September 9, 2011

Smorgasbord Friday!

(Today's post contains 3 very important items: 1) the first Pitch Pick Winner, 2) 5 great writing opportunities, and 3) my First Campaign Challenge entry.  If you're in a hurry, please feel free to scroll down to the part you're most interested in :)  Also, for those who haven't had a chance to comment on this week's Would You Read It, please go here.  Okay, here we go!)

My fingers are actually tingling!

And, NO, it's not because I've had too much coffee.


It's 5:30 AM.  How much do you think I could have drunk already?

No, my friends!  I am tingling because the BIG DAY is finally here!  The BIG DAY on which I will announce the winner of the first Pitch Pick, the one whose pitch will be sent to editor Erin Molta for comments and insight.  Ah, the thrill!  The excitement!  The suspense...

But first, I want to tell you a story about paint drying.

You see, we need to paint our downstairs hallway...

Tee hee.  I'm just foolin' with you :)  (We do need to paint our downstairs hallway, but I'm not going to tell you a story about it.  Not now anyway.  Not while you're dying to know who the winner is.  That would just be cruel.)

Okay.  Are you ready?

Really?  Are you sure?

Alrighty, then.  Drum roll please!

The winner of the first Pitch Pick for July/August 2011 is none other than the fabulous


Congratulations, Alisha!!!  Your pitch will wing its way across cyberspace momentarily and land in Erin's inbox, ready for her priceless expertise!

Before we move on to item 2 of today's smorgasbord, I just want to say, congratulations and good work to everyone who participated.  You all wrote strong pitches, and your books all sound wonderful!  I'm sorry there could be only one winner.   But please remember - you are of course allowed to send more pitches!  So feel free to try again for a spot in Erin's Inbox!

Item 2 on today's agenda is about fun, fun, fun for the writers in our audience.  There are a number of opportunities either currently running or coming soon that I think you might find interesting:

The Lucky Clover Picture Book Writing Contest:
Held by Christie at WRITE WILD, this picture book contest is run four times a year (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter), with categories for Early PBs, Regular PBs, Non-Fiction PBs, and Rhyming PBs.  The prize is a free critique, and entries for the Summer Contest are open until the end of September.

The Rule of Three Blogfest:
Held by J.C. Martin at J.C. MARTIN, FIGHTER WRITER and Damyanti at WRITING ON WRITING: AMLOKIBLOGS as well as a couple others, this is a month long blogfest that takes place in a shared fictional world within which you will create a story.  Sign up by October 3.

The Synopsis/Query Stand Out:
Held by Cynthia at RANDOM THOUGHTS, Stand Out Synopsis/Query is a weekly feature posted on Mondays where authors can get help on their synopses and/or queries.  It is a slightly different take on Would You Read It Wednesday :)

The Hooked On Hooks Event:
Held by Kimberly at ZOOKBOOKNOOK, the Hooked On Hooks event is a chance for writers to hone their hooks.  Stop by on September 30 and add your hook to the linky list!

And, last but not least, the new Choose Your Own Adventure:
Fun for writers and readers alike, Kerri Cuevas at CRAFT JUNKIE is hosting her 2nd Choose Your Own Adventure Story.  19 writers (including Yours Truly!) will be participating in this fun, fabulous bloghop.  (I believe the list is now closed, but if you want to join, ask Kerri.  She originally said she would take as many as 30, so there may still be a possibility of spaces.)  It will take place at the end of October.  More details to come :)

Item 3 on today's agenda is my entry for Rachael Harrie's First Campaign Challenge which, as of the time of this late writing already has 352 entries!  The Challenge is:  200 words beginning with the words, The door swung open and ending with the words, The door swung shut.  Here is my entry:

The door swung open with a hiss and a clunk.

Red and yellow lights flashed a warning.

"Up you go, Liam," Mom said with a smile.

Liam looked at the steps.  Steep steps.  BIG steps.  Steps he might trip on.  Steps that led into the rumbling yellow belly of a monster.

"No!" he said.

He was not going forward.

Liam wanted to turn around and hold on tight to Mom, but eyes watched him.  Lots of eyes.  Maybe a hundred!

He could not turn back.

Mom squeezed his hand.  "It's going to be all right, Liam," she said.  "I promise."

