The 2021 Halloweensie Contest WINNERS!!!

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Today’s perfect picture book is called Goosebumps.

Put a piece of pumpkin bread on a plate, pull up a pillow, and let’s peruse this perfect picture book together!


⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

On Halloween, Gertie McCrackin fluffed up the straw in her broom tail.

“Let’s go, Blinx,” she cackled to her cat. “We’re going to give those kiddies goosebumps tonight!”

Blinx blinked. He didn’t care what they did as long as they went F A S T while they were doing it.

Gertie mounted her broom, adjusted her bulging panniers, and set Blinx up behind her.

“Away we go!” shrieked Gertie. “AH-HAHAHAHAHA!”

Blinx’s yellow eyes glowed in the dark as they took off into the night.

The broomstick zigged and zagged, zipped and zoomed.

The rushing wind blew Blinx’s fur flat, made his eyes squint, and threatened to blow him off the broomstick.

Was there anything better than speed?

They tore across the sky, emptying the panniers onto the kids below – handfuls (and pawfuls) of dust that Gertie’s magic turned to white crystals in the air.

“Ooh, goody!” the kids crowed. “It’s snowing!”

They danced with delight.

Maybe there was one thing better than speed. . . or at least as good as.

“I told you we’d give them goosebumps,” cackled Gertie.

Blinx had goosebumps, too!

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Ah, wasn’t that a perfect picture book?

Alrighty, then.

Thanks for stopping by.

Enjoy your Friday.

Rest up.

Eat some bonbons.

Have a lovely weekend!

Oh, wait!

You guys have got to keep me in line!

I’m not doing Perfect Picture Book Friday today!

So just forget all that stuff above because today is all about. . .

the 2021 11th Annual Pretty Much World Famous Halloweensie Contest WINNERS!

As you are all aware by now, we had an amazing turnout for Halloweensie 2021 – 294!!! entries!

I was thrilled beyond measure to see so many wonderful stories and meet so many new writers!  And I don’t know about you guys, but for me Halloween is all the better for 294 fabulous stories to read by jack -o’ – lantern light! 😊☢️

With large entry numbers come hard choices, though.  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 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-around well-written stories we loved that just missed the finals for one small reason or another!)

Heather Ferranti Kinser for Mean Halloween

Emily Durant for A Helpful Ghost

Barbara Kimmel for The Perfect Pumpkin

Ellen Seal for Halloween Helpers

Kathleen Lowry for Teal Halloween

Molly Ippolito for Itsy B. Spider

Ann Grilli for Tricky Treat

Melissa-Jane Nguyen for Halloween Bites

Pat Finnegan for Gotcha!

2. For Great Use of Language: (not already in the finals)

Alicia Meyers for How To Steal A Halloween Treat

Amy Leskowski for Warning: May Contain Sugar (great tongue twister!)

Jamie Donahoe for My Word – It’s Halloween! (great alliteration)

3. For Spookiest/Creepy Entry: (not already in the finals)

Denise Seidman for Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Glenda Roberson for The Mansion On Maple

Laura Howard for This Pumpkin’s Not For Picking

4. For Excellent Story Telling From Young Writers!

Ames Jegan (age 11) for Capture The Goodies On Halloween

5. For Great Humor: (not already in the finals)

Krista Harrington for The Greatest Night Of The Year

Barbara DiMarco for Ogre’s Halloween

Nancy Derey Riley for Disguise Surprise

6. For Entries That Were Clever & Fun (not already in the finals)

Susan Summers for A Witchy Potion

Patricia Nozell for Tricky Treat

Bonnie Kelso for All Hallows Eve At The Roller Rink

Alexa Tuttle for You Are What You Eat

Samantha Sinclair for The After Party

7. For Poignant Entries (not already in the finals)

JC Kelly for Can We Please Skip The Costumes?

