October 14, 2013

Happy Columbus Day! AND Announcing The 3rd Annual Halloweensie Contest!!!

Happy Columbus Day, Everyone!

You know what Columbus Day means, don't you?  It's time for a little (twisted) history:

Four score and seven years ago... plus a couple hundred... Columbus set sail from Peppermint Bay on the Good Ship Lollypop,
searching desperately for a recipe for a perfect pie crust that would be light and flaky and never tough.  Instead, he found a brave new world.  "Woe is me!" he wailed.  "What use is a new land if I cannot bake a decent pie?"  Pocahontas led him through the wilderness to the Culinary Institute of America but he was expelled when after 6 months his pie crust still had the consistency of truck tires.  "Who cares?" he shouted maniacally as he was led away in footie pajamas.  "You guys might make better pie crust, but I've got my own holiday!  So nanny-nanny-poo-poo!"  And he was right, because lo and behold these many years later we are thankful and celebrate ole Chris because we don't have work or school on his holiday, and anyone can just buy a pie crust any old time from the frozen food section of the grocery store.

And if that is not the version you're familiar with, well, lets just say there's a reason it's called hiSTORY!

Either way, the fact that we don't have work or school means that we are here... ready... and waiting with baited breath (which, what does that mean really?  That your breath smells like bait?  Because that would be icky... but I digress...)  We are here, and ready for the announcement of.....

The 3rd Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!!!!
That's right!  It's time!

courtesy google images
The Contest:  write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words spooky, black cat, and cackle.   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 (you can count black cat as one word) 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 over 40 fantastic entries last year so I know you can do it!)

Post your story on your blog between 12:00 AM EDT Monday October 28th and Thursday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list that will accompany my October 28th post.  There will be no Would You Read It that week, so the post and the list of links will stay up all week for everyone to 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 that post once it's up.

The Judge: my lovely assistant and I will narrow down the entrants to 3 (hee hee hee - you know how much trouble I have with only 3, so we'll see) top choices which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Monday November 4th.  The winner will be announced with Would You Read It on Wednesday November 6th.  If we get more than 20 entries, I will post 6 finalists and give prizes for 1st through 3rd.

The Prize:  yeah... I'm still working on the prizes :)  Feel free to chime in the comments if there's something you'd particularly like to win! :)  But prizes will include (in some way, shape, or form) a hardcover copy of Charlotte Gunnufson's picture book Halloween Hustle and an e-pub or PDF copy (winner's choice) of Linda Ashman's new Nuts And Bolts Guide to writing picture books.  Plus whatever else I dream up in the meantime :)

So that's it!  Have a marvelous Monday, everyone, and use that Columbus Day holiday free time to get started thinking about your Halloweensie Contest entry!

Have fun! :)

Reactions:

53 comments:

  1. Hm, only 100 words? I might be able to swing it. Whoooooo knooooooooows?


    BTW, the phrase is "BATED breath," as in "abated breath" or with held breath. It's a common mistake. Though I suppose if you are a cat, you could have baited breath and smell like tuna!

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  2. That Columbus book sounds fun, Susanna. Happy Columbus Day and looking forward to all the fun Halloween stories.

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  3. Love your twisted history, you silly one! Off to spread the word about the contest...

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  4. Looking forward to coming up with something. Enjoyed your story. I can't relate to stumbling and discovering new lands. I can't make pie crust.

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  5. Oh, I hope you do swing it, Renee! It's right up your alley - people who write in rhyme always have an easier time with this word count :) And thanks for pointing out bated vs. baited - you made me laugh :)

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  6. I hope you're going to WRITE a Halloween story, Catherine! You're a rhymer - you have an advantage in the short word count department :)



























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  7. I'm glad you enjoyed the history lesson, Iza :) Thanks for spreading the word!!!!!

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  8. Oh yay! I can't wait to read your story! I hope I'll be able to think up a sample - oh the pressure! :) And I can't make pie crust either :)

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  9. Wow...that's one of the most creative (and funny) versions of Columbus and the New World! And the Halloweensie Contest...Hurray!!! Thanks so much, Susanna, for always providing us with great writing inspiration.:)

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  10. You don't always learn the right version of history in school, Vivian :) I hope you'll enter the contest - now that you're right there with Jeremy for inspiration :)

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  11. Columbus sailed the ocean blue
    and wore footie pajamas too???


    I'm so excited to know another interesting bit of history. I imagine his footies had gripper bottoms so that he didn't slip and slide around the deck of the Good Ship Lollipop.


    The contest sounds fun. Hope I can come up with something.

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  12. Yes, it is a little known fact about Columbus that he wore footie pjs - definitely with no-slide bottoms for ship safety :) I hope you come up with something for the contest too, Penny!!!!!!!!!!! I hope *I* do!!!!!! :)

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  13. Love your story! Your contest sounds like fun too - hope I can think of something!

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  14. You CAN Pat, I know you can! You have two whole weeks! :) We will cheer each other on, because I have to think of something for a sample :)

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  15. I like you version of hiSTORY far better than actual HIStory. :-)

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  16. Well, you may have noticed that the history of Columbus Day on this blog changes every year :)

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  17. I let the kids help make pie crust the other day. For the record, it is scientifically impossible for small children to be involved in the creation of pie crust which can actually be used to make a pie. After 5 failed rolling attempts, I chucked the lump of lard across the room. I decided to try Martha Stewart's recipe, which as expected turned out beautifully and tasted a kin to eating a stick of butter. Which it basically was. I feel better knowing I share this struggle with Mr. Columbus. (and Yay! Halloweensie!!)

