The 12th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!

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

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

The 12th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest!!!

~ for children’s writers ~

THE CONTEST: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in word count) using the words slither, treat, and scare.

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

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

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

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

THE JUDGING: over the following days, my devoted assistants and I will read and re-read and narrow down the entries to a finalist field of about 12 which will be posted here for you to vote on I hope by Saturday November 5th (though if the judging takes longer than expected it might be a little later – we will do our best! But fair warning I have two school visits that week and a long drive Friday.) The winners will be announced Tuesday November 8th (good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise 😊)

Judging criteria will be as follows:

  • 1. Kid-appeal! – These stories are intended for a young audience (ages 12 and under), so we’re looking for stories that children will enjoy and relate to.
  • 2.  Halloweeniness – the rules state a Halloween story, so it must be crystal clear that the story is about Halloween, not just some random spooky night.
  • 3. Use of all 3 required words and whether you came it at 100 words or less.
  • 4. Quality of story – entries must tell a story, including a main character of some kind and a true story arc even if it’s tiny 😊  Entries must not be merely descriptions or mood pieces.
  • 5. Quality of Writing: check your spelling, grammar, punctuation etc.  If you’re going to rhyme, give us your best 😊  Use and flow of language, correctness of mechanics, excellence of rhyme and meter if you use it, PROOFREADING!
  • 6. Originality and creativity – because that is often what sets one story above another.
  • 7. How well you followed the Submission Guidelines – agents and editors expect professionalism. This is a chance to practice making sure you read and follow specified guidelines. If you don’t follow agent and editor submission guidelines, they won’t even read your submission.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Writer, librarian, bookseller, blogger Kathy Halsey

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

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

Developmental Editor, Lou Piccolo

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

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

⭐️ 30 Minute Picture Book Zoom Critique Session with Lynne Marie

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

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

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

⭐️ Rate Your Story Speed Pass from Lynne Marie

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

Please join me in thanking these very generous authors and other writing professionals for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books and services for birthday, holiday or other gift purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazon, B&N, or anywhere else if you like them, recommending them for school and library visits, recommending their books for school and library purchases, and supporting them in any other way you can dream up! 😊

Happy Writing! Happy Reading! And Happy Halloween!

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

Now, let the Halloweensie begin!

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

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

Would You Read It Wednesday # 410 – Remmy’s Sticky Situation (PB)

It’s Wednesday! Let’s wind up for the pitch!

But first. . .

If you spend any time around kids, you have no doubt been challenged to a variety of tongue twisters. My sister and I had two favorites when we were kids: “toy boat” and “rubber baby buggy bumper” ((say either of them at least 3 times fast!)

But the most recent one I got challenged to (which I can barely say 1 time without messing up 😊) is “Irish wristwatch, Swiss wristwatch” Go on! I dare you!

It’s hard, right?! 😊

So, if you’re casting about for a writing prompt today, why not have a go at writing something with tongue twisters? Dr. Seuss did it. You can, too!

I think it’s actually kind of a cool exercise, since it makes you really think about the sounds in words – something we care a lot about here in kidlit 😊

Here’s Something Chocolate to get you fueled up and ready to write – Cookie Dough Fudge! Looks scrumptious, doesn’t it?

Cookie Dough Fudge

Perhaps you’ll feel inspired to write a story full of tongue twisters about cookie dough fudge 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Cindy. Cindy is a kidlit writer, graphic designer, kid at heart, and lover of all things chocolate. She works full time in marketing but writing for kids is her happy place. She is also a member of the Write2Ignite Conference team (write2ignite.com) which offers virtual workshops for children’s writers and her website is cindylynnsawyer.net.

Find her on the web at:

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Remmy’s Sticky Situation

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: When Remmy raccoon’s cotton candy disappears, he blames his friends. But he finds himself in a sticky situation when he discovers the real reason for the mystery. Has he lost his best buds forever? How can Remmy show his friends that he is truly sorry?

So what do you think? Would you read it? YES, MAYBE, or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest. If you answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Cindy improve her pitch. Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome. (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful. I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks! For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It, or on Would You Read It in the dropdown under For Writers in the menu bar above. There are openings as soon as next week (April 27), so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on my editor Erin Molta!

