The 2018 Halloweensie Contest WINNERS!!!

Somehow it is the 19th of November, and I’m sure you all know what that means!

It’s time to start getting ready for my long winter’s nap!

Yep.  Me and the bears.

Preparations are well underway!  We’re putting on our flannel jammies, getting out the fleece blankets and the down comforters, fluffing up the extra pillows, selecting which books warrant inclusion on the bedside table (or in the extra pile within reach on the floor), making sure the nightlight has a fresh bulb (because no one wants to come briefly to the surface at 1:37 AM on a cold night in January in utter, complete, and total darkness!), and negotiating for space with the dogs.  They are winning.  My portion of the sleeping quarters is currently 2 inches wide…

But we interrupt these proceedings for an important announcement from our sponsor!  Because it’s not quite nap time yet, and I have a sneaking suspicion there’s some interest in what I’m about to say… 🙂

As you are all aware by now, we had an amazing turnout for the Halloweensie Contest – 237 entries!  Golly gee willikers!!!

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 the Halloweensie Contest always makes Halloween so much more fun for me!  I mean, fun-sized chocolate is fabulous on its own, but it’s even better with entertaining stories to read! 🙂

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 on Thursday 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!)

Jenna Waldman for My Best Trick Yet (also great use of language!)

Mia Geiger for Guess Who?

Maile McCarthy for Halloween Banquet

Katie Engen for Pirate’s Halloween Mutiny

Pat Finnegan for Midnight Fright

Nannette Brophy Major for Fright Fight

Jennifer Raudenbush for Little Miss Halloween

Jean James for Tricks On You

 

2. For Best Ending Lines!:

Henry Herz for When Candy Goes Bad

Jim Chaize for Are You Sure?

Susan Valli for Eat Up Your Carrots!

Lauren Neil for Trick-Or-Sweet

 

3.  For Best Descriptive/Mood Piece:

Heather Kinser for Fearsome Brew

MaryLee Flannigan for The Gathering

Sarah Tobias for Dancing With The Night

Mary Ann Cortez for Halloween Party Scene

Laura Bower for The Halloween Ship

 

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

Diana Gibson for Chef Crone

 

5. For Spookiest Entry: (not already in the finals)

Delfina Salimbene for The Dancing Figurine

Michael Neuenschwander for Full Moon Rising

Ella Hron, age 9, for Untitled

 

6. For Funniest Entry: (not already in the finals)

JC Kelly for No Bones About It

 

7. For Sweetest Entry: (not already in the finals)

Jessica Reiner-Harris for A Calm Halloween

Anne Bromley for Halloween Stew For Two

Joan Leotta for Wolfie’s Pumpkin

 

8.  For Unique Character: (not already in the finals)

Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez for Needed (MC is a lonely umbrella!)

Jill Lambert for The Candivore (MC is The Candivore)

 

9.  For Best Entry In Fewest Words! 🙂 :

Su Moon for Three Pig-Witches (47 words)

Michelle S. Kennedy for Halloween Haiku (11 words)

Anna Hron, age 11, for Untitled (13 words)

 

10. For A Little More Appealing For Grown-ups But Well-Written And Enjoyable!

Sherry Howard for Love Potion Number 9

 

Congratulations to all of you for fantastic elements of your stories!  You may all email me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com subject line Prize Winner 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.). If you choose a prize that must be snail mailed, please include your address in your email!

If you are age 11 or under and received Honorable Mention, you may choose any book on Amazon you’d like to read that is under $10 if you prefer that to the prizes listed below 🙂

For Kindle:

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

How To Query An Agent Or Editor: A Children’s Writer’s Insider Guide From Mentors For Rent by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard, OR

Getting Published: How To Access Editors: A Children’s Writer’s Insider Guide From Mentors For Rent by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard, OR

The Easy Way To Write Picture Books That Sell by Robyn Parnell OR

Self-Publish Your Book: A Quick And Easy Step-By-Step Guide (Writing In A Nutshell Series Book 6) by Jessica Bell, OR

The Write Ideas Creative Writer’s Toolkit: A Genre-Spanning Box Set of Writing Prompts And Creative Exercises by Kate Krake

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

The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To City Spaces by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, OR

The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Personal And Natural Places by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, OR

The Ultimate Fiction Thesaurus by Sam Stone, OR

Writing In A Nutshell: Writing Workshops To Improve Your Craft (Writing In A Nutshell Series Book 4) by Jessica Bell, OR

In paperback: (PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR SNAIL MAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR EMAIL!)

Show And Tell In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions From Telling To Showing by Jessica Bell

The Six Senses In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions From Bleak To Bold Narrative by Jessica Bell OR

Adverbs And Cliches In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Subversions Of Adverbs & Cliches Into Gourmet Imagery by Jessica Bell OR

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

Just For Fun… (PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR SNAIL MAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR EMAIL!)

Magnetic Poetry – Little Box Of Awesome Kit – Words For Refrigerator

OR

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 11 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 🙂 The reason there are 11 prizes for 10 places is because one of them can only go to an unagented unpublished writer and may therefore not qualify depending how things work out…

Now.

Finally!

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 hair!!!

. . . THE WINNERS OF THE 2018 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…

Jennifer Broedel

for

Stitchy Witchy Brew

Congratulations, Jennifer, on a fabulously written, entertaining entry that was all around well done and clearly very popular with judges and voters alike!!!

In Second Place,

Keatley Eastman

for

Belinda’s Broken Brew

Congratulations, Keatley, on a creative, wonderfully written entry with a great sense of humor! You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Jennifer chooses!

In Third Place,

Susie Sawyer
 for

The Scariest Night Of The Year

 

Congratulations, Susie, on a beautifully written entry with great use of language that we all loved!  You made our hearts pound and included a nice message for kids!  You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Jennifer and Keatley choose!

In Fourth Place,

Kirsten Ealand
for
Halloween Prize

Congratulations, Kirsten, on a fun story with laugh-out-loud ending!  You get to pick a prize after Jennifer, Keatley, and Susie!

In Fifth Place,

Kelly Conroy
for
Witches’ Brew

Congratulations, Kelly, on your delightfully well written entry that cast the spell to begin Halloween!  You get to pick your prize after Jennifer, Keatley, Susie, and Kirsten!

In Sixth Place,

Kalee Gwarjanski

for

Dracula Wants Pie

Congratulations, Kalee, on your fun entry for younger readers! You get to pick your prize after Jennifer, Keatley, Susie, Kirsten, and Kelly!

Now… just to be difficult, there was a 4-way tie for Seventh Place and the remainder of the prizes!  I mention this because technically all four of the following entries received the same number of popular votes and should be thought of as having earned 7th place.  But for the sake of choosing prizes which a 4-way tie makes extremely difficult, the judges put their heads together and placed them 7th-10th. So…

In Seventh Place,

Debbie Day
for
Broken-down Broom

Congratulations, Debbie, who knew broomsticks required gasoline? 🙂 You get to pick your prize after Kelly!

In Eighth Place,

Charlene Taber
for
The “Wolf” At The Door

Congratulations, Charlene, for a beautifully written kid-friendly entry! You get to pick your prize after Debbie!

In Ninth Place,

Jen Bagan
for
Gordie Goblin’s Potion

Congratulations, Jen, on nice use of misdirection and cooking up something in the cauldron that no one else thought of 🙂   You get to pick a prize after Charlene…!

In Tenth Place

Linda Staszak
for
If You Can’t Beat Them…

Congratulations, Linda, on making us laugh at your opening line!  You get to prize pick after Jen.

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 10 (Jennifer (Potion Commotion), Joy (Next Week), Laura (Monster Vacancy), and Debbie (The Halloween Shack)) 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…

Assuming you guys are up for it – and you’d better let me know in the comments!!! – the 8th Annual Holiday Writing Contest will be coming up sometime in the neighborhood of December 7 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!  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:

(NOTE: There are 11 prizes listed for the 10 winners because one of them is only available to an unagented unpublished writer, so may not be applicable to all.)

Skip The Slushpile with Hannah Lambert, Senior Editor at Little Simon!!!

Hannah Lambert            Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 7.32.05 PM
The lucky winner of this prize will get to place the picture book manuscript of his/her choice directly into editor Hannah Lambert’s hands!  (FYI, Hannah is the editor of all 4 of my books in the WHEN YOUR… series.)  Hannah will read the manuscript and then send you an email to let you know she’s read your story.  She will include a brief mention of something she likes, and something you can work on. (Not a full critique.)  Of course what makes this prize so incredible is that if you send her a really, really good manuscript the dream could come true!  You’re putting your ms directly in front of a senior editor.  This is your chance! – knock her socks off! 🙂  And if your ms isn’t for her at this time, she will still know who you are should she see your work in future.  So good luck to whoever wins this!  Hannah is particularly interested in mss with a very low word count and/or board book potential, and always has an eye out for excellent holiday stories.
(with thanks to Tania Guarino for thinking up the idea of skipping the slush pile!)

PB MS Critique – from Cori Doerrfeld, author/illustrator of The Rabbit Listened, A New York Times Editor’s Choice, An Indie Next List pick, and A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018, and many other wonderful picture books including Penny Loves Pink, Little Bunny Foo Foo: The Real Story, and Good Dog.

