The 12th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!

Hi Everyone. Posting of finalists is delayed. I’m not exactly sure when they’ll be up, but it will be as soon as possible. Likely another week.

Eye of newt and dragon fang! It’s time for . . .

The 12th Annual Halloweensie Writing 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 word count) using the words slither, treat, and scare.

  • Your story can be poetry or prose, scary, funny, sweet, or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words. Get it? Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 😊
  • You can go under the word count but not over!
  • Title is not included in the word count.
  • You may use the words in any form i.e. slithery (yes, it’s a word, we looked it up 😊), treated, scary, etc, etc, whathaveyou 😊
  • You are welcome to enter more than one entry – just remember you’ll be competing against yourself 😊
  • No illustration notes please!

And yes, I know 100 words is short, but that’s part of the fun and the challenge!

POST: your story in the comment section of the Official Contest Post (that’s this one!)( between Right NOW this very second! and 11:59PM Eastern Monday October 31st (So you have 3 full days to post – today, tomorrow, and Monday.)

  • For those of you who would also like to post on your blogs, please feel free to do so! You are welcome to include the link to your blog with your entry in the comment section of the Official Contest Post so that people can come visit your blog, but all entries must be posted in the comment section of THIS Post between right now and Monday October 31st at 11:59PM Eastern.
  • If you have difficulty posting your entry to the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me and I’ll post it for you! [susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com Please place your entry in the body of the email including your title, byline (that means who the story is by – you! – so for example, By Jane Doe) and word count at the top NO ATTACHMENTS! and please do not submit any entries before the official opening of the contest at 12:01 AM Saturday October 29th. They will not be accepted.
  • I know how hard you all work on your entries, and how anxious you are to get them posted, but please try to be a little patient if your entry doesn’t show up immediately. Many comments have to be manually approved, and it sometimes takes me a little while to post entries that come in by email. I promise I will get to everything as soon as I can. I try never to leave my desk during contests, but sometimes it’s unavoidable 😊

THE JUDGING: over the following days, my devoted assistants and I will read and re-read and narrow down the entries to a finalist field of about 12 which will be posted here for you to vote on I hope by Saturday November 5th (though if the judging takes longer than expected it might be a little later – we will do our best! But fair warning I have two school visits that week and a long drive Friday.) The winners will be announced Tuesday November 8th (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. Use of all 3 required words and whether you came it at 100 words or less.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. Quality of Writing: check your spelling, grammar, punctuation etc.  If you’re going to rhyme, give us your best 😊  Use and flow of language, correctness of mechanics, excellence of rhyme and meter if you use it, PROOFREADING!
  • 6. Originality and creativity – because that is often what sets one story above another.
  • 7. How well you followed the Submission Guidelines – agents and editors expect professionalism. This is a chance to practice making sure you read and follow specified guidelines. If you don’t follow agent and editor submission guidelines, they won’t even read your submission.

THE PRIZES: So amazing! What wonderful, generous people we have in our kidlit community! Just wait til you see what you can win!

⭐️ Rhyme & Meter Self Study Course – Renee LaTulippe Renée M. LaTulippe is the author of The Crab Ballet (Cameron Kids/Abrams, 2022) and Limelight: Theater Poems to Perform (Charlesbridge, 2024) and has poems published in many anthologies including No World Too BigNight WishesSchool People, National Geographic’s The Poetry of USOne Minute Till BedtimePoems Are TeachersThankU: Poems of Gratitude, and A World Full of Poems.

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (Rhyming or Non-rhyming, Fiction or Nonfiction) with written feedback AND a 30-minute Zoom Chat with children’s author Vivian Kirkfield, author of PIPPA’S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN (Pomegranate, 2019), MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE (Little Bee Books, 2020), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES (Clarion Books, 2021), and SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING (MoneyPenny Press Ltd, 2010)

⭐️ 30 Minute Zoom Ask Me Anything with Rosie Pova author of IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU (Spork, April 2017), SARAH’S SONG (Spork, September 2017), SUNDAY RAIN (Lantana Publishing, March 2021), THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE: A STORY ABOUT SUCCESS (Yehoo Press, May 2022), and for Middle Grade readers, HAILEY QUEEN PRANKING MAKES PERFECT: THE ALIEN ENCOUNTER (Spork, April 2017) Rosie does a lot of school visits and presentations, should that happen to be of interest for your Ask Me Anything.

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (rhyming preferred) with Andrea Denish, author of EVERYONE LOVES A PARADE (Astra Young Readers, March 2020), and THE WAY WE SAY HELLO forthcoming from Starry Forest Books February 7, 2023

⭐️ Picture Book Critique (non-rhyming) with Becky Scharnhorst, author of MY SCHOOL STINKS! (Flamingo Books, July 2021) and THIS FIELD TRIP STINKS! (Flamingo Books, August 2022)

⭐️ Connecting With School Librarians! Fabulous Opportunity for published or soon to be published authors! Winner’s Choice of either a Zoom or phone chat about how to connect with school librarians and get their ear or an Ask Me Anything Zoom or phone chat about K-8th grade author visits from a librarian’s POV from Kathy Halsey. Kathy Halsey is Storyteller Academy’s Community Manager and Ambassador. She enjoys writing picture books, humor, and nonfiction. Kathy’s active in SCBWI and blogs with other kid lit writers on the GROG. She serves on the Choose to Read Ohio Advisory Council and speaks at educational and literary conferences. Kathy’s a former K-12 school librarian and children’s bookseller. She writes monthly author studies for the Reading for Research Month along with Keila Dawson.

Writer, librarian, bookseller, blogger Kathy Halsey

⭐️ 30 Minute Ask Me Anything Zoom Chat (anything relating to writing/publishing) with Penny Parker Klostermann, talented author of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT (Random House 2015) and A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE (Random House 2017) as well as the forthcoming SPIDER LADY: Nan Songer and Her Arachnid WWII Army (Astra/Calkins Creek 2025) and another as yet unannounced 😊

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (Rhyming) PLUS Zoom Chat from developmental editor Lou Piccolo! Lou studied English Literature, creative writing and teaching at university in South Africa. After working as an EFL teacher in France for twenty years, she studied proofreading and editing before becoming a developmental editor of children’s and young adult’s literature for independent authors. She is a graduate of Renee LaTulippe’s Lyrical Language Lab – Punching Up Prose With Poetry course and Making Picture Book Magic, the in-house writer for Editions Entrefilet’s language-learning magazine ‘Go English Kids’ for children of 8-12 in France, and a traditionally published author of MG and YA fiction with Burlington Books.

