The 2017 Halloweensie Contest FINALISTS! (at long last…!)

Hello, Everybodeeee!

SO nice of you to drop by for a Monday morning visit!

Pull your chair up to the kitchen table and pour yourselves a cup of tea or coffee while I rummage about and see what kind of second breakfast goodies I have around here…

Hmmm…..

Ah!

How about this?

assorted breakfast pastries             breakfast pastries 2

Luckily I always keep a few plates of assorted pastries on hand just in case someone should drop by.  My motto is: be prepared!  Also: breakfast is the most important meal of the day… and should therefore be eaten at least twice! (Clearly I could have been a girl scout…if I had been so inclined…! 🙂 )

So, how’re things?  What’s new?

I think there’s something important we need to talk about…

Yes….

I’m referring to that most critical of topics!

Are you ready?

Well then…

How early is too early to put up your Holiday Decorations?

And while we’re at it, when is it really okay to start listening to Holiday Music?

Now, I know some people never take their decorations down.  That certainly saves time and work!

And I, personally, have been known to get Holly Jolly Christmas stuck in my head in July, for no reason I can ever seem to pinpoint!

But I think most people would argue that…

What?

You couldn’t care less?

Really?!

About something as VERY CRUCIAL as the appropriate putting up of decorations and belting out of holiday tunes?!

So what brought you over for coffee hour, then?

Halloween?

Halloween is over!

Why on earth would we want to talk about that?

Oohhhh….

Halloweensie!

Right!

You want to know who the 2017 Halloweensie Writing Contest Finalists are!!!

(And here I thought you just came for the pleasure of my company… and maybe the chocolate croissants…! 🙂 )

All righty, then!  If that’s what you want, Here. We. Go!

We had the biggest turn out we’ve ever had in terms of number of entries – 244! – and the overall quality of the entries was fantastic.  Every contest I am thrilled to see that the quality of the entries has gone up yet another notch.  This means there are fewer obvious standouts, almost none that are easy to cut, and there are a LOT of very good ones that we have to get very nit-picky over!  It is agony, I tell you!

Before we get to the actual list of finalists, I have a couple things to say.  (I know you’re shocked :))

First of all, I want to thank EVERYONE who took the time and care to write an entry for this contest.  You all did a fabulous job and provided great enjoyment for many!

Second, I’d also like to thank EVERYONE – writer, reader, or both – who took the time to go around and read as many entries as you could and leave supportive comments.  This means so much to the writers who worked hard on their stories.  It helps them see what they did well, as well as giving them the joy of knowing that their stories were read and enjoyed.  I hope you all got as much delight  and entertainment out of the reading as I did!  Plus, we got to meet quite a few new people which was a wonderful added bonus! 🙂

Third, before I list the finalists, I want to say again how difficult it was too choose!  There were so many amazing entries.  Really.  I could find at least something terrific about every single one.  The sheer volume of entries meant that many good ones had to be cut.  So if yours didn’t make the final cut please don’t feel bad.  There was a huge amount of competition.  Judging, no matter how hard we try to be objective, is always subjective at a certain point – we all have our own preferences for what makes a great story.  And the fact that you didn’t make the final cut DOES NOT mean you didn’t write a great story.  Everyone who plonked their butt in a chair and worked hard to write a story for this contest is a winner!  You showed up.  You did your best work.  You practiced your craft.  You wrote to specifications and a deadline.  You bravely shared your writing with the world.  And you have a brand new story that is now yours to expand beyond 100 words if you like and maybe submit at some point to a magazine or as a PB manuscript.  So bravo to everyone who entered!

Now.  Onto the judging criteria which were as follows:

1. Kid-appeal! – These stories are intended for a young audience, so entries that were well-written but lacked child-friendliness did not make the cut.

2.  Halloweeniness – the rules stated a Halloween story, so entries that failed to mention anything Halloween-y did not make the cut even if they were well-written.

3. Quality of story – the rules stated that entries were to tell a story, so if they appeared to be more of a description or mood piece, they didn’t make the cut.  We looked for a character and a true story arc.

4. Quality of Writing: we took note of spelling, grammar, punctuation etc.  In addition, for the rhymers, we looked at rhyme and meter (for which we are sticklers!)  We also looked at overall writing quality and use of language.

