December 19, 2013

The 2013 Holiday Contest WINNERS!!!

Happy Thursday to you
Happy Thursday to you
Happy Thursday, Happy Thursdaaay...
Happy Thursday to you!

It was so nice of you all to come visit me on a non-posting day!  Can I offer you some non-denominational holiday cookies?

And perhaps a nice cup of cocoa to go with them?

I like to be neighborly and provide snacks to anyone who comes all this way through the snow and cold to visit :)

Now that no one is in danger of fainting from caloric deficit, let's get right to the purpose of today's post, shall we?

Normally I'd string you along for awhile and tease you with something... anything... that had nothing to do with why you're really here.

But in the spirit of the holidays, I'm not going to do that today.


I'm going to get right to the point.

Yes sirree!

No beating around the bush today!

We're going to get right to it... soon as we have a rousing chorus of Adeste Fidelis!

Adeste fideles læti triumphantes,
Venite, venite in Bethlehem.
Natum videte
Regem angelorum:
Venite adoremus (3x)

There's nothing like singing in Latin is there?

Want to do another verse?

Just kidding :)  I know you don't :)

Okay, seriously, would you guys stop singing holiday songs so we can get down to the business at hand?  Sheesh!

The 3rd Annual Holiday Contest!!!


As you are all aware by now, we had a record turnout for the 3rd Annual Holiday Contest - 118 entries!

I was thrilled beyond measure to see so many wonderful stories!

But with large entry numbers come hard choices.  My assistant judges and I worked hard to winnow the total down to a manageable number of finalists that we felt were truly all-around deserving of that distinction, and those were the ones we presented to you on Monday for your vote.

There were, however, many other entries that were outstanding in certain areas even though they might not have qualified all-around for one reason or another.

So my assistant judges and I would like to award recognition and a small prize to the following authors for the following merits:

1.  For Honorable Mention In The Competition As A Whole:
     Erik Weibel for Code Name: Kringle
     Michelle Senters for Cookies For Papa Noel
     Sue Heavenrich for Blue Latkes And Salsa
     Hayley Barrett for Not-So-Merry Sickmas

2.  For Best "Quiet"Story:
     Kristine Poptanich for Silent Night
     Leslie Colin Tribble for The Christmas Bird
     Teresa Robeson for A Home For The Holidays   
     Debbie Austin for Home For Christmas    
     Patricia Tilton for Toby's Shopping Rush
     Cindy Williams Schrauben for A Dark Night Before Christmas

3. For Best End-of-Story Twist:
     Cathy Mealey for Festive Feeding Frenzy (CPR on a chipmunk :))
     Rachel Stones for Fresh Frosting (toothpaste!)
     Tracey Cox for Breaking News: Santa Is Real (Emergency Broadcast Test!)

4. For Best-Written Original Point Of View:
     Kristen Fulton for Raisin's Christmas (excellent dog POV!)
     Sue Frye for Christmas Trappings (great rat POV!)

5. For Best Job Reworking Familiar Rhymes/Songs/Stories:
     Laura Renauld for This Is The Tree That Jill Trimmed
     Marcy Pusey for Monty The Mudman
     Buffy Silverman for The 3 Little Pigs Light The Chanukah Candles  
     Charlotte Gunnufson for Goldilocks's Night Before Christmas

6.  For Funniest Entry: (not already in the finals)
     Kathryn Cunningham for 'Twas The Stomach Flu Before Christmas
     Suzy Levinson for Reindeer In The Eggnog

7. For Best Wicked Humor:
     Julia Maisen for Catching Krampus
     Julie Rowan-Zoch for It's A Wrap

8.  For Great Kid Appeal: (not already in the finals)
     Mandy Yates for One Squirrelly Christmas
     Sharon Chriscoe for Hot Tub Santa
     Anne Cavanaugh Sawan for The Gingerbread House Disaster

9.  For Best Religious Entry:
     Bonnie Ogle for The Sound And Smell Of Christmas

10.  For Best Entry By A First-Time Writer:
     Angie Hawkins for NOEL
     Lucy Dixon for The Story Of An Elf (who didn't want to be on the shelf!)

