is such a fun story! Love the night began to settle with shadows dark and creepy. Also, love the tongues like styrofoam. Great spooky ending! Nice!
Haha! Where IS Billy? NIce rhyme and cute story. Good luck!
Hahahaha! Great story! Love the twist at the end.
A Spider’s Tale by Darcee A. Freier
Creep heard the horror stories. She would NOT be a potion ingredient. She crawled into the depths of her skeleton home, spinning barricades along the way. She wove sticky cobwebs across the skull’s mouth and eyes. Then hunkered down.
Scritch. Scratch. “Anyone home?”
“NO!” Creep hissed. She peeked out.
“Your house terrifies,” squeaked Mousey. “Won’t you spin some fright around my burrow?”
“Yes,” replied Mousey, “to scare off coyotes.”
Creep spun a fiendish face. Neighbors clamored for frights, too. The prairie teemed with Creep’s monstrous masks.
She scurried safely home, and field mice trick-or-treated where coyotes feared to tread.
You’re so creative, Darcee! I love the last line…where coyotes feared to tread. Good luck!
Great job! So creative! Good luck with your entry!
Great imagery of the spider spinning webs in the skull. Good luck!
Sweet and creative story! I love the imagery of Creep spinning her webs for her neighbors and friends. Great message!
Wow, very original. Love the spider’s creativity. Good luck!
By Sarah Heaton
Wensley looked up from his diorama.
The clock in the hall gave its regular tick-tock.
Wensley felt it
Echoing through his skeleton.
Was it louder than usual?
“Trick or treat in 5 minutes!” called his mom.
“Coming!” said Wensley, gluing the last piece in place. He masked up and ran downstairs.
An eerie shadow crept across the desk, resting on the diorama.
It plucked the miniature clock from the scene.
Then crept past the silent clock in the hall into its room.
And closed the door.
Ohhh, so good…creepy good! Well done, Sarah.
I love this! The tick tock is so effective and creepy. Very creative, Sarah!
Great Suspense. Well done! Good luck with your entry!
Love the tick tock throughout the story, Sarah! And nice creepy ending! Well done!
The tick and tock throughout really built up the suspense. Creepy fun! Good luck!
I love this! Love the way you use the tick tock to build up the tension. Love the spooky ending! Nice!
Creepy and suspenseful . . . I like it! Love the pacing. Good luck!
Second entry. This one is for the younger set; I wrote it for my little friend Olivia and her Hop-Hop.
by Jamie Donahoe
“Everyone here?” called Mama Hop-Hop, gathering up her chicks for their Halloween outing.
“Peep!” called Little Hop-Hop.
“Peep!” called Littler Hop-Hop.
“Creep? What’s creep?” asked Mama Hop-Hop, slightly bewildered at the strange response.
“Me!” said Littlest Hop-Hop, removing his skeleton mask. “I am being creepy for Halloween. Did I scare you?”
“Oh you!” laughed Mama Hop-Hop. And the whole family went “creep”, “creep”, “creep” into the Halloween dusk.
Nice use of “3’s”….Little, Litter and Littlest AND when the family went creep, creep, creep into Halloween dusk…and all in 70 words!
So sweet. I like the creep, creep, creep at the end. Good luck!
This is adorable! Perfect for the younger set!
Ha ha, very cute. Sweet story.
Dawn Young 100 words
Sam and Karah entered the building. There in the hall stood a bony skeleton.
“Who’s that?” whispered Karah.
“Maybe it’s Mr. Head, our P.E. teacher,” guessed Sam.
“No, he is much taller. I bet it is Mrs. Myers, the librarian. She loves to dress up,” suggested Karah.
“Could it be Mr. Jones, the custodian?” asked Sam.
As they settled into class the morning announcements appeared on the monitor. The skeleton crept on to the screen, took off his mask, and smiled at the camera.
“Happy Halloween, bony friends,” laughed Mr. Skelly, the principal.
“I hope everyone has a Bone-i-fied Day!”
What a fun principal! I felt the increased tension (not easy to do in 100 words)..well done!
Terrific Halloween story set in school–love it, Dawn!