5. Originality and creativity – because that is often what sets one story above another.

A surprising number of this year’s entries were amazingly written… but in spite of the warning, still failed to really tell a story.  This is SO TOUGH in 100 words – I totally get it.  But some people managed better than others.  There were any number of entries that were superbly written that we wanted to choose, but when we got right down to it, there really just wasn’t much story… not compared to some of the other entries that really managed to tell one.  They were more descriptions, lists, or mood pieces.  So as awesome as they were, we had to make some very hard calls.  A couple were too adult.  Some, because of the cruelly limiting word count were a little hard to follow.  Some of the rhyming ones we really liked were too off-meter to make the cut.  Some entries were just so close, but missed out because of one relatively small thing!  One of our favorites – a clever, fun story we all enjoyed – switched verb tenses repeatedly from present to past and we had to let it go!  Another of our favorites was written in rhyme, and while the 2nd-4th stanzas were okay, the first one never found its rhythm and didn’t flow or match the other stanzas. So we had to cut that one 😦  A couple of others were interesting and educational in a nonfiction-y way, but didn’t feel as much like stories to us as we wanted them to.   GAH!  So hard!

So, without further ado, I present to you the 2017 Halloweensie Contest Finalists.  A mix of poetry and prose, stories for younger readers and slightly older (but still kid) readers, funny, spooky, and cute.  Please read through them carefully, take your time, think it over, and vote for your favorite.  To help with objectivity, finalists are listed by title only, not by author.

And I’d like to be very clear about the voting process.  You are MOST welcome to share a link to this post on FB, twitter, or wherever you like to hang out, and encourage people to come read ALL the finalists and vote for the one they think is best.  Please do that.  The more people who read and enjoy these stories the better, and the more objective votes we get the better.  HOWEVER (and I want to be very clear on this) please do not ask people to vote for a specific number or title, or for the story about the pumpkin ballerina or whatever.  Trolling for votes or trying to influence the outcome is counter to the spirit of this competition which is supposed to be based on merit.  I thank you in advance for respecting this.

So here we go!

#1 Attack Of The Vampire Cookie
On Halloween morning, a cookie is baked,
frosted in crimson and black.
With candy corn fangs and peppermint eyes,
it’s finished –  a vampire bat.

On Halloween midday, the party guests come,
craving a Halloween treat.
Before they can reach the desserts on the shelf,
a cookie escapes to the street.

On Halloween evening, up in the sky
Something bizarre is in flight.
A shadowy monster with candy corn fangs
is looking for children to bite.

On Halloween night, while kids trick-or-treat,
a creature descends, mean and vicious.
“Look!” says a child, “caught in this branch,
a bat cookie. Mmmm, tastes delicious!”

#2 Vampette’s Visions
Little Vampette snuggled into her coffin.
When I wake, it will be Halloween Night!
But soon…
SNIFFLE,
SNUFFLE,
SMOOCH!
“Bunnies!” Vampette shrieked.
She tossed them some candy-corn to satisfy their hunger and slammed the coffin lid.
Vampette peeped out. All was quiet, until…
FLITTER,
FLUTTER,
FLY!
“Butterflies!”
She flung death lilies at the swarm and ducked back into her coffin.
Vampette settle down once more, until…
SQUEAK,
CREAK,
CRACK!
Vampette lifted her lid and peeked out.
A shadow fell across her coffin.
“Wake up, little monster. It’s Halloween Night!”
“Mummy?”
“You were having a daymare!”
Vampette sighed. “Phew. Happy Halloween!”

#3 Boogley’s Halloween
Boogley brewed up something sweet,
a candy-corny scrumptious treat.
But when the shadows crept around,
no trick-or-treaters could be found.
“I wish they’d knock upon my door.
Don’t be frightened, I won’t roar.”
He brushed his fangs, shined up his horns,
cleared the webs and trimmed the thorns.
He heard a creak, “Is ss-someone there?”
He grabbed his tasty treat to share.
The breeze howled in, lights flickered low,
then Boogley saw an eerie glow.
A monster with a crown and wand,
gleaming eyes and curls of blond.
He backed up slow, in full retreat,
that’s when she shouted…
“TRICK-OR-TREAT!”