Cindy is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to seeing if I can figure out a story that has been percolating in my mind for about 2 weeks. . . I hope I can get it on paper, and I hope I love it when it gets there! 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #409 – Little Camper’s Not-So-Big Adventure (PB) PLUS So Many Pitch Winners!

Howdy, Friends!

Here’s a little puzzler for first thing in the morning.

April is a big birthday month in my family, which prompts discussions of how likely it is people’s birthdays will land on Easter. I am well aware of the deep and important meaning of Easter and do not make light of it, but let’s face it: for kids it’s all about getting birthday presents AND jelly beans in the same day 😊

I googled a bit, but was quickly sent scurrying back to my rightful place by Scary Math. So, as is appropriate, I’m going anecdotal.

My dad’s birthday has been on Easter 3 times: 1962, 1973, and 1984. Perhaps Easter dates move in 11 year cycles? (How’s that for deductive reasoning? Take that, Scary Math!)

One of my daughters’ birthday has never fallen on Easter for her, but will in 2031. (I will not say how old she’s going to be because it is not polite to tell a lady’s age 😊)

My niece’s birthday is April Fool’s Day and her birthday landed on Easter in 2018 when she turned 14, and will again in 2029 and 2040. (There are those 11s again!) My nephew’s birthday fell on Easter 2 years before he was born when it wasn’t his birthday yet and isn’t due to land on that date again until 2066 when he will be 62 years old!

I, as you know, am extremely ancient, and yet my birthday has only landed on Easter once, the year I turned 9.

My deductions, based on the anecdotal evidence cited above, (and just try to stay with me on this because I know math and science simply aren’t for everyone and you should just not feel bad if your mind has a hard time with the acrobatic feats demonstrated by mine!), is that my next Easter birthday will be whenever Easter feels like it 😊

There will be extra credit for anyone who can guess the dates of my Dad’s, daughter’s, nephew’s, and my birthdays. The cat’s already out of the bag on my niece’s 🤣🤣

Now that I’ve limbered you up with mental calisthenics, let’s do a little celebrating, shall we? I am thrilled to announce the pitch winners that you all voted on last week! Woo hoo!!!

The Pitch Winners are . . . .

September 2021 – Hannah – The Good Wolf (PB 4-8)

October 2021 – Robin – I Am The Zookeeper (PB 3-7)

November/December 2021 – Melissa – Don’t Even Think About Lions! (PB 4-8)

January 2022 – Patti – Dragon Is Out Of Here (PB 4-8)

Congratulations, Hannah, Robin, Melissa, and Patti! Great job! Your pitches have already been sent to editor Erin Molta and I’m sure she will reply with her comments as soon as she can! We have a lot of Straight From The Editors to look forward to!

Congratulations to all our other pitchers, too! You all did a fabulous job presenting your pitches and then taking the feedback offered by our wonderful readers and using it to revise and improve. I hope everyone feels like a winner because I think you all ended up with stronger pitches!

I appreciate everyone who steps up to share because it gives all of us a chance to learn and improve our skills! So, thank you all!

All that math and excitement has rendered me slightly faint, so I think it’s time for Something Chocolate! Don’t these Easter Blossom Cookies (or Spring Blossom if you don’t celebrate Easter) look delicious? So springy! And, more importantly, so delightfully chocolate in the middle! 😊

Recipe HERE at Crayons and Cravings

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Deborah. Deborah Foster is a mother, an architectural drafter, and a fantastic cook. She is a member of 12×12, Inked Voices, and SCBWI. She is always looking for more writing friends on Twitter. Follow her @DeborahClaytonF or check out her blog at www.deborahfosterbooks.com.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Little Camper’s Not-so-big Adventure

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: Little Camper can’t wait for her first big adventure! Will it be the Grand Canyon? Roaring Niagara Falls? When Little Camper’s first adventure bounces down dusty back roads to the Apron Museum, she’s ashamed to recount her travels to the other campers. But after a hurry-to-the-next-stop trip, Little Camper realizes that bumpy back roads and odd attractions might just be the perfect adventures for her.   