0c24b-cori_bio_pic  Rabbit

PB MS Critique – from Heather Ayris Burnell, author of Bedtime Monster, Kick! Jump! Chop!: The Adventures of the Ninjabread Man, and the forthcoming Unicorn and Yeti books (an Acorn Chapter Book series). Heather is also the founder of SubIt Club

heather burnell  Kick Jump Chop

– PB MS Critique – from Melissa Stoller, author of Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush, Ready, Set, GOrilla, and the Enchanted Snow Globe Collection (a chapter book series)

Picture2     Picture1

15-30 Minute Your Questions Answered Phone Call – with Ryan Sias, author/illustrator of Go Greenie! Are You Eating Something Red?, Go Greenie! Are You Eating Something Green?, Balloon Toons: Zoe And Robot, Let’s Pretend, Sniff Sniff!, and the Woof And Quack beginning reader series (Green Light Readers) He has worked in animation, film, and television, including Sesame Street 🙂

Do you have questions about writing, revising, submitting, whether or not to try for an agent, what happens after the sale, or anything else publishing industry related?  If so, this is your chance to ask away and get answers from a professional!

85044-ryan_headshot   SniffSniffcover-300x300

Extra Entry into Writing With The Stars – Tara Luebbe (only for unagented, unpublished writer)

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-10-13-05-pm

“Writing with the Stars is a mentorship opportunity for aspiring picture book writers and illustrators to win a free, three-month mentorship with a published author or author/illustrator. Mentors will help mentees further develop their craft and share invaluable advice and insight into the publishing world.” (~from the website)

Writers are allowed to enter 3 times, but the winner of this prize will get an extra 4th entry to this amazing writing mentorship opportunity!!!

 – 2-Pack of Personalized Signed Picture Books by the lovely and talented Tania Guarino, author of MEET THE QUACKERS (Spork, 2017) and GARDEN PARTY: A COUNTING ADVENTURE (Spork, 2018)
tania-guarino_1_orig Quackers Garden Party

a personalized signed copy of NOT SO SCARY JERRY by the wonderful and gifted Shelley Kinder

shelley-kinder_orig   Jerry

 

 

Surprise Bundle Of Books – assorted PBs, MGs, YAs  – generously donated by Elaine Kiely Kearns and  KidLit411

Yes You Can

 

Making A Living

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 🙂

The 2015 Holiday Contest WINNERS!!!

Hi there!

I’m so glad you’re here!

I have something of great import to discuss with you, and it really cannot wait another minute.

No, not the questionable decision to place Holiday Inflatables in your front yard… although if you do that we should probably talk… 🙂

And no, not the age old question of what that stuff in fruit cake really is… because darn tootin’ it’s no kind of fruit I could identify!

I think you can guess what it is. . .

. . . the thing that is first and foremost on all of our minds today. . .

. . . and that is. . .

. . .

. . .what our Official Holiday Elf Names should be!!!

Seriously!  We’re running out of time to decide!

Apparently I’ve got a choice of 5:

Cupcake Gingersocks
(generated by http://christmas.namegeneratorfun.com/ – random)

Cinnamon Embercrystals
(generated by http://christmas.namegeneratorfun.com/  – based on first and last name)

Elvis McJingle
(generated by http://mix108.com/if-you-were-an-elf-what-would-your-name-be-find-out-now/ 

Candy Sparklepants
(generated by http://965kvki.com/whats-your-elf-name-generator/ 

or

Sugar Candykirk
(generated by http://www.elfontheshelf.com/content/elf-name-generator 

I’m torn!

I really am!

I think I have to go with either Cupcake Gingersocks or Candy Sparklepants, though… although Elvis McJingle is very appealing too!  Which one do you think I should pick?

And you should go get yours!  Right now!  And share it in the comments!  You know you want to… 🙂  I’m all about the giving over here – I went and researched these helpful links just for you, so that you could waste a little time spend the holidays being called by your official Elf Name 🙂  Think of it as my little holiday gift to you 🙂

So now, happy holidays!  See you in 2016!  May the force be with you etc.!

What?

You were expecting to discuss something else?

Something more important than official Elf Names? (as if there could be anything more important…!)

Oh!

Right!

I knew there was something else. . .

🙂

                    The 5th Annual Holiday Contest!!!!

WINNERS!!!

As always, I was thrilled to see so many wonderful stories!  Really!  It is amazing and inspiring, not to mention VERY entertaining!  There is just so much talent out there amongst you all!

But with large entry numbers, all of high quality, 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 Tuesday 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.

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:
     David McMullin for Christmas In Discomfort (also so original and creative)
     Jaclyn Kruzie for A Rockin’ Christmas Wish
     Sam Steinfels for Unsilent Night
     Melissa Bulls for Santa’s Stain (also a fun-for-kids mystery)
     Heather ??? for A Real Christmas Tree

2. For Great Kid Appeal: (not already mentioned in the finals or other categories)
     Wendy Greenley for Cookin’ Up The Holiday Kid-Style
     Kirsten Bock Mel The Marshmallow’s Cocoa Catastrophe (also great ending!)
     Gabi Snyder Christmas With Kevin The Nanny Bot

3. For Excellence In Evoking Mood And Holiday Spirit And Tradition:
     Joni Klein-Higger for Happy Festival Of Lights
     Shelly Bond for Christmas Story Time!
     Tracey Cox for Zippin’ Around On Christmas Eve

4. For Beautiful Rendition Of The Christmas Story:
     Kristi Veitenheimer for A Christmas Birth
     Aileen Stewart for Huddled Around The Stable Door

5. For Most Original Setting:
     Anne Sawan for The Outback Christmas Hop
     Lorraine Nelson for A Very Spacey Christmas

6. For Favorite Character:
     Marla LeSage for spunky, resourceful, entertaining Sheila in Holiday Heist

7. For Best-Written Original Point Of View:
     Julie Bergman for The Little Burnt Latke (POV of a latke!)
     Joanne Sher for Precious Cargo (POV of the donkey who carried Mary)

8. For Fun Story In Fewest Words:
     Miranda Ireland for Christmas Party Hop (4 lines, 44 words – the overworked judges love you :))

9. For Best Entry For Parents 🙂
     Shari Schwarz for Rocking Beside The Christmas Tree (so sweet :))

10. For Best Entry For Writers 🙂
     Debbie Austin for What Happened When I First Sat Down To Write This Story (so clever and entertainingly done! – writers you will not want to miss this one!)

11. For Fun Well-Written Animal Entries:
     Ashley Franklin for Picture Perfect (dog)
     Catherine Flynn for Pouncing Around The Christmas Tree (cat)
     Carol Lescinski for Rockin’ Reindeer
     Jo Hart for Jungle Bell Rock (a whole menagerie :))

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) (and if you request a paperback, please include your snail mail address!)

For Kindle:
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 Easy Way To Write Picture Books That Sell by Robyn Parnell 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

The Ultimate Fiction Thesaurus by Sam Stone OR

In paperback:
Show & Tell In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions From Telling To Showing by Jessica Bell, OR

The Six Senses In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions From Bleak To Bold Narrative by Jessica Bell OR

Adverbs And Cliches In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Subversions Of Adverbs & Cliches Into Gourmet Imagery by Jessica Bell OR

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

And now…

…the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

The announcement of the WINNERS OF THE 2015 HOLIDAY CONTEST as voted on by you!!!
rat-a-tat-rat-a-tat-rat-a-tat-rat-a-tat-rat-a-tat
DDDRRRUUUMMM RRROOOLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!
In First Place
Winner of the whole shebang…
who gets first choice of all the prizes…
Jennifer Reinharz
for The Hanukkah Elf!!!
Congratulations, Jennifer, on a fabulous entry that was clearly very popular!!! 🙂
In Second Place
Vivian Kirkfield
for The Christmas Seed
Congratulations, Vivian!!  You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Jennifer makes her choice.
In Third Place
Suzy Levinson
for City Critter Christmas
Congratulations, Suzy!  You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Jennifer and Vivian choose theirs.
In Fourth Place
Cindy Williams Schrauben
for Jugglin’ High For Pumpkin Pie
Congratulations, Cindy!  You get to pick after Jennifer, Vivian, and Suzy.
In Fifth Place
Kris Allen
for The Incident
Congratulations, Kris!  You get to pick after Jennifer, Vivian, Suzy, and Cindy.
In Sixth Place
Lisa Connors
for The Gift Of The Magpie (And Friends)
Congratulations, Lisa!  I’m sure you get the idea of how the prize picking goes by now 🙂
In Seventh Place
Sandy Jones
for Red Berries In The Snow
Congratulations, Sandy!  You get to pick next 🙂
In Eighth Placea 4-way tie!
Linda Schueler
for Randolph, Not A Reindeer
Nancy Tandon
for No Peeking!
Sheila Lynch-Afryl
for Clucking Christmas
Jen Bagan
for Ned’s Christmas Wish
Congratulations, Linda, Nancy, Sheila and Jen!  You get to pick after Sandy!  And we’ll just have to sort it out between us since you tied!
And in Twelfth Place, rounding out the top dozen of these amazing finalists and the 97 Holiday Contest Entries for 2015…
Deborah Boerema
for A New Classic?

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!  And for your convenience, the whole prize list is included at the bottom of this post.

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 and a Holiday Treat which is not fruitcake! (unless you happen to like it :))

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.  It’s because of all of you that this contest was such a success, so many, many thanks from the bottom of my heart!

