March 31, 2014

The 2014 March Madness Contest Winners!!!

Oh. My. Goodness!

That was the closest, most hotly contested race for a winner we've ever had!

I hope that means that my assistant judges and I made good choices for the finalists! :)

The MarcMadness Writing Contest!

I admit it - I get all the fun.  Sitting in the judge's chair, watching the votes come in, seeing first one person and then another in the lead, biting my nails when there are ties, waiting on pins and needles to see who will emerge victorious....

Normally I'd string you along and tease you for a while, but I'm too wiped out by this whole roller-coaster process.

Truly, it is not for the faint of heart.

Up one minute, down the next.  Nerves stretched like bow strings.

A person less physically fit than myself (haha snort! - can't say THAT with a straight face after this winter :)) might suffer palpitations!

And speaking of palpitations, I had them aplenty when her royal highness, Miss Scouty Brown, came sauntering back in the house this morning having found something dreadful to roll in!  "What is that SMELL???!!!" all the children shrieked!

Fortunately, we are in the midst of a small flood which, aside from making the basement a delightful place for canoeing, means that there is a lot of water outside.  Scouty was able to enjoy her first swim of the year... twice... with the fortuitous result that she returned from our walk refreshed and smelling mostly like wet dog instead of Something Yucky.

But wait.

What were we talking about?

Oh yes!

The contest!

So, who won?

Oh!  I'm supposed to tell you!




I'm really going to tell.

We had 75 fantastic entries, which we winnowed down by hook or by crook, to the best of our ability, to 10 fabulous finalists.

Y'all voted for your favorites.

And the winner of the 2014 March Madness Writing Contest, who gets to send the picture book manuscript of her choice to none other than the renowned children's literary agent, Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary is. . .

duhn duhn duhn

dddddrrrrruuuuummmmm rrrrrooooollllllllll pppppllllleeeeeaaaaassssseeeee!!!!!

Wendy Greenley
with her clever Three Wiggly Worms Bluff!!!

Congratulations on a wonderful story, Wendy!  I think it's clear that a LOT of people really enjoyed it! :)

Now, I wasn't kidding when I said this contest was hotly contested.  I kept asking for votes this weekend, hoping the ties would get broken, but not all of them did.

So, for 2nd place we had a tie between

Mike Allegra
with the fantabulous Goldilockup!


Dawn Young
with the hilarious Goldibawks!

Congratulations Mike and Dawn, on two terrific and very different twists on Goldilocks!  Lori and Cori have generously agreed to each give a critique instead of just one or the other, so you will each get a picture book critique by a fantastic author!

In 3rd place, guess what?  Another tie!  This time between

Pen Avey
with her delicious Sweetie Witch


Lauri Meyers
with her daring Princess And The Stinky Cheese!

Congratulations, Pen and Lauri!  I will prevail upon Corey to tire her signing hand by signing copies of her books for both of you! :)  And you may email me about your gift cards.

4th place goes to

Darshana Khiani
with her delightful Mongoose's Holi Party!

Congratulations, Darshana, on a truly original tale!  You may choose the two picture books you'd like from the prize list.  (I'll tack it on the bottom of the post for easy reference :)) And email me about your gift card.

In 5th place,

Jennifer Caritas (hope I've got that right...!)
with another forthright heroine in The "Princess" And The Pete!

Congratulations on a terrific story, Jennifer!  You may also choose the two picture books you'd like from the prize list below and email me about your gift card.

And in 6th place,

Elliah Terry
with her fun southwestern Jackrabbit Who Cried Gila Monster!

Congratulations, Elliah!  I bet that gila monster is still running from the coyote :) You will receive a personalized sighed copy of SNORING BEAUTY by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen!

All the winners should email me to work out prize details!

But now, we are not quite done.

Because, like I said, this was a hotly contested contest.  My assistant judges and I had quite a few other favorites that we felt couldn't quite make the finalist list for one reason or another, but we all thought they were worthy of recognition.  So the following people (in no particular order) receive our heartfelt Honorable Mention!