#4 Shadow Play
House creaks.
Witch-hand branches scratch.
Moon sails in ghostly clouds on Halloween night.
Big sister, so grown up, hands out candy.
She looks bored.
I’ll fix that.
Flashlight: check.
Dracula cape: check.
Candy corn fangs: check.
The shadow creeps down the staircase ahead of me.
Vampire wings flap, teeth bare.
The monstrous shape crosses the door,
touches her shoulder.
“Marcellllaaa…” it hisses.
Shrieks and screams!
M&M’s everywhere!
Mini candy bars fly like shotgun shells.
Marcella sprawls among the rubble.
“You almost scared me to death!”
But now I crouch beside her,
staring at the shadow
still
looming
over
us.

#5 Vampire Has A Sweet Tooth
Young Victor Vampire moped because he’d lost his second fang.
“A toothless ghoul just isn’t cool!” he told his monster gang.
“I feel ya, dude, said Skelton. “Last year I broke a bone.”
“My throat was sore,” said Frankie Stein. “I couldn’t growl or moan.”
Vic huddled in the shadows while he sucked on candy corn.
“This is the ONLY Halloween I’ve missed since I was born!”
Then suddenly Vic smiled wide, as happy as could be.
The candy corn became his fangs,
“Hey monsters…wait for me!

#6 Marvin…The Monster
Marvin tucked himself into the corner. He couldn’t risk anyone seeing him lurking…watching…
waiting…
for the Trick-or-Treaters.
He’d prepared for months, laser-focused on tonight’s mission…
finding the perfect spot…
mastering a flawless special effect…
to thoroughly spook the costumed kids.
As children swarmed onto the porch, Marvin jumped in front of the light…
striking his ninja pose…
casting a huge, creepy shadow…
and screeched, “BOOO!”
“MONSTER! RUN!” shrieked the kids.
Dropping their Halloween loot, they careened off the porch.
Tasting a piece while carrying the bounty to his lair, …
Marvin, the chipmunk, thought…
‘OPERATION CANDY CORN’…
SUCCESS!

#7 Bathilda’s Scary Surprise
Bathilda haunts the shadowed streets,
watching kids munch trick-or-treats.
She moans: “There are no treats for me,
when those monsters all run free!
Candy corn and gummi bears–
I get nothing for my scares!
On Halloween, I’m always bored,
but this year, I won’t be ignored.”
Into the moonlight, thin and pale,
she leaps and groans a ghastly wail.
The startled children flee in fright.
Bathilda cackles with delight.
She gathers up forgotten snacks
from all of the abandoned sacks.
Then moans again, “It all looks sweet,
but I forgot that ghosts can’t eat!”

#8 Beware The Candysnatch
It’s Halloween night, and I’m snug in my bed,
as visions of candy corn dance in my head.
The night’s trick-or-treating brought in quite the haul
of candy bars, lollipops, bubble gum all
hidden, tucked carefully under my covers.
And yet, I feel certain a monster still hovers.
It’s not the dark shadows that trouble me most.
I fear no rogue werewolf, aged mummy, or ghost.
The sinister phantom I worry about
is lurking beside me now, snatching claws out.
A theft-proof alarm bell just might come in handy…
My sister wants ALL of my Halloween candy.

#9 Unveiled Terror
Fear of Halloween monsters has kept Jack hiding since nightfall. He’s had nothing to eat but stale candy corn. His rumbling stomach and aching muscles now coax him from his cramped refuge.

With his first cautious movement, chaos erupts! Jack’s body is bound. His legs tangle. A hood envelops his head. Something grabs Jack and whips him into the air.

Jack gasps in horror when he glimpses a ghostly shadow through his veil. The cover is torn from his face, thrusting him into brightness. He trembles as a voice cackles,

“Jack, you silly dog! Stop dragging the sheets off my bed.”

#10 CLOMP, STOMP, CHOMP!
CLOMP CLOMP
There’s a noise and I’m no longer sleeping
and Yikes! there’s a shadow that’s crawling and creeping.
It’s hairy and scary and has a huge horn.
monster that’ s growling, “Me want candy corn!”
It grunts and it groans and it’s down on all fours.
I toss my whole bag to the creature, “It’s yours!”
I’m under the covers and scared half to death.
I quietly peek out while holding my breath.
It enters. STOMP STOMP
Comes closer. CHOMP CHOMP
Hey wait!
That big beast with the horrible horn?
Is my sister, still dressed as a pink unicorn!