As I… hmm… maybe didn’t mention…?, I’m taking a little blogging break so I can spend time with my family – I’ve got children to fetch, cookies to bake, Christmas presents to shop for and wrap, and my sister and her family are arriving form Georgia on Monday! 🙂 –  Oh, and we’re going to see the new Star Wars movie on Wednesday!  So I will see you all in a couple weeks – most probably Wednesday January 6th for Would You Read It 🙂

So now, I want to wish you all a happy and healthy holiday filled with love, laughter, joy, and family, and a happy, healthy and successful new year!  It is a pleasure and a privilege to get to spend time with you all, and I’m happy and grateful to know each and every one of you!

Looking forward to all the things we’ll do in 2016!

Happy Holidays, and all best wishes for a wonderful New Year!!!

Love,
Susanna


The Prizes!!!  (items in color are links for more info!):

– A Picture Book Manuscript read and critique (winner’s choice of in-person, on the phone, or via email) by Claire Dorsett, Editorial Assistant, Roaring Brook Press!!!
   A bibliophile and outdoor enthusiast, Claire spent her childhood summers road-tripping across the United States, reading constantly on the long car rides between parks and museums. Her love of literature led her to pursue a BA in English from Cornell University, where she was involved with campus publications The Daily Sun and Rainy Day literary magazine. Claire then completed the six-week intensive Columbia Publishing Course before finding a home at Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, assisting VP and Publisher Simon Boughton. She has worked on a range of projects during her time at Roaring Brook, including Lane Smith’s middle-grade debut Return to Augie Hobble, Steve Sheinkin’s National Book Award finalist Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War, and picture books The SkunkThere is a Tribe of Kids, and Ned The Knitting Pirate
– a brand new Picture Book Webinar Bundle including one webinar on Concept Books and the other on Rhyme, Verse and Lyricism in Picture Books, generously donated by Emma Walton Hamilton, author, editor, writing coach, and teacher of the fabulous Just Write For Kids courses.
– a 2016 Membership to Children’s Book Insider, including their Children’s Writing Knowledge Base, an absolutely fabulous resource for kid lit writers of all kinds, generously offered by Jon Bard and Laura Backes
 – A Picture Book Manuscript Critique by talented author/illustrator Iza Trapani, author of JINGLE BELLS, OLD KING COLE, ITSY BITSY SPIDER, and many, many more!
 – A Picture Book Manuscript Critique by the fabulous Lori Degman, author of 1 ZANY ZOO and COCK-A-DOODLE OOPS!
 – an e-copy of the fantastic How To Promote Your Children’s Book generously donated by Katie Davis!

 – Enrollment in Making Picture Book Magic (my online picture book writing class – in January or a later month to be mutually agreed upon by the winner and me)
 – A 6-Month Membership to the new and fabulous One Stop For Writers Site!
 – 2016 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market  and a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
– another 2016 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market  and a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
– a pack of Susanna Leonard Hill’s amazing What’s The Story Cards (hitherto un-introduced to the world!) – writing prompts for every occasion 🙂
 – another pack of Susanna Leonard Hill’s amazing What’s The Story Cards

I can’t thank these authors and other industry professionals enough for their incredible generosity!  Please visit their sites, buy and recommend their books and services to your writer friends and/or friends with kids, write them nice reviews on Amazon, GoodReads etc if you’ve read and liked their books, and show your appreciation to them in any way you can!

The Contest Winner gets first choice of the prizes.  2nd place gets next choice of what’s left and so on.  I do it this way in the hopes that no one will get something they already have and also because I think all the prizes are fabulous and I wouldn’t want to make anyone feel less valued by giving them as 6th place as opposed to 1st. 🙂

2015 Halloweensie Contest WINNERS!!!

As you all know, I do not normally post on Thursdays.

That is because Thursday is my day for lying on the couch eating bonbons.

I am making an exception today because I have something VERY important to discuss with you.

Something that I know has been weighing as heavily on your minds as it has on mine.

Something very crucial!

Something so earth-shatteringly important that it probably kept you up all night!

So let’s just lay it out on the table, shall we?

What is the deal with nuts in dessert items?

I’m serious!  Whose idea was that???

Obviously a dessert like pecan pie requires nuts.  I’m okay with that.

But brownies, cookies, and ice cream were made to be fudgy, chewy, and creamy respectively.  I’m sure you can see how adding hard, crunchy nuts is totally counter to the texture experience and therefore to the true enjoyment of said desserts!  Such appalling effrontery!

I think it’s high time we take a stand, don’t you?

NO MORE NUTS!  NO MORE NUTS!

What?

You think I’M nuts???

I won’t lie.  I’m a little hurt.

Sad face.

Sniffle-sniffle.

Were you expecting a discussion on another topic?

I’m not sure anything needs our attention as much as the ongoing nuts/no nuts debate…

…except maybe…

THE WINNERS OF
The 5th Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!!!!
WA-HOOOOOOO!!!!!

(But wait!  Before I announce, do you want to state your opinion on whether nuts belong in dessert items?

No?  You’re sure?

Alrighty then.  Don’t say I never gave you a chance to be heard :))

As you are all aware by now, we had a record turnout for the Halloweensie Contest – 145 entries! (Plus 2 that came in after the deadline!)  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:
     Mishka Jaeger for The Little Trick-or-Treater
     Vivian Kirkfield for Halloween Fever
     Sandy Jones for Frank-N-Stein’s Store      
     Gabi Snyder for Jack’s First Night (which could also have placed in Best Original POV for being told from a pumpkin’s viewpoint!)

2.  For Best Entry For Teen Readers:
     Lori Dubbin for Indelible! (beautifully done!!!)
  
3.  For Great Kid Appeal: (not already in the finals)
     Charlotte Dixon for Arabella’s Web
     Stacy Jensen for Gilda’s Zombie Fix
     Julie Rowan-Zoch for Creeeaak….
     Shaelyn Berg for Scaredy House
     Saundra Jones for Halloween Countdown (youngest readers)

4.  For Best Descriptive/Mood Piece:
     Rosi Hollinbeck for The Halloweensie Party
     Becky Shillington for Monster Bash

5.  For Best Use of Poetic Language:
     Randi Sonenshine for March Of The Gargoyles
     Suzy Levinson for Trick For Treats

6. For Spookiest Entry: (not already in the finals)
     Bradin Farnworth for Buddy
     Amanda Sincavage for The Haunted Dash

7. For Funniest Entry: (not already in the finals)
     Stephanie Salkin for Mummy Unveiled (which also had great poetic language!)
     Mike Allegra for Night Ninja
   
8. For being Judge #3’s Favorite Entry 🙂
     Lynne Pisano for Boo Who?
   
9.  For Best Written Original Point of View:
     Johnell DeWitt for Dark’s Knight (POV of the dark!)
     Marlaina Gray for YIPE! (POV of a terrier :))
   
10.  For Originality/Creativity:
     Carrie Burrows for Sophie And The Teal Pumpkin (because we learned about the Teal Pumpkin for allergy-sensitive trick-or-treaters!)
   
11.  For Favorite Character:
       Lisa Riddiough for Mo, The Ghost Who Said Moo

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)

For Kindle:
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:
Show & Tell In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions From Telling To Showing by Jessica Bell, OR

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

Now then.  A word about the prizes before I announce the winners.
We have 9 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 🙂
Now.
Finally!
Onto the moment you’ve all been waiting for. . . 
. . . the reason you got out of bed this morning. . . 
. . . to tell the world once and for all how you feel about nuts in your dessert!
. . . THE WINNERS OF THE 2014 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…
Shelley Kinder
for
A Meaty Trick-or-Treat
Congratulations, Shelley, on a delightful entry that was all around well done and clearly very popular!!!
In Second Place,
Sam Steinfels
for
Spooky Spies
Congratulations, Sam, on an exceptionally clever premise beautifully executed! You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Shelley chooses!
In Third Place, a tie!!! between
Marla Lesage                         Polly (sorry I don’t know your last name!)

                   for                                                                    for
 Pirate Prepares For Halloween                                   Nothing To Wear
Congratulations, Marla and Polly, on entertaining, well written entries that we all loved!  You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Shelley and Sam choose!
In Fifth Place, a three-way tie!!!
      Buffy Silverman                    Cathy Mealy                           Jana Locke
               for                                       for                                           for
Spider’s Halloween Debut       Goodnight Halloween     The Unicorn Ate My Candy Corn:
                                                                                                  A Halloween Tall Tale
Congratulations, Buffy, Cathy and Jana, on your wonderful entries!  You get to pick your prizes after Shelley, Sam, Marla and Polly!
In Eighth Place,
Patricia Nozell
for
Leila’s First Halloween
Congratulations, Patricia, on a standout entry that was markedly different from the others with its unique theme!  You get to pick your prize after Shelley, Sam, Marla, Polly, Buffy, Cathy, and Jana!
In Ninth PlaceJulie Abery for The Teensy-Weensy Witch!  Congratulations, Julie!  What a determined little witch!  You get the idea of the prize picking by now I’m sure 🙂
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 10 (Stephanie, Jacqueline, Jean, and Chrystal) may also contact me for their choice of the Kindle or paperback prizes listed above.

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.  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 5th Annual Holiday Writing Contest will be coming up sometime in the neighborhood of December 7-11 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 so you all have time to work on your stories!