Liam looked up at her.  He wanted to say something, but his throat was too tight for talking.  He had to blink six times in a row to make sure no tears spilled out.

Mom ruffled his hair and gave him a gentle nudge.  "Go on," she said.  "You can do it."

Liam took a deep breath and stepped into the monster.

He looked down the monster's throat.

Hey!  There was Connor.  And Justin!

"Hi, Liam!" they shouted.

Liam sat next to Connor, waved to Mom and smiled.

This might not be so bad after all.

The door swung shut.

Phew!  Sorry for the long post!  I told you it was a smorgasbord!  Please post your comments for our Pitch Pick winner below, as well as your comments on the Challenge piece.  And please enjoy a few minutes checking out the writing opportunities!

Have a great weekend everyone :)

P.S.  For any fellow campaigners, should you happen to like my Challenge piece enough to "like" it on Rach's site, I'm number 355.  (I've discovered I'm having trouble finding people on there so thought this might be helpful!)


  1. Aww. I got a lump in my throat reading about Liam. I could just picture him climbing the steps of the bus.

  2. Thank you, Liza. You can tell it's first day of school time around here :)

  3. Congrats to Alisha. I love the smorgasbord. Your challenge piece is fun. He did and waved to Mom, too.

  4. I'll go backwards now :) I love your campaign story. The focus being on Liam, but being able to see the image of his mother with him; it was very touching and seemed to show the moment step by step very well!

    Thank you for including my Hooked on Hooks event! I am fascinated with opening lines, so I hope the event will be fun for everyone.

    And yay! That's great Alisha has won. Congratulations Alisha!

    P.S. Susanna, our power was out for several hours last night, so I had to read to my girls by candlelight (which they loved) and your book Can't Sleep Without Sheep was absolutely mesmerizing for them in that light (they also love it in daylight and lamplight,too), but the candlelight cast the animals in a magic way and my 4 year old just kept wanting to stare at the cow page, I had to laugh. Fortunately we have power restored this a.m.!

  5. Stacy - thanks :)

    Kim - so glad you like the campaign story. Did you do one yet? I have to check! You're most welcome for the Hooked mention - it sounds like a great idea to me so I wanted to share with other writers too! And I'm SO glad you and your girls were enjoying Can't Sleep last night - it makes my day to hear that :) The cow page is my favorite too. I LOVE the expression of complete obliviousness and unconcern on her face while she rampages through leaving a trail of destruction :)

  6. Okay, am I supposed to get tears in my eyes on that entry? LOL I loved it, it made me remember my boys first day of school, even though I dropped them off. LOL Great list Susanna, thanks for the info. I'm definitly going to check them out!

  7. Great story. It's different from the others I've read so far. Really liked it. :D

  8. Congrats Alisha! Very exciting. And great entry in the Campaign challenge, Susanna! I loved it. :)

  9. Wonderful campaign story. All that's missing are the pictures.

  10. What a great round up of writing opportunities; thank you! And congratulations, Alisha; what a great way to start your weekend early. :) Susanna, I love how you took the same flash fiction words and made it PB appropriate.

  11. Congrats Alisha!

    Loved the hiss and clunk - so evocative. Since my youngest just boarded his own yellow monster this week, this was the perfect piece for the time of year. I think you have a book idea here!

  12. Great story! I love the description of the bus as a monster. That's exactly how I felt about the school bus when I was a kid.

  13. Cynthia - tears are OK with me - I got a bit of a lump in my throat writing it :)

    CherylAnne - thanks! So glad you liked it!

    Janet - thanks so much! I've completely lost track of whose entries I've read at this point. I'll check and make sure I've read yours :)

    Susan - I can imagine the pictures... kind of hoping maybe others can too :)

    Michelle - hope you enjoy the writing opportunities - there are some good ones! - and thanks for your kind words about the fiction!

    Brooke - I was thinking the same thing!

    Brianna - thanks so much :)

  14. Nicely done this week of all weeks. Mine is #72

  15. Woo! I welled up a bit during your flash fiction piece. Poor Liam! I'm so glad he found his friends on the big, scary bus. ;)
    My youngest had to be carried off from my arms for the first few weeks of kindergarten and a few days during 1st grade! Thank goodness this year he decided he rather his big brother walk him to class so he won't see me leave and cry! Darn kid has made me cry every begining of the school year for 4 years now! Lol!

