October 26, 2015

The 5th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest - aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!!

Ear of snake and tongue of bat!  It's finally time for...


courtesy google images
The Contest:  write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words costumedark, and haunt.   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 over 130 fantastic entries last year so I know you can do it!)  Also, you may use the words in any form - e.g. haunt, haunts, haunted, darkness, darkening, costumed, whathaveyou :)  No illustration notes please!

Post your story on your blog between right now this very second and Friday October 30th by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the link list below.  There will be no Would You Read It this week, and no PPBF, 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. (Or, if you have difficulty with the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me and I'll post it for you!)

The Judging: in a grueling, marathon weekend, my lovely 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 2nd.  The winner will be announced in a special Thursday post on November 5th.  If we get more than 20 entries, I will post 6 finalists and give prizes for 1st through 3rd.  If by some chance we get the kind of turn out we did last year, all bets are off.  I may post as many as 10 finalists and I'll probably end up giving everyone a prize :)  But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it :)

The Prizes: as always, our generous community has contributed some truly amazing prizes!

 - a read and comments on a PB ms by fabulous agent Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency!!!

Tricia Lawrence - Agent

Tricia is the "Pacific Northwest branch" of EMLA—born and raised in Oregon, and now lives in Seattle. After 19 years of working as a developmental and production-based editor (from kids books to college textbooks, but mostly college textbooks), she joined the EMLA team in March 2011 as a social media strategist.

As agent, Tricia represents picture books/chapter books that look at the world in a unique and unusual way, with characters that are alive both on and off the page, and middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction that offers strong worldbuilding, wounded narrators, and stories that grab a reader and won't let go.

Tricia loves hiking, camping out in the woods, and collecting rocks. She loves BBC America and anything British. She has way too many books and not enough bookshelves. You can find Tricia's writing about blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, and other social media topics (for authors and the publishing industry at large) here and here.

 - a picture book manuscript critique by Diana Murray!  website

Diana Murray writes stories and poems for children. She is the author of several forthcoming picture books, including CITY SHAPES illustrated by Bryan Collier (Little, Brown, June 2016), GRIMELDA: THE VERY MESSY WITCH illustrated by Heather Ross (Katherine Tegen Books /HarperCollins, July 2016), NED THE KNITTING PIRATE illustrated by Leslie Lammle (Roaring Brook Press /Macmillan, August 2016), and GROGGLE'S MONSTER VALENTINEillustrated by Bats Langley (Sky Pony Press, Fall 2016). 

Diana was awarded the 2010 SCBWI Barbara Karlin Work-in-Progress Grant for a picture book manuscript. She has many poems published and forthcoming in magazines, including SpiderHighlightsHigh Five, and Hello. Diana won the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for poetry in 2013 and 2014, as well as the Honor Award in 2013. Diana is represented by Brianne Johnson at Writers House literary agency. She recently moved from the Bronx to a nearby suburb, where she lives with her husband, two very messy children, and a goldfish named Pickle. 

 - a query critique from Heather Ayris Burnell, founder of the Sub It Club

Heather is a mom by day, children's book writer by night, and librarian on the side. Her picture book, Bedtime Monster, is published by Raven Tree Press. She has far too many manuscripts in various stages of development. If only she didn't need sleep! Represented by Sean McCarthy Literary Agency.

- a 6 month subscription to One Stop For Writers (value $50)

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

 - personalized signed copies of Sarah Frances Hardy's Dress Me! and Paint Me!

 - a personalized signed copy of Amy Dixon's Sophie's Animal Parade

 - a personalized signed copy of Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca Gomez's What About Moose?

- a personalized signed copy of Penny Parker Klostermann's There Was An Old Dragon Who Swallowed A Knight

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 little bit nuts!), so, ahem, yeah.. maybe I'll think up something better during the week and swap it!

So, here goes nothing...!