So what do you think? Would you read it? YES, MAYBE, or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest. If you answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Deborah improve her pitch. Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome. (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful. I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks! For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It, or on Would You Read It in the dropdown under For Writers in the menu bar above. There are openings immediately, so you could get your pitch up next week if you want for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on my editor Erin Molta!

Deborah is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to Easter weekend! 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #408 – The Cottonwood Stars (PB)

Hi Everyone!

It’s Would You Read It Wednesday where we’re all about practicing, polishing, and perfecting pitches!

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

First, a fortifying snack, Something Chocolate which isn’t exactly chocolate today 😊 Since we had chocolate cake yesterday for our impromptu giveaway winner celebration party, and since it’s practically Valentine’s Day, and since this cake is SO pretty, I’m departing from the norm and serving Valentine’s Day Cheesecake! (And it does have chocolate crust! 😊)

That just looks like four layers of heaven, doesn’t it? YUM! Dig in!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Mary Beth who says, “I am a debut picture book author from Nebraska, blessed with four children who have given me more story material than I could ever use. I have been learning how to write picture books with the help of the wonderful writing community through SCBWI, 12 x 12, and the amazing authors like you with your informative and encouraging websites. 

When I am not making Jam (Covid stress reliever?!) I am a retreat facilitator and am trying to build more and more pockets of time to write.” 

I can be found online at:
Instagram @mbwallarice
Twitter @mbwallarice
Facebook..Mary Beth Rice
http://thevillagejoymaker.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Cottonwood Stars

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8) (or maybe 5-9?)

The Pitch: Hattie shares the wonder of the Cottonwood tree with her brother near their Gram’s garden. In snip, snap, snapping the tree twigs in half, actual stars are revealed! Later that evening, Hattie makes a new discovery: Her heart is still linked to Gram’s through the stars in tree and sky. THE COTTONWOOD STARS encourages healing through the power of nature. 

So what do you think? Would you read it? YES, MAYBE, or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest. If you answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Mary Beth improve her pitch. Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome. (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful. I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks! For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It, or on Would You Read It in the dropdown under For Writers in the menu bar above. There is an opening February 23 and March is open too, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on my editor Erin Molta!

Mary Beth is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to the Valentiny Writing Contest (guidelines HERE if you’re interested in writing an entry!) which opens in 2 days!!! I can’t wait to read everyone’s entries!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #407 – Daphne’s Dress Code Dilemma (PB)

What a day! It’s Groundhog Day AND Would You Read It Wednesday AND World Read Aloud Day!

Since I wrote this post ahead of time, I don’t have Phyllis’s prediction for you, but I know what she’s hoping for 😊 I’ll give you a hint: it involves flowers 💐🌼🌷🌻🌹🌸🌺

She and I have a busy day, so we’re just going to jump right in and fortify ourselves with some fancy, fun, groundhog-friendly chocolate! Won’t you join us? We have a choice! Groundhog Day Cupcakes and Groundhog Day No Bake Cookies!

Groundhog Day Cupcakes & Groundhog Day No Bake Cookies

Recipes HERE at Fork and Beans

Please help yourselves to either or both. I mean, really, you should probably try both to see which one you like best 😊😊😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Helen. Helen is a Texas transplant living in beautiful Richmond, VA with her husband and two children.  When she is not writing and dreaming of engaging picture book ideas, she works as a medical provider with refugees and immigrants. 

Website: www.readhelentanner.com; IG and Twitter @readhelentanner ; LinkedIn: helenltanner

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Daphne’s Dress Code Dilemma

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: It’s first grade…
Daphne’s new school requires sneakers.
She refuses to wear them.
What’s a bold fashionista to do when her individuality is threatened by everyday rules?
With her big brother’s help, Daphne learns that embracing change can be wildly fun in DAPHNE’S DRESS CODE DILEMMA.

So what do you think? Would you read it? YES, MAYBE, or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest. If you answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Helen improve her pitch. Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome. (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful. I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks! For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It, or on Would You Read It in the dropdown under For Writers in the menu bar above. There are openings February 9 and 23, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on my editor Erin Molta!