Great job! I Love the pun at the end. had a poem about a Skelly Skeleton too! Good luck with your entry!
How fun trying to guess the mysterious guest. Great ending. Good luck!
Adorable Halloween story, Dawn! Mr. Skelly sounds like a lot of fun! Love the ending!
Fun story. Love the kids trying to figure out who it was. Good luck!
Every year, Nelly eagerly awaited Halloween.
Every year, she starred in a haunting display of cobwebs, witches, and ghouls adorning Rose Mansion.
But not this year.
Time crept by.
She sat and stared, willing the closet door open.
She glanced at the pile of discarded decorations, terrified of her fate.
A hand reached in,
noticed her broken fibula,
and tossed her aside.
I will not be forgotten!
Rummaging through the pile, she gathered old scraps and fastened materials.
When the mighty, masked, Nelly O’Skelly emerged from the closet, vowing that no skeleton would ever again be tossed aside.
Wow, the suspense. Good luck!
Love this point of view! Love the emotions Nelly goes through and her determination! Cute story!
Ohhh, I can’t wait for the sequel to find out what Nelly O’Skelly does! Good job and good luck!
Hi, good luck everyone! Here is my Halloween story. Its 96 words. It’s entitled First Halloween. Hope you like it 🙂
Tom’s first time out, fear on his face,
His costume’s on and mask in place.
Ghosts and ghouls glide through the dark,
Werewolves howling in the park.
Mummies stumble, monsters creep,
Vampires wake up from their sleep.
Witches wailing, black cats howling,
Iron gates with gargoyles scowling.
Moonlight shines on skeleton bones,
Frankenstein just grunts and moans.
Don’t be scared, knock the door,
See the pumpkin on the floor.
Tom sings his song, he tells a joke,
He hides the candy in his cloak.
He visits houses one by one,
And finds that Halloween is fun!
Thanks for reading 🙂 Carol Jones
Too cute! Good luck with your entry!
Great sense of rhythm and you’ve created a wonderful Halloween mood!
Thanks Liz! (I love elephants by the way 😉 )
Cute poem! Good luck!
So sweet. I like how you included many Halloween creatures. Good luck!
Thanks Ashley – finally replied to you in the correct place 🙂
Cute Halloween story! Love all of the Halloween imagery! So glad that Tom was able to face his fears and have a fun Halloween!
Thanks Jill! I clicked on the wrong link – the previous comment was for Ashley above but I can’t seem to delete it – please ignore 🙂
Very cute and nice rhyme. Good luck!
Thanks Nancy 🙂
Hi Susanna, I wanted to see if I could delete my link and repost it sometime today? I messed up my blog and have a new link for the contest. If not, it’s no big deal, it still works for the judges.
Thank you, Lori
Lori Himmel 312.405.0511 lorihimmel.com youngwritersworkshop.co @lori_himmel * 2020 Honorable Mention for Let’s Take a Walk and The Very Haunted House * 2019 In Trees Tall and Green, rated a 1 at Rate Your Story * 2017 RMC-SCBWI Golden Pen Award Finalist for Waiting for Kai
Hi Lori – sure! No problem! I’ll go in and delete it when I have a sec and you can re-do it whenever you’re ready 😊
One Noisy Halloween
In the dead of night,
and old trees groan.
to parts unknown.
The wind breathes deep,
and grabs the leaves,
under a pale moon,
on this Hallows eve.
A lone wolf creeps,
down a dim-lit path.
His soul-shaking howl,
a sign of his wrath.
Rain plip-plops from the onyx sky,
and masks the snore,
of a bear nearby.
and thunder roars.
Then out from the shadows,
it crawls on fours.
It moans and climbs,
from six-feet deep.
With so much noise,
how can a skeleton,
get his sleep?
This is very clever idea!! I love All the sounds, and the despcription you used. I really enjoyed the line where the rain plip-plops. Well done!!
“Rain plip-plops from the onyx sky”–GORGEOUS turn of phrase.
Great description and build-up with the big reveal in the end. Well done! Good luck!
Cute and clever! Great sound descriptions! Love the ending!
You really mastered the atmosphere of your story. Hope the skeleton can get some sleep! Good job!
