Golly, would you look at us?!
We are something else, aren’t we?
Masters of accomplishment!
All the way to Friday already!
Which of course means Perfect Picture Books.
Except for today.
Today it does not mean Perfect Picture Books.
This is because the people in charge around here have had a scheduling foul-up of monstrous proportions which clearly took place in the shadowy underbelly of the administration and left us all in a rut as sticky as candy corn!
There is no other explanation.
Although, now that I think about it, it may have been that, due to budget cuts, the lighting was extremely dim, making it very difficult to discern what was written on the calendar amongst the long shadows cast by the one remaining light bulb, and the PICOS (Person In Charge Of Scheduling…er… which would be me) was so hopped up on candy corn that she was trying to make sense of the schedule whilst dancing the monster mash and thus failed to realize that today – Friday – was supposed to be for Perfect Picture Books.
I think it must have been that.
It’s just possible that an army of candy corn led by General Sugarshadow rumbled into my office in orange camo monster trucks and staged a coups, and the new regime insists that every day is National Tri-Colored Undigestible Candy Day and to heck with perfect picture books because they are not made out of sugar nor can they be used as a traction aid in inclement weather.
Be that as it may, according to my sources it is Friday. And that means, it’s time for Perfect Picture Books. So let’s get to it, shall we?
Wait a minute.
Didn’t some monstrously candy-corn-headed nitwit just say something shadowy about a scheduling conflict?
I’ll have my people get in touch with your people and sort this whole scheduling conundrum out!
Meanwhile, perhaps you’d like to engage in the age-old debate over pop-tarts: toast them? or eat them cold? Where do you weigh in on this critical issue?
Or maybe we should discuss the qualifications one should look for in a scheduling assistant… because clearly I could use some advice…
you’d like to hear about
The 7th Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!!!!
As you are all aware by now, we had a record turnout for the Halloweensie Contest – 244 entries! Holy Halloweensie! Who’d-a-thunk it?
I was thrilled beyond measure to see so many wonderful stories and meet so many new writers!
But with large entry numbers come hard choices. 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 on Monday 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-arond well-written stories we loved that just missed the finals for one small reason or another!)
Vanessa Marcus for Scary To Someone
Ryan Roberts for Pumpkin Patch
Jennifer Buchet for Gobblewolly’s Halloweensie Treasure
Katherine Rothstein for Sharkcula
Jen Bagan for Shadow Monster
Nancy Granberry for Monster Had A Little Ghost
Nancy Riley for Monster’s Woe
Jill Proctor for Monster Marathon
Delfina Salimbene for The Sweet Tooth Trick Or Treat
Jennifer Raudenbush for Montgomery Monster
2. For Great Kid Appeal: (not already in the finals)
Greg Bray for Killer Candy Corn Costume
Ann Martin for Who Scared Who? (also very cute story!)
Diana (Peach?) for Monster Under The Bed
3. For Best Descriptive/Mood Piece:
Terri Ross for Witchy (delightfully Halloweensie mood)
Meryl Cullom for Watch Out! (spooky)
4. For Best Use of Poetic Language: (not already in the finals)
Maria Marshall for A Halloween Treasure (lovely mood)
Janie Reinart for Parade Of Horribles (spooky mood)
5. For Spookiest Entry: (not already in the finals)
Brianna Zamborsky for The Lock
Lynley Stace for Sweetie
6. For Funniest Entry: (not already in the finals)
Nina Q. Haines for Broomstick Sale
Sandy Perlic for Trick Or Treats For Monster?
7. For Sweetest Entry: (not already in the finals)
Jennifer Prevost for Candie’s Monster Shadows
Candace Kubinec for No Costume Required
8. For Best Written Original Point of View: (not already in the finals)
Kaye Baillie for House Hates Halloween (POV of a haunted house)
9. For Fun Concept With Great Potential:
B.L. Bachman for Witch Hiccups
10. For Favorite Character:
Julie Abery for her Teensy-Weensy Witch
Jean James for her Evil Dr. Gerbil 🙂
11. For Best Entry In 12 Words! 🙂 :
Danielle Hammelef for A Shadow’s Secret
12. For Cleverest Parody Close To Judge #1’s Heart 🙂 :
Julie LaCombe for When Your Monster Has The Sneazles
Congratulations to all of you for fantastic elements of your stories! You may all email me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com to collect your prize, which is your choice of one of the following: (the titles are all links so you can go see what they’re about)
Picture Books: The Write Way by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard, OR
Rhyming Picture Books: The Write Way by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard, OR
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi , OR
The Postitive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Attributes by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, OR
The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Flaws by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, OR
In paperback: (PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR SNAIL MAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR EMAIL!)
Creating Extraordinary Characters by Angela Hunt, OR
Evoking Emotion by Angela Hunt, OR
Picture Books: The Write Way by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard, OR
Rhyming Picture Books: The Write Way by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard
If you already have all these, or can’t decide, or want to build up your wish list fund:
A $5 Amazon Email Gift Certificate
Now then. A word about the prizes before I announce the winners.
We have 12 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 reason you got out of bed this morning. . .
. . . in spite of shadows under your bleary eyes. . .
. . . and the candy corn that is stuck in your monsterly bed head!!!