Helen is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to visiting classrooms full of kids to share Fun With Phyllis! 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #406 – The Alley Cat Chronicles: Mr. Boots, Book 1(CB)

It’s Would You Read It Wednesday again, my friends!

And speaking of Would You Read It, what a glorious week in children’s publishing it is when the ALA Awards are announced – a whole BUNCH of books you’re definitely going to want to read! For the full list (in case you haven’t seen it already) click HERE.

So many books and not enough reading time . . !

I think I need Something Chocolate to munch on while I decide which one to read first 😊 It seems like just the right kind of day for fudgy chocolate brownie cookies loaded with extra chocolate chips . . . or fancied up for Valentine’s Day with Valentine M&Ms! . . . don’t you think?

Best Brownie Cookies

Now then, if you can manage to read and type without getting too much chocolate on your keyboard, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Reed who says, “I am a Registered Psychotherapist during the day and am a kidlit writer by night. I have MS in PB, CB and GN in various stages of development. I live in Toronto, Canada with my hubby, sticky humans and the real Mr Boots and Sassy (aka Boots and Mittens)”

Find her on the web at:
Twitter: reedandwriteki1
Website: reedandnicolebooks.ca

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Alley Cat Chronicles: Mr. Boots, Book 1

Age/Genre: Chapter Book (advanced) (ages 7-9)

The Pitch: Cocky housecat Mr. Boots, meets street-wise Sassy, and between them, they have one competent alley cat and it’s not Mr. Boots.

A tomcat, Mr. Boots, claims to be an “expert” of the streets despite a life lived indoors; the small sticky humans, dry clunky kibble, and stinky cramped litter box. When he finally slips away to chase his dreams – and some birds- he discovers that life outside is harder than it looked through the window. To help him learn the ways of the alley, a feisty street cat Sassy, his long-lost kid sister, who can out-hunt and out-climb him steps up. Mr. Boots must accept he is in over his ears and hightail it home or dig in his claws and let Sassy teach him the ways of the streets.

This is the first in a series of chapter books called THE ALLEY CAT CHRONICLES. The series will follow the adventures of Mr. Boots and Sassy and their alley-cat crew as they navigate living on the streets. The books will touch upon themes such as exploring the unfamiliar, facing one’s fears, discovering new cultures and trying new things. The series will keep readers young and old engaged through laugh-out-loud humour.

So what do you think? Would you read it? YES, MAYBE, or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest. If you answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Reed improve her pitch. Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome. (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful. I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks! For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It, or on Would You Read It in the dropdown under For Writers in the menu bar above. There are openings February 9 and 23, as well as in March, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on my editor Erin Molta!

Reed is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to choosing one of those award-winning books and settling down with chocolate cookies to feel cozy being indoors while it’s sub-zero outside. . . right after I freeze myself doing barn chores 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #405 – The Paper Route (MG)

Hello, my friends!

Welcome to another exciting installment of Would You Read It Wednesday!

Let’s begin with a Fun Fact that might spark a story idea for you. . . so that you can have a turn on Would You Read It with a pitch for your brand new story sometime soon!

Did you know that porcupines can float? It’s true! North American porcupines are good swimmers and their hollow quills help them float. Also, just so you know in case you ever run into one, porcupines will stamp their feet and grunt a warning before they charge. You should probably mention that to your dog so they know when it’s time to beat a hasty retreat! 😊 I think it’s important that porcupines get some stories written about them that do not involve their prickliness. I think there’s an opportunity here for a superhero porcupine story, a quill-raising rescue involving AquaPorc. . . 😊

While we think about porcupine stories, let’s have Something Chocolate. It is scientifically proven the world over (okay, well, anecdotally-proven at Casa Hill) that chocolate promotes creativity, so let’s have some Cosmic Brownies!

Cosmic Brownies

Yum! Don’t you feel the explosion of creativity already, just from looking at that luscious, delightfully festive chocolate treat?! I knew you would! 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Jessica who says, “I usually write picture books, but I’ve recently delved into middle-grade territory as well. I’m looking for feedback on whether this pitch piques interest before I get too far into it. Thanks!”

