March 10, 2014

Some Alligator Fun And A Contest Rule and Prize Update!!

Happy Monday, Everyone!


I have made up a poem!

(Yes, I realize I'm playing it fast and loose with the term "poem" :))

(And yes, I have a reason for this gross departure from sanity.  I didn't just go off the deep end :))

Anyone whose sensibilities may be injured by my attempt at poetry should leave immediately!

Those of you who are brave enough to stay, prepare yourselves.

You may need some cake to fortify you.

Alligator cake by Courtney
Are you ready?

Here we go:

Boy's Best Friend

Daddy said, "A boy like you
Should really have a dog.
A parrot, an iguana, or a happy, hoppy frog."
I answered, "Thank you, Daddy, but on this my heart is set.
I want an alligator for my one and only pet!"

Thank you.  Thank you very much :)

Now.  About that reason.  The lovely and talented Catherine Johnson, author of Weirdo Zoo (buy your copy HERE), has a new book out!

It's called The Everglades (hence the alligator themed "poem") and she describes it as a collection of poetry for children who are old enough not to mind the odd arm hanging out of an alligator's mouth :)  Seriously.  How can you resist that? :)  She says, "Half the poems are serene, and half are snorty."  And she drew the illustrations herself!!  Such talent!!

She is celebrating on her blog HERE and running a giveaway, so scuttle on over as fast as your little alligator legs allow and join in the fun!

Should you happen not to be lucky enough to win a copy, you may buy one HERE!

Now, before you all go marching off to your magnificent Mondays, I'd like to clarify a couple things about the March Madness Writing Contest.

You will recall the contest guidelines:

The ContestWrite a children's story, in poetry or prosemaximum 400 words, that is a fractured fairy tale.  Feel free to add a theme of spring, or mix in one of the spring holidays if you like - St. Patrick's Day, April Fools Day, Easter or Passover, Arbor Day, Earth Day...  Have fun with it !  The madder* the better! :)
*as in wild and wacky, not angry :)

I want to clarify three things (because a few people have asked.)
1.  You do not have to include spring - that is optional.
2. The story can be a picture book or a short story - whatever you like.
3. If it's a picture book, you may NOT include art notes, because we get into a weird area of whether that's fair in terms of word count and added description etc.  So if you write a picture book that's wonderful, but make sure art notes aren't necessary to understand it.

The other thing I want to add is a full description of the prizes!!!  (So you'll all be very motivated to think up stories! :))

 - 1st Prize is a read and critique by Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary!!! (Unless for some reason you don't want a read and critique by an agent, in which case you may swap for any of the other prizes)

 - 2nd Prize is a picture book manuscript critique (for rhyming mss only) by Lori Degman, author of 1 ZANY ZOO and the forthcoming COCK-A-DOODLE-OOPS! OR a picture book manuscript critique (for non-rhyming mss only) by Cori Doerrfeld, author/illustrator of LITTLE BUNNY FOO FOO and PENNY LOVES PINK as well as illustrator of many others.

 - 3rd Prize is personalized signed copies of THE THREE NINJA PIGS and GOLDI ROCKS & THE THREE BEARS by Corey Rosen Schwartz PLUS a $25 Amazon Gift Card

 - 4th and 5th Prizes are your choice of any two of the following picture books PLUS a $20 Amazon Gift Card:
     - LITTLE RED WRITING by Joan Holub
     - THE PRINCESS AND THE PEAS by Caryl Hart

And don't forget, all you illustrators out there, we're going to have an illustrator contest immediately following the writing contest!  (Details coming soon... :))

Now then!  I hope that fills you with inspiration and fuels the muse!

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone!! :)


  1. Thanks so much, Susanna! What a great celebration and your poem is so cute it could go in the book. You are awesome!
    Thanks for the competition reminder! :0)

  2. Anything for you, Catherine! :) Good luck with your new book!

  3. Susanna,
    How do you actually enter the contest?

  4. Full details are on the original post but basically you just post the story on your blog between March 20 and March 24 or post it in the comments on my March 20 post or email it to me and I'll post it.

  5. Mike Allegra writerMarch 10, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    My doddering confusion is the reason for Clarification #1! I am so proud.

    And, YOWZA, what a sweet selection of prizes!

    I am ready! (Or, to put it another way, I am not ready. But I am ready TO BE ready!)

  6. Thanks, Susanna, for kicking off our Monday with enthusiasm and your inspiring poetry! It is a great motivator during these (hopefully!) last few weeks of winter! I think there should be a tag line for Monday, like TGIF for Friday. GGM??-- Get Going Mondays! What do you think? Have a good one....

  7. I like it, Karen! I think you're onto something! We can make it a twitter hashtag and everything! :)

  8. Your doddering confusion was only part of the reason, Mike :) There were 3 other dodderers in that department as well - you are not alone :) I'm ready to be ready too - hoping I can think up a sample in time! :)

  9. Sweet promo for Catherine and sweet cake (although I admit I despise fondant). I have been toying with a contest draft - the question is will I get it done! Kids spring breaks are ill-timed. . .

  10. I don't even have a good idea yet, so you're way ahead of me! :)

  11. Mike Allegra writerMarch 10, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    Do it all in verse. You're a better poet than you think you are!