  16. I love the way it ends. It sounds like he's set to have a good first day! :)

    My entry.

  17. Thanks for the list of opportunities. The Rule of Three blogfest sounds interesting! Hopping over there now to check it out. And I loved your entry, BTW. The monster/bus comparison was adorable and nicely done!

  18. Quite an eclectic post!

    Congratulations to Alisha.

    Sweet 200-Word Challenge. I'm glad Liam felt welcome!

  19. Good for you, Alisha!

    Susanna, I love your snippet, especially the description of the school bus!

  20. Bridget, Amanda, Golden Eagle, Dawn and Theresa - thanks for all your nice words :) I've been to read all of yours and everyone is so talented! I love how we all start and end with the same thing and come up with stories that are SO different!

    Andrea - thank you, and I'm sorry you didn't get to win the pitch pick this time. But there's always another chance... I'm sure you have more story pitches :)

  21. Great job on your flash fiction! I loved it!

  22. Thanks so much, Jessica. I loved yours too :)

  23. Wow! I'm shocked and honored to have won. The pitches were all so good and I've really enjoyed the new ones each week. Thank you for putting together such a great idea that's both fun and a good learning experience, too.

  24. That is such a great piece of flash fiction. I could feel Liam's fear as he stepped into the monster. Loved it, loved it, loved it. :-)

  25. Alisha - congratulations, it was well-deserved!

  26. Congrats to Alisha! I love your flash fiction piece Susannah, so fun. Definitely the most imaginative that I've read so far. Have a great weekend!

  27. Gosh, so much information. Thanks for the reminders about those blogfest/activities. I'd not heard about the hooks one so I'll pop over there and find out more. Loved the flash fiction. A refreshingly different take on the task.

  28. Cally, Catherine and Rosalind - thanks so much!

  29. Congrats Alisha! And fun flash fiction. I like having a mommy one for a change. Most of them that I have read have been so high stakes(though I've enjoyed them!).

  30. Ahhh. I really liked your story! New adventures are always hard but having friends really helps.

  31. Awesome entry! It really shows how dang terrifying things like getting on the school bus for the first time can be for little kids. (I just clicked your LinkyList Like button) :)

  32. Awww... that was so sweet. This is the first entry I've read aimed at the youngest readers, and it was such a smart way to work within the 200 word limit.

  33. Laura, Junebug and Jocelyn - thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed my attempt at coming at this assignment from the little kid side :)

    Tina - thanks! I already liked your a couple days ago :)

  34. My youngest just went to Kindergarten. Yep, this touched me, BIG TIME. Thanks for taking the time to read my entry. I'm a new follower. Love your blog. :)

  35. Yeah, I liked that story too, very sweet. I wasn't quite sure what kind of vehicle the 'monster' was at first, but a school bus makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing!

    I'm in your MG/YA Campaign group. Looking forward to seeing you again, down the campaign trail.

  36. Great entry into the campaign challenge. Poor Liam. My little niece just started kindergarten too.

  37. Ciara - thanks so much! I have been your follower since the last campaign :)

    Kelworthfiles - thanks for stopping by to read. Yours was really intriguing!

    Stephanie - I'm glad you liked it. That first day can be tough :)

  38. Fantastic job on the challenge! It was so well written and adorable! I loved it! :D

  39. What a perfect way to describe a little kid seeing the school bus pull up for the first time. Your delivered this story masterfully.

    Great job, Susanna! :)

  40. Thank you so much, Katie and David! I really appreciate it :)

  41. Fellow Campaigner here. Have cruised around your site a bit.

    As for the challenge entry - I loved that! How beautiful and truthful. I love to see life through a child's viewpoint. Sometimes we forget how big and strange the world can be. Excellent job!

  42. Kris - thanks so much! I'm so glad you liked it. I like your site too, although my sense is you mostly write for slightly older readers than I do :)

  43. Aw, sweet, but so scary for him!

    Mine is #291:

  44. Hi Susanna! Great story, especially loved the hiss and clunk. By the way we are in the same campaign group--nice to meet you! My entry is also about the first day of school :)

  45. Susanna,

    Great sory! One of the few children's stories that I've read. Vey refreshing!

    Patricia T.


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