Polly’s Not-So-Perfect Potion
By: Susan Summers
Out thumped the potions book.
“This year, no witch for me.”
Polly’s cauldron waited by the fire as ingredients were collected.
“A skeleton, to shape the costume. No creepy mask for me. A caramel, for sweetness.
A feather, for a light personality, and licorice for flavor.”
She dropped each ingredient into the pot and stirred while whispering the spell.
Then, she drank it.
Polly raced to the mirror.
“What?! Fur! Did you put an ingredient in?” She glared at the cat.
“I wanted to be a princess, not a quokka!”
“They’re adorable. You’ll get lots of candy. You’re welcome.”
Very cute Suzanne! I love how creative your entries always are. Good luck!
So much to love about this story, Susan–the title, the unique ingredients in the potion, and the hilarious surprise ending! A quokka! Great job!
“Quokka” Love it!!! 🙂
Ha, ha, so funny! Love it, a complete picture in just a few lines! Good luck!
Quokka are so cute! I love that the cat messed up the potion!
😄. What are great ending and a surprising turn of events. Spunky cat. Good luck!
Adorable and creative Halloween story! I love the ingredients in Polly’s potion. Great ending!
Haha! Very unique working a quokka into a Halloween story! Good luck!
By Kathiann Weatherbee
Invitations arrived for a big masquerade.
No one was going; I won’t be dismayed
Wearing the best outfit you’ve ever seen
Arrived at the mansion on that Halloween
The ballroom looked creepy with candlelight glow
What’s under the masks we all wanted to know
As the night wore on the laughter increased.
The clock struck at midnight, all movement then ceased.
One at a time each guest took off his mask.
How is this possible? I couldn’t dare ask!
Nothing but skeletons stood in a trance.
Until one leaned over and asked me to dance!
This was fun. I could see this expanded into a book. Good luck!
Cute, creative, and easy to picture! I loved the ending! Nice!
by Ashlee Hashman
Barkley twirled in circles, twisting his long body into a donut-shaped tornado of fur and slobber.
His tail thump-thumped along with “Monster Mash.”
Today was his favorite day of the year.
Today was the day his mismatched ears and snaggle-toothed underbite didn’t make him feel like Frankenstein’s monster.
Ding dong. He sprung to the door, Superdog cape and mask securely in place.
“Trick or treat!” A skinny skeleton and pink-clad princess stood on the stoop.
Barkley howled a greeting.
Not even the creeping alley cat could ruin his night.
This day was made for ghostly guests and weird-looking weenies.
Ha! Weird-looking weenies. So glad you found your place, Barkley. Great job, Ashlee.
I love this! Good luck with your entry!
Thank you! Good luck to you as well!
The title is a perfect fit! Good luck! 🙂
Thanks! You too!
Great title and fun story – I particularly love ‘a donut-shaped tornado of fur and slobber.’ Glad Barkley had his day.
Totally rooting for Barkley…and understand why Halloween is his favorite day of the year. Terrific descriptions!
Thank you Deborah!
So cute! Love the title. Good luck!
Cute Halloween story! Love the Superdog cape and mask! Great title! Good luck!
TRICK OR TREAT? firstname.lastname@example.org
“Happy Halloween, skeleton. Ready for the evening?” Joe asked.
“October 31st just crept up on me. I hoped to gain some weight. This mask doesn’t keep me warm. I need some meat on my bones.”
“You know you are just wearing a costume, don’t you, Franky?”
“Oh, a Costume, yeah. Sure, Joe.”
“Come on, I’m not really a Goblin. I never eat humans. I love dogs and horses.”
“I don’t like dogs. They bury bones. “
“Look, Franky, you’re not a real skeleton. Let’s go.”
“I finally found my vampire fangs, Joe. Come on, it’s trick or treat time.”
My youngest refused to wear his costume because he saw clips of the movie, The Mask. I think he thought he wouldn’t be able to take it off. This story reminded me of that 😄. Good luck!
Great spooky story, Stephanie! Nice ending!