Gaye Hemsley - Chocolate Muffins
Joanne Roberts - Goldi And The Three Squirrels
Vivian Kirkfield - Singerella
Katie Gast - Little Dead Riding Hood
Katie Cullinan - The Three Little Easter Bunnies
Jen Doherty - The Mischievous Fire Truck
Laura Shovan - The 12 Clumsy Princesses
Margaret Greenias - The Big, Bad-Mannered Wolf
Angela Turner - The Belle And The Sticker Burrs
Cheryl Secomb - Little Red Rider
Robert Schechter - Humpty
Erik Weibel - The Once Upon A Times
Rachel - Handsome And Gretchin

Congratulations to all of you on stories that were original, fun, and very entertaining!  You may all choose one of the following as a prize: (titles are links so you can check them out)

Kindle Edition - The Nuts & Bolts Guide To Writing Picture Books by Linda Ashman
Kindle Edition - Picture Books The Write Way by Laura Purdie Salas & Lisa Bullard
Kindle Edition - How To Write A Children's Picture Book by Darcy Pattison
Kindle Edition - The Easy Way To Write Picture Books That Sell by Robin Opie Parnell
Kindle Edition - How To Promote Your Children's Book: Tips, Tricks and Secrets To Create A Bestseller by Katie Davis

Paperback - Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly by Gail Carson Levine (also available for Kindle)
Paperback - How To Write A Novel: 47 Rules For Writing A Stupendously Awesome Novel That You Will Love Forever by Nathan Bransford (also available for Kindle)
Paperback - The Plot Skeleton by Angela Hunt (also available for Kindle)

Please email me and let me know your preference!

Congratulations to everyone who entered a story in this contest.  You all did an amazing job!  My assistant judges and I loved every story for one reason or another.  And I think it's fair to say that you entertained a LARGE number of readers!

Thank you so much to everyone who visited blogs, read, commented, and voted - these contests couldn't happen without you!

And thank you to the generous people who donated prizes - Karen Grencik, Lori Degman, and Cori Doerffeld - you're what everyone tries so hard for and you bring out the best in the writing community!

It's been another fun contest, and I thank you all!

I was going to announce the upcoming first ever * Illustrator Contest * today, but this post is too long already, and I really don't want to distract from the winners' moment in the spotlight, so I will either write a special Tuesday post for tomorrow or tack it onto the Would You Read It post on Wednesday.

So congratulations again to all the winners for all their wonderful stories, and to everyone who wrote a story for this contest.  You are all winners just for showing up, writing something new, and practicing your craft!

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone! :)

List of Prizes:

 - 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

 - 6th Prize (which just skated in under the wire - thank you Sudipta!) is a personalized signed copy of hot-off-the-presses SNORING BEAUTY by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen


  1. Oh wow, I'm so excited to come joint third! :D Thank you Susanna for arranging this competition - can't wait for the next one now!

  2. CONGRATULATIONS to ALL the winners!!! this contest was FUN!!

  3. Congratulations to all the winners- and all the contestants! You did a fantastic job!!!

  4. Congrats to all the winners!

  5. Oh I tell you, I don't know how you do it. I don't know if I could handle being a judge with so many wonderful stories being part of the contest. Congratulations to all the winners!!!

  6. Wow, this is exciting! Congratulations to all the winners!!! Thank you, Susanna, for adding the honorable mentions. You're so generous. And thank you for starting my day with a good laugh. I love reading your build-up to the announcements. :-) Scouty's adventure and canoeing in the basement had me chuckling. Great job, Everyone!

  7. Huge congratulations to each and every winner with a special High Five for Wendy!!! :)

    Easy for you? Hah! As judge and organizer of the contest, you have it hardest of all, you silly! ;)

  8. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikMarch 31, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    Congrats everyone! Y'all deserve it! What a great bunch of entries!
    Hey, Ms. Hill, when do we do another video contest? That was fun!