Developmental Editor, Lou Piccolo

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique PLUS Zoom Chat with Ellen Leventhal! Ellen is the author of DON’T EAT THE BLUEBONNETS (Spork, 2017), LOLA CAN’T LEAP (Spork, 2018), HAYFEST: A HOLIDAY QUEST (ABCs Press, 2010), and A FLOOD OF KINDNESS (WorthyKids, 2021)

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (rhyming or non-rhyming) with Kelly Conroy whose poems have been published in 5 anthologies (10.10, wee words for wee ones, October 2021; BETTER THAN STARBUCKS, January 2022; THINGS WE EAT, Pomelo Books, March 2022; THINGS WE FEEL, Pomelo Books, July 2022; WHAT IS A FRIEND, Pomelo Books, October 2022) and also the author of a rhyming board book due out in 2025.

⭐️ 30 Minute Picture Book Zoom Critique Session with Lynne Marie

Lynne Marie is the accomplished author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten – art by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic 2011), Hedgehog’s 100th Day of School – art by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play — art by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares — art by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling 2019 and Scholastic 2019),  Let’s Eat! Mealtime Around the World — art by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books 2019) and The Three Little Pigs And The Rocket Project — art by Wendy Fedan (Mac and Cheese Press 2022) and American Pie — art by Dea Lenihan (Dancing Flamingo Press, April 12, 2022)

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (Rhyming or Non-rhyming, Fiction or Nonfiction) with a recording of first read-through by children’s author and poet Sarah Meade, contributor to HOP TO IT: POEMS TO GET YOU MOVING (Pomelo Books, 2020!)

⭐️ 20 Minute Zoom Ask Me Anything with Darshana Khiani, author of HOW TO WEAR A SARI (Versify, June 2021), I’M AN AMERICAN (Viking Books for Young Readers, May 2023), and THE BOYS OF KOH PANYEE (coming Fall 2023)

⭐️ Rate Your Story Speed Pass from Lynne Marie

And maybe I’ll have some extra picture books to add in here and there to sweeten the pie. . . 😊

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, recommending their books for school and library purchases, and supporting them in any other way you can dream up! 😊

Happy Writing! Happy Reading! And Happy Halloween!

For those of you having trouble commenting, I apologize for the fact that my site is apparently very temperamental! I can suggest the following: if you’re trying to post comments from a phone or tablet, try a computer – sometimes it works better than way. Chrome seems to work better with this site than some of the other browsers, although one dedicated individual, determined to be able to comment, has reported that she finally managed with Microsoft Edge. Thank you for trying – it’s so important for all of you to get to hear from each other!

Now, let the Halloweensie begin!

The 239 entries listed below are linked to where they appear in the comments so you can click on the titles and get right to them! (Assuming WordPress cooperates . . . fingers crossed!) Anyone who feels kind can start at the bottom of the list so those entries get some comments too! 🎃 😊