Loved your poem, Susanna! Thank you for doing these contests! Here’s my entry: (I did variations of the word creep (Creepers) and mask (Masking)
Skelly the Skeleton (WC 97)
By Michelle S. Kennedy
Skelly from Skellington
dines on Beef Wellington,
solely on Halloween night.
Covered in gelatin,
masking his skeleton,
Skelly cooks up his delight.
Buried bones hibernate.
Smells make them activate.
All rising up, taking flight.
Others might gawk at him,
tear him from limb to limb,
stealing his food just for spite.
Creepers haunt ghoulishly.
Skelly is coolishly
sneaking to stay out of sight.
lets him digest, you see.
Really, he’d rather not fight.
Skelly from Skellington
eats his Beef Wellington
savoring every last bite.
No room for dessert… but he might!
Filled to the brim with wonderful word choices! Really fun to read!
You had me at “Beef Wellington!” Skelly is one endearing foody. Well done;)
Aw! Thanks, Vashti!
I love your pitch perfect word choices, spectacular rhyme scheme and spot on meter, Michelle! Fantastic writing!
Thank you, Jill! Lots of revising on this one, but I’m happy with how it turned out!
This is great. So original and so many lovely word choices. The first verse is my fave – says so much about Skelly. Good luck!
Thank you, Laura!
Love the rhyming. Love beef wellington. I’m in!
Awesome vocab..activated all of my senses. (Would love to know what Skelly’s dessert would look like…probably not a Snickers..). Great story!
Thanks so much!
A skeleton who loves Beef Wellington, very creative premise! Super rhyming! Kept me reading from beginning to end, to see what the outcome was! Good luck!
Thanks so much for reading it! Glad you enjoyed it. 😀
Love the repeats of “Skelly from Skellington/eats his Beef Wellington” and the little twist of tension at the end.
This was the first story I clicked on, and I love it! Great word choices!
Aw yay! You just made my day!!! Thanks, Shelley!
Great job with the play on his name and his food of choice. A skeleton that cooks 😄. Good luck!
TRUDY’S TOOTHY HALLOWEEN
By Kelsey Gross
Tooth Fairy Trudy rubbed her hands together and grinned.
“It’s Halloween! Many toothy creatures will be out tonight!”
First she spotted a skeleton.
“Ooh! Magnificent molars!”
She flew closer…
Crunch, clack, its teeth GNASHED!
“EEEK!!” Trudy flitted away.
A vampire sauntered past.
“Ooh! Pointy ones!”
“Mmmm! Do fairies have…blood?” he asked.
“AAAHHH!” Trudy skittered backwards.
A werewolf creeped by.
“Ooh! Choice chompers!”
… the werewolf peeled off its mask!
Trudy slumped. It was just a boy.
He touched his tooth. “It’s wiggly!”
A princess handed him a candy apple. “Try this!”
He took a bite,
…and Trudy beamed.
Love how you blended Halloween and losing a tooth! The candy apple was brilliant:)
Very clever! Love that the tooth fairy was the star of this Halloween story! Good luck with your entry!
Thank you!! Good luck to you too!
Love this one! Great Job!
Cute story! 🙂
I bet the Tooth Fairy DOES get a lot work around Halloween! That was fun–thank you for sharing.
So creative! I like the idea of the tooth fairy seeing all the different types of teeth of the Halloween creatures. Fun ending! Good luck!
Love it, Kelsey! Trudy is an unique and charming main character. The ending is perfect!
These are so great! Here’s my try: Class Pet Trickery! by Mary Bleckwehl
At midnight on Halloween Eve, the dark heat ducts that Ricardo crept through felt greasy and steamy. Finally he was in his fourth grade classroom. Wiping his forehead with his red plaid shirtsleeve, Ricardo heard a squeaking sound. Maybe just Emmett, the class pet rat.
Climbing inside the skeleton piñata wasn’t easy. This will teach Dwight Atkins to stop bullying me, Ricardo thought, as he drifted off to sleep.
Thirteen hours later, Miss Carter’s room was buzzing with masked princesses, pirates, and ninjas. Suddenly Dwight’s piñata burst open raining candy and one very fat rat wearing a red plaid shirt.