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

The Prizes:  we’ve got some seriously amazing prizes! (words in color are links to more info)
 – a read and comments on a PB ms by fabulous agent Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency!!!
 – a picture book manuscript critique by picture book author Diana Murray!  website
 – a query critique from Heather Ayris Burnell, founder of the Sub It Club
– a 6 month subscription to One Stop For Writers (value $50)
 – an e-pub or PDF copy (winner’s choice) of Linda Ashman‘s Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books
  – personalized signed copies of Sarah Frances Hardy’s Dress Me! and Paint Me! (Reviewed HERE for PPBF)
 – a personalized signed copy of Amy Dixon’s Sophie’s Animal Parade (Reviewed HERE for PPBF)
– a personalized signed copy of Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca Gomez’s What About Moose?(Reviewed HERE for PPBF)
 – a personalized signed copy of Penny Parker Klostermann’s There Was An Old Dragon Who Swallowed A Knight (Reviewed HERE for PPBF)
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 🙂

The 2014 Holiday Contest WINNERS!!!

Happy Friday, Everyone!
Yes, yes!  I know what day it is!
Normally, I would tease you for a while and pretend I didn’t know what brought you to this neck of the woods or what you were after, but not today.
Nope.
Today I’m going to get straight to the point.
No beating around the bush.
Nosirree Bob!
I’m going to give you what you came for . . .
. . .  just as soon as we come up with an answer to that eternal burning question: whose idea was tinsel anyway and does anyone actually use it?
Because seriously, that stuff is as bad as Easter grass!  It gets everywhere!
In your hair!  In the carpet!  On the dogs…
And who has the patience to separate it out into single strands to drape artfully over the limbs of your Christmas tree?  (And let’s face it, it does not have the same effect if you just glob it on in clumps…!)
And we’re not even going to TALK about if you have cats!  By golly!  That’s just a disaster waiting to happen!
You’re all writers!  Let your imagination run amok with the idea of cats, tinsel, Christmas trees…
Yikes!  Truly, I shudder to think!
So anyway, where was I?
Oh, yes!
I was not beating around the bush.
I wonder what bush it is that I’m not beating around?
Is it the same as the bush in “Here we go ’round the mulberry bush?”
Or maybe the bush that a bird in the hand is worth two birds in?
I’m guessing if there are two birds they are turtle doves, because that’s how the song goes.  You know, “On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two turtle doves…”  Yeah.  Like that.
Except not a partridge, because he was in a pear tree and we are certainly not beating around the pear tree!
Boy!  All this not beating around things is making me a little dizzy!
So maybe I’ll stop and just tell you about

The 4th Annual Holiday Contest!!!

WINNERS!!!

🙂

I was once again thrilled to see so many wonderful stories!  Really!  It is amazing and inspiring, not to mention VERY entertaining!  There is just so much talent out there amongst you all!

But with large entry numbers, all of high quality, 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 Tuesday 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.

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:
     Leslie Tribble for The Perfect Christmas Tree
     Anne Bromley for Christmas Eve At Gate 25   
     Lauri Meyers for Jimmy Cantore Steals Christmas

2. For Fabulous Fun Kid-Friendly Stories (That Sadly Fell Short On The Weather Element But Were Too Good Not To Recognize!):
     Stacy Jensen for How Do I Fix This?
     Bridget Magee for Dear Santa
     Margaret Greanias for A Little Christmas Wish
     Pam Vaughan for My Snowman Is Sick
     Jim Jones for Snowflake…A Christmas Tail

3. For We-Loved-It-But-Thought-The Humor-Was-A-Little-Too-Grown-Up 🙂
      (and seriously, these were terrific entries, well written and funny!)
     Mike Allegra for Carbon Christmas
     Heather Preusser for Dreaming Of A White Christmas  
     Kristen Foote for Polar Warming
     Hilary (Swann?) for No Sweat Santa
     Kathy Halsey for Whether Or Not To Ho-Ho-Ho
  
4. For Sweet Stories That Exemplified Christmas Spirit:
     Sharon Wilson for A Little Christmas Miracle
     Patricia Corcoran for The Christmas Miracle
     Sally Suehler for Just Ice And Snow
   
5. For Fantastic Word Play:
     Amy Ozay for Rain, dear

6.  For Best First Line:
     James Lloyd for Pablo’s First Christmas
   
7. For Best-Written Original Point Of View:
     Carol Lescinski for The Best Christmas (excellent stuffed dog POV!)
     Summer Hinderer for The Snow Miracle (POV of gingerbread people in Gingerbreadville!)

8. For Best Action Story:
     Caren Cantrell for Northern Exposure

and

9.  The Keep Up The Great Writing Award goes to:
     Ms. Leach’s First Grade for Hopeful Christmas Eve
     And first graders, your special prize will be Happily Ever Madlibs and Once Upon A Madlibs, which we hope you will enjoy doing as a class on days when you can’t go out for recess or something 🙂 as well as 2 StoryWorld Create-A-Story Kits: Quests And Adventures and Fairy Magic which can be used in lots of fun ways to inspire writing and storytelling (and for even more fun you can pull cards from both decks to expand possibilities!)  Thank you for writing another wonderful story for all of us to enjoy!

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)

For Kindle:

Picture Books: The Write Way by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard OR

The Easy Way To Write Picture Books That Sell by Robyn Parnell 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

The Ultimate Fiction Thesaurus by Sam Stone OR

In paperback:
Show & Tell In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions From Telling To Showing by Jessica Bell OR

The Six Senses In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions From Bleak To Bold Narrative by Jessica Bell OR

Adverbs And Cliches In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Subversions Of Adverbs & Cliches Into Gourmet Imagery by Jessica Bell OR

Creating Extraordinary Characters by Angela Hunt, OR

Evoking Emotion by Angela Hunt

And now…

…the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

The announcement of the WINNERS OF THE 2014 HOLIDAY CONTEST as voted on by you!!!
rat-a-tat-rat-a-tat-rat-a-tat-rat-a-tat-rat-a-tat
DDDRRRUUUMMM RRROOOLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!
In First Place
Winner of the whole shebang…
who gets first choice of all the prizes…
Randi Sonenshine
for The Rumbledy Jumbledy Holiday Feast!!!
Congratulations, Randi, on a fabulous and fun entry that was clearly very popular!!! 🙂
In Second Place
Elaine Kiely Kearns
for ‘Twas The Stormy Night Before Christmas
Congratulations, Elaine!!  You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Randy makes her choice.
In Third Place
Katey Howes
for Snow Swirls
Congratulations, Katey!  You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Randy and Elaine choose theirs.
In Fourth Place
Julie Abery
for Santa’s Satnav
Congratulations, Julie!  You get to pick after Randy, Elaine and Katey.
In Fifth Place
Anika Denise
for Little Christmas, BIG SNOW
Congratulations, Anika!  You get to pick after Randy, Elaine, Katey, and Julie.
In Sixth Place
Bronwyn Deaver
for Jack Quits
Congratulations, Bronwyn!  I’m sure you get the idea of how the prize picking goes by now 🙂
In Seventh Place
Sylvia Liu
for Polar Woes
Congratulations, Sylvia!  You get to pick next 🙂
In Eighth Place
Amelia Shearer
for The Night The Sun Stayed Up
Congratulations, Amelia!  You get to pick a prize after Sylvia!
In Ninth Place, we have a tie! between
Johnell DeWitt                      and                      Teresa Robeson
for A Djiboutian Christmas                              Sandstorm Santa
Congratulations, Johnell and Teresa!  You get to pick next!
In Eleventh Place
Kirsten Bock
for Hurricane Coal
And in Twelfth Place, rounding out the top dozen of these amazing finalists and the 100 Holiday Contest Entries for 2014…
Carol Ann Martin
for Wish You’d Been Here

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!  And for your convenience, the whole prize list is included at the bottom of this post.

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 tinsel parade (clumpy or stringy, however you like it :)), and a large amount of Figgy Pudding (which truthfully I don’t know what that is, but apparently it’s something we all want some of :))

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.  It’s because of all of you that this contest was such a success, so many, many thanks from the bottom of my heart!

As I… hmm… maybe didn’t mention…?, I’m taking a little blogging break so I can spend time with my family – I’ve got cookies to bake, Christmas presents to shop for and wrap, and my sister and her family are arriving form Georgia on Monday! 🙂 –  so I will see you all in a couple weeks – most probably Wednesday January 7th for Would You Read It unless I have something really important to impart on Monday the 5th… but I’m not really foreseeing that 🙂

So now, I want to wish you all a happy and healthy holiday filled with love, laughter, joy, and family, and a happy, healthy and successful new year!  It is a pleasure and a privilege to get to spend time with you all, and I’m happy and grateful to know each and every one of you!

Looking forward to all the things we’ll do in 2015!

Happy Holidays, and all best wishes for a wonderful New Year!!!