  1. Apparition Preparation For A Scary Halloween – Royal Baysinger
  2. Attack Of The Zornaks – Royal Baysinger
  3. Down In the Halloween Cave – Royal Baysinger
  4. Sisters – Sara Kruger
  5. Halloween Nightmare – Helen Lai
  6. The Follower – Marla Yablon
  7. A Frightfully Fun Time – Susan E. Schipper
  8. The Halloween Dream Team – Jenna Elyse Johnson
  9. Skeleton Sam Settles The Score – Jennifer Cowan
  10. Slug Slime – Vashti Verbowski
  11. Ghost Recipes – Julia Pierre Hammond
  12. Rainforest Halloween – Heather Kinser
  13. On Snail-O-Ween – Heather Kinser
  14. The Frightful Fugitive – Anne Lipton
  15. Little Witchy – Elizabeth Myer zu Heringdorf
  16. Get Your Glow On – Corine Timmer
  17. Sally The Slug Has A Sweet Tooth – Eleanor Ann Peterson
  18. In The Middle Of A Snack – Bridget Magee
  19. Coming Around – Emily Durant
  20. Piper’s Pickle – Colleen Murphy
  21. Safe From Scares – Sarah Meade
  22. Claudia Maude Clickerticker’s Costume Shop – Sarah Meade
  23. What Do Witches Eat? – Kelly Clasen
  24. Ghouldilocks And The Three Shares – Claire Blumenfeld
  25. Closer – Reed Hilton-Eddy
  26. SSSSSScary – Jen Subra
  27. A Shady Halloween – Jennifer Lowe
  28. Help! – Elizabeth James
  29. Arabella’s Halloween Treat – Colleen Fogarty
  30. Trick Or Treat? – Corine Timmer
  31. The Coolest Halloween Costume – Carmen Castillo Gilbert
  32. Green Goulash Stew – Claudine Pullen
  33. The House With The Good Candy – Vanessa Konoval
  34. The House Creatures’ Halloween – Lauri Meyers
  35. When Good Luck Struck – Molly Ippolito
  36. The Haunted House Halloween Challenge – Marty Bellis
  37. Demon On The Line – Laura Polasek
  38. The Spooky Halloween Parade – Janet Krauthamer
  39. Mrs. Cleary’s Cats – Susan Eyerman
  40. A Halloween Twist – Cheryl Simon
  41. Wilhelmina The Witch – Ashlee MacCallum
  42. Halloween Hater – Blaire Moore
  43. The Halloween Bake-Off – Rose Cappelli
  44. Trick-Or-Treat, Shoes To Eat – Ashley Sierra
  45. Tricks Before Treats – Danielle S. Hammelef
  46. Happy Halloween – Stephanie R. Mena
  47. A Batty Halloween – Melissa Chupp
  48. Who Whispers In The Dark? – Erika Romero
  49. Interview With The Vampire – Helen Lai
  50. Slug Life – Kim Wagner Nolan
  51. Sapling’s Halloween – Lori Sheroan
  52. Nothing Scared Alicia Bones – Christine Evans
  53. The Mask – Su Ko
  55. Going As Myself – Marianna Sacra
  56. Halloween Snack – Debra Daugherty
  57. Halloween-ing – Lori Himmel
  58. Something Wriggling This Way Comes – Amy Chini
  59. Edgar Allen Crow – Kathleen Jacobs
  60. Queen Slug’s Halloween – Kelsey E. Gross
  61. Pull Of The Moon – Darla Christie
  62. There’s One In Every Class – Linda Staszak
  63. Snollooween – Katie McEnaney
  64. A (little) STEM Halloween – Jilanne Hoffman
  65. Trick For Treat – Linda Starszak
  66. Mattie, The Scaredy Tabby Cat – Janet Parkinson Bryce
  67. Nothing Scares Me – Karen Condit
  68. ‘Twas Halloween Night – Sharon Coffey
  69. A Hotdog Halloween Hullabaloo – Sharon Coffey
  70. Their Trick, My Treat – Carol Van Gorp
  71. Interview With The Vampire – Helen Lai
  72. Halloween Night Light – Daniella Kaufman
  73. Do Goblins Gobble? – Sally Yorke-Viney
  74. Witchy-licious Stew – Charlotte Dixon
  75. The Ghouliest Ghouls – Marta Cutler
  76. The Scariest Bear – Marta Cutler
  77. Halloween Is Different This Year – S.S. Lee
  78. The Rattlesloth – Russell Wolff
  79. The Eyes Have It – Marta Cutler
  80. A Scare Affair – Lori C. Evans
  81. Halloween Haul – Stephanie Maksymiw
  82. Halloween Is Magic – Kristen Littlefield
  83. Command Performance – Jamie Donahoe
  84. Zombie In The House – Isabel Rodriguez
  85. A Wise Disguise – Jill Purtee
  86. Truck-Or-Treat – Mia Geiger
  87. The Halloween Dare – Marty Findley
  88. Witch’s Brew – Marty Findley
  89. A Halloween Tail – Katie Lee Reinert
  90. Creepy People – Sharon McCarthy
  91. Happy Halloween – Elaine D’Alessandro
  92. Scared Sssssilly – Julie Lerczak
  93. A Spooky House – Gail Hartman
  94. A Halloween Smile – Tonnye Fletcher
  95. A Scary Dare – Mona Pease
  96. Stop Your Bellyaching Soup, A Jump Rope Song – Debbie Meneses
  97. A Spell Of Transformation – Meagan T. Gentry
  98. First Flight – Paul Kurtz
  99. I Scare You, You Scare Me – Paul Kurtz
  100. Spiders vs. Snakes – Linda Schueler
  101. Pot Of The Witch – Reed Ambrose
  102. Snake In The Grass – Judy Sobanski
  103. Beware Or Be Scared – Norah Colvin
  104. Bat’s First Halloween – no author listed
  105. Children Of The Bog – Melissa Miles
  106. In Through My Window – Eric Sondergeld
  107. A Squishy Scare – Stephanie Henson
  108. The Last House – Janet Smart
  109. Jack-O-Lantern – Darcee A. Freier
  110. Beak-A-Boo! – Jill Lambert
  111. Jackie Saves Halloween – Brittany Richman
  112. The Treat – S. E. Cottrill
  113. Little Vampire’s First Halloween – Sharon Dalgleish
  114. Franny Fruit Bat’s Friendly Halloween – Amy LaMae Brewer
  115. Chicken’s First Halloween – Emma Hay
  116. Moldy Mayhem – Sue Lancaster
  117. Sea Monster – Patricia Nozell
  118. A Halloween Lullaby – Brigid Finucane
  119. Tricky Treats – Lisa Lowe Stauffer
  120. KA-RUNCH! – Donna Kurtz
  121. Scary-Fairy – Donna Kurtz
  122. Halloween Hop – Carole Gerber
  123. Halloween Treat – Krista Legge