11. For We-Loved-It-But-Thought-The Humor-Was-A-Little-Too-Grown-Up :)
     Teresa M.I. Schaeffer for Always Ready Or Not
     Kristen Foote for No Sleep For Santa
     B. Lee Draper for 'Twas The Accident Before Christmas

Congratulations to all of you for fantastic elements of your stories!  You may all email me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com to collect your prize, which is your choice of one of the following: (the titles are all links so you can go see what they're about)

For Kindle:

Picture Books: The Write Way by Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard OR

The Easy Way To Write Picture Books That Sell by Robyn Parnell OR

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Expression by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi , OR

The Postitive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Attributes by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, OR

The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Flaws by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, OR

The Ultimate Fiction Thesaurus by Sam Stone OR

In paperback:
Show & Tell In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions From Telling To Showing by Jessica Bell OR

The Six Senses In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions From Bleak To Bold Narrative by Jessica Bell OR

Adverbs And Cliches In A Nutshell: Demonstrated Subversions Of Adverbs & Cliches Into Gourmet Imagery by Jessica Bell

And now...

...the moment you've all been waiting for...

The announcement of the WINNERS OF THE 2013 HOLIDAY CONTEST as voted on by you!!!



In First Place...

Winner of the whole shebang...

who gets first choice of all the prizes...

for 'Twas The Night Baafore Christmas!!!

Congratulations, Dawn, on a fabulous and fun entry that was clearly very popular!!! :)

In Second Place...

Kristen Foote
for The Great Christmas Morning Mix-Up

Congratulations, Kristen!!  You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Dawn makes her choice.

In Third Place...

Laura Wolfe
for The Gift Horse

Congratulations, Laura!  You get first choice of the prizes that are left after Dawn and Kristen choose theirs.

In Fourth Place...

Heather Preusser
for Behind Schedule

Congratulations, Heather!  You get to pick after Dawn, Kristen and Laura.

In Fifth Place...

Cecilia Clarke
for The School Concert

Congratulations, Cecilia!  You get to pick after Dawn, Kristen, Laura and Heather.

In Sixth Place...

Ann Magee
for The Christmas Present

Congratulations, Ann!  I'm sure you get the idea of how the prize picking goes by now :)

And I have to mention the tie for 7th Place, because they were both only 1 point out of 6th Place...

Tied for Seventh Place:

Deborah Holt Williams for Seriously Santa? and Angela Pena Dahle for Three Little Kings!

Congratulations, Deborah and Angela!

All the winners should email me at susanna[at]susannahill[dot]com with the subject heading Prize Winner so we can work out details for you to receive your prizes!  Finalists who did not finish in the top 6 (Deborah, Angela, Cheryl, Patty, Marcie, Penny, Michelle Barnes, and Carrie) may also contact me for their choice of the Kindle or paperback prizes listed above.

Congratulations again to all our winners - it was a stiff competition!! - and congratulations to EVERYONE who wrote and entered a story in the contest.  You all deserve a huge round of applause, a tinsel parade, and a large amount of Christmas Pudding (which truthfully I don't know what that is, but it sounds like the right thing for this time of year :))

Thank you to everyone who helped make this contest SO MUCH FUN, whether by writing an entry, reading people's stories, leaving comments for the authors, and/or voting in the finals.  It's because of all of you that this contest was such a success, so many, many thanks from the bottom of my heart!

As I mentioned a while back, I'm taking a little blogging break so I can spend time with my family - I've got cookies to bake, Christmas presents to shop for and wrap, and my sister and her family are arriving form Georgia on Sunday! :) -  so I will see you all in a couple weeks - most probably Wednesday January 8th for Would You Read It unless there's a hue and cry over missing another PPBF on January 3rd.  If you're desperate for PPBF, please take it up with management :)

So now, I want to wish you all a happy and healthy holiday filled with love, laughter, joy, and family, and a happy, healthy and successful new year!  It is a pleasure and a privilege to get to spend time with you all, and I'm happy and grateful to know each and every one of you!

Looking forward to all the things we'll do in 2014!



  1. Thank you for writing, reading, voting, and generally joining in the fun, Elaine, and congratulations to you for a cute, fun story! Happy Holidays! :)

  2. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikDecember 19, 2013 at 7:21 AM

    WOO! More Christmas songs! I actually sang the Latin version. I like Latin. :)

    Congrats to the winners! You all deserve it! :D I am SO HONORED at the honorable mention! Thank you! Ms. Hill expect an email from me after school today! :D

  3. lol, Susanna, you're so funny. I love reading the build-up to your announcements. :-) Congratulations to all the Final winners!!! And congratulations to the award recognition winners, too! There were so many great stories. And thank you so much for the gift, Susanna! Decisions, decisions. :-) I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing holiday break. Merry Christmas, Everyone!