Love,
Susanna


The Prizes!!!
– A picture book manuscript read and critique by Shari Dash Greenspan, Editor of the multi-award winning Flashlight Press!  I encourage you to sign up for their newsletter HERE!
 – A picture book manuscript read and critique by Jennifer Mattson, Agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency!
 – Enrollment in Renee LaTulippe‘s highly praised and recommended Lyrical Language Lab Course (in a month to be mutually agreed upon by the winner and Renee) ($249 value!)
 – Enrollment in Jon Bard and Laura Backes’s fantastic Kindle Kids Mastery Course ($197 value!)
 – A website or blog design or redesign by Arturo Alviar.  Arturo will design (or redesign if you already have one that needs updating or a new look) a website or blog for the winner of this prize. The site will be built on WordPress so that after he is done designing it, the winner can manage it themselves with ease. Arturo will include a Home/Welcome page, an About Me/Bio page, a Works/Books/Gallery section, and a Contact section (4 pages total), as well as a blog section if the winner would like to have that integrated with the new site. Different organizations can also be made, for example if the winner would like a “Services” section with separate “School Visits” and “Critiques” pages, or a “Works” section divided into “Black and White” and “Color” illustration galleries. The winner can choose any of the WordPress themes (if they choose one that isn’t free, the cost of the theme will be covered by them), or have Arturo choose a theme based on their vision, and Arturo will modify it based on their color and layout preferences (some themes will have more constraints than others). Arturo can also design a personalized banner or header image to customize the website.  If you already have a website and/or blog and prefer a redesign to update, refresh, or just redecorate, Arturo is willing to work with Blogger, Wix, Drupal, and WordPress.
 – Enrollment in Making Picture Book Magic (my online picture book writing class – in March or a later month to be mutually agreed upon by the winner and me)
 – A picture book manuscript critique by fabulous author Amy Dixon, author of MARATHON MOUSE and the forthcoming SOPHIE’S ANIMAL PARADE.
– A picture book manuscript critique from Katy Duffield, author of more than 20 books for children including Farmer McPeepers And His Missing Milk Cows (Cooper Square Publishing 2003) and upcoming titles Loud Lula (Two Lions) illustrated by Mike Boldt and Aliens Get the Sniffles, Too (Candlewick) illustrated by K.G. Campbell.
 – A picture book manuscript critique (rhyme or prose) from Penny Parker Klostermann who, after extensive experience critiquing for writing partners, members of various kid lit groups, and clients of Erin Murphy Literary Agency, is opening her own critique service!!!
Penny Parker Klostermann writes picture books and poetry. Her debut book, THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT, is coming from Random House Children’s, August 2015. Penny is represented by Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Click HERE to learn more about her critique service. 
 – 2015 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market, a signed copy of Boy And Poi Poi Puppy by Linda Boyden, and a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
 – a pack of Deb Lund’s amazing Fiction Magic Cards
 – another pack of Deb Lund’s amazing Fiction Magic Cards

Halloweensie Contest 2014 WINNERS!!!

Happy Thursday, Folks!

It was so nice of y’all to come visit me on a non-posting day!

Really, the fact that you would come all the way over here just to see me makes me feel all warm and fuzzy 🙂  You are all so sweet!

Can I offer you some refreshments?  Forgive me for being a little unprepared – I wasn’t expecting company today – but please, help yourselves to coffee and donuts!

Everybody got something?  Good!  Let’s get comfy and settle in for a nice chat!

I have a scintillating story to tell you about the smell in our bathroom wall.

No!  Not that kind of smell!

What happened was this:

On Saturday, we lit a fire in the fireplace for the first time this fall.  No sooner did the chimney heat up then a dreadful odor began to pervade the house!  We traced it to the upstairs bathroom wall which, oddly enough, does not touch the chimney.

You would really think that in order for a smell to be coaxed out of the wall it would have to be quite near the heat source, but apparently this is not the case, because the bathroom wall is not anywhere near the chimney, but there was no doubt about the smell.

Ah, the mysteries of architecture!

But wait.  Where was I?

Oh, yeah.  The dreadful odor…

So there we were, enjoying our first cozy fire of the season, when this ghastly smell nearly knocked us flat.  Obviously it was imperative that we discover the cause…

What?

You don’t care about the dreadful odor in my bathroom wall?

I think you should at least pretend, seeing as how you’re my guests and I gave you donuts!

You’re only here for the donuts and the what?

You want results?

What kind of results?

And who’s to say I have them?  I may have been incapacitated by the decomposing bat (yes, that’s what was causing the dreadful odor, since clearly I’m not going to get to finish telling my story…!)

But really, a decomposing bat is a pretty appropriate item to have found right before announcing. . .

THE WINNERS OF
The 4th Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!!!!
WA-HOOOOOOO!!!!!

(But wait!  Before I announce, do you want to see pictures of the decomposing bat?

No?  You’re sure?

Alrighty then.  Don’t say I never offered you anything :))

As you are all aware by now, we had a record turnout for the Halloweensie Contest – 132 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:
     Susan Halko for The Contest
     Mishka Jaeger for The Poag’s Revenge
     Julie Abery for Orinda Owl’s First Halloween
   
2.  For Great Kid Appeal: (not already in the finals)
     Marla Lesage for At Grandma’s House Last Halloween (which was also delightfully spooky!)
     Marty McCormick for Winnie’s Spell
     Christie Allred for Petie Pumpkin And The Stinky Halloween
     Teresa M.I. Schaefer for The Best Pumpkin
     Marlaina Gray for Lolly Is Scary
     Tracie Percival for The Misspelled Witch
     Vivian Kirkfield for A Night Of Friendship For Miss Witch

3.  For Best Descriptive/Mood Piece:
     Carol (whose last name I’m sorry I don’t know!) for Halloween Night
     Mandy Yates for On This Night

4.  For Best Use of Poetic Language:
     Penny Klostermann for HG (Haunted and Ghostly) TV Ex-Scream Makeover Ghost Edition

5. For Spookiest Entry: (not already in the finals)
     Eric Hammond for The Scarecrow
     Michelle Valencia for The Halloween Sneer
     Jean James for Trick Or Treat?
     Alistair Lane for The Raven And The Pumpkin
     
6.  For Sweetest/Cutest Entry: (not already in the finals)
     Anne Bromley for The Pumpkin Patch Scarecrow (sweet)
     Jennifer Wesselink for Five Silly Monsters (cute)
     Ellen Leventhal for Emma’s Evening Ride (cute)
     Linda Boyden for Pumpkin Moon (cute, and could have also won Best Entry in Fewest Words at 27! :))

7.  For Saddest Ending: (hehe :))
     Nancy Hatch for It’s Time To Fly

8.  For Best Written Original Point of View:
     Victoria Aranda for Creaks (written from the POV of a haunted house)
   
9.  For Excellence In Depicting Sibling Relationships:
     Carrie Charley Brown for Prankenstein
     Kimberly Cowger for First Flight of Halloween
     Joanne Sher for Dumb Jack-‘O-Lanterns

10.  For Originality/Creativity:
     Jen Garrett for How To Carve A Pumpkin

11.  For Favorite Character:
       Pat Tilton for her “gutsy witch” who “slammed the ghost with her sack of candy” in Little Ghost 🙂

12.  For Best Collaboration:
       Susanne Leach and her First Grade Class for Sweetsie’s Jack-O-Lantern***

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)

For Kindle:
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:
Show & Tell In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions From Telling To Showing by Jessica Bell, OR

Creating Extraordinary Characters by Angela Hunt, OR

Evoking Emotion by Angela Hunt

*** The exception is Susanne Leach and her First Grade Class.  I wasn’t sure they’d have much use for the aforementioned writing guides, so instead a group of lovely authors and I would like to present them with a gift pack of signed picture books for their classroom, including NINJA RED RIDING HOOD by Corey Rosen Schwartz, FARMER MCPEEPERS by Katy Duffield, COCK-A-DOODLE OOPS by Lori Degman, MARATHON MOUSE by Amy Dixon, and PUNXSUTAWNEY PHYLLIS by yours truly.
Great job, first graders!  You knocked our socks off! 🙂
Now then.  A word about the prizes before I announce the winners.
We have 10 fabulous prizes, generously donated by authors and various professionals in the writing field.  Since some of the winners may already have taken a class, or own a book, or have only rhyming mss or only non-rhyming mss for critique, etc, 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 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 🙂
Now.
Finally!
Onto the moment you’ve all been waiting for. . . 
. . . the reason you got out of bed this morning. . . 
. . . to see a picture of my decomposing bat!
. . . THE WINNERS OF THE 2014 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…
Jodi McKay
for
Halloween Hide-and-Go-Seek
Congratulations, Jodi, on a delightful entry that was all around well done and clearly very popular!!!
In Second Place,
Nick Rowe
for
Halloween SMS (Short Messaging Scariness)
Congratulations, Nick, on a wonderfully spooky entry with very creative and original formatting!  Well done! You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Jodi chooses!
In Third Place,
Lauri Meyers
for
Sulky Spider’s Spooky Webs
Congratulations, Lauri, on a well written, clever, and funny entry that we all loved!  You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Jodi and Nick choose!
In Fourth Place,
Nancy Tandon
for
Snip, Snap, Crack
Congratulations, Nancy, on a deliciously creepy entry!  You get to pick your prize after Jodi, Nick, and Lauri!
In Fifth Place,
Joanna Marple
for
Devious Dads And Halloween
Congratulations, Joanna, on a very clever and creatively formatted entry!  You get to pick your prize after Jodi, Nick, Lauri, and Nancy!
In Sixth Place,
Gina Silvester
for
Halloween Chase
Congratulations, Gina, on an entry that was tons of spooky fun!  You get to pick your prize after Jodi, Nick, Lauri, Nancy, and Joanna!
In Seventh Place, Carrie Finison for The Shadow!  Congratulations, Carrie!  Your rhyme was outstanding, and we loved your little cat 🙂  You get to pick next 🙂
In Eighth Place, Linda Schueler for Creaky Cackle!  Congratulations, Linda!  Your entry may have been the funniest one in the pack!  You get to pick after Carrie!
In Ninth Place, Michelle Barnes for This Year’s Halloween Mascot!  Congratulations, Michelle!  Boy, do you know how to write believable kid behavior 🙂  You get the idea of the prize picking by now I’m sure 🙂
and in Tenth Place, Amelia West for Full Moon Rising!  Congratulations, Amelia! Nicely done!  You get the remaining prize! 🙂
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 10 (Michael, Mike, and Debbie) may also contact me for their choice of the Kindle or paperback prizes listed above.