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  18. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikOctober 14, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    I hope I can enter, but I have a lot of stuff on my giant, jumbo-sized platter-that-has-no-limit-to-things-that-go-on-it. But, a Columbus Day rhyme...
    In 1492,
    Columbus sailed the ocean green.
    with Shirley Temple,
    on a magical machine!
    :)

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  19. Doing it right now. It has none of the words in yet though. Can they be in the title lol

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  20. Gah! 100 words? With black cats? And I thought the last contest was a nightmare!


    Fiiiine. I'm in.

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  21. Who knew that Christopher Columbus was into pie? I now declare that I will celebrate Columbus Day by making and eating pie. Of course, I will purchase the crust in the frozen food section of my local grocery store. And while I'm eating my pie (hmm, pumpkin or apple?), I will ponder my Halloweensie Contest entry.

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  22. A very interesting twist of history, indeed. You sure are clever, Susanna!

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  23. What's in your pumpkin juice today? You are creative, courageous and a bit nutty -- but that makes you a lot of fun! That's almost as short as a tweet! :)

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  24. I love a writer who can worked the CIA into her blog post! Food!!! I have a million things to do and will need to hide for a month...so I won't enter this but looking forward to coming back to blogging in December. Hugs!

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  25. History class sure would be fun with you for a teacher, Susanna! :)

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  26. Rachel SchieffelbeinOctober 14, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Oooh, this sounds like fun! I really want to try this one!

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  27. As in , "Cackle, Spooky Black Cat"? :) I think that would be evading the challenge :) But I'm impressed you're on the job already. I spent my day driving back and forth to Boston and didn't write a single thing!!



























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  28. I think I'll challenge my critique group to this one. I mean, 100 words...how hard can THAT be? :-)

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  29. I knew you would, Lauri! It's important to know about the struggles of our forefathers so we can take heart! I will look forward to your Halloweensie entry (which doesn't have to involve pie crust :))

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  30. I have one of those plates, too, Erik! I hope you'll have time to enter! And,
    In fourteen hundred and ninety two
    Columbus didn't know what to do
    Because try as he might
    His crust was a fright
    So he sat down and cried, "Boo-hoo!"

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  31. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Beth! And I guess that technically does count... but it might get edged out by an actual story :) Feel free to enter another :)



























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  32. It's important to challenge your writerly comfort zone, Mike :) And sorry - I forgot you didn't like cats. I just loaded the word suggestions from last week into random.org and let it choose the 3 words! I'll look forward to your story :) If it makes you feel any better, we're all in the same boat... :)




























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  33. See? My version of history has inspired a new tradition of excellence! :) Enjoy your pie, and I will look forward to your entry!

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  34. I don't know what it is about Columbus Day, but every year I feel that there must be a better story than the real one... so I make one up :)

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  35. That is probably why you are good at twitter and I am not, Pat! :) I'm glad you enjoyed Columbus as Shirley :)



























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  36. It's all about making it interesting, Coleen :)

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  37. WHAT???!!! Teresa! You're killing me! It's only 100 words! *sob* *sniffle* Please at least keep your mind open in case 100 words which should just happen to include spooky, black cat and cackle should happen to float in there! (But if it doesn't I understand and good luck with all your stuff and see you in December... for the Holiday Contest! :))

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  38. Oh goody! I can't wait to read your entry, Rachel! :)

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  39. For me? VERY hard :) But I will look forward to entries from you and all your critique group, Cathy! :)

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  40. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikOctober 15, 2013 at 7:19 AM

    In eighteen hundred twenty four,
    Columbus sailed the ocean floor,
    He gave a mermaid a start,
    As he went off the chart,
    And Ole Columbus hit the door!
    :D

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  41. Once upon a stormy ocean
    Chris Columbus got the notion
    To sing Good Ship Lollypop
    The others said, "This has to stop!"
    So the first mate, One-Eyed Hank,
    Forced Ole Chris to walk the plank!
    :)

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  42. Loved your twisted hiSTORY, Susanna!
    And yay! Time to enjoy some SPOOKY play!



    Trick or Treat . . . smell my feet
    Give me somethings CHOCOLATE to eat!

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  43. History is more fun as hiSTORY :) And YAY! I'm glad the Halloweensie wheels are turning. You may certainly have chocolate if you come to my house :) I'll pass on smelling your feet though... unless they're sweet :)



























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  44. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikOctober 16, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Row, row, row the boat,
    Swiftly up the stream.
    Quickly, quickly, quickly! Now,
    Columbus is gonna scream!
    :)

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  45. Said Columbus to his mama,
    "Off I go to sail the sea.
    I'll be rich and I'll be famous!
    I'll go down in history!"
    Said his mama to Columbus,
    "Foolish boy, it's time for tea.
    And you're not going anywhere
    Until you learn geography!"

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  46. 100 words??? I can't make a shopping list in less than a thousand! Okay, I will think about this. It's a tough assignment. I look forward to reading the winners.

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  47. Hahaha! You're funny, Rosi :) I have the same problem... which is why trying to write short is a fun (and useful!) exercise. I hope you'll give it a whirl and that one of the winning entries we'll be reading will be yours! :)

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  48. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikOctober 17, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Well, that explains how he got lost... :)


    Where am I? Where is Chris?
    I don't know! He doesn't know!
    Thought I knew my way, Thought he knew his way,
    I guess not! I guess not!
    :D

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  49. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikOctober 17, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    That's supposed to be a call and respond poem, to the tune of Frere Jacques or Where is Thumbkin. :) The last line is said at the same time by both, and repeated. :)

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  50. Sounds fun!!! I'll have to put my thinking (witch's) hat on! :D

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  51. *sigh* I was hoping for 500. Now I find out it's 100. What's a gal to do?? Eh????? Off to see if I can come up with something decent.

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  52. You can! I know you can! Like the little engine that could :)

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