Halloween Surprise! (100 words)

Halloween.  Trick-or-treat.
Spooky shadows.  Darkened street.
Suddenly my brother, Jay,
Tugs my arm.  “Let’s go this way!”
He pulls me off the beaten track,
Passes Old Man Clancy’s shack.
Creeping fog licks at our heels.
I don’t like the way this feels.
Something glides in silent flight,
Ghostly shapes against the night.
“Witches!  Let’s go home!” I say.
“Owls.  Let’s go on,” says Jay.
Spidered moonlight through the trees.
Heartbeat pounding.  Shaky knees.
Up ahead this haunted night
Monsters dance by bonfire light!
Turning!  Running!
Costumed monsters end disguise.
Cake and presents, friends who say,
“Happy Halloween Birthday!”

Everyone feeling better about their stories now?  I should certainly HOPE so! :)

I can't wait to read all of yours!  I'm so looking forward to them!  I hope there will be a lot - the more the merrier!  And there are still 4 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.

Remember to put your post-specific link (not your general blog link or people will find the wrong page if you post again before the contest is over) in the list below!

And there are 70 fabulous entries in the comment section below that you won't want to miss! (Names are links)

Lynne - Boo Who?
Julie - The Teensy Weensy Witch
Joyce - Scary Scary Halloween
Amanda S - The Haunted Dash
Sam - Spooky Spies
Marilyn - The Best Treats
Jessica - Peek A Boo Moon Scarecrow
Pamela - Libbybeth, Prettiest Monsterette
Jen - Halloween At Last
Bonnie - Happy Scary Halloween
Sandy - Clothespin Costume
Marty - The Old House
Sherri - A Night Of Fright
Jacqueline - Grow A Ghoul
Anne - The Little Ghost's Audition
Jason - Peace, Love And Happy Halloween
Linda - Dorchester's Last Dance
Christine - Charlotte And The Ghost
Maria - Best Halloween Ever
Chrystal - Paisley The Ghostling
Pat C - I AM A Monster
Pam W - The Hidden Costume
Mindy - Dizzy Bat
Michele - Unseen Halloween
Carol - Scaredy Bat
Lisa - Mo, The Ghost Who Said Moo
Polly - Nothing To Wear
Pia - Do Not Open This Door!
Jen W - Jack-o-ween
Jen M - Halloween In The Park
J. Bea - Dark Dark In The Park
Ruth - Nellie Pinkerton Needs A Costume
Jana - The Unicorn Ate My Candy Corn - A Halloween Tall Tale
Eleanor - Lillie's Magic Halloween Wand!
Jim - Jeepers Creepers
Victoria - Is There Anything As Scary
Jennifer - In The Dark Of Night
Terri - Willow
Marty #2 - No Costume, No Candy
Debbie - Gharret And Marty
JC - Broom Trouble
Stephanie - Mummy Unveiled
Vicky - The Sun And His Silly Trick
Melissa - Bunny's Costume
Penny - Belle Of The Halloween Ball
Katrina - Early Monster
Lori - Indelible!
Suzy - Trick For Treats
Shelley - A Meaty Trick Or Treat
Sharon C - The Disappearing Candy
Sharon W - The Haunted Well
Juli - Hallow-eek!
Kathleen - Dark Sparkles
Rob - Scratch, Bones And Boo
Anne - The Haunted Halloween Ball
Patricia C - The Pumpkin Pie Witches
Shelley #2 - The Little Witch Who Lost Her Hat
Heather - The Cackle
Sandy - Frank-N-Stein's Store
Elizabeth - The Ghost Of Mary Jane
Elizabeth #2 - The Bug Ghost
Carol - Haunt Couture
Robin - In The Darkness
Charlotte - Scaredy Cat Ghost
Susan - The House On The Corner
Nancy - Dinoween
Jill - Aaahhh, Aaahhh, BOO!
Sandy P - The King Of Screams
Rhonda - Trick Or Treat Trouble
Rachel - Sweet Matilda Conquers Her Fear

Happy Writing and Happy Halloween!!! :)

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