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.  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 4th Annual Holiday Writing Contest will be coming up sometime in the neighborhood of December 8-12.  I’m running it a little bit earlier this year so we can all fully enjoy it and still have time for last minute holiday things.  And to whet your appetites and get your thinking caps on, I will tell you that first prize is something AWESOME!  A picture book manuscript read and critique by an actual editor at an actual highly regarded publishing house!!!  But that is all I’m saying for now 🙂  You will just have to stay tuned for more details as the Holiday Contest approaches.  And I will do my best to post the rules well in advance so you all have time to work on your stories!

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

The Prizes:  we’ve got some seriously amazing prizes! (words in color are links to more info)

– Julie Hedlund‘s fantastic new course How To Make Money As An Author, interesting, educational and suitable for writers at any stage of their career

 – a 2015 membership to Children’s Book Insider, an absolutely fabulous resource for kid lit writers of all kinds, generously offered by Jon Bard and Laura Backes

 – a picture book manuscript critique from the renowned Alayne Christian (prose only, 800 words or less)
Alayne Kay Christian is an award winning author of BUTTERFLY KISSES FOR GRANDMA AND GRANDPA. She is represented by Erzsi Deak of Hen&Ink Literary Studio. To read more about Alayne, her critique service, and her books visit her websites and blog.

– a picture book manuscript critique (rhyme or prose) from Penny Parker Klostermann who, after extensive experience critiquing for writing partners, members of various kid lit groups, and clients of Erin Murphy Literary Agency, is opening her own critique service!!!

Penny Parker Klostermann writes picture books and poetry. Her debut book, THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT, is coming from Random House Children’s, August 2015. Penny is represented by Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Click HERE to learn more about her critique service. 

 – a picture book manuscript critique by Tracey M. Cox!  Tracey offers a full critique on a fiction PB, 800 words or less, which will include overall impression and line-by-line on a prose only pb ms.  She will also include thoughts and marketing ideas that she thinks about and if she can think of references, she’ll add them also.  Tracey M. Cox has been writing professionally since 2000 and is an author of 6 picture books.  She is an active member in the children’s literature community and explores how to self-market on little to no budget.

Website: www.traceymcox.com
Blog: www.traceymcox.wordpress.com


 – an e-pub or PDF copy (winner’s choice) of Linda Ashman‘s Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books

 – a personalized signed copy of I WANNA GO HOME by Karen Kaufman Orloff, the latest in the brilliant PB series that began with I WANNA IGUANA. (Reviewed HERE for PPBF)

 – a personalized signed copy of I AM COW HEAR ME MOO by Jill Esbaum (reviewed for Perfect Picture Books HERE and HERE – yep, it’s so popular it got reviewed for PPBF twice :))

 – a personalized signed copy of NINJA RED RIDING HOOD by Corey Rosen Schwartz, the riveting follow-up to THE THREE NINJA PIGS.  (Reviewed HERE for PPBF)

 – a PDF copy of Ryan Sias’s A Spooky-Doodle E-Book“doodle pages, drawing lessons and writing prompts inspire kids to invent their own stories, characters and artwork.”

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 🙂

The First Ever Pretty Much World Famous Illustration Contest – WINNERS!!!

Good Monday, everyone!

(Doesn’t that sound so Shakespeare-y?  It’s like Good Morrow :))

I know none of you has gotten a minute of rest or a wink of sleep for days, what with the torturous anticipation of finding out who the winners of the contest are!

The First Ever PrettyMuchWorldFamous Illustration Contest!!!

You’ve probably gnawed all the erasers off your pencils, bitten your nails to the quick, and lost 5 pounds from being unable to contemplate the idea of sustenance whilst in such a heightened state of suspense!  (That’s okay, it means you can have triple helpings of chocolate on Wednesday when you stop by for Would You Read It :))

So I will not keep you in suspense any longer!

(I would not want to be responsible for one more brow wrinkle or gray hair of consternation and anxiety! :))

I just have one quick thing to say, which is that EVERYONE who entered this contest should be very proud of themselves.  You all showed up, put in the work, produced GORGEOUS book covers (which our authors are all so thrilled about!), followed guidelines, and worked to a deadline – all very important skills to practice when illustrating and/or writing is your profession 🙂  Even if you didn’t make the finals, be assured that your illustrations were greatly enjoyed by many upon many!  Seriously!  I am not making this up.  The contest post with all your links had around 3 thousand views, which means lots of people were visiting you, even if they didn’t all comment!  So we are giving you a round of thunderous applause – clapclapclapclapclap!!!!! – and you should pat yourselves on the back and have an extra slice of chocolate cake – you did good! 🙂

Also, I had a lovely time at the Hudson Children’s Book Festival on Saturday.  I got to see my dear friends Iza Trapani (she of illustrious judging fame :)) and Nancy Furstinger, and I had the honor of being placed at a signing table right next to none other than Jane O’Connor (you know, Fancy Nancy Jane O’Connor!)  I felt like I was very much in the wrong place next to all that famousness!

And then I spent all day Sunday driving to Boston…

What?

You don’t care?

That’s kind of rude, don’t you think?  When I was about to tell you about how I was forced encouraged to listen to Pink Floyd’s The Wall straight through from start to finish at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning?  Which is not the most uplifting set of tunes, let me tell you, even though there’s a lot of great music involved.  And I can tell you that by the end of the entire day of driving, certain parts of my anatomy were unComfortably Numb…

What?

Oh gosh!  Right!  I was supposed to be telling you about the winners!  Sorry.  My bad!

DDDDDRRRRRUUUUUMMMMM  RRRRROOOOOLLLLLLLLLL  PLEASE!!!!

The winner of the First Ever Pretty Much World Famous Illustration Contest and a portfolio critique by Michael Garland!!! is:

Julie Rowan-Zoch
with her stunning cover for Elliah Terry’s The Jackrabbit Who Cried Gila Monster!

Congratulations, Julie!  That is some cover!  It knocked a lot of socks off! 🙂

In second place, winner of a $50 gift certificate to Dick Blick Art Materials is

Donna Marie
with her bold and colorful cover for Mike Allegra’s Goldilockup

Congratulations, Donna Marie!  Your cover was absolutely fabulous!

In third place,*

Louis Davilla Wiyono
with his humorous cover for Mike Allegra’s Goldilockup

Congratulations, Louis!  Your cover was arresting! 🙂

In fourth place,*

Colleen Kosinski
with her winsome cover for Mike Allegra’s Goldilockup

Congratulations, Colleen!  Your sweet cover made us feel sorry for the naughty Goldi 🙂

In fifth place,*

Anne Mitchell
with her delightful cover for Jennifer Caritas’s The “Princess” And The Pete

Congratulations, Anne!  Your cover was so appealing!

In sixth place, winner of a Canson sketch pad and a small set of Derwent or Faber Castell colored pencils is

Tiemdow Phumiruk
with her mischievous cover for Elliah Terry’s The Jackrabbit Who Cried Gila Monster

Congratulations, Tiemdow!  Your cover was such fun!

* Third, fourth, and fifth place winners each have their choice of any one of the following books:

      – Writing With Pictures by Uri Shulevitz

Winners, please email me so we can talk details 🙂

Thank you again to all the illustrators who participated in this contest and treated us all to such beautiful artwork; to our wonderful judges, Iza Trapani and Lisa Thiesing, without whom we could not have done this!; and to all the readers and viewers who visited, commented, and voted to celebrate these talented artists!  It is all of you who make these contests fun and worthwhile!  Hear! Hear!  What the heck!  Even though it’s not Wednesday, let’s have a little chocolate all around! 🙂

Thank you, thank you, thank you, ALL!!!

Have a magnificent Monday, everyone! 🙂

The 2014 March Madness Contest Winners!!!

Oh. My. Goodness!

That was the closest, most hotly contested race for a winner we’ve ever had!

I hope that means that my assistant judges and I made good choices for the finalists! 🙂

The MarcMadness Writing Contest!

I admit it – I get all the fun.  Sitting in the judge’s chair, watching the votes come in, seeing first one person and then another in the lead, biting my nails when there are ties, waiting on pins and needles to see who will emerge victorious….

Normally I’d string you along and tease you for a while, but I’m too wiped out by this whole roller-coaster process.

Truly, it is not for the faint of heart.

Up one minute, down the next.  Nerves stretched like bow strings.

A person less physically fit than myself (haha snort! – can’t say THAT with a straight face after this winter :)) might suffer palpitations!

And speaking of palpitations, I had them aplenty when her royal highness, Miss Scouty Brown, came sauntering back in the house this morning having found something dreadful to roll in!  “What is that SMELL???!!!” all the children shrieked!

Fortunately, we are in the midst of a small flood which, aside from making the basement a delightful place for canoeing, means that there is a lot of water outside.  Scouty was able to enjoy her first swim of the year… twice… with the fortuitous result that she returned from our walk refreshed and smelling mostly like wet dog instead of Something Yucky.