  4. Congratulations one and all! Everyone did a fantastic job. Susanna - thank you for a wonderful, enjoyable learning experience! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :)

  5. Congrats everyone! And have a wonderful Christmas Susanna! Thanks for creating even more fun for the holidays!

  6. Wow, what a fabulous contest! Congrats to all the winners, and kudos to you, Susanna, for putting it all together -- you're amazing!! Happiest holidays to you and your family, my friend!

  7. Congratulations to Dawn for being #1 with an entry that is adorably fun! And congratulations to Kristen, Laura, Heather, Cecilia, and Ann for being in the top 6! And congratulations to the rest of the winners and to the honorable mentions and to all entrants for writing a holiday story! Thanks!!!!! (that's not enough exclamation points) to Susanna for hosting and to all her assistants for assisting! This has been all kinds of holiday fun!

  8. Congratulations to all the winners and placers! what a wonderfully fun contest!

  9. congratulations to Dawn for her awesome story - and Kristen, Laura, Heather, Cecelia, Ann, Deborah & Angela for theirs as well - and to all the others. What a collection of amazing stories! Susanna - what an incredible amount of work! And thanks for the honorable mention - now dunking starry cookie in hot cocoa and feeling all happy & warm inside...

  10. Congratulations to all the winners, and what a great contest, Susanna! Thank you to you and your assistant judges. My kids loved hearing the stories and my son also voted for Dawn's as his favorite. I think she has something really special there.

  11. Congratulations, winners! Thank you Susanna for holding this fun contest. Have a very Merry Christmas! See ya in class in January. :0)

  12. Congratulations to all! And the honorable mentions. STILL READING! good grief I'm slow (or maybe savoring). Making note of the dates!

  13. Congratulations, everyone! It was fun to read all your entries and see all your creativity at work.

  14. Congratulations, winners! Susanna you did an amazing job working all that out. Have a wonderful Christmas! *+-+*+*-+

  15. Congrats to all the winners! I has so much fun reading all the stories!

  16. Merry Christmas Susanna! The contest was fun, fun, fun and I really enjoyed reading all of the entries. Congratulations to the winners, do a happy dance and shout it from the rooftops (but try to stay off the rooftops while you're doing your happy dance)! Susanna, time to relax and enjoy your family. See you again in January!

  17. Congratulations to the winners and to all the honorably mentioned! WOOHOO YOU ALL!!! The contest was great fun, and I still can't imagine how you and your elves were able to winnow down that HUGE number of entries. WOOHOO YOU, TOO!!! Susanna, you are a joy and a wonder (appropriate for the season!) Have a wonderful holiday hiatus -- you deserve it. It doesn't sound restful, but it sounds wonderful. See you in the New Year!

  18. Happy Blogging Break Susanna!!!!!!!! Congratulations Dawn Young!!!! Congratulations to all of the other winners--to all 118 entries. Wishing all a joyful holiday season with No MISHAPS.

  19. Michelle Heidenrich BarnesDecember 19, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Congratulations to the big winners and to all of those sparkly honorable mentions! The biggest congratulations AND thank you has to go to Susanna, though-- for bringing out the jolly in all of us. It was terrific fun! Enjoy your time off with family, Susanna-- Santa agrees that you deserve a nice rest for Christmas!

  20. Susanna - Just wanted to wish you a very merry Christmas and happy new year! You're the best! :)

  21. Thank you, Susanna, for your wonderful contests! And thank you to all the writers for such entertaining stories! I am looking forward to the next writing opportunity!

  22. Congratulations to all of the winners! All of the entries really were terrific.

    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, Susanna, and a very happy new year!!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  23. Congratulations, everybody! To the winners, and to all who participated. There is a whole lot o' talent on this blog. Thanks also to Susanna and her assistants, for running the whole shebang!
    Happy Holidays! Go forth, write kidlit and eat!

  24. Congratulations to all those named here! Way to go!

  25. Congratulations on the winners, and all who entered! You've kept some of us thoroughly amused as we hide from the cold.... :)

  26. Thank you Susanna for such an amazing contest! So much talent in one place! Reading all these wonderful stories was so much fun, and reading all the comments here, the comments left on my blog and other blogs throughout the contest has been so inspiring and rewarding. Thank you everyone. Happy Holidays!