  124. Sara’s Hairy Halloween – Jesse Anna Bornemann
  125. Scary Goat Scam – Elenore Byrne
  126. Goulentine – Michelle S. Kennedy
  127. My Teacher Is A Creature – Mary Ann Cortez
  128. The Haunted House – Karen Morgan
  129. Trick or Treat: A Forest Halloween – Sarah Marhevsky
  130. Shadows Come Crawling – Marlee Fuller-Morris
  131. Slithering Snake – Deborah Hunt
  132. Jack-oh-no! – Pollu Mendoza
  133. Jack’s Lament – Steve Jankousky
  134. Sense The Way – Sarah Hetu
  135. Slither and Hiss: Trick or Treat? – Cathrene Youngquist
  136. Pumpkin Jack – Jennifer Weingardt
  137. The Peanut Butter Cup Song – Hannah Roy LaGrone
  138. Gregory’s First Halloween – Morgan Lau
  139. Scary Treats – Ken Major
  140. Super Scary Sausages – Chris James
  141. Midnight Snack – Deborah Foster
  142. How To Trick-or-Treat If You’re A Snake – Abigail Mumford
  143. Scarecrows Of Halloween – Helen Ishmurzin
  144. Sneaky Snake – Jan Suhr
  145. Who’s There? – Dawn Renee Young
  146. Space Rangers And Skeletons – Cynthia Mackey
  147. A Halloween For Willard – Krista Harrington
  148. On Halloween Night – Amanda Flinn
  149. Early Worm’s Halloween Birthday Wish – Curtis King
  150. Sweetie The Parrot – Barbara DiMarco
  151. The Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest – Laura Straut
  152. Boo – Jean Martin
  153. Pete The Smallest Pumpkin – Tiffany Hanson
  154. Candy Corn’s Revenge – Tiffany Hanson
  155. A Martian’s Halloween – Angela Calabrese
  156. Candy Monster – Patricia MacMillan
  157. Igor’s First Halloween – Danna Zeiger
  158. You Can’t Scare Me – Danna Zeiger
  159. Pumpkin, Skeleton, Wolverine – Brenna Jeanneret
  160. Tricky Treats – Ashley Sutphen Delaney
  161. Little Sister Saves The Night – Laurie Kaiser
  162. The Sweetest Treat – Christina Shawn
  163. All Hallows’ Eve – Sasha Sirisena-Green
  164. Pumpkin Cat’s Turn – Bru Benson
  165. Frankenslug – Ryann Jones
  166. The Costume – Nina Nolan
  167. The Best Halloween Ever – Dianne Borowski
  168. Tricked – Geraldine V. Oades-Sese
  169. Trista’s Treat Or Trick? – Krissy Massey
  170. The Scariest Costume Of All – Abby N. Wooldridge
  171. Halloween is the BEST, but. . . – Andi Chitty
  172. It’s A Tricky Afterlife – Katie Schwartz
  173. Spider’s Halloween – Cassy Clarcq
  174. Slimon’s Halloween – Imelda Taylor
  175. The Zombie Flop – Liz Kehrli
  176. Melanie Monster – Lindsey LeBlanc
  177. Switch Witch Swap – Julie Fruitticher Schroeder
  178. S-S-Selma – Nancy Forbis-Stokes
  179. A Halloween Adventure – Gregory E. Bray
  180. Enter If You Dare – Trista Herring Baughman
  181. Snake’s Sweet Treats – Nadia Ali
  182. Costume Crisis – Keatley Eastman
  183. Tricked By The Treats – Elizabeth Muster
  184. Halloween Friend – Thelia Hutchinson
  185. My Dreadfully Dangerous Walk – Susan Twiggs
  186. Slither, Treat, Scare: A Halloween Story – Lynn Greenway
  187. I’m Not That Scared – Allison Gray
  188. The Halloween Prize – Mary Rudzinski
  189. Portia Pumpkin Proclaims – Judy Caldwell Hughes
  190. Pookie The Pomeranian’s Halloween Wish – Stephanie Jackson
  191. Boo The Ghost Gets Beaten – Stephanie Jackson
  192. Costume Drama – David Cobb
  193. Slither Spook – Jessica Milo
  194. Samira’s Potion – Jessica Milo
  195. Sabrina Squirrel Does Not Scare Easily – Liz Gill
  196. Snake’s Stealthy Solution – Kira Barrett
  197. What Did You See? – Kathleen Mazurowski
  198. Father Knows Best – Janice Kay
  199. The Costume – Amy Duchene
  200. Trick Or Treat – Laura Seely-Pollack
  201. Many Happy Resquirms – Diana Webb
  202. Theodore Turkey’s Halloween Hunt – Mary-Catherine Amadu
  203. Ghost Finds His Groove – Cindy Greene
  204. Weird Halloween Treats – Una Belle Townsend
  205. The Jabberwocks Of Halloween – Jenny Bowman
  206. Sooner And Sooner Every Year! – Stephanie Henson
  207. A Slimy Halloween: Halloweenie Competition – Erin Buhr
  208. Candy Night – Anne Weaver
  209. Growing Candy Apples – Hannah Roy LaGrone
  210. Sister’s First Halloween Night – Linda Hofke
  211. Calling All Campers to the Camp Spooky Halloween Campfire – Jamie Rodarte
  212. A Pumpkin Named Rattlesnake Pete – Pat Finnegan
  213. Pumpkin Pride – Pat Finnegan
  214. Gardenia Ghost – Katie Walsh
  215. I Am Always a Cat – Amanda Littlefield
  216. Scaredy Snake – Kathy Hill Crable
  217. Classroom Costume Conundrum – Cynthia Reeg
  218. A Beckoning Spell – Les Degnan
  219. Halloween Eve – Tarsia Rhyne
  220. Which Witch Will Win? – Lucretia Schafroth
  221. The Spider Web House – CJ Penko
  222. The Monster of Barlow’s Bakery – Jill Burns
  223. A Candy Break For Mongoose And Snake – Katie Schwartz
  224. Kid Cobra’s Halloween – Denise Seidman
  225. Costume Not Required – JC Kelly
  226. Lucinda Blackletter – Karen Pickrell
  227. Candi Corn – Liz Kehrli
  228. Glass Lizard Halloween – Maria Marshall
  229. Scaredy Cat And The Haunted Hunt – Samantha Cora Christian Haas
  230. Graduation Night – Naz Alibhai
  231. New Friends – Sarah Hawklyn
  232. Sam Wasn’t Afraid – T. May LeGrys
  233. Black Cats Get A Bad Rap – Colleen Dougherty
  234. Dad’s First Trick or Treat – Annette Bethers
  235. Skeletons Need Teddy Bears Too – Sharon Jackson
  236. Sam And Dusty Trick Or Treat – Julianna Helt
  237. Lost – Brenda Covert
  238. The Snakertons – Emily Holewczynski