Find her on the web at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessHinrichs
Blog: https://jessicahinrichs.com/

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Paper Route

Age/Genre: MG Magical Realism (ages 10-14)

The Pitch: Grace takes over the neighborhood paper route, only to discover that the papers magically reveal her neighbors’ secrets and wishes. When Grace learns that she is able to grant these wishes, she desperately needs the advice of her trusted friend, Miss Maisy. But, Miss Maisy died two years ago. How could she possibly help? As Grace comes to grips with reality, will she be able to grant one last wish—her own—before it’s too late?

So what do you think? Would you read it? YES, MAYBE, or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest. If you answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Jessica improve her pitch. Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome. (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful. I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks! For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It, or on Would You Read It in the dropdown under For Writers in the menu bar above. There are openings in February, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on my editor Erin Molta!

Jessica is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to Cosmic Brownies and The Adventures of AquaPorc 😊😊😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #404 – There Was A Small Python Who Swallowed A Flea (PB)

Hi there, everyone!

I learned something new yesterday that I know you’re all going to wish you’d known sooner (please prepare yourselves):

It is illegal to stand within 90 meters of the Queen without socks on!

Am I the only one who didn’t know this?

I mean, how many times have I stood 89.5 meters from the Queen in bare feet? Or in my sandals with NO SOCKS?

It is a miracle I have never wound up in the royal dungeon!

As soon as I heard about this I knew I had to warn you. I hope I’m not too late to save you all from incarceration.

I’m really wondering, though, who exactly this is a problem for. Is the Palace overrun with barefoot people (or shod but sockless people) romping about in the presence of the Queen?

Do the guards at Buckingham Palace entertain themselves by daring each other not to wear socks and see if anyone notices? 😊

Maybe the Queen walks along their ranks each day and uses her walking stick to lift the hem of their pants and see if they’re wearing socks with their shoes of if those sneaky guys tried to break the law by putting their shoes onto bare feet!

But mostly I wonder who thought this was something that mattered enough to be a law? I can just imagine a bunch of gray-wigged heavy-jowled folks sitting around saying, “By George! We’ve just got to do something about all these sockless people cavorting willy-nilly in the Queen’s presence! It isn’t to be borne!”

And is this law all about respect for the Queen, or is this her way of making a public service announcement to encourage people to protect themselves against athlete’s foot?

These are the kinds of questions that occupy the minds of writers as we wonder, what if? The seeds of stories yet to come! I can see it now. A picture book called A Royal Case Of Athlete’s Foot 😊

Wow!

When one is wrestling with these kinds of weighty questions, it is absolutely necessary to have Something Chocolate on hand, don’t you agree?

Since we’ve been talking about feet, how about some Bear Paw Cookies for our Something Chocolate? They’re so cute! And they might send our writerly minds down a whole ‘nother path. . . what if a bear was in the presence of the Queen without socks on? In bare/bear feet?! 🤣

Bear Paw Cookies

When you’ve finished enjoying your delicious Bear Paw cookies and pondering sockless feet, we can get down to business – pitches!

Today’s pitch comes to us from Kizzi. Kizzi once ran away with the circus and worked with elephants and tigers. Now she writes as much as she can, finds lots of inspiration from her family, and goes on adventures a little closer to home.

Find her on the web at:
Her Blog: www.threeshowsaturday.com
Instagram: @Kizmonster

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: There Was A Small Python Who Swallowed A Flea

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: There was a small python who swallowed a flea because it was small, but pythons need MORE after all. So small python swallows more and more things and grows and grows. As he grows, so does his appetite, and soon he’s swallowing everything in sight. After small python has swallowed, slithered, and slurped, a huge buuuurrrrppppp might just solve all his problems.

So what do you think? Would you read it? YES, MAYBE, or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest. If you answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Kizzi improve her pitch. Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome. (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful. I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks! For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It, or on Would You Read It in the dropdown under For Writers in the menu bar above. There are openings in February, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Kizzi is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to visiting the Queen! 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