#11 Lulu And Betty’s World Record
Lulu’s pumpkin overshadowed the vegetable patch.
“Time for the World Record weigh-in!” Lulu told Betty, her chicken.
Betty tilted her head… and went back to chomping candy corn.
Lulu embraced her pumpkin and heeeeaaaved….
THUMP!
Lulu scratched her head, “Why are you so light?”
Lulu tapped: hollow! And monster teeth marks blighted the squash’s skin.
“Noooo! I won’t win now.”
Betty pecked the deflated pumpkin.
“Perfect!” said Lulu, clapping.
Lulu carved for hours following Betty’s pecks.
On Halloween night Lulu and Betty’s pumpkin illuminated the town. And smashed the biggest jack-o’-lantern world record.

#12 Werewolf Trick Or Treat
The werewolf wore his costume.
His sack jam-packed with treats,
Like candy corn and Snickers,
He couldn’t wait to eat.

But lurking in the forest,
There was a gruesome pack,
Who shot out from the shadows,
To steal the werewolf’s sack.

The werewolf chased the trio,
Down sidewalks and through lawns,
But when he caught up to them,
The candy was all gone.

“You monsters ate my candy!”
His rage began to brew.
“The candy’s in your bellies…
So now I must eat you.”

#13 The Scariest House On The Block
“Brace yourself, Bobby,” Penelope said.
Anxiety’s shadow enveloped his head.
“Why me?” Bobby whimpered, his voice growing thin.
“Because it’s your turn,” she replied with a grin.
He knocked on the door, and its monstrous feet
approached with a rhythmic, unwavering beat.
It opened the door and met Bobby’s eye.
“Trick or Treat,” Bobby mumbled and tried not to cry.
With a candy corn smile and breath just as gross,
it grabbed Bobby’s head and pulled him in close.
Then … SMACK!—its red lips planted square on his face.
Bobby suffered a kiss from his Aunt Mary Grace.

#14 Jimmy’s Nighttime Guest
Jimmy lay awake in bed,
quaking, shaking, filled with dread.
Shadows cast upon the wall
must mean monsters came to call.

One stood like a triangle,
pointy, tall, and terrible.
Jimmy wondered if this beast
hunted for its dinner feast.

Peeking out behind his sheet,
bracing for a sure defeat,
waiting for a monster raid,
Jimmy felt his courage fade.

Trembling in his bed with fright,
Jimmy reached out for the light,
never to expect this sight.

Resting on the radio,
something blocked his night-light’s glow.
Not a monster’s tooth or horn –
one small piece of candy corn!

 

Now that you’ve had a chance to read through the finalists, please vote for the entry you feel deserves to win in the poll below by 12PM EST (Noon) Thursday November 16.

We will have a regularly scheduled Would You Read It on Wednesday, but I want to make sure everyone gets a chance to read and vote on Halloweensie.

Tune in Friday November 17 to see THE WINNERS!!!  (yeah… we’re going to have to skip PPBF because of the timing getting messed up by the judging taking so long – sorry about that!)

Thank you all so much for taking the time to write (if you did), read, and vote!  These contests simply wouldn’t be what they are without all of you!

I can’t wait to see who the winners will be!

Tune in Friday… same bat time, same bat station 🙂

(Although don’t forget WYRI on Wednesday!)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to lie on the couch and eat bonbons all day.

Okay.

Not really.

I have to catch up with students, critique work, and stuff with a deadline!

But there might still be chocolate involved 🙂

Have a marvelous Monday everyone!!!  And please make sure you VOTE!  With this many finalists, we will need A LOT of votes!

The 7th Annual Halloweensie Contest aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!

My sincere apologies that the finalists are not going to be listed for your votes until at least Wednesday!  Editorial deadlines… enough said.  I’m so sorry for the delay and will do my very best to get the finalists posted as soon as possible!  Thank you for your patience and understanding ❤ 

Ear of bat and toe of worm!  It’s finally time for. . .

The 7th Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!!!!