2,677 thoughts on “The 12th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!

  1. Royal Baysinger (@RoyalBaysinger) says:

    By Royal Baysinger
    96 words

    Slither, slather! Krakens lather in the tub on Friday night.
    Beasts of Scaring all preparing for a Halloween of fright.

    Argle, bargle! Banshees gargle, voices primed to shriek and wail.
    Vampires cleaning, werewolves preening, polishing each tooth and nail.

    Jingle, jangle! Ghosts untangle chains from sheets; an awful din!
    Dragons flapping, mummies wrapping, stretching out and tucking in.

    Smacker, smucker! Mermaids pucker, one last look into their mirrors.
    Robots booting, zombies scooting, time to join their ghoulish peers.

    Pitter, patter! Children scatter, dropping bags of tasty treats.
    Monsters munching, freely lunching in the now abandoned streets.

  2. Royal Baysinger (@RoyalBaysinger) says:

    By Royal Baysinger
    100 Words

    “Come! We’s conquer Earth!” With hearty battlecries, the Zornaks slithered from their spaceship, into the crisp autumn air.

    “Scrawny hu-mans no match for Zornaks!” They approached the city in raucous glee, until—

    “Commander! Look!”

    A horde of hideous beasts had already invaded.

    They had fearsome fangs, gruesome claws, magic wands, and glowing orbs! Some even appeared undead!

    Gobsmacked, the Zornaks gawked as these scary overlords strutted from dwelling to dwelling with human slaves in tow, treating themselves to tasty tributes from their subjugated underlings.

    “Retreat!” The Zornaks fled in fear!

    They would find an easier planet to subdue…perhaps Mars.

  3. Royal Baysinger (@RoyalBaysinger) says:

    By Royal Baysinger
    100 words

    Nobody trick-or-treated in Cornville. Instead, we’d go spelunking for scares, down in the “Halloween Cave.” Squeezing under rock-faces. Slithering between stalagmites.

    But one year, buried beyond the howling wind, we discovered an ancient chamber.

    A gnarled hag crouched, clawing innards from vacant-smiled jack-o-lanterns, and transplanting their ooey-gooey brains into waiting scarecrows…who came alive!

    With piercing shrieks, they spotted us!

    But slithering and squeezing, we scrambled home in time to light torches and gather pitchforks. Before their invasion.

    Now, decades after the hag’s defeat, scarecrows are being legalized. But they’re not allowed near pumpkins…or down in the “Halloween Cave.”

  4. savoringeverymoment says:

    by Sara Kruger
    wc 100

    “Today’s the day!” Mom says.
    I twirl like a tornado in my sparkly dress.
    “Watch out, there, Glinda!” Dad cries.
    He’s pouring batter as I crash into him.
    A pancake snake hisses in the pan and slithers onto my plate.
    But that doesn’t scare me.
    Becoming a big sister does.
    At the adoption agency, a bucket brims with treats.
    Mom nods permission, so I grab a handful and nibble.
    Finally the social worker nestles a bundle in dad’s arms.
    My gift, ruby red booties, fit perfectly.
    My fear fades. I whisper to my baby sister,
    “There’s no place like home.”

  5. Helen Lai says:

    By Helen Lai
    88 words

    I went trick-or-treating, down all the best streets;
    My bucket was brimming with sugary treats.
    But later that night something gave me a scare;
    My Halloween dream had become a nightmare!
    My gummy worms slithered across the tiled floor,
    My choccy frogs hippity-hopped out the door!
    A bubblegum bubble just floated on past.
    My candy collection was vanishing fast!
    Then lollipops, jellybeans, marshmallow twists,
    Danced out of the house, proving magic exists!
    They escaped into darkness, like ninjas in masks…

    Well, that’s what I’m saying, if anyone asks!

  6. mlyablonaolcom says:

    The Follower
    by Marla Yablon
    87 words

    It’s Halloween, and something strange
    is following me home.
    I hear a clicking, ticking noise,
    just like a metronome.

    But now I hear another sound,
    a wet and breathy belch,
    a slither through the mud behind,
    a soft and sucking squelch.

    I need to walk more slowly, ‘cause
    it isn’t moving fast.
    I’m scared that it might stop before
    I make it home at last.

    I promised that I’d bring my pet
    a toothsome, tasty treat.
    On Halloween it’s fun to sit
    And watch my monster eat.

  7. seschipper says:

    A Frightfully Fun Time

    By Susan E. Schipper

    WC 100

    Halloween’s the scariest day! Creepy things slither around.
    Wizards, witches, ghosts fly through the sky. It’s terrifying!

    Some people think I’M creepy, that’s silly! I’m Ocho, the arachnid.
    This year‘s going to be different. I’m going to be brave! My eight legs trembled.

    Something whispered, “Don’t worry, follow me!” Too frightened not to follow, I entered a spooktacular house!

    Skeletons were smiling, Zombies were serving ice cream, candy corn was dropping from the ceiling like rain.

    I turned to thank my new friend for bringing me. She whispered “Happy Halloween, have a Treat-tastic time!” With a whoosh, she disappeared! (Check out the blog to meet “Ocho”!)

  8. jennaejo says:

    By Jenna Elyse Johnson
    WC 100 words

    Time to rule the Halloween Costume Contest.

    Ghoulish ghosts gather,
    and scary sea-dragons slither.
    But not just anyone can pull off two costumes!

    Rolling forward, my wheelchair-turned-carriage glitters in the light.

    Adjust my tiara.

    Now for the big finish…
    my “horse,” Theo, pulls me away.

    “Ruff!” He celebrates with a treat.

    Judges’ debate…

    I’ll trade my tiara for a crown…

    “The winner is…Theo!”
    My heart sinks.

    But Theo gives me a slobbery victory kiss, coaxing a smile.

    I guess we can share the win…
    After all, we are the Dream Team.

  9. jennifercowanwriter says:

    By Jennifer Cowan
    WC 96

    Every Halloween,


    His rickety bones rattled. His jutting jaw click clackity clacked. Creepily costumed creatures slinked and slithered through the streets, howling “Trick or Treat!”

    They tormented Sam. They tapped on his tibia and rapped on ribs. They flicked at his femur and pinched his patella.

    But this year was different. SAM would be the scary one.

    As the costumed creatures prepared to pounce, Sam stood tall, inhaled, and bellowed “BOOO!!! BWAH!!! MWAH!!!” The costumed creatures gaped and gasped….trembling, terrified, and tearful.

    As they raced into the velvet night,


  10. Vashti Verbowski (@VashtiVerbowski) says:

    by Vashti Verbowski
    100 words

    Slug slithered onto the street…

    “See how the children flee from my paralyzing slime!”

    “The trick-or-treaters aren’t scared of you,” giggled Moth.

    “No,” gurgled Slug. “They’re TERRIFIED.”

    Moth watched the dragons and demons devour their treats. “I think we should be more afraid of them.”

    “Don’t be such a scaredy-bug,” said Slug with a shrug.

    “Then why are they coming back?” whispered Moth.

    Slug slurped in a smirk.

    “Ooh, look! A slug!”

    “I dare you to lick it.”