Corine  Timmer for Rainbow  Bridge

Melissa Miles for Home For Halloween

8. For Nice Message (not already in the finals)

Amy Reitz for Post Halloween Goals

David McMullin for Enough

9. For Great Read For Younger Readers: (not already in the finals)

Kathy Raggio for Pumpkin Train

10. For Unique Concept

Sharon McCarthy for Thank You, Trick-or-Treaters! For Protecting Your Mother

11. For Multiple Well-Written Entries

Sue Ko for It’s Dark In Here, Eyelashes, & Fall

Congratulations to all of you for fantastic elements of your stories!  You may all email me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com or use the handy contact form in the menu bar above, subject line Prize Winner to collect your prize, which is (and I have to be cryptic here because when I said it right out last year I got a LO-HO-HOT! of spam email!) a gift of a number of dollars that is between 4 and 6, for a large and well-known online store that begins with A, which will be presented to you in an email 😊 You can spend it on one of the many Kindle choices listed in previous contests here, or add it to your account for a gift for yourself or someone else, or whatever else you might choose to do! In addition, you will receive a beautiful badge of achievement that you may display on your blog or print out and frame or turn into a flag to carry with you everywhere and wave out the window of your hybrid pumpkin 😊

A word about the prizes before I announce the winners.

We have 13 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 WINNERS OF THE 2021 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…

Mary Catherine Amadu


Trick-or-Treat Night Animals!: A Holloween Story

Congratulations, Mary!

In Second Place,

Jen MacGregor


Santa’s Halloween

Congratulations, Jen! You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Mary chooses!

In Third Place,

Donna Kurtz
Bunny’s Bored!

Congratulations, Donna! You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Mary and Jen choose!

In Fourth Place,

Ingrid Boydston
A Few Of The Scariest Things: A Parody to the tune of My Favorite Things

Congratulations, Ingrid! You get to pick a prize after Mary, Jen, and Donna.

In Fifth Place,

Scott Kinder
Jellyfish George’s Halloween

Congratulations, Scott! You get to pick your prize after Mary, Jen, Donna, and Ingrid.

In Sixth Place,

Colleen Murphy
How Hannah Saved Halloween

Congratulations, Colleen! You get to pick your prize after Mary, Jen, Donna, Ingrid, and Scott!

In Seventh Place,

Kaye Wright
Astronaut Aidan

Congratulations, Kaye! You get to pick your prize after Colleen!

In Eighth Place,

Kristen Littlefield
It’s Halloween In Toothytown

Congratulations, Kristen! You get to pick your prize after Kaye!

In Ninth Place,

Reed Hilton-Eddy
My Last Trick-or-Treat

Congratulations, Reed!  You get to pick a prize after Kristen…!

In Tenth Place

Kari Ann Gonzalez
Kit’s Costume

Congratulations, Kari Ann!  You get to prize pick after Reed!    

In Eleventh Place

Holly Vagley
Pumpkin’s Halloween

Congratulations, Holly!  You get to pick a prize after Kari Ann.    

In Twelfth Place

Jennifer Kaap
The Witch’s Mistake

Congratulations, Jennifer! You get to pick your prize after Holly!

In Thirteenth Place

Sue Lancaster
The Haunted House High Up On The Hill

Congratulations, Sue! You get to pick your prize after Jennifer!

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 or use the handy contact form in the menu above with the subject heading Prize Winner so we can work out details for you to receive your prizes!  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 😊  If you would like a beautiful badge to celebrate your accomplishment, you are most welcome to one! Since everyone’s prize depends on everyone else’s choices, please get in touch as soon as you can.

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 truckload of  leftover fun-sized chocolate. . . if there is any 😊

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…

Assuming you guys are up for it – and you’d better let me know in the comments!!! – the 11th Annual Holiday Writing Contest will be coming up sometime in the neighborhood of December 5 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 a few days before Thanksgiving, good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise! 😊 although yikes that’s just around the corner!) so you all have time to work on your stories!  But please let me know if you feel like it’s too much and you’d rather not do it!