  12. OMG, I cannot get past that alligator cake!! If you were saying anything else, I couldn't hear it...LOL!

    Catherine is so very prolific! I've been barely able to keep up with sending different critique groups something to read each time my turn comes up. :}

    As for your writing contest, my mind is a complete blank! That's wonderful if I'm meditating and trying to achieve a Zen's not so wonderful if I'm trying to enter a contest or be productive.


    Maybe I'll save myself for your illustration contest... ;)

  13. You could do BOTH, Teresa! :) As for a blank mind, don't feel bad. Mine is blank too. And I'm down to about 9 1/2 days to come up with a sample. At least you have an extra 4 days to enter :)

  14. Catherine's poetry is so kid friendly - I love it, and the cake!

    Mmm, contest, why yes, between essay on The Death of Poetry and writing a Middle School Writing curriculum... can it be done?

  15. Alligators all around! Oh my...and your poem is adorable :-)

  16. Congratulations Catherine. Will look forward to its release. Sounds like a fun book for kids. Love that cake!

  17. I feel silly asking this but would "fairy tales" also include fables like tortoise and the hare? When I googled fairy tales it did include fables but just want to be clear. Thanks for this fun opportunity!

  18. *snort*Love your Catherine post. Your poem borders on CREATIVE GENIUS. YES. I said it. CREATIVE GENIUS (with an exclamation point.Two of them)!! I would enter, but I'm just not very fairytaleish. Plus, Ivy is preparing for SAT in October. And I'm revising my MG, which I thought was really a YA, but now realize it's a MG, thanks to my lovely pal Theresa. I have so much going on (and I know you can feel my pain) that I might EXPLODE! Ahhh, that felt a little better.

    Okay so. I'm ready for some cake. *holds out plate*

  19. You always make me smile, Robyn!

  20. Thanks, Pat! It is already out.

  21. Shutting my ears to the death of poetry. La la la la lol

  22. Your poem was seriously too cute! I think I'd like a tiny alligator for a pet--they're adorable--but certainly not a big one :)

  23. I can't wait to see what you do for that illustrator contest Teresa.

  24. Well the heart of my essay is that poetry is alive and well among children,

  25. Your poem is adorable! I am looking forward to your contest! I already have a Picture Book manuscript from a while back ready to go!

  26. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikMarch 10, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    YAY for Ms. Johnson! I have two ideas I can do. I can't wait! And, by the way, I love your poem! :)

  27. I like your poem. It's a perfect boy poem. I have an idea for the contest. Now all I need is time!

  28. Rub it in, Mr. I-Have-2-Ideas! :) I would be grateful for half an idea right now :) And thank you for saying you love my poem - that makes me happy even though I know that as poems go it stinketh :)

  29. Wow! Good for you! Can't wait to read it :)

  30. I know! A baby alligator for the bathtub could be fun :) Or a miniature one :)

  31. You are totally NUTS, Rob :) MWAH! As for the contest, you are full of excuses and I will not accept them at all. I shall await your entry!

  32. Hmm... I don't really think of fables as fairy tales. The merriam-webster definition I googled says:

    fairy tale


    : a simple children's story about magical creatures

    : a false story that is meant to trick people

    Full Definition of FAIRY TALE


    a : a story (as for children) involving fantastic forces and beings (as fairies, wizards, and goblins) —called also fairy storyb : a story in which improbable events lead to a happy ending


    : a made-up story usually designed to mislead

    See fairy tale defined for English-language learners »

    See fairy tale defined for kids »

    The wikipedia defn. I googled says: A fairy tale (pronounced /ˈfeəriˌteɪl/) is a type of short story that typically features European folkloric fantasy characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves,trolls, dwarves, giants, witches, mermaids, or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. Fairy tales may be distinguished from other folk narratives such as legends (which generally involve belief in the veracity of the events described)[1] and explicitly moral tales, including beast fables.

    Fables are cited as a synonym, but I don't think they're quite the same. I'm thinking along the lines of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, etc...

  33. Yay! Can't wait to read it, Rosi :) I need an idea AND time! :)

  34. Hehehe :) Thanks, Angela, but it's okay... I accept my limitations as a poet :)

  35. That alligator cake is amazing! And what a fun poem. You blow it off, but I thought it was very fun. My kids would love it. :) And I love all your contests. What awesome prizes! I am on a strict revision schedule, but your category really, really tempts me. :) Can't wait to see all the entries!

  36. I wish someone would put me on a schedule! My inability to organize my own life is quite unbelievable :)

  37. Hahaha :) You're so funny Genevieve! There is no way this poem is as cute as a certain puppy of yours that I've seen in the baby swing :)

  38. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikMarch 11, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    Thy poem doth not stinketh, fair maiden! :)

  39. Thanks for the clarification Susanna. Now I better get busy!

  40. Thanks for the clarifications, Susanna...and also the poem (very cute!) and cake! You'll be happy to know that the only thing I worked on for the week I was away was my fractured fairy tale.:) :) I wasn't able to post my PPBF to your linky...will see if you got it up there...or I will try now. :)

  41. I didn't get to it until Sunday, but I did post it. Hope your week away was tons of fun, and can't wait to read your fairy tale! :)

  42. whohoo!! Congrats again, catherine! You're on a roll :D


I love to hear from you and try to respond to every comment. Please share your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...