    “AAAH! My tongue is numb!”

    Moth fluttered down from the lamppost. “Slug, you were right!”

    “Y-yes,” stuttered Slug. “They were t-t-terrified.”

  11. juliaphammond says:

    by Julia Pierre Hammond
    WC 100

    Little Chef Ghosty was perfecting a plate for Halloween when . . .


    Pumpkin guts exploded, coating his finished dish.



    Ghosty started to BOO.

    “Sacré Bleu!”

    “No, Not there!”

    Ghosty shivered as his disaster accidentally slithered through the restaurant to the

    cauldron of Critic Monsieur Mummy.

    Mummy slurped. He coughed, gobbled and guzzled.

    Then he hacked up a bone!

    Spit out snake eyeball truffles!

    “CHEF!” He yelled out, giving Ghost quite a scare.


    “Bravo Ghosty! C’est très magnifique!”

    Chef Ghosty beamed. He wrote down every step.

    Now we all can enjoy, “Pumpkin Cobweb Eyeball Crêpes.”

  12. Heather Kinser says:

    by Heather Kinser
    100 words

    The weeds were thick. The branches, slick.
    But Howard vowed to play a trick
    by sneaking up behind Doreen
    to frighten her on Halloween.

    He’d slither near, unseen, unheard—
    a streak of color, faintly blurred—
    using stealthy camouflage,
    then shock her with a “BOO!” barrage.

    He scurried, on his tree-top chore,
    high above the valley floor
    and spied her on a banyan trunk.
    A terrify-your-friend slam dunk!

    What a treat! That very night
    he gave Doreen a spooky fright.

    Yes, Howard the chameleon scared sweet Doreen the gecko.

    But after Howard hollered “BOO!!!”—he fainted, from the echo.

  13. Heather Kinser says:

    by Heather Kinser
    100 words

    On Snail-o-ween, the snails and slugs
    all slither out to greet you.
    They don’t intend to spooky-scare.
    They only want to treat you—
    to tasty leaves and tender sprouts,
    a mollusk’s favorite meal.
    So if you’re slightly frightened
    by the slimy way they feel,
    or by the tiny pointed hats
    and vampire teeth they’re wearing,
    remember gastropods are great
    at grossing out…and sharing.

    Step outside on Snail-o-ween!
    We dare you! Take the trail
    of silver slime that dead-ends
    at a plot of crispy kale.
    The gastropods are singing
    their most slick-y-icky songs…

    Join the snail-a-bration!
    (Don’t forget your salad tongs.)

  14. Anne Lipton says:

    The Frightful Fugitive
    by Anne Lipton
    93 words

    Beneath a full and pumpkin moon,
    I flew to trick-or-treat,
    when, from the corner of my eye,
    I spied a heap of meat.

    I shivered as it stared at me,
    wide eyes without a face,
    a creature with no place on Earth.
    It came from outer space!

    With body like a comet’s tail,
    legs like a centipede’s,
    it slithered through the unkempt field
    to jump me from the weeds.

    A skeleton creaked up just then,
    gave me a bony hug.
    “You’ve found my brain and spine!” he said
    and took that scary slug.

  15. Elizabeth Meyer Zu Heringdorf says:

    Little Witchy
    Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf
    90 words

    In the creepy-crawly evening,
    From the deepest part of night,
    Comes a ghastly little witchy
    That was hiding from the light.
    Only once a year on Halloween
    when eerie creatures can,
    This scrappy little witchy
    Has a screamy-scary plan.
    First she springs out from the headstones
    In the graveyard proud and dark
    Then she howls and wails and shrieks at us
    Throughout the empty park.
    Then she slithers up behind us
    And she grabs us by the feet
    Holding out a tiny cauldron,
    “Would you like to try my treat?”

  16. Corine Timmer says:

    Get Your Glow On
    By Corine Timmer
    99 words

    “Last year’s spooktacular cupcake party was a treat,” Anglerfish thought, “but that was before bottom trawling. Scary! . . . How about a Halloween lantern parade, to remember the dead?” So she buzzed her friends who loved the idea.

    When the moon was mostly dark,

    Anglerfish turned on the light dangling from her snout.
    Octopus flashed his photophores.
    Shrimp spewed a glowing blue ooze
    And Worm shot sparks from her legs.
    Ghost Shark lit up his eyes.

    Together they slithered through the water attracting others to the procession. Before long, the deep sea looked like a star-spangled night sky.

  17. eleanorannpeterson says:

    Sally the Slug has a Sweet Tooth
    By Eleanor Ann Peterson
    WC 99

    Sally slithered down the slippery, slimy slope looking for another special sweet stuck on the sidewalk.
    “Sally!” said Spug. “What are you doing?”
    She burped loudly and blew a balloon.
    Spug savored the sweet. “It’ll ruin our teeth, but it’s divine!”
    “We DON’T have teeth! We have a radula, “said Sally. “Let’s go trick or treating.”
    “No! They’ll stomp and squash us,” said Spug.
    “We’ll have to come up with a plan, then.”
    On Halloween, a scary mound of sticky, slimy slugs slowly made its way through the neighborhood, snatching all the sweets with their gooey slime.

  18. Bridget Magee says:

    In the Middle of a Snack
    by Bridget Magee
    74 words

    In the middle of an apple,
    with caramel wrapped round,
    slithers a wiggly worm,
    “Look at the treat I found!”

    In the middle of a table,
    a sticky apple sits.
    Along comes ballerina,
    her hunger hits.

    In the middle of a party,
    on October 31st,
    these two Halloween guests
    meet each other headfirst.

    In the middle of a bite,
    by the breadth of a hair,
    wiggly worm and ballerina
    have the same Halloween scare.

  19. Emily Durant (@emilydurwrites) says:

    By Emily Durant
    96 words

    A sheet with holes? I think not, Mom.
    A ghost is overdone and tame.
    I won’t scare anyone like that—
    I have ideas that aren’t so lame.

    I’ll trick-or-treat as Frankenstein,
    A ninja with a sword and sheath,
    I’ll slither in, a slimy snake,
    A dragon with enormous teeth.