Laughing at the creative image of someone crawling inside a pinata! 🙂
What s great twist ending! Good luck!
by ‘Boo Darkling’
Morty McCreak was a skeleton freak
who just didn’t dig darkness or doom.
The mere squeak of a rat or the flap of a bat
sent him clattering out of the room.
Halloween Balls made him put up his walls
and a creep-tastic mask wasn’t fun –
Trick or Treat was a strain, so he jumped on a plane
to go whiten his bones in the sun.
Morty was shocked, his bones pleasantly rocked,
all the beaches and streets were alive.
This ol’ Mexican rave brought some glitz to the grave,
Yep, this ‘Day of the Dead’ was his jive!
Excellent rhyming! The “whiten his bones in the sun” line made me laugh out loud.
Thanks for reading, Helen. It’s a silly image alright!
You’ve created such a great character and I love a good Day of the Dead story! Well done and so creative:)
Thanks – I love the Day of the Dead vibe too. So glam! 🙂
Great idea brilliantly executed, Roo! I love ‘whiten his bones in the sun’ and ‘brought some glitz to the grave’!
Aw, thanks for reading, Claire.
I love Morty McCreak and glad he found his vibe. So much lovely language – ‘glitz to the grave’ is my fave. Good luck!
Thanks, Laura. Have a great Halloween!
Roo, Loved this! So many great lines and the rhythm. Well done. Good luck! Rosanna
Thanks for reading and commenting, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
Boo, I love Morty and think he made the right choice to jet off to Mexico for a glitzy jive.
Well done Roo!
I love this! So fun.
Trick or Treat was a strain, so he jumped on a plane
to go whiten his bones in the sun.
Too funny 😂
Thanks, Corine! I’m glad Morty tickled your funny bone. 🙂
Love Morty’s character – so fun!
Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Deborah. Much appreciated.
Love it! Great way to incorporate Day of the Dead. Good luck!
Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
Great job! Your meter was spot on! Good luck with your entry!
Thanks, Michelle. I’ve been wrestling with the mysteries of meter recently, so I’m really glad you found it satisfying. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Very cute–I liked the “whiten his bones in the sun” as well.
Thanks very much for reading and commenting. I hope Morty raised a smile.
Hilarious Halloween hijinks! You’ve created such a vivid, indelible, and relatable character in Morty, which makes your clever and uplifting ending all the more satisfying. I love the wonderful contrast of Halloween horrors with the Day of the Dead vibe. Bone-us points for “creep-tastic.” Awesome title, too! @AnneLipton
Thank you, Anne. I’m very flattered you enjoyed it! A’ bone-us’ indeed 🙂
So creative! I like how you brought in Day of the Dead. “The mere squeak of a rat or the flap of a bat” is fun to say. Good job! Good luck!
Thanks for your kind words, Ashley!
Oops, I goofed and posted a link to my site and the story in the comments. Please remove the link to the site if that makes things easier for you. I just got so excited! I love this contest and reading these entries. 🙂
by Rebecca Woodall (@woodall_becky)
‘But why can’t we go trick or treating?’ moaned Phoebe, all dressed and ready to go in her skeleton onesie.
‘Because of the lockdown,’ said Mum, for the 100th time.
‘But it’s Halloween!’ Phoebe stomped her feet, and sulked on the sofa.
Phoebe went to investigate, creeping through the living room door.
‘Ah ha!’ she shouted but nobody was there.
‘BOO!’ A ghoulish figure jumped out from the shadows.
‘Argh!’ Phoebe screamed.
She could hear the muffled sound of giggling from behind the mask.
‘Happy Halloween!’ he laughed. ‘Come on, let’s go scare Mum!’
Lovely story and I’m glad that even though they couldn’t leave the house, they still had a fun Halloween. Good luck!
Thank you lovely. Wishing you luck too x
Cute story! 🙂
Thank you 😊
My oldest would enjoy this one. He likes scaring his brother. Good luck!
Aw thank you.
by Anne Lipton
My flesh and blood have ghosted me.
I cannot thrive alone.
When creatures great and small creep by,
I offer them a home.
My mask’s alive with beating wings.