~ for children’s writers ~

aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!!!

halloweensie-pumpkin

The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words candy corn, monster, and shadow. (Candy corn will be counted as 1 word.)  Your story can be scary, funny, or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!)  Get it?  Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 🙂  (And yes, I know 100 words is short, but that’s part of the fun and the challenge!  We got nearly 150 fantastic entries last year, so I know you can do it!)  Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. monsters, monstrous, shadowy, shadowed, whathaveyou 🙂  NO ILLUSTRATION NOTES PLEASE! (And yes, you may submit more than one entry if you’re so inclined 🙂 )

Post: your story on your blog between right now this very second and Tuesday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list below.  There will be no Perfect Picture Book or Would You Read It posts for the duration of the contest so the links will stay up for everyone to visit and enjoy.  If you don’t have a blog and would like to enter, you can simply copy and paste your entry in the comments section below (please include your byline if your posting handle is something like AwesomeWriter92 so I can identify you.)  If you have difficulty posting in the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com and I’ll post it for you.  Please place your entry in the body of the email including your title and byline at the top – NO ATTACHMENTS!
Please Note: although you are welcome to submit more than one entry, please only post each entry ONCE!  If you post it on your blog (preferred method) everyone will come visit you and you’ll make new friends! 🙂  If you don’t have a blog, post it in the comment section below.  If you’re unable to post, please email me with your entry and byline in the body of the email.  Please DO NOT post on your blog, and in the comments, and send me an email to post.  It makes things confusing!
P.S.  Although I try to stay glued to my computer 24/7 I am sometimes forced to leave my desk.  If you haven’t commented on my blog before, your comment won’t show up until I approve it.  It may take a little while if I’m away from my desk.  Likewise, if you send me an entry to post, I promise I will do it as soon as I can!

The Judging: in a grueling marathon over the following days, my devoted assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to 3 top choices (hee hee hee – you know how much trouble I have with only 3, so we’ll see) which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Monday November 6th (sooner if possible, although I’m warning you ahead of time I have a deadline for something else and if time gets dicey the finalists may get posted later.)  The winner will be announced on Thursday November 9th, good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise 🙂  If we get more than 25 entries, I will post 6 finalists and give prizes for 1st – 3rd.  If by some chance we get the kind of turnout we’ve had the past couple years, I may post as many as 10-12 finalists and I’ll probably end up giving everyone a prize 🙂  But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it!

Judging criteria will be as follows:

  • 1. Kid-appeal! – These stories are intended for a young audience (ages 12 and under), so we’re looking for stories that children will enjoy and relate to.
  • 2.  Halloweeniness – the rules state a Halloween story, so it must be crystal clear that the story is about Halloween, not just some random spooky night.
  • 3. Quality of story – entries must tell a story, including a main character of some kind and a true story arc even if it’s tiny 🙂  Entries must not be merely descriptions or mood pieces.
  • 4. Quality of Writing: check your spelling, grammar, punctuation etc.  If you’re going to rhyme, give us your best 🙂  Overall writing quality and use of language are also important.
  • 5. Originality and creativity – because that is often what sets one story above another.

The Prizes:

– a read and Skype critique of a picture book manuscript by the fabulous editor Callie Metler-Smith of Clear Fork/Spork Publishing!!!

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.55.48 PM

– a spot in Renee LaTulippe’s fantastic INTENSIVE RHYME AND METER SELF-STUDY COURSE!!!

 

– a 30 minute Skype conversation/critique of a picture book manuscript with the amazingly wonderful and talented author Penny Klostermann!!! (THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT – Random House 2015, A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE – Random House 2017)

Penny Klostermann

–  a webinar of your choice from among the selection offered by Julie Hedlund on her Teachable site (details of selection choice to be discussed with Julie)

julie h

Julie Hedlund

– a picture book manuscript critique from accomplished author/illustrator Cori Doerrfeld (PENNY LOVES PINK – Little Brown 2011, LITTLE BUNNY FOO FOO: THE REAL STORY – Dial 2012 and the forthcoming THE RABBIT LISTENED – Dial 2018 and THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF ESTHER THE WONDER PIG – Little Brown 2018, and many, many more!)

0c24b-cori_bio_pic

Cori Doerrfeld

– a picture book manuscript critique from talented author Lynne Marie (HEDGEHOG GOES TO KINDERGARTEN – Scholastic 2011)

lynne marie

Lynne Marie

– a query letter critique from SubIt Club Founder and fabulous author Heather Burnell (BEDTIME MONSTER – Raven Tree Press 2010, KICK! JUMP! CHOP!: The Adventures of the Ninjabread Man – Sterling 2017)

heather burnell

Heather Burnell

– an e-pub or PDF copy (winner’s choice) of Linda Ashman‘s Nuts And Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books. OR a paperback copy of Ann Whitford Paul’s Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation To Publication (on the off chance you don’t already have it 🙂 )

–  a Bundle Of Books from KidLit411 (must be selected by someone in the USA due to postage) which will include picture books and middle grade book, about 7 in total, details still to come.  (Totally awesome for writers, readers, parents, teachers, or gift-givers!!!)