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

The Prizes:  SO AMAZING! What a generous community we have to donate so much awesomeness!!! 😊

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique by Dawn Young, author of THE NIGHT BAAFORE CHRISTMAS (WorthyKids, 2019), COUNTING ELEPHANTS (Running Press Kids, 2020), THE NIGHT BAAFORE EASTER (WorthyKids, 2021), THE NIGHT BAAFORE THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL (WorthyKids, 2021), and the brand new ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS (WorthyKids, October 19, 2021)!

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⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (nonrhyming) by Janie Reinart, author of WHEN WATER MAKES MUD: A STORY OF REFUGEE CHILDREN (Blue Whale Press, 2021)

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⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (biography) by Lindsey McDivitt, author of NATURE’S FRIEND: THE GWEN FROSTIC STORY (Sleeping Bear Press, 2018), TRUTH AND HONOR: THE PRESIDENT FORD STORY (Sleeping Bear Press, 2020), and A PLAN FOR THE PEOPLE: NELSON MANDELA’S HOPE FOR HIS NATION (Eerdman’s Books For Young Readers, 2021)

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⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (rhyming or any) or First 10 Pages of a longer MS (winner’s choice) by Kenda Henthorn, author of the forthcoming BAA, BAA TAP SHEEP (Sleeping Bear Press, April 15, 2022)

Kenda works in the aviation industry now so it’s no surprise that her writing inspirations and aspirations are sky-high, too.  She resides in Oklahoma and when the winds aren’t sweepin’ down the plains, Kenda enjoys acting, flying, kayaking and riding horses or her motorcycle.  (Vroom-vroom!)She has served as a Regional Coordinator for the Oklahoma SCBWI and a Best in Rhyme Award committee member and judge.

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⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (rhyming or lyrical) by Randi Sonenshine, author of THE NEST THAT WREN BUILT (Candlewick March 2020) and the forthcoming THE LODGE THAT BEAVER BUILT (Candlewick Fall 2022)

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⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique by Danielle Dufayet, author of YOU ARE YOUR STRONG (Magination Press, March 2019) and FANTASTIC YOU (Magination Press, September 2019)

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⭐️ Storyboard Notebook – a great way to draft your picture books! PLUS a deck of What’s The Story Cards to inspire the drafts! PLUS the Making Picture Book Magic Self Study Course to help you craft your draft!

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⭐️ Personalized signed copy of ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS by Dawn Young PLUS your choice of one of the writing craft books listed below!

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⭐️ Personalized signed copy of BRANCHES OF HOPE: The 9/11 Survivor Tree by Ann Magee PLUS your choice of one of the writing craft books listed below!

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⭐️ Personalized signed copy of MIMIC MAKERS: Biomimicry Inventors Inspired by Nature by Kristen Nordstrom PLUS your choice of one of the writing craft books listed below!

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⭐️ Personalized signed copy of A PLAN FOR THE PEOPLE: Nelson Mandela’s Hope for His Nation by Lindsey McDivitt PLUS your choice of one of the writing craft books listed below!

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⭐️ Personalized signed copy of THE NEST THAT WREN BUILT by Randi Sonenshine PLUS your choice of one of the writing craft books listed below!

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⭐️ Personalized signed copy of 13 WAYS TO EAT A FLY by Sue Heavenrich PLUS your choice of one of the writing craft books listed below!

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⭐️ Winners of the 6 signed picture books above may also receive their choice of any one of the following writing craft books to go along with their picture book:

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Writing Picture Books Revised and Expanded Edition: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication by Ann Whitford Paul
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Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers by Mary Kole
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The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories For Children by Nancy Lamb
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Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career by Nancy I. Sanders
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Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Beginning Readers and Chapter Books by Nancy I. Sanders
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Making a Living Writing Books for Kids: Tips, Techniques, and Tales from a Working Children’s Author by Laura Purdie Salas

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 birthday, 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 and library visits, and supporting them in any other way you can dream up! 😊

28 thoughts on “The 2021 Halloweensie Contest WINNERS!!!