. . . THE WINNERS OF THE 2017 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…
Clomp, Stomp, Chomp!
Congratulations, Dawn, on a delightful and humorous entry with good tension that was all around well done and clearly very popular!!!
In Second Place,
Attack Of The Vampire Cookie
Congratulations, Debbie, on a creative, wonderfully written entry with a great title! You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Dawn chooses!
In Third Place,
Congratulations, Lucretia, on an entertaining entry with a great surprise ending that we all loved! You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Dawn and Debbie choose!
In Fourth Place,
Beware The Candysnatch
Congratulations, Jennifer, on a fun version of the classic rhyme with a great ending! You get to pick a prize after Dawn, Debbie, and Lucretia!
In Fifth Place,
Vampire Has A Sweet Tooth
Congratulations, Judy, on your well written entry with a resourceful MC! You get to pick your prize after Dawn, Debbie, Lucretia, and Jennifer!
In Sixth Place,
Werewolf Trick Or Treat
Congratulations, Kelly, on your well written just-the-right-amount-of-scary entry! You get to pick your prize after Dawn, Debbie, Lucretia, Jennifer, and Judy!
In Seventh Place,
Congratulations, Jessica, on your delightfully spooky story! I’m sure you get the idea of the prize picking by now! 🙂
In Eighth Place,
Congratulations, Chambrae, for a wonderful character and well written story with a nice surprise ending! You get to pick your prize after Jessica.
In Ninth Place
The Scariest House On The Block
Congratulations, Susie, on your humorous depiction of every kid’s worst Halloween nightmare 🙂 You get to prize pick after Chambrae.
In Tenth Place,
Congratulations, Katie, on a fun backward twist of an entry that we all loved! You get to pick a prize after Susie…!
In Eleventh Place, a tie between
Jennifer Cole Judd and Sara Gentry
Bathilda’s Scary Surprise Jimmy’s Nighttime Guest
Congratulations Jen and Sara on your wonderful, kid-friendly, fun-spooky entries! You two will have to fight over the last two prizes, but I’ll give priority to whoever emails me first 🙂
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 with the subject heading Prize Winner so we can work out details for you to receive your prizes! Finalists who did not finish in the top 12 (Christine and Deborah) may also contact me for their choice of the Kindle or paperback prizes listed above. 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 🙂
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 large amount of chocolate cake 🙂
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…
The 7th Annual Holiday Writing Contest will be coming up sometime in the neighborhood of December 8-12 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 the Saturday after Thanksgiving, good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise! 🙂 ) so you all have time to work on your stories!
Have a terrific weekend everyone, and thanks again for making the Halloweensie Contest such a wonderful time for all! 🙂
– a read and Skype critique of a picture book manuscript by the fabulous editor Callie Metler-Smith of Clear Fork/Spork Publishing!!!
– a spot in Renee LaTulippe’s fantastic INTENSIVE RHYME AND METER SELF-STUDY COURSE!!!
– a 30 minute Skype conversation/critique of a picture book manuscript with the amazingly wonderful and talented author Penny Klostermann!!! (THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT – Random House 2015, A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE – Random House 2017)
– a picture book manuscript critique from accomplished author/illustrator Cori Doerrfeld (PENNY LOVES PINK – Little Brown 2011, LITTLE BUNNY FOO FOO: THE REAL STORY – Dial 2012 and the forthcoming THE RABBIT LISTENED – Dial 2018 and THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF ESTHER THE WONDER PIG – Little Brown 2018, and many, many more!)
– a picture book manuscript critique from talented author Lynne Marie (HEDGEHOG GOES TO KINDERGARTEN – Scholastic 2011, HEDGEHOG’S 100th DAY OF SCHOOL – Scholastic 2017, THE STAR OF THE CHRISTMAS PLAY – Sparkhouse Family 2018 and MOLDILOCKS AND THE 3 SCARES – Sterling, TBA. Her stories, articles and poems have appeared in many magazines, including Family Fun, Highlights, High Five, Spider and Baby Bug. She’s a Feature Columnist/On-staff writer for Children’s Book Insider, a book reviewer and a 2016/17 Cybils Picture Book Panelist. She’s a former New Yorker who now lives a simpler life on a lake in South Florida with her daughter and several resident water birds.
– a query letter critique from SubIt Club Founder and fabulous author Heather Burnell (BEDTIME MONSTER – Raven Tree Press 2010, KICK! JUMP! CHOP!: The Adventures of the Ninjabread Man – Sterling 2017)
– an e-pub or PDF copy (winner’s choice) of Linda Ashman‘s Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books. OR a paperback copy of Ann Whitford Paul’s Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation To Publication (on the off chance you don’t already have it 🙂 )
– a Bundle Of Books from KidLit411 (must be selected by someone in the USA due to postage) which will include picture books and middle grade book, about 7 in total, details still to come. (Totally awesome for writers, readers, parents, teachers, or gift-givers!!!)
– a personalized signed copy of MANJHI MOVES A MOUNTAIN by Nancy Churnin
– a copy of MEET WOOF & QUACK by Jamie Swenson and donated by the illustrator, Ryan Sias
Please join me again 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, or supporting them in any other way you can dream up 🙂