But wait.

What were we talking about?

Oh yes!

The contest!

So, who won?

Oh!  I’m supposed to tell you!

🙂

Okay.

Seriously.

I’m really going to tell.

We had 75 fantastic entries, which we winnowed down by hook or by crook, to the best of our ability, to 10 fabulous finalists.

Y’all voted for your favorites.

And the winner of the 2014 March Madness Writing Contest, who gets to send the picture book manuscript of her choice to none other than the renowned children’s literary agent, Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary is. . .

duhn duhn duhn
dddddrrrrruuuuummmmm rrrrrooooollllllllll pppppllllleeeeeaaaaassssseeeee!!!!!

Wendy Greenley
with her clever Three Wiggly Worms Bluff!!!

Congratulations on a wonderful story, Wendy!  I think it’s clear that a LOT of people really enjoyed it! 🙂

Now, I wasn’t kidding when I said this contest was hotly contested.  I kept asking for votes this weekend, hoping the ties would get broken, but not all of them did.

So, for 2nd place we had a tie between

Mike Allegra
with the fantabulous Goldilockup!

and

Dawn Young
with the hilarious Goldibawks!

Congratulations Mike and Dawn, on two terrific and very different twists on Goldilocks!  Lori and Cori have generously agreed to each give a critique instead of just one or the other, so you will each get a picture book critique by a fantastic author!

In 3rd place, guess what?  Another tie!  This time between

Pen Avey
with her delicious Sweetie Witch

and

Lauri Meyers
with her daring Princess And The Stinky Cheese!

Congratulations, Pen and Lauri!  I will prevail upon Corey to tire her signing hand by signing copies of her books for both of you! 🙂  And you may email me about your gift cards.

4th place goes to

Darshana Khiani
with her delightful Mongoose’s Holi Party!

Congratulations, Darshana, on a truly original tale!  You may choose the two picture books you’d like from the prize list.  (I’ll tack it on the bottom of the post for easy reference :)) And email me about your gift card.

In 5th place,

Jennifer Caritas (hope I’ve got that right…!)
with another forthright heroine in The “Princess” And The Pete!

Congratulations on a terrific story, Jennifer!  You may also choose the two picture books you’d like from the prize list below and email me about your gift card.

And in 6th place,

Elliah Terry
with her fun southwestern Jackrabbit Who Cried Gila Monster!

Congratulations, Elliah!  I bet that gila monster is still running from the coyote 🙂 You will receive a personalized sighed copy of SNORING BEAUTY by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen!

All the winners should email me to work out prize details!

But now, we are not quite done.

Because, like I said, this was a hotly contested contest.  My assistant judges and I had quite a few other favorites that we felt couldn’t quite make the finalist list for one reason or another, but we all thought they were worthy of recognition.  So the following people (in no particular order) receive our heartfelt Honorable Mention!

Gaye Hemsley – Chocolate Muffins
Joanne Roberts – Goldi And The Three Squirrels
Vivian Kirkfield – Singerella
Katie Gast – Little Dead Riding Hood
Katie Cullinan – The Three Little Easter Bunnies
Jen Doherty – The Mischievous Fire Truck
Laura Shovan – The 12 Clumsy Princesses
Margaret Greenias – The Big, Bad-Mannered Wolf
Angela Turner – The Belle And The Sticker Burrs
Cheryl Secomb – Little Red Rider
Robert Schechter – Humpty
Erik Weibel – The Once Upon A Times
Rachel – Handsome And Gretchin

Congratulations to all of you on stories that were original, fun, and very entertaining!  You may all choose one of the following as a prize: (titles are links so you can check them out)

Kindle Edition – The Nuts & Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books by Linda Ashman
Kindle Edition – Picture Books The Write Way by Laura Purdie Salas & Lisa Bullard
Kindle Edition – How To Write A Children’s Picture Book by Darcy Pattison
Kindle Edition – The Easy Way To Write Picture Books That Sell by Robin Opie Parnell
Kindle Edition – How To Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks and Secrets To Create A Bestseller by Katie Davis

Paperback – Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly by Gail Carson Levine (also available for Kindle)
Paperback – How To Write A Novel: 47 Rules For Writing A Stupendously Awesome Novel That You Will Love Forever by Nathan Bransford (also available for Kindle)
Paperback – The Plot Skeleton by Angela Hunt (also available for Kindle)

Please email me and let me know your preference!

Congratulations to everyone who entered a story in this contest.  You all did an amazing job!  My assistant judges and I loved every story for one reason or another.  And I think it’s fair to say that you entertained a LARGE number of readers!

Thank you so much to everyone who visited blogs, read, commented, and voted – these contests couldn’t happen without you!

And thank you to the generous people who donated prizes – Karen Grencik, Lori Degman, and Cori Doerffeld – you’re what everyone tries so hard for and you bring out the best in the writing community!

It’s been another fun contest, and I thank you all!

I was going to announce the upcoming first ever * Illustrator Contest * today, but this post is too long already, and I really don’t want to distract from the winners’ moment in the spotlight, so I will either write a special Tuesday post for tomorrow or tack it onto the Would You Read It post on Wednesday.

So congratulations again to all the winners for all their wonderful stories, and to everyone who wrote a story for this contest.  You are all winners just for showing up, writing something new, and practicing your craft!

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone! 🙂

List of Prizes:

 – 1st Prize is a read and critique by Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary!!! (Unless for some reason you don’t want a read and critique by an agent, in which case you may swap for any of the other prizes)
 – 2nd Prize is a picture book manuscript critique (for rhyming mss only) by Lori Degman, author of 1 ZANY ZOO and the forthcoming COCK-A-DOODLE-OOPS! OR a picture book manuscript critique (for non-rhyming mss only) by Cori Doerrfeld, author/illustrator of LITTLE BUNNY FOO FOO and PENNY LOVES PINK as well as illustrator of many others.
 – 3rd Prize is personalized signed copies of THE THREE NINJA PIGS and GOLDI ROCKS & THE THREE BEARS by Corey Rosen Schwartz PLUS a $25 Amazon Gift Card
 – 4th and 5th Prizes are your choice of any two of the following picture books PLUS a $20 Amazon Gift Card:
     – THE THREE LITTLE WOLVES AND THE BIG BAD PIG by Eugene Trivizas
     – CINDY ELLEN: A WILD WESTERN CINDERELLA by Susan Lowell
     – LITTLE RED WRITING by Joan Holub
     – THE THREE LITTLE PIGS AND THE SOMEWHAT BAD WOLF by Mark Teague
     – THE PRINCESS AND THE PEAS by Caryl Hart
     – THE WOLF’S STORY: WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD by Toby Forward
     – GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE DINOSAURS by Mo Willems

 – 6th Prize (which just skated in under the wire – thank you Sudipta!) is a personalized signed copy of hot-off-the-presses SNORING BEAUTY by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Winners Of All Kinds!

What a way to start the week!

I’ve got nothing but winners for you today 🙂

Oh.  And one teeny question…

But first, let’s give out some prizes, shall we?

Somewhere in the flurry that was the end of the Halloweensie Contest, you’ll recall we voted for the October Pitch Pick winners.  Well, wouldn’t you know it?  There was a tie!  Normally I would have made you vote again to break the tie, but I thought after the contest and the pitch pick you might be all voted out, so I asked Erin if she’d be willing to take 2 pitches this month and being the amazing, kind, generous person she is, she said yes!  Many, many thanks, Erin, if you happen to be reading this!

SO!  The dual winners of the October Pitch Pick are:

Julie, with her pitch for Broccolilocks,
and
Rosi, with her pitch for Iris The Rainbow Girl!!!

Congratulations to you both – your pitches are already in Erin’s inbox 🙂  And congratulations also to all our pitchers for October.  You all did a terrific job!  I hope you all found the reader feedback helpful.  We are certainly grateful to you for being brave enough to pitch – it gives us all a chance to learn.

Next up, you will recall that we had a copy of SARAH GIVES THANKS by Mike Allegra to give away – very timely with Thanksgiving right around the corner.  And the winner of this fabulous book is…

Teresa M.I. Schaefer!!!

Congratulations, Teresa!  You lucky duck 🙂  Please email me (handy email button in side bar or susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com) so we can work out details!

Next up, we had a special Would You Read It last week for Faith The Heroic Pony.  People who contributed helpful feedback were entered to win 3 separate prizes.  And the winners are:

Wendy Greenley – who gets the “signed” photo of Faith!!!
Cathy Hall – who gets the DVD of “The Story So Far”!!!
Stacy Couch – who gets a copy of the book Diary Of A Heroic Horse: Molly Gives Faith Hope!!!

Thank you, thank you to everyone who tried to help with the book’s blurb.  We all want to see the Easy Horse Care Rescue Center benefit from sales of this book!

Winners, please email me (handy button in side bar or susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com) so we can work out how to get your prizes to you!

PHEW!  That was a lot of prizes!  Pretty good way to start off the week, wouldn’t you say?

So now, the teeny question:

As you may know (because I’ve been talking your ear off about it :)), the Holiday Contest is fast approaching.  It will probably run from Monday December 9 – Wednesday December 18 or Thursday December 19 (5 days to post your stories, a couple days for judging, a couple for voting, and then the winners announcement in time to get you all on your way with a week of shopping time in hand :))

So here’s what I want to know:  If I post the rules next Monday November 25, which gives you about 2 weeks (a little more really because you’ll have all the way to the 13th to post) will that give you enough time to work on your stories given that part of that time is the Thanksgiving long weekend and Black Friday?  Or would you prefer I post it sooner?  I can add it onto the end of WYRI on Wednesday or PPBF on Friday.

