Monthly Archives: October 2013

The 3rd Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST by Susanna Leonard Hill

The 3rd Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST by Susanna Leonard Hill

Susanna’s contest rules:

The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words spooky, black cat, and cackle. 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 (you can count black cat as one word) 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 🙂 [Note: of you choose to use cackle as a verb, any form is acceptable – cackles, cackled, cackling…]

Here’s my submission…hope you enjoy!! Let me know what you think.

The House on Spooky Lane

There was one house on a hill at the end of Spooky Lane. The windows were cracked, the door crooked and the paint chipped.

“A witch lives in that house.” announced Josh. “Her loud cackles heard every Halloween.”

“Let’s go back!” begged Emma.

“Let’s go to that house.” urged Josh. “You wanted to come and Mama said to stay with us.”

Suddenly Emma’s dog broke off leash to chase a black cat, the kids followed.

When they got to the house, they found the dog. The house was vacant.

“I want to come back next year!” exclaimed Emma.

Josh sighed.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin

The kind of preparation needed for writing a picture book includes many different types of research. Even fiction writing has to include information that is believable. Here are the research tips I use:

* Research and read books similar to the type you are interested in writing.

* Research the authors who wrote books with themes similar to what you want
to publish.

* Research the publishers who publish the type of book you want to write.

* Research the editors who work in those publishing houses, peruse each of
the publisher’s websites for staff information since editors change.

* Research individual publisher submission guidelines. Follow them exactly.
The number of words, the format, etc. matter. Some do not accept
unsolicited manuscripts, another may require an exclusive submission.

* Research how to write a query letter and read examples.

* Research the setting, physical description and behavior of characters you
plan to include to add to authenticity to your story.

Be prepared. Submit your best work to the right publisher in the correct way. Preparation, via research, is key to the success of becoming published.

Tom Clancy 1947-2013

Tom Clancy 1947-2013

“You learn to write the same way you learn to play golf,” Clancy said. “You do it, and keep doing it until you get it right. A lot of people think something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn’t divinely inspired – it’s hard work.” — Tom Clancy

It’s a sad day when someone dies. Sadly, Tom Clancy died today. So many have enjoyed his books and or movies based on his bestselling novels. The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, and Clear and Present Danger are just a few that propelled his stardom and inspired followers who loved the high level of drama, chills, and thrills Mr. Clancy was known for in the books he wrote about espionage and the military.

I am certain his followers are happy Mr. Clancy kept writing until he got it right. But saddened because Command Authority, scheduled for release in December 2013, is the final work of this remarkable writer.