– a personalized signed copy of GRIMELDA AND THE SPOOKTACULAR PET SHOW by Diana Murray PLUS a personalized signed copy of BIG SISTER, LITTLE MONSTER by Andria Rosenbaum
Grimelda 2big sis little monster

 

 

 

 

 

 

– a personalized signed copy of MANJHI MOVES A MOUNTAIN by Nancy Churnin

Manjhi

– a copy of MEET WOOF & QUACK by Jamie Swenson and donated by the illustrator, Ryan Sias

woof and quack

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 🙂

Now then.  Time for my sample entry which I provide because I would never ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.  Also, in case anyone is worried about the quality of their entry they have only to read my truly horrific attempt to be filled with confidence that their’s is MUCH better!  I have to confess, I was really down to the wire this year (my schedule is a lot nuts!), I have some looming deadlines for various things… which is why I may be a little behind getting started reading entries and why the judging may be slightly delayed… just so you know… but I digress!

So, here goes nothing…!

Sneak Attack! (95 words)

Minnie Monster feels forlorn.
How she craves some candy corn!
Why do children have no clue
That monsters covet candy too?
Min peers out the closet door.
Plastic pumpkin on Jen’s floor
Brimming full of trick-or-treat
Surely more than Jen can eat!
What’s a monster girl to do
But help herself to just a few?
Min darts left, then tiptoes right.
Silent, stealthy, out of sight.
Candy corn within her reach,
Min emits a fearful screech!
Hurtles underneath Jen’s bed.
Hides her hairy monster head
From the THING that scared her so –
Nothing but her own shadow!

[And the two lines I had to cut from the end because they took the word count to 105:
Moral of this monster tale?
Don’t filch from another’s pail!  🙂 ]

Now then, darlings!  Is everyone feeling better about their way-better-than-that! stories?  I certainly HOPE so! 🙂

I can’t wait to read all of your entries!  I’m so looking forward to them!  I hope there will be a lot – the more the merrier!  And there are still nearly 5 days to write, so you have time if you haven’t written yet.  Feel free to spread the word to your writing friends as well.  And your reading friends – parents, teachers, etc.  The more people who read and enjoy your stories, the better!!!

Contest Entrants, remember to add your post-specific link to the google form below so we can all come read your awesome stories!  (Post-specific means not your main blog url, but the actual url of the post that has your story in it – otherwise if you post again before the contest ends, your link will take readers… and judges!… to the wrong place!)

Eager Readers – just go along the list of links, click on them, and enjoy the stories!