  9. Congrats to you, Erik! We loved your entry! And another video contest??? I need to think up a reason...!

  10. Well, at least I don't have to make the final decision! :)

  11. You wouldn't have been chuckling if you could have smeller her. It was DREADFUL! Conrats on a great story, Cheryl! :)

  12. The hard part for me is choosing the finalists. Everyone else is responsible for the actual winners - I don't vote. But it is always interesting to see how the votes stack up. I like it when they're close - it makes me feel like we made good choices!

  13. Thanks, Kimberly! And congratulations on a wonderful story - it was a favorite with Judge #2 :)

  14. HaHa! Thanks, Susanna! :-)

  15. They really did! So many wonderful entries!

  16. It was fun, wasn't it? There is something about fairy tales! Thanks for joining in, Nata, and for your very entertaining Little Wings story :)

  17. Congratulations, Pen! We loved your writing! So glad we've roped you in for future contests :)

  18. Congrats to the winners! What a fun contest. Great job Susanna!

  19. WOW! I was away this weekend at one of our sons activities so I didn't have a chance to think about/worry about the outcome. With so many great stories, I am thrilled/honored/surprised! (deep breath, Wendy)

  20. Congratulations, Wendy!!! :-)

  21. Mike Allegra writerMarch 31, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    YAY! And congrats to all the winners!

    And congrats to you, Susanna, for a kick booty contest!

  22. Thanks, Robin! They did a great job, didn't they? :)

  23. Congrats to you on a great story, Mike! And thanks :)

  24. The popular vote has spoken, Wendy - they love you! :) As do the judges :) Congratulations on a very clever story! :)

  25. Congrats to all. . . How exciting! Enjoy your gifts!

  26. Thanks, Catherine! And congratulations to you on a fun cultural twist on Jack - it really was one of the best you've ever submitted to one of these contests and I'm sorry not everyone can be recognized!

  27. Woo hoo! Wild applause! Balloons! Confetti! Congratulations to you all! I thoroughly enjoyed your stories. And thanks, Susanna, for hosting another fun contest!

  28. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Debbie! Congrats to you too on a fun Three Little Kittens twist - we really liked it!

  29. It was a fun contest, and everyone wrote so well! :)

  30. Congratulations to all of the winners! Thanks to all writers for providing hours of entertainment with your entries. What a bunch of clever, creative writers!
    Thanks, Susanna, for another fabulous contest!

  31. Thank YOU for reading and commenting and voting, Penny! We couldn't do it without you! :)

  32. Thank you Susanna for such a fun and entertaining contest. You are amazingly generous with your time - organizing the contest, commenting on every post and cheering us on until the very end. So many talented writers with such clever fractured fairy tales! I loved being a part of it. To all the readers - thank you, your comments made me smile. And to those who voted for Goldibawks - thanks for your support! :)

  33. Congrats Wendy! Wonderful story.

  34. Congratulations to all the winners! My girls and I had a lot of fun reading them.
    Thanks to Susanna and the assistants for putting on another fabulous contest. Thanks to everyone that voted. :-)

  35. It was truly my pleasure, Dawn! I love getting to read so many wonderful stories from so many talented authors. It's really a treat! And yours was one of my favorites :)

  36. Thank YOU for a fabulous entry, Darshana, and congratulations! We all loved your story!

  37. Congratulations winners! Awesome contest, and awesome entries! This was so fun.

  38. Congratulations to you, too, Telaina! We LOVED your story - so much fun!

  39. Bravo, bravo, bravo to all your fabulous winners! What a great round of stories in this competition.

  40. They really were fabulous, weren't they, Joanna? Yours included! Congratulations on a very fun tale :)

  41. A round of applause for Wendy (The Three Wiggly Worms Bluff) was one of my favorites, so clever and well written! And a big congratulations to everyone else. Also, I am super duper excited to get SNORING BEAUTY. Thank you, Susanna. :)

  42. You're very welcome, Elliah! I don't think I have your email address, so please email me with your snail mail address and how you'd like the book signed :) Congratulations on a very cute, fun story! :)

  43. She's very clever that way, Miss Brown :) Thanks so much for visiting blogs, reading, commenting and voting Genevieve! The contests wouldn't be nearly as much fun without that part of it!

