Kid Lit Dish

Kim's Magical Journey Into the World of Children's Picture Books

Halloweensie Contest!

on October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

(Or should I say “Happy Halloweensie”??)

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, Halloweensie is a contest– brought to the kidlit world by none other than author Susanna Leonard Hill.  You’ve gotta love Susanna– she does SO much for children’s writers (AND readers!) everywhere.

Anyway, I can’t resist a fun contest– so in 100 words or less (not including the title), and using the words bat, witch and Trick or Treat, we had to come up with a “teensie” story.  Of course, I can’t resist the rhyme either, so here goes my entry:


The Loneliest Pumpkin

There once was an orphaned young pumpkin named Pete,
who perched all alone on a porch down the street.

To him, that old house was too gloomy and grim–
old cobwebs and bat nests were part of the trim.

On Halloween night, a kind witch stopped to play.
She screeched “Trick or Treat!” but she paused then to say:

“Dear pumpkin, so sad—can I please take you home?
My house is ALIVE so you won’t be alone!”

So Pete moved away and discovered new friends…
For him, life’s beginning. For you, it’s



Keep in mind the entry ABOVE is the real deal.  But I thought it might be fun to share my quick notes/very early first draft from when Susannah first announced the contest last week… (This is how I usually start a blog post– by putting notes in first and then fleshing it out to evolve into the “final.”)  So the notes below include a quick “first take” at a rhyming story.  Ye-gads, but it looks awful in hindsight.  Remember… this is just top-of-mind scribbles!  ! 😉  Anyway, here goes nuthin’ (I can’t believe I’m sharing this):

100 words or less, using words:

witchbat, and “trick-or-treat.

There once was a pumpkin names Sweet

Who lived in a dark house on my street

His passion was candy, and he thought it so dandy

When the kids came to call “trick or treat!”

One night an old witch came a-knockin’

With her bat on her back that was hoppin’… [Hey!  That’s not even a rhyme!]

Okay, that’s enough of THAT now.  Yikes.  I’m probably going to regret this!  Ah well, all part of what I call the process.  (Yes, that’s right– throwing up first passes… uh, part of the process.  Yay!)

Now back to revising my book-in-progress, a.k.a. manuscript-from-purgatory.
(Can’t say the other word– I AM writing for children, after all!)


27 responses to “Halloweensie Contest!

  1. Loved your entry and your rough draft. Ha! Been there, done that! Sandy was in my way. Good luck with your entry.

  2. A draft? That’s a great draft. I loved them both. I admire the rhyming. I always find these posts inspirational to see what others can write in 100 or less.

  3. This is TERRIFIC Kim! I love it! So clever and fun, and excellent rhyme and meter! I also loved seeing your work-in-progress part – what a great idea to share. Mine is a horrifying mess of illegible scribbles and cross-outs that are even worse than what ended up on the blog – and much LONGER – I always have to cut! Thanks so much for joining in the fun! 🙂

  4. Great pumpkins! Love the story and appreciate that you shared your draft – I found its rhythm interesting too!

  5. Catherine Johnson says:

    i think they are both brilliant, and so nice of the witch to take the lonely pumpkin somewhere better.

  6. Wonderful! I’m so glad that lonely pumpkin found a new home

  7. Laura Renauld says:

    Thanks for being brave enough to share your first draft. Sometimes those are the scariest! Very appropriate for Halloween 🙂

  8. Carrie Finison says:

    LOL, I love the last line. That’s perfect! It’s nice to see your rough draft, too. Mine are always a mess, too. Gotta start somewhere!

  9. nrhatch says:

    Loved you entry . . . and your process.

    Writing first drafts makes me a bit dizzy
    With words tossed about . . . all in a tizzy
    But it’s always worth it, when we are done
    And we can say, “Man, that was FUN!”

  10. Joanna says:

    I loved both versions. The meter is great and I loved the premise of the lonely pumpkin!

  11. Perfect meter, fun story – well done!

  12. Thank you so much, Kim…not only did you submit an awesome entry to Susanna’s contest…you also gave us all an inside look at how to write…it’s really helpful to see how a story comes to fruition.:)
    I absolutely LOVE the cobwebs and bats for the trim…and your meter is superb! Great job!!!!

  13. Kim, thank you for sharing your draft with us. I love the improvements you’ve made on your story. Yes, your final version is so polished. I thought it was wonderful! The only part I didn’t like was that the story had to end. Pete is one lucky pumpkin!

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