    An alien from outer space,
    A skeleton, a rabid bat!
    A werewolf or a zombie shark,
    A dinosaur, a mutant cat!

    This is tough—I can’t decide
    which frightful thing I love the most.
    What’s that you say? Your first idea?
    Oh, alright, I’ll be a ghost.

  20. Colleen Owen Murphy says:

    by Colleen Murphy

    100 words

    Piper Peter’s fellow witch-lings
    clearly understood,
    whenever faced with how to act,
    she’d always opt for good.
    But Piper picked a potion
    to prepare for Halloween
    to change herself completely
    and become an evil queen:
    a couple cups of pumpkin brains,
    some collard greens and kale
    a pinch of pollen, dash of salt,
    and salamander’s tail.
    She found her creature, fed him treats,
    and then all else prepared.
    She checked her last ingredient,
    “He’s looking pretty scared…

    “Although I know it could regrow,
    I cannot do the deed.”
    She watched him slither out the door.
    “A tutu’s more my speed.”


  21. Sarah Meade says:

    Safe From Scares

    By Sarah Meade

    Word Count: 100

    Last Halloween was scary for Granny. 

    “Too many tricks,” she said.

    This year I’ll keep her safe.

    We wear twin witch costumes.

    I hold Granny’s hand.

    As we cross the street I spy . . . 

    A slithering snake!

    My broom shields Granny’s eyes. 

    Then I hear . . .

    A horrific howl!

    I start to sing. “Trick-or-treat, trick-or-treat, candy corn is super-sweet!” 

    Granny giggles.

    We walk on.

    We pass the cemetery. 

    I get goosebumps.

    I hug Granny so she doesn’t feel frightened.

    Back home, we share sweets and sip cider.

    “How was Halloween?” I ask.

    “With you by my side,” Granny says, “a total treat.”

    Halloweensie 2022

  22. Sarah Meade says:

    Claudia Maude Clickerticker’s Costume Shop

    By Sarah Meade

    Word Count: 100

    In October, Claudia Maude Clickerticker’s costume shop hopped non-stop.

    “I need a gown.”

    “Witchy wear?” 

    “Dracula digs?”

    “Easy-breezy!” Claudia winked.

    On Halloween, Claudia was about to lock up when . . .

    A girl sniffled. “I wanted to be something spectacular.”

    Claudia smiled. “We’ll find something spectacular or my name isn’t Claudia Maude Clickerticker.”

    She presented a dress. “Princess?”

    “Too frilly.” 


    “Too silly.” 


    “Too scary!” The girl sighed. “Maybe I’ll skip trick-or-treats.”

    “Nonsense,” Claudia said. 

    She rummaged around . . .

     till she found . . . 

    “A snake!” The girl gasped. “Scaly! Slithery! SPECTACULAR!” 


    “Thanks, Claudia Maude Clickerticker!” The girl waved.

    Claudia winked. “Happy Halloween!”

    Halloweensie 2022

  23. Kelly Clasen says:


    By Kelly Clasen (100 words)

    Two young werewolves tread softly over fallen leaves. They bristle with anticipation at what the forest conceals tonight. For the packmates simply must find out. … What do witches eat?

    “I bet it’s toenail stew,” Boris whispers.

    “Or worse—schoolchild soup,” Hugo responds.

    At last, they spy the coven. The witches sing:

    “Dearest Cauldron,

    Enchantress of Heat,

    bestow upon us

    thine Halloween treat!”

    Steam slithers toward the crescent moon. Then, crickety-crack—BOOM! The cauldron erupts with … caramel popcorn?

    A witch beckons, “Come hither, scaredy-pups, for we shan’t hurt you!” They cackle, twirl.

    Relieved, the werewolves join the midnight feast.

  24. cbloomy says:

    by Claire Blumenfeld
    wc 100

    Ghouldilocks rubbed her rumbling tummy.
    “I must brew some gastropod stew,” she said. “A pot to share with three.”
    Ghouldilocks deglazed seventeen slippery slugs.
    She scared up sixty gnarly snails.
    “Eerie, gruesome, slime and gore, please don’t splatter on the floor,” she chanted.
    Tsup Tsup Tsup.“Just right!”
    Ghouldilocks shared a skull-full with Ghouldimom. “This stew is still slithering,” she said. “Scrumptious!”
    She shared a skull-full with Ghoulididad. “This stew is still oozing,” he said. “Exquisite!”
    “I’m frighteningly full,” Ghouldilocks howled. “There’s one portion left.”
    Ding Dong
    “Trick or Treat.”
    Ghouldilocks flashed a devilish grin. “Sharing is …

  25. Reed Hilton-Eddy says:

    Reed Hilton-Eddy
    wc 98

    Pumpkins aglow, I spot the target.
    The risk–is big.
    The reward- gigantic.
    Costume in place, I slide to the floor and slither.
    Low, veiled in the shadows.
    The hum from celebrants outside increases.
    The target shifts.
    I elude their gaze.
    My heart pounds.
    My toes thrust me forward.
    Last chance to turn back.
    Determined I proceed.
    Hunched on my haunches I am prepared to pounce.
    My mask felt moist.
    I leap.
    The target soars from their seat.
    “Scared, ya”
    Sent to time out?
    Worth it?

  26. jensubra says:

    By Jen Subra
    Word count: 92

    I didn’t mean to SCARE her,
    but I guess that’s what ghosts do.
    As ghosts go, I’m not scary.
    I simply whisssspered,
    I mean, it’s Halloween night,
    so, I SLITHERED up the walk.
    I wriggled up the steps and
    adjusted my ghost-sock.
    My tongue flicked out and rang the bell.
    I gave a fangy grin.
    My scaly tail held out my bag–
    “Let trick or TREAT begin!”
    She gasped.
    She squealed.
    She dropped the bowl.
    She fainted dead away.
    Who knew a sock with two eyeholes
    could scare someone this way?