Happy Writing and Happy Halloween!!! 🙂  🎃

And don’t miss the 135!!! fabulous entries that are posted in the comments below!  (Unfortunately I can’t make links to them, but please scroll through and read and comment for the talented authors!!!)
1.   Scaredy-Crow Joe – Ingrid
2.   The Bone Spider – Shelemur
3.   The Best In The Bowl – Susan S
4.   Fall Forest Stew At Edora Park – Kristen
5.   Scary To Someone – Vanessa
6.   The Trick In The Treat – Corine
7.   Vampette’s Visions – Katie
8.   Pumpkin Patch – Ryan
9.   The Spooky Night Of Halloween – Nina
10. Screamoween – Lindsay
11. The Baddies’ Curse – Cindy
12. Fangsmith’s Missing Fangs – Ann
13. Shadow Play – Jessica
14. Candy Corn: Sweet Or Scary – Jodi
15. Little Monster’s First Halloween – Kathy M
16. Halloween Blizzard – Marilyn U
17. The Scary Sweet – Megan W
18. The Shadow – Megan W
19. The Neighbor Kid – Viji
20. Dancing In The Moonlight – Kathy E
21. “Knock, Knock” – Jerry
22. Gobblewolly’s Halloweensie Treasure – Jennifer B
23. Raven’s Trick – Sydney
24. Sugar Monster’s Revenge – Sydney
25. Corny Smile Costume – Sheri
26. Unveiled Terror – Deborah
27. Trick Or Treat – Claire
28. Halloween With My Sister – Hilda
29. Sharkcula – Katherine
30. Monster Ball – Marilyn G
31. Happy Halloween Volcano – Barbara
32. Boogley’s Halloween – Chambrae
33. Pumpkin Patch – Summer
34. Victor Frank Bakes A Monster – Chambrae
35. Harry’s Favorite Night – Karen
36. The Monster – Judy V
37. The Candy Corn Monster – Gail
38. The Chilling Search For Candy Corn – Laurie
39. The Candy Corn-Eating Contest – Robin
40.  Witchy – Terri
41. The Purple Monster And The Candy Corn – Janet
42. The Purple Monster – Janet
43. Vampire Has A Sweet Tooth – Judy S
44. Candy Monster – Jennifer G
45. Nitro’s Halloween Surprise – Jenifer
46. Beware The Candy Snatch – Jennifer B
47. The Five Houses On Halloween – Cindy
48. Only Around Halloween – Janie
49. Broomstick Sale – Nina
50. The Candy Corn Monster – Marje
51. The Rumor – Judy V
52. Trick Or Treats For Monster? – Sandy
53. Witch Hiccups – B.L.
54. Manny’s Perfect Costume – Anne
55. Shadows Of The Candy Corn Monster – Sarah
56. A Real Witch – Brook
57. Fright Night – Marty
58. Beware The Great Candy Corn – Jenna
59. In The Ginger House Of Licorice Flax – Megan H
60. Do You Know About… – Robyn
61. I’m Not A Candy Corn – Kristen D
62. Halloween – Bah Humbug! – Susan R
63. Shhh – Michael
64. My Favorite Holiday – Jenna
65. Monster’s Shadow – Marcia
66. A Terrible Monster – Anne L
67. Candy Corn Meadow – Megan H
68. Monster’s Brave Halloween – Dee
69. Halloween – Best Day Ever! – Kathy B
70. The Scariest Monster – Dina
71. Marvin…The Monster – Lucretia
72. A Halloween Feast – Elaine
73. Monster Manners – Cheryl
74. Halloween Goodies – Tiffany
75. Pumpkin P.I. – Heather
76. Who Killed Candy Corn? – Beth
77. Sweet Halloween – Tasha
78. Ten Dancing Monsters – Joni
79. The Candy Corn Trap – Nancy R
80. Halloween Raid – Laura
81. Tricky Nicknames – Valerie
82. Shadow Monster – Jen
83. Monster Shadow – Erin
84. Charlotte’s Colorful Night And The Unstuck Candy – Barbara
85. Monster Had A Little Ghost – Nancy
86. The Quest – Linda
87. Watch Out! – Meryl
88. Monster Mayhem – Mary
89. Monster’s Treat – Bridget
90. The Watcher – Mare
91. Spooky Old House – Sherry F
92. Untitled – Katie S
93. The Monster Ball – Anne S
94. Bathilda’s Scary Surprise – Jennifer J
95. House Hates Halloween – Kaye
96. Not So Scary – Judy C
97. Monster’s Pay Day – Sherri
98. The Scary House – Lauren
99. The History Of Candy Corn – Ashley
100. Jimmy’s Nighttime Guest – Sara
101. Trick Or Treat – Kathy S
102. Freaky Pet – Mandy
103. The Shadow Of The Candy Corn Monster – Jim
104. Lonely Halloween – Sparkle
105. The Truth About Halloween – Keatley
106. Sweet Dreams – Risa
107. Call Backs – Risa
108. Sendak Admirer – Risa
109. Ghosts and Goblins and Gremlins, Oh, My! – Mia
110. Monster’s Woe – Nancy R
111. The Great Candy Corn Debate – Mary M
112. Trick Or Be My Treat – Corine
113. It’s All About The Treats – Sharon E
114. Hildy – Sharon E
115. Monster Imposter – Jeanette
116. Even Ghosts Get Scared – JC
117. Witchie On Her Toes – Kathleen
118. Candy Corn’s Big Night – Sharon W
119. Where Is Lilu? – Veronica
120. Which Witch? – Mary W
121. Oh My! – Judy V
122. No Candy Corn! – Grace
123. Monster Suprise – Mona
124. Shadowy Footsteps – Midge
125. Halloween No Fear – Deborah A
126. Scary Mary’s Halloween Harvest – Amy B
127. Me And My Shadow – Laura G
128. Boycott Halloween – Laura G
129. The Walk Home – JC
130. Candy Corn Mystery – Charlotte S
131. Needed: Halloween Partner – Marjorie
132. Mrs. Smith’s Halloween – Marjorie
133. Monster Jr.’s Halloween – Edna
134. Max’s Halloween Costume – Donna
135. The Scariest House On The Block – Susie

BIC Folks! – Announcing The 7th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest Guidelines!!!