So let me know….  I don’t want to give you so much time that you think to yourselves, “Oh!  I have AGES to get that done!” followed by “Oops!  I forgot.”  Likewise, I don’t want to box you into too short a time frame.  So please let me know in the comments.

Have a marvelous Monday everyone, after all that prize giving! 🙂

Halloweensie Contest 2013 WINNERS!!!

Hey!

What are you all doing here?

Don’t you know it’s Thursday?

I don’t post on Thursdays.

Go home.

I’ll see you tomorrow for Perfect Picture Books.

Oh!

You’re here for a reason?

Well, I’ll be darned!

You must have all come over to hear about my hangnail!

Aren’t you just the sweetest to be so concerned!

Let me tell you, it’s a doozy.  It started on Monday when I was washing the dishes.  It was just that little tiny painful beginning, you know?  And I noticed it when I went to dry my hands and that painful little poinky end got caught on the dish towel and I was like, “Oh, man!  Not a hangnail!”….

Wait a minute.

You’re all managing to look very patient.

But I heard yawning…

…and I see some eye-rolling in the back over there….

You didn’t really come over to hear about my hangnail, DID you!

I KNEW it!

So why are you here on a Thursday?

Go home, I tell you!

Jeez Louise!  You’d think I had nothing better to do than to entertain you lot with the

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST WINNERS!!!!!

Heeheehee!  I’m sorry!  I just can’t help myself.  Heeheehee.  I don’t even HAVE a hangnail!  Heeheeheeheehee!

Okay, really.  I’m sorry for tormenting you with my juvenile behavior.  Let’s start with a few surprises, shall we?

As you are all aware by now, we had a record turnout for the Halloweensie Contest – 79 entries!

I was thrilled beyond measure to see so many wonderful stories!

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.

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:
     Vivian Kirkfield for Halloween Dance Party Countdown
     Carrie Finison for Callie’s Prize-Winning Potion
     Lauri Meyers for White Cat’s Halloween
     Suzy Levinson for Black Cat Goes To Spooky School

2.  For Best Use of Poetic Language:
     Kathy Moncrief for Halloween Night!
     Heather Greene for Untitled (Hallowed Eve)
     Julie Rowan-Zoch for Halloween Comes To The Farm
     Bradin Farnworth for The Witches’ Song
     Kimberley Moran for Black Glass Cat

3. For Spookiest Entry: (not already in the finals)
     Teresa M.I. Schaefer for Grim Concoction
     Laura Shovan for The Old Hotel
     Jackie Wellington for A Disappearing Act
     Deirdre Sheridan Englehart for The Spookiest Night!

4.  For Funniest Entry: (not already in the finals)
     Mike Allegra for Spooky Piggy
     Janet Johnson for Brewster’s Trick
     Sheila Renfro for Helga’s Black Cat Search

5.  For Sweetest/Cutest Entry: (not already in the finals)
     Deb for Boo: The Scaredy Halloweenie Cat

6.  For Great Kid Appeal: (not already in the finals)
     Michelle Barnes for The Witching Hour
     Meg Miller for The Halloween CAW Ball
     Kirsten Bock for Scare D-Cat

7.  For Most Original Format:
     Nancy Hatch for Cackle… The Spooky Black Cat – in rap! 🙂

8.  For Best All-Around Entry By A Newcomer To The Blog: (not already in the finals)
     Juliana Lee for Sleepless Hallow’s Eve
     Doris K. Stone for The Fat Black Cat Sat

9.  For Favorite Character:
     Stacy Couch for her Ninja Ballerina in Olivia vs. The Witch 🙂

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)

For Kindle:
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:
Show & Tell In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions From Telling To Showing by Jessica Bell

And now…

…the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

…a picture of my hangnail!

… THE WINNERS OF THE 2013 HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST ACCORDING TO THE POPULAR VOTE!!! (which did not have the consideration to work out very neatly as you will see…)

In First Place, winner of a picture book manuscript critique from Corey Rosen Schwartz (celebrated author of The Three Ninja Pigs and other wonderful picture books) AND a copy of Linda Ashman’s brand new Nuts & Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books

DDDDDRRRRRUUUUUMMMMMRRRRROOOOOLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!

Nata Romeo
for Drusella, The Black Spooky Cat

Congratulations, Nata!!!

In Second Place, winner of a picture book manuscript critique AND a query letter critique from Heather Ayris Burnell, author of Bedtime Monster,

Marcie Rinka Wessels
for Miss Sadie

Congratulations, Marcie!!!

In Third Place, we have a tie between

Eric Weibel          and          Margaret Greenias
      for The Dare                  for One Ghostly Halloween

One of them will win the signed copies of Halloween Hustle by Charlotte Gunnufson, The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Haber, and Marathon Mouse by Amy Dixon, which was the original 3rd prize.  The other will win The Writer’s Workout: 366 Tips, Task andTechniques From Your Writing Coach by Christina Katz AND Rip The Page: Adventures In Creative Writing by Karen Benke – they will have to fight amongst themselves and/or come up with a way to split and share the spoils 🙂

Congratulations, Erik and Margaret!!!

In Fifth Place, we have another tie! between

Laura Renauld          and          Cheryl Secomb
for Foe or Friend?                     for On Halloween

Since I didn’t previously announce prizes past 3rd, I’m going to keep this tie fair by awarding both Laura and Cheryl a $20 Amazon Gift Certificate – that way they won’t have to fight like Erik and Margaret 🙂

Congratulations, Laura and Cheryl!!!

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 6 (Joanna, Nancy, Katie, Donna and Buffy) may also contact me for their choice of the Kindle or paperback prizes listed above.

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.  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 3rd Annual Holiday Writing Contest will be coming up sometime in the neighborhood of December 11-18.  I’m running it a little bit earlier this year so we can all fully enjoy it and still have time for last minute holiday things.  And to whet your appetites and get your thinking caps on, I will tell you that first prize is something AWESOME!  A picture book manuscript read and critique by an actual editor at an actual highly regarded publishing house!!!  But that is all I’m saying for now 🙂  You will just have to stay tuned for more details as the Holiday Contest approaches.  And I will do my best to post the rules well in advance so you all have time to work on your stories!

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

Announcing The Winners of The 4th Of July Secret Mystery Contest!!!

Good Morning, Everyone!

Thank goodness it’s finally morning, right?

Because I know none of you got a wink of sleep last night wondering WHO would be the WINNER of the

The Fourth Of July Secret Mystery Writing Contest!
WHO ATE THE BLUEBERRIES???!!!


But now the day is finally here.

And I will tell you who won.

Just as soon as I find my glasses…

Ah.  Here they are.

Heavens!  I can’t see a thing!

Hang on while I wash the lenses.

You know, I used to have perfect vision.  But somewhere in the last couple years I have become very dependent on my glasses.  I think it’s all this computer time.  Or maybe my extreme old age…

What?

I’m rambling?

I told you.  It’s my extreme old age 🙂

Okay.  I’ll stop 🙂

Are you ready to find out who won?

Before I announce the winners, I just want to thank everyone who participated in the contest one more time – the writers, the readers, the voters.  These contests are so much fun, and they couldn’t happen without each and every one of you.  So thank you all.

Now then.

Drum roll, please!

RATATATTATATATTATATATTATATAT!!!!!

The winner of The Fourth Of July Secret Mystery Writing Contest is

Cheryl
with her story
Mouse’s Missing Magic!!!

Congratulations, Cheryl, on a fabulously written entry which has won you the opportunity to have the picture book manuscript of your choice critiqued by none other than the one and only Simone Kaplan!

2nd Place goes to Joanne for her story Mixed Messages!!!  Congratulations, Joanne!!  (Now aren’t you glad you entered? :))

As second place winner, Joanne gets first choice of the remaining prizes:

 – a $50 Amazon gift certificate – Joanne
 – a picture book manuscript critique from yours truly (a $75 value) Sidney
 – the writing craft book of your choice (up to $30 value)
 – a place in Making Picture Book Magic (my online PB writing course) (a $99 value)

3rd Place goes to Sidney for her story Birthday Presents For America!!  Congratulations, Sidney!!  You get second choice of the prizes above after Joanne picks.

4th Place goes to Tina for her story Fishing Boat For Freedom!!  Congratulations, Tina!!  You get to pick after Joanne and Sidney 🙂

5th Place goes to Cathy for her story Guessing Game!!  Congratulations, Cathy!!  You get to pick after Joanne, Sidney and Tina 🙂

Winners, please email me and we will get all those prizes sorted out 🙂

And once again, congratulations to all our contestants!  I have to say, you are all winners by virtue of the fact that you took the time to practice your craft, write new stories to specifications and a deadline, and put them out there for people to read.  You know that whole 10,000 hours to mastery thing?  You’re all a little bit closer 🙂

Thanks to everyone for making this another great contest.  I look forward to seeing you all in October for the 3rd Annual Halloweensie Contest!  (Unless I can’t restrain myself and add another contest somewhere in between…  I’m not sure there’s time, but feel free to weigh in on whether you’d like one and what it should be :))

Have a great weekend, everyone!!!