  27. Jennifer Lowe says:

    by Jennifer Lowe
    99 words

    It was Halloween, and Sun was fuming.
    “Moon has all the fun!” huffed Sun. “I can be spooky. Come play, ghosts, goblins, and ghouls!”
    But all Sun got on this bone-chilling holiday…
    was festive foliage and boisterous birdsong.
    “Sun,” whispered Moon, spying the sulky star. “How about a daytime treat?”
    Sun beamed as Moon’s shadow masked her rays, until…
    all was dark!
    Witches flew—
    Skeletons danced the monster-mash—
    RAP TAP!
    Black cats pranced on tip-toe—
    Ghosts haunted the Halloween Bash—
    Sun slithered out.
    Spooky creatures everywhere agreed—
    Sun’s scare eclipsed all other Halloweens!

  28. Elizabeth James writes chapter & picture books ✍️ (@elizjameswrites) says:

    by Elizabeth James
    97 Words

    Dust bunnies under the bed? Cobwebs in the corner?

    Don’t believe the stories you’ve been told…

    Those aren’t innocent clumps of hair and lint underfoot…

    They’re ghosts! BOO!

    Each Halloween, those tufts and tangles we all love to ignore transform back into ghosts. Then, they slither along floorboards and creep over carpets, looking for souls to slurp. (Did you think ghosts actually float? Ha!)

    But don’t be scared. This Halloween, you’re in for a treat! Help is just a phone call away. Let us sweep up the ghosts and ghouls for you!

    Who you gonna call?


  29. Colleen says:

    Colleen Fogarty
    Arabella’s Halloween Treat WC 99

    Arabella has waited all year.
    Today is Halloween.
    “I can switch to be a witch!”
    She gathers her mother’s brew bottles, iron kettle, and cape. Cramming them into her bike basket, she pedals to the cornfield.
    School can wait.
    Arabella dons her cape. She mixes the dragon blood with bat wool.
    “My BF Henry! You’re just in time!”
    “Yes. But you promised a treat. This looks scary.”
    She drops fireflies into the kettle. The slurry ignites.
    Arabella licks her fingers.
    “Arabella! Where are you?”
    Her clothes lie puddled on the ground.
    A slimy snake slithers out.

  30. Corine Timmer says:

    Trick or Treat?
    By Corine Timmer
    100 words

    Fangtooth and Dragonfish slithered
    toward the Halloween ball.
    “I want to be scary too,” Blobfish babbled.
    Witch cackled. “I can make you FEARSOME!”
    “Huzzah! Huzzah!”

    Witch chewed on a viperfish
    eyeball, while muttering over hot
    vental fluid. Then she added
    red-algae seaweed, spookfish
    fry, marine snow, and eel slime.

    “Double, double toil and trouble;
    spitting vent and caldron bubble.
    Cool it with a ghost shark’s gaze,
    then the charm is firm and good.

    Abracadabra . . .

    A GIANT devilfish appeared.
    Witch trembled. “What big teeth you have!”
    “The Better to eat you with,” Devilfish snapped,
    “what a treat!”

  31. Carmen Cecilia Castillo Gilbert says:

    The Coolest Halloween Costume
    by Carmen Castillo Gilbert
    (99 words)

    This Halloween my costume will be s-o-o-o-o cool.
    I won’t be una princesa.
    Or una pirata.
    And especially not una bruja.
    Slithery and scary is the way to go!
    I’ll need green things.
    Green crepe papel to wrap around my body.
    Green cardboard spikes for mi cabeza and my back.
    A green cuerda for a tail.
    I’ll paint my face, mi cara, green and wear green socks on my feet, mis pies.
    Ta-da! ¡Juana, la Super Iguana!
    Trick or Treat!
    “Eek, yikes!” everyone will shout.
    Uh, oh …wait!
    What if I get no treats?
    And I only get bugs?

  32. Claudine Pullen says:

    Green Goulash Stew
    By Claudine Pullen
    94 words

    Every Halloween, Mr Bones’ factory produces two buckets. One with treats and one with – slimy creatures – for the witches’ stew. On Halloween eve, one naughty ghoul swaps the bucket labels….

    Blaise Scarletwound brooms through the air…..whoosh…

    “Yummy, yummy – green goulash stew,” she cackles. She collects her bucket, but in a frenzy she doesn’t check it….

    Into the cauldron it plops.

    Boom! Splat! Pop! Exploding candy and chocolate everywhere. “Ohh noooo,” screeches Blaise. “My steeeeww is now a chocolatey gooo.” Booohooohoooo.

    The children,

    Expecting treats, get quite scared when their buckets,

  33. 🧛🏻‍♀️Vanessa “Vamp-nessa” Konoval (@vanessakaybooks) says:

    The House with The Good Candy
    by Vanessa Konoval
    Word Count: 100

    “But which way is home?”

    Dark path. Shivery air.

    Stomachs grumble-growl, teeth chit-chat-chitter.

    “Don’t be scared.” Hansel’s Brave Brother Voice breaks.

    “I’m not,” I lie. “Just…hungry.”

    Wandering, wearying, weathering, withering.

    The few mouthfuls we had, long gone.

    Round a corner –


    Hearthlight flicker-flits in a single, small house.

    Gingerbread shingles, candy-bar bricks, syrups and icings slip-slither-drip…

    Treat or trick, I’m mesmerized.

    My hungry feet step closer, closer…


    Hansel’s hand finds my wrist.

    “This neighborhood gives me the creeps.” He takes out the cell phone. “Let’s just call Mom for a ride.”

  34. Lauri Meyers says:

    The House Creatures’ Halloween (100 words)

    When night falls, the house creatures wake. But things look spookier. Mouse snuffles for crumbs, but… “Squeak! A glowing ghost!”
    She scampers into a hole.
    Bat hovers over apples, but… “Eek! A fangy vampire!”
    He dives into a hole.
    Centipede hunts for a bite, but… “Yikes! A monstrous spider!”
    It slithers into a hole.
    Cat prowls for a late-night snack. Suddenly, he sniffs a whiff of sneaking, flying, creeping beasties near a skeleton.
    The animals shake and jump!
    “Yowl! The skeleton is alive!” The cat runs scared.
    The house creatures crawl out and celebrate with a feast of Halloween treats.