“The time has come!” the walrus said, “to announce the winners of the 3rd Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Writing Contest!!!”
Maybe that’s not exactly what the walrus said.
I believe he rambled on for a bit about shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings, why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings…
But I’m pretty sure he was getting around to the Valentiny Contest 🙂
I know none of you slept for the entire weekend, on tenterhooks (whatever those are… probably something the walrus was also getting around to discussing! 🙂 ) over who the winners would be!
And I’m sure you all rushed to your computers at the earliest possible moment this morning, disregarding bed head and whether or not you had packed the little darlings’ lunches yet, in order to see the results!
So I won’t make you wait another moment!
Well, maybe just one. . .
. . .since as usual I have a couple things to say first… 🙂
As always, I was thrilled to see so many wonderful stories! (Did I mention there were 160?!) Really! It is amazing and inspiring, not to mention VERY entertaining! There is just so much talent out there amongst you all! The other judges and I are blown away anew each time!
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 last week 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, or that the judges couldn’t reach a consensus on.
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: (entries we truly wrestled with not including in the finalists!)
Teresa M.I. Shaefer for A Valentine For Maia
Colleen Murphy for He Thought He Could
Laurie Batzel for The Blue Valentine
Jean James for The Princess Frog
David McMullin for Steve
Carolyn Leiloglou for Won’t You Be My ValenSPINE?
2. For Great Kid Appeal: (not already mentioned in the finals or other categories)
Greg Bray for A Squirrelly Valentine (also funny 🙂 )
Jilanne Hoffman for The Best Valentine’s Day Party Ever
Nina Nolan for Bunny Hugs
3. For Excellence In Evoking Powerful Emotion:
Jenna Waldman for Grandpa’s Roses
Amy Frost Davidson for Not Alone
4. For Original/Unique/Entertaining POV:
Liz Tipping for The Happy Little Paper (piece of paper – also nice kid appeal)
Matthew Lasley for Puppy Love (excellent job making Jed seem like a dog! 🙂 )
Laura Sealey for A Card With A Heart (card and envelope love story)
Franziska Macur for The Heart Of The Heart
M.S. Nass for Rose And Tulip
Sara Gentry for This Will Be The Year (Gerald turned out to be a gerbil! 🙂 )
5. For Humor:
Christine Rodenbour for Sweet Love
6. For Favorite Character:
Rebekah Hoeft for Grumpily Yours (we loved both Vern AND Miss Springtide! 🙂 )
Leah Kolidas for Max’s First Valentine (we loved Max and especially Lulu!)
Katrina Swenson for Grumble’s Best Valentine’s Day Ever (gotta love a troll valentine story 🙂 )
7. For Conveying A Great Message:
Mishka Jaeger for Happy Thursday
Ariane Peveto for Special Delivery
8. For Beautiful Use of Language:
Alayne Christian for Ladybug Love
9. For More Appealing For Grown-ups But Well-Written And Enjoyable!
(These entries were terrific but either focused on content we felt was more appropriate for over age 12 or that had humor that we considered funnier for adults than kids)
Susan Schade for Valenswine (funny 🙂 )
Susie Sawyer for Valentine For Mom (also funny! 🙂 )
Ryan Roberts for Upside Down Valentine’s Day
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!)
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
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
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…
Magnetic Poetry – Little Box Of Awesome Kit – Words For Refrigerator (let me know your color choice if you care 🙂 )
…the moment you’ve all been waiting for…
The announcement of the WINNERS OF THE 2018 VALENTINY CONTEST as voted on by you!!!
In First Place…
Winner of the whole shebang…
who gets first choice of all the prizes…
Congratulations, Mary, on a fabulously written poem that made us feel your character’s hope and embarrassment superbly, was very realistically kid, and was clearly very popular!!! 🙂
In Second Place
Congratulations, Meg, on an entry we loved for your MC’s amusingly earnest innocence and sweet desire to help his mom. Beautifully done! You get to pick your prize after Mary.
In Third Place
Congratulations, Rachel! You had us rolling on the floor 🙂 You get to pick your prize after Mary and Meg.
In Fourth Place…
A Valentine For Leaf
Congratulations, Stephanie, on a lovely entry with a unique POV! You get to pick your prize after Mary, Meg, and Rachel!
In Fifth Place…
A Valentine’s Day For Milton Monster
Congratulations, Lynne, on an all-around well-written and fun entry with great kid appeal! You get to pick after Mary, Meg, Rachel, and Stephanie!
In Sixth Place…
The Valentine’s Rooster
Congratulations, Gabi! You tugged on our heartstrings with your unique spin on a Valentine’s Day pet adoption! I’m sure you get the idea of how the prize picking goes by now 🙂
In Seventh Place…
Congratulations, Nancy! You wrote a fun story with a perfect last line 🙂 You get to pick next 🙂
In Eighth Place…
Hoping For Snow
Congratulations, Becky! You captured hoping for a snow day perfectly 🙂 You get to pick after Nancy 🙂
In Ninth Place
Leigh Anne Carter
Congratulations, Leigh Anne, on a beautifully written, evocative (and educational!) entry! You get to pick after Becky 🙂
In Tenth Place
Mums The Worm
Congratulations, Judy! We just loved Wendell and Juanita and the clever way they managed to express their love 🙂 You get to pick after Leigh Anne!
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! (The sooner the better!) And for your convenience, the whole prize list is included at the bottom of this post. Carol Ann and Beth, if you’d like to choose a prize from the Honorable Mention selection of prizes you are most welcome to!
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 gigantic chocolate heart… or lots of little chocolate hearts… or both… really, you can never have too much chocolate 🙂
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!
Have a marvelous Monday, everyone! 🙂
– a PB manuscript read and critique from Nikki Garcia, assistant editor at Little, Brown!
– a PB manuscript read and phone call critique with Nicole Otto, assistant editor at MacMillan Children’s Publishing!
– a PB manuscript critique from the superb multi-published award-winning author/illustrator Iza Trapani
– a PB manuscript critique (ms not to exceed 800 words please) along with a follow-up phone call if the author is interested from the lovely and talented Katey Howes, author of Grandmother Thorn (Ripple Grove Press 2017) and Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe (Sterling Children’s Books 2018)
– a PB manuscript critique from the fantastic Lynne Marie, author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten – illustrated by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic, 2011), Hedgehog’s 100th Day of School – illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic, January 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play — illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Sparkhouse Family, 2018) and Moldilocks and the 3 Scares (Sterling, pending) . Her stories, poems, folk tales and crafts have appeared in many magazine markets, including Family Fun, Highlights, High Five, Spider, Baby Bug and more. She was a first-round panelis for 2016 Cybils Awards and again, in 2017. In addition, she’s an on-staff writer for Jon and Laura Bard’s Children’s Book Insider and a book reviewer. She lives on a lake in South Florida with her daughter and Anakin, their little Schipperke, as well as several resident water birds. She has offers both critiques and mentorships for writers. You can learn more about her at www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com
– a PB manuscript critique (non-rhyming please) from the wonderful and amazing Melissa Stoller, author of The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection: Return To Coney Island (Spork 2017)
– a signed copy of Charlie Takes His Shot: How Charlie Sifford Broke The Color Barrier In Golf (Albert Whitman 2018) from fabulous author Nancy Churnin accompanied by a terrific Teacher’s Guide (created by Marcie Colleen)
– a copy of Laura Purdie Salas’s brand new book Making A Living Writing Books For Kids
– a copy of the 2018 Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market (it’s only February – still very useful!)
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!