Green vines adorn my gown.
The spiders spin a silken veil
beneath my leafy crown.
Phantom breezes shriek through me,
a banshee’s keening moans.
The din of bats and raven calls
lend dark, foreboding tones.
A family approaches me,
undaunted by my groans:
“I’ve never seen such character.”
“This house has lovely bones.”
They labor to restore my sheen
with skeleton intact,
but every single Halloween,
they add the creatures back!
I look forward to reading your contest submissions… your stories are always wonderful! This is beautiful and brilliant! Love the idea and all the imagery you create. Well done:)
Wow. Thank you, Vashti. I am truly moved by your kind words and enthusiasm for my work. @AnneLipton
You took a simple idea and created something very special here. The language, the imagery, the ending are all delightfully perfect, and your rhythm impeccable. Well done, my friend!
Thanks, Glenda! I’ve learned so much from you!
Wonderful! So creative. Loving the S sound throughout.
I agree with everything Vashti said. Your words are always an absolute treat and stand out from the crowd. Good luck with this stunning entry.
Thank you for such high praise. My writer’s heart is glowing. @AnneLipton
Wow! I am stunned by your description of a haunted house, Anne! Lovely language and a unique take on this year’s prompt. I love that it’s told from the house’s POV and the inclusion of the prose “lovely bones”. Best of luck in the contest!
Thanks, Jill! I’m glad—and grateful—that you’ve picked up so much of what I was trying to accomplish with this poem.
Oops! I meant the phrase lovely bones. 😮
This is lovely, you have a gift. There is so much to love. Your rhyme is spectacular, you create beautiful imagery, and that last line. Wonderful entry, such a treat!!
Thank you. I’m glad you gleaned so much from my poem—and that it went down a treat!
Beautifully written! I love the images you conjure up and the line ‘My mask’s alive with beating wings’!
Thank you, Claire. And from one poet to another—I worked especially hard to convey the liveliness of those wings in that line, so I’m chuffed to hear that it captured your attention.
Stunning portrayal of an abandoned house! I loved the spine tingling build up to finding out who the subject was.
Thanks so much, Heather. I loved the big reveal in your story, too!
This was SO good! Loved it being from such a different point-of-view & your phenomenal word choices.
Thank you! I am basking in the glow of “phenomenal.”
Wonderful language, rhythm, and tone you created throughout. Such a creative story. Good luck!
Thanks, Ashley! You too. I enjoyed your entry from A-Z. @AnneLipton
100-Word Count “Doin’ the Skeleton Dance” 10th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest! Submission: (99 Word Count) Picture Book – Storyteller Academy Student –
Creepy D’s – By Martha Holguin
Night must fall on Hallows EVE
Before MIDNIGHT they will CREEP
SKELETONS, GOBLINGS, GHOSTLY things
Scaring children in their SLEEP.
Creepy Dreams will haunt them
LINGERING, HOWLING, FRIGHTFUL things
Cover your HEAD, your TOES, your KNEES
Do not WAKE stay sound ASLEEP.
Devilish MASKED VILLAIN friends
LINGERING, LURKING, WICKED things
Monster Mummies in their DREAMS
FRIGHTENING them . . . to SMITHEREENS!
CREEPY D’s will come again
SPOOKY, FRIGHTFUL VILLAN friends
Lurking LOOKING DO NOT WAKE
For at MIDNIGHT they will FADE.
DARK and EERIE haunting places
LINGERING, GLOWING EVIL FACES
Luring children wanting sleep
Know it is only HALLOWEEN.
I just love this. It has such a creepy feel to it. Perfect for Halloween.
Clever structure and the use of caps that really brought this story alive. Well done! Good luck!
Trick or Treat
Who’s dancing down the street at night
This spooky Halloween?
The rattling sound she makes is like
A boney tambourine.
You might think she’s a little girl,
If you don’t get too near.
The dark night makes it look as though
There’s nothing there to fear.
She wears a mask, a sweet child’s face,
That covers up a grin
Of ivory teeth that clack inside
A skull that needs some skin.
So, if she creeps up to your house,
Don’t open up your door.
A skeleton’s shrieked, “Trick or Treat!”