  27. Such a wonderful job done with this contests. Where I enter or not, I love seeing all the creativity poured into the different stories and the great prizes received!! YAY to everyone!!!

  28. Congratulations to all of the winners and to Susanna and team for all of their hard work! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

  29. Congratulations to all the winners, and to all the writers (winner too!) and to you, Susanna and helpers, for all your hard work! Happy Holidays, everyone!

  30. Susanna, you're a hoot! The beginning of this blog is so funny! Who doesn't like singing in Latin. Honestly, I've never heard of this song. :D Congratulations to all the WINNERS!! By that I mean those who won prizes, were mentioned for best of...,and to all participants. You've done it again, Susanna! Not quite sure how but what a success! You're the best for acknowledging everyone. Hmmmm....thinking of a Best Of Award for you!

  31. Congratulations, Erik! You did a fantastic job, and as an elementary school teacher, I am sure that your teachers are VERY proud of you! Way to go, kid! :)

  32. Well done y'all and Happy Holidays especially Susanna, who deserves a lovely break with the family!

  33. Congratulations to all of the winners...and to all of the participants! Contests like this one uncover a plethora of talent and bring together a group of incredible kid lit writers. A big thank you to all of the judges and prize donors...and especially to our own Susanna, who works tirelessly for our benefit. Susanna...please enjoy a much deserved break-from-blogging...and may you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  34. A hearty WOO to all the entrants!

    An amazing contest as usual, Susanna. Merry Christmas!

  35. Thank you, Mike, and to you and yours as well! :)

  36. Thank you, Vivian - I'm glad you enjoyed it! And I am looking forward to spending time with my family. Who knows? There could be a day when I don't turn the computer on at all! :) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! :)

  37. Thank you so much, Joanna! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

  38. It's the Latin version of O Come All Ye Faithful - we had to learn it in grade school :) I know all the verses in Latin, but only 1 or 2 in English :) As for the success, it comes from generous people donating great prizes and talented writers joining in the fun. We are lucky to be part of this amazing community! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Pam!

  39. Thank you, Karen! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours! :)

  40. It is an amazing, creative, talented group of people that shows up for these contests - much to all of our benefit! What a treat to get to read so many great stories! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Angela! :)

  41. Thank you for joining in as always with a wonderful story, Jarm! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours! :)

  42. Oh, I LOVE that! Anything that can be set on fire for dessert is tons of fun. And now that you mention it, I remember having something at my grandmother's at Christmas that was set on fire... my uncle always did the honors... maybe with brandy? Or rum? I'll have to ask my mom! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Patty! So glad to have met you through this contest!

  43. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Dawn! It's a special event that takes place between all these generous and talented people. Congratulations again, and here's hoping that read by Karen will take you someplace wonderful :)

  44. What better way to while away a few hours when it's freezing outside than to read a bunch of fantastic stories by a bunch of creative and talented writers? And all for free! You just have to supply the accompanying hot cocoa :) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours, Miranda!

  45. I wish it could have been everyone, Linda - but that would have gotten really long I guess :) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and all the best for 2014! :)

  46. What an excellent motto! I may adopt that and spread it around! :) Happy Holidays to you and yours, Stacy!

  47. Thank you, Laura! And to you and yours as well! :)

  48. I'm so glad you and Lucy enjoyed the contest, Amy! And she will have plenty of time to read all the other entries over school vacation - they'll all still be there :) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :)

  49. Enjoy your Christmas and your family, Clar! I think we all need a break sometimes! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours! :)

  50. Thank you for being such a devoted visitor and participant, Rosi! I hope your holidays are merry and bright! :)

  51. Thank you so much, Darshana! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family! :)

  52. Thank you, Michelle - you're very kind! It is my pleasure to run these contests - everyone is so talented and I have so much fun reading all the wonderful stories! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  53. Thank you, Teresa, for the holiday wishes and especially the very apt no mishaps! I hope you have a wonderful holiday! :)

  54. You're probably right, Beth - it won't be that restful! :) - but it will be so lovely to spend 2 whole weeks with my family! Thank you for your very sweet words - you are too kind! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, my friend! :)

  55. Thank you, Juliana! I will look forward to seeing you in 2014! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (and sage advice about the rooftops :))

  56. So glad you enjoyed it, Hannah! What a talented bunch they all are! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :)