What with all that’s been going on lately, I have totally lost track of this month!

This is probably the Monday I should be posting a Short & Sweet or an Oh, Susanna! or something. . .

. . .but instead. . .

EVEN BETTER!. . .

. . .I’m announcing. . .

. . .get ready for it. . . !

The 7th Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!!!!

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~ for children’s writers ~

The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words candy corn, monster, and shadow. (Candy corn will be counted as 1 word.)  Your story can be scary, funny, or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!)  Get it?  Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 🙂  (And yes, I know 100 words is short, but that’s part of the fun and the challenge!  We got nearly 150 fantastic entries last year, so I know you can do it!)  Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. monsters, monstrous, shadowy, shadowed, whathaveyou 🙂  NO ILLUSTRATION NOTES PLEASE! (And yes, you may submit more than one entry if you’re so inclined 🙂 )

Post: your story on your blog between 12:00 AM EDT Friday October 27th and Tuesday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list that will accompany my special October 27th post.  There will be no Perfect Picture Book or Would You Read It posts for the duration of the contest so the links will stay up for everyone to visit and enjoy.  If you don’t have a blog and would like to enter, you can simply copy and paste your entry in the comments section of my October 27th post once it’s up (please include your byline if your posting handle is something like AwesomeWriter92 so I can identify you.)  If you have difficulty posting in the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com and I’ll post it for you.  Please place your entry in the body of the email including your title and byline at the top – NO ATTACHMENTS!  And please do not submit entries before the start of the contest!

The Judging: in a grueling marathon over the following days, my devoted assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to 3 top choices (hee hee hee – you know how much trouble I have with only 3, so we’ll see) which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Monday November 6th (sooner if possible, although I’m warning you ahead of time I have a deadline for something else and if time gets dicey the finalists may get posted later.)  The winner will be announced on Thursday November 9th, good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise 🙂  If we get more than 25 entries, I will post 6 finalists and give prizes for 1st – 3rd.  If by some chance we get the kind of turnout we’ve had the past couple years, I may post as many as 10-12 finalists and I’ll probably end up giving everyone a prize 🙂  But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it!

Judging criteria will be as follows:

  • 1. Kid-appeal! – These stories are intended for a young audience (ages 12 and under), so we’re looking for stories that children will enjoy and relate to.
  • 2.  Halloweeniness – the rules state a Halloween story, so it must be crystal clear that the story is about Halloween, not just some random spooky night.
  • 3. Quality of story – entries must tell a story, including a main character of some kind and a true story arc even if it’s tiny 🙂  Entries must not be merely descriptions or mood pieces.
  • 4. Quality of Writing: check your spelling, grammar, punctuation etc.  If you’re going to rhyme, give us your best 🙂  Overall writing quality and use of language are also important.
  • 5. Originality and creativity – because that is often what sets one story above another.

The Prizes:  yeah… I’m still working on the prizes 🙂  Feel free to chime in in the comments if there’s something you’d particularly like to win! 🙂  Or if you have something awesome to offer!  But for starters, prizes will include:

– a read and Skype critique of a picture book manuscript by the fabulous editor Callie Metler-Smith of Clear Fork/Spork Publishing!!!

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–  a webinar of your choice from among the selection offered by Julie Hedlund on her Teachable site (details of selection choice to follow)

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– picture book manuscript critiques (several amazing and highly qualified people are stepping up for this – details to come)

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

– a whole bunch of fantastic books, some signed, some offered in packages of 3 or more (details to come)

Plus stay tuned because other great stuff is coming! 🙂

I hope those fantabulous prizes will at least whet your appetite for the contest!

Many, many thanks to Callie, Julie, and the PB MS critiquers for their very generous prize offerings!

So sharpen your pencils!

Get your butt in that chair!

See what amazing, knock-your-socks-off story you can dream up!

It’s a chance to hone your writing skills, practice your craft, write to specifications and a deadline, win amazing prizes, AND get to read and enjoy the wonderful stories written by all your fellows 🙂

I am SO looking forward to seeing what you all come up with!!!

Have a Marvelous Monday everyone! 🙂