Will stop your heart with horror.
Spooky! Love the third stanza.
Great suspense to build-up to the creepy ending. Good luck!
Such fun! Thanks for another wonderful contest, Susanna!
It’s Halloween night
with the moon on the rise.
Out come masked goblins,
ghouls, and ghosts to surprise.
One little skeleton
cowers with fright
inside his closet,
this holiday night.
Too scared to come out,
too scared to be seen
Mama pleads candy
while, sick, he turns green.
“They all will look!
They all will point!
And what if they laugh
at my tendonless joints?”
“Little Skellie,” says Mama,
“There’s no need to fear
for all those who love you
are gathered round here.”
Slowly Skellie creeps out
from shadow to light,
willing to come
though his complexion was white.
Adorable! Good luck with your entry!
Well done, Keely! I love the sweet emotion component. And I can imagine the art.
“tendonless joints”, great phrase. Cute story! Good luck!
ENTRY POSTED FOR CATHY
Skelly B. Skeleton
Cathy Chester email@example.com
Excited, I wait for one day each year,
when I know I’ll fit in without any fear.
I click when I walk; I clack under my mask.
Keeping myself tethered is often a task.
I stumble to each house yelling, “Trick or treats,”
alongside ghoulish ghosts in flowing white sheets.
We dare you to scare us on each Halloween,
with those creepy creatures that make us all scream!
The night is ended, though we all want to stay.
My one-day friends call, as each goes their way,
Don’t wait for Halloween, come play any day.
Our titles are close! Mine is called “Skelly the Skeleton” Nice job! The last line is sweet! Good luck with your entry!
Such a fun and engaging story!
Fun story! Good luck!
ENTRY POSTED FOR DIANA
When Skally nearly didn’t show his face – Diana Webb
Skallywag the skeleton had lost his mask and couldn’t go trick or treating without it. It wasnt under the pumpkin , behind the cobwebs , inside the creepy crawly nest.
‘You’d better help with the washing up instead’ said his mum.
Not a happy Skally he began handing her the plates cups and spooky spoons from their all night breakfast. And there it was. Stuck in the ghost rack. His mask!
Out of his skull with excitement Skally ran to join his friends. But where exactly would his mask go?
My kids can relate to losing stuff. Cute story! Good luck!
“Out of his skull” – hysterical!!
ENTRY POSTED FOR COURTNEY
Sammy Goes Home
By: Courtney Rubo
Sammy the skeleton waited in anticipation. Today was Halloween! All month, as he hung from the rack in Hector’s Halloween Emporium, he watched children pick out Frankenstein masks and Werewolf statues to decorate their homes.
“I hope someone chooses me,” said Sammy.
“Kids want creepy decorations,” said Peter the pumpkin, “Not some smiling skeleton.”
“I don’t want to be creepy,” admitted Sammy.
A shriek from down the aisle caught Sammy’s attention. A little girl clung to her dad.
“You pick whatever decoration you like,” said her dad.
She saw Sammy. A wide smile adorned his face. “That one!” she shouted.
What a creative POV! What a fun idea for a story. Good luck!
ENTRY POSTED FOR DONNA
by Donna Kurtz
“My Skeleton-Monster’s alive!” Doctor Frankenbeans cheers. “Say, ‘You-Are-My-Master.’”
“Rrrr. . . ”
“Not even close—try again.”
Skeleton-Monster smashes through the wall.
Fairie-Princess, wearing her sparkly silver-sequined mask, walks down the road.
“Totally-creepy look, guy—but your growl needs work.” Fairie-Princess takes Skeleton-Monster’s giant-sized boney hand. “Halloween party-time, Big Boy.”
At the party, Skeleton-Monster wins the—
—and Monster-Mash-Dance-Contest, whirling Fairie-Princess across the floor.
She giggles. “What fun, Strong-Silent-and-Scary! How do you feel?”
“GRRRRRRRR—RRRRRRRR—RRRRRRRR–RRREAT!”—roars Skeleton-Monster—“HAPPY HALLOWEEN!”
Sounds like a fun Halloween party and greeeaaat ending 😄.