  57. Thank you so much, Kim! I will try to relax... I'm not that good at it :) - not with all the family home :) - but I'm really going to try to have time to read a book for fun! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  58. It IS a fun group, isn't it? Children's writers have to be among the best people in the world! I'm glad to have "met" you too, Debbie! Congratulations again on a lovely story. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :)

  59. Thanks, Kristen! Happy Holidays to you too!

  60. It was my pleasure, Michelle! I thoroughly enjoyed it! Congratulations again on a wonderful story. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  61. Thank you so much, Catherine! You too! :)

  62. They're an amazing and talented bunch, aren't they Sandy? So glad you enjoyed the stories!

  63. Savoring, Stacy, definitely savoring :) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :)

  64. Merry Christmas to you too, Donna! And can't wait :)

  65. I am partial to any story that involves counting sheep - I believe it's evidence of genius :) Congratulations to you too on a wonderful story! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  66. Oh, so glad Sue! Give yourself a few pats on the back for a terrific story, too! Maybe try some of those blue latkes :) Happy Holidays!

  67. I'm so glad you enjoyed it Kenda! I am always blown away by the quality of the entries... which seems to get better and better with every contest! Happy Holidays!

  68. Thank you for your enthusiasm, Penny, and for being such a whole-hearted participant in every aspect of the contest! Happy Holidays!

  69. Thanks for the kind words, Linda! I'm glad you enjoyed the contest. And Happy, Happy Holidays to you and yours as well!

  70. Aw, thanks Kirsti! But I just provide the platform - it's really all of you taking the time to write, read, comment, vote, and encourage each other that make the contest so much fun! Happy Holidays!

  71. Thank you for a wonderful entry, Martha! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours! :)

  72. Yeah... the build up was a little weak on this one... I was SO tired by the time I got to pulling it all together that I couldn't come up with anything very original and entertaining! I'm glad you enjoyed the contest, and congratulations to YOU for an amazing entry that we all loved! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, my friend! :)

  73. Thank you, Teresa! I admit I'm looking forward to it. As soon as I'm done answering blog comments I'm going down to the basement to hunt down the Christmas wrapping paper and bows :) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and congrats on a delightful story! :)

  74. Thank you so much, Tina! To you and yours as well! :)

  75. I think ice chocolate is called chocolate milk :) Although if you are in NYC and go to Serendipity's you can get frozen hot chocolate which is one of the best things in the world! :) Thanks so much for joining in the contest and congratulations on a marvelous entry! Happy birthday to your son, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :)

  76. Of course you can sing in Latin, Erik. I would expect nothing less from you :) I know more verses of this song in Latin than I do in English, because we had to learn the Latin version in grade school :) Congratulations on a truly fabulous entry! I'll look forward to that email :) Happy Holidays!

  77. Happy Holidays to you and your family too! :<)

  78. You are welcome, Susanna! Enjoy your family time. ;-}

  79. I thought it was very entertaining! As Pamela pointed out, I was so impressed with the Latin. :-) Thank you for the very kind words. Have a wonderful Christmas, Susanna, and a much-deserved holiday break!

  80. Congratulations to all the writers and to the Hostess with the Mostess, Susanna! What an awesome compilation of creativity!
    Thank you for my Twisted Ending honor - much appreciated! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and joyous non-specific holiday celebrations with family and friends.

  81. Congratulations to all of the winners and to all who submitted entries to make this the biggest contest to date! And a special thank you to Susanna for all of the hours and weeks you put into this contest. And thank you for my Quiet Story honor. Have a wonderful holiday with you family!

  82. Congrats to everyone! Merry Christmas :-)

  83. Congratulations, Pat! And thank you for the holiday wishes - I'm very much looking forward to it :) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

  84. You know, it's just not every day that someone gives CPR to a chipmunk :) Congrats on a great story and hope you have a merry holiday with your family :)

  85. Congratulation and Merry Christmas to everyone...especially you Susanna!

  86. Congratulations to all the winners! And a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family, Susanna!

  87. Congratulations to all the winners!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New year, Susanna. I think you have one of the most entertaining blogs in kid lit.

  88. Wow! That's a lot of winners. Congrats to all!!

  89. Thanks, Ruth! There were a lot of entrants! :)

  90. Thank you, Sue! That makes my day! Hope your holiday was lovely, and Happy New Year!


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