  1. Corine Timmer says:

    Congratulations to Mary Catherine Amadu and the other winners. Thanks, judges, for the honorable mention in the Poignant Entries section. I’m glad my story resonated. Yay for Halloweensie!!

  2. Jamie Donahoe says:

    Such a splendid surprise to find myself with an Honourable Mention (for alliteration no less) – thank you judges, and congratulations to all the winners and to those who put themselves out there by entering.

    And yes, I am revved and ready to write for a Holiday contest!

  3. Beth Stilborn says:

    Congratulations to all the winners and honorable mentioners! And you betcha I’m eager for a Holiday contest. Bring it on!

  4. ptnozell says:

    Congratulations to all of the winners. Thanks for the Honorable Mention in the Entries that were Clever & Fun category. And a huge thank you to Susanna, the judges, and the prize donors. I’m sharpening my pencil for the Holiday Writing Contest!

  5. Nancy Riley says:

    Congratulations to all the winners! Thanks for the Honorable Mention in the humor category. Thanks to all the prize donors and judges. Thanks to everyone who read the entries and voted. Yes to the Holiday contest. And most of all THANK YOU Susanna for all you do to encourage children’s writers!

  6. melissamiles1 says:

    Congrats to all the winners, and thank you so much for the honorable mention! We’re definitely ready for the Holiday Contest! Thanks for all you do!

  7. writestuff99 says:

    Thank you, Susanna for organizing these contests. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy participating. Congrats to all the winners, and to everyone who participated. It is hugely enjoyable and helpful to be exposed to such creativity. And thank you for everyone who comments on the stories, the constructive comments are so encouraging.

  8. susaninez0905 says:

    As always, this was loads of fun. Reading such creative entries was amazing. Congratulations to the winners and to all that put in an entry! And, last but not least, thanks to Susannah and her team for making this a wonderful event, as always. Looking forward to the holiday one! 🙂

  9. ingridboydston says:

    🧡 What a thrill! Thank you Susanna and Company! I’m so excited to have placed this year! I will do my darndest to get it together for the Holiday Contest but if I don’t I rarely miss Valentiny Time! Congratulations and thank you to everyone. I LOVED reading the stories and appreciated the many kind comments on mine. God bless! 🧡

  10. sharonmariemccarthy says:

    Such a amazing and fun opportunity! Can’t thank Susanna enough for organizing this giant shabang! I so look forward to doing the holiday contest. So encouraged by all the wonderful writers out there. Blessings to all in this holiday season.

  11. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    Congrats to all the winners and cheers to their fabulous stories! Thanks, Susanna, to you and your awesome judges and to those who donated prizes. Y’all are amazing and so generous. I am too overwhelmed with life and work to write a holiday story, but I’m sure there are many many many others who will love to take part. I’ll just sit on the sidelines, read entries when I can, and cheer you all on.

  12. Ann Grilli says:

    Congratulations to all the winners and everyone who put their work out there. I’m honored to receive an honorable mention in the Competition as a Whole category. I loved reading the clever, funny, and poignant stories and look forward to participating in the next contest. Thank you, Susanna, judges, and prize donors. And YES to a Holiday contest!

  13. marty bellis says:

    Congrats to all the winners. Thanks, Susanna and judges and prize givers for another wonderful Halloweensie contest. It’s always fun, challenging and a delight to read everyone’s entries.
    Yes, to the Holiday contest. It’s a hectic time of year, but if you can do it, Susanna, we ought to be able to!

  14. seschipper says:

    Congratulations to all! And a huge thanks to Susanna and all of her assistants and donors!
    The “holidaze” are always hectic, but why not add a Holiday Writing Contest to the merry mix!!!!

  15. viviankirkfield says:

    Congratulations to the winners, honorable mentions, and all the participants who bravely poured their hearts and words on the page. And thank you to the prize donors…and especially to our dear Susanna and her hard-working judges! Well done, everyone!

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