  44. I just emailed you, Susanna.

  45. Brava to all of the winners!!!! And huge thanks to the generous prize donors AND to Susanna and her judges! There were some awesome stories much talent and creativity...the children who will read books by these writers are fortunate.:)
    And thank you so much, Susanna, for the honorable mention...I'm thrilled...and excited to choose one of the great prizes...there are several titles there that I have been wanting to get...I'll email you. :)

  46. Yowza! Yowza! Great stories, great prizes, great participation! Thanks, Susanna!

  47. Everyone was great, including you, Julie!!!

  48. Congratulations on a great story, Vivian - one of Judge 2's favorites :) Thanks so much for joining the fun, and I will look forward to your email :)

  49. This was a LOT of fun. Thanks for doing it. I sure enjoyed these stories. So clever.

  50. They really were so fun, weren't they Rosi? There's something about fairy tales... :)

  51. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikMarch 31, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    It's a bit late for April Fools' Day and Easter...

    How about May 20th - Be a Millionaire Day? Have videos where people pretend to be millionaires and what they'd do if they were! ;) I am jumping in my seat with anticipation! :D

    Go to this site for more unknown holidays (perfect excuses for contests!) -! :D

  52. I'm so happy to tie for third, I'm so happy Mike Allegra took second with his deviant Goldilocks, and I'm so happy Wendy won because hers was my favorite:) Thank you for hosting Susanna! You always come up with something fun.

  53. Congrats Wendy and all the top ten winners! So many great stories and an exciting finish to a fun contest - thanks Susanna!

  54. HUGE congratulations, Wendy!!! so happy for you :) Congrats to all the winners too!!

  55. Thanks, Denise! And thanks for participating with your Biscuit Man story - poor little guy :)

  56. Thanks, Karen, I'm glad you enjoyed it. We really liked your John Deere obsessed Little Red Hen :)

  57. It was really you guys that supplied the fun with all your awesome stories! :)

  58. Excellent ideas, Erik :) First I have to run the Illustrators Contest... then we'll see :)

  59. Congrats to all the winners! So many clever entries--I definitely had a hard time choosing!

  60. Fun from first to last!
    Thanks, Susanna.

    And congrats to all the winners. Write on!

  61. Congratulations to all the winners!

  62. Wow! Competition was stiff! Congrats to all the winners!

  63. How exciting! Congratulations all you winners and finalists! Well deserved. Great show. Great reads. Enjoy the fame. :)

  64. Amazing. Susanna, I am overawed. Thanks, and congratulations to all the fine contributors and especially the winners.

  65. Thank you for a really fun story, Joanne! We all enjoyed it so much! :)

  66. The fame really is what it's all about! :)

  67. Thanks, Alena! We loved your Roborella too - I wish we could give prizes to everyone!

  68. They were all amazing, weren't they? So many fun, fabulous stories - and we got to enjoy them all! :)

  69. I'm so glad you had fun, Nancy! I'm still feeling a little unsettled by that Mizzie :)

  70. They really did! Everyone is a winner in my book!

  71. The FAMOUS Susanna L. HIll and her famous contests! Please come on this () TV show and answer these few questions for our audience.

  72. A wonderful contests with incredible writers and, really, just too fun/funny/clever stories. Thanks for bringing this to us!

  73. My pleasure, Pam, and really all the thanks to the writers who participated! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, and hope you'll join us for the upcoming illustrator's contest! :)


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