Halloweensie: New Friends

Halloweensie: New Friends

I came up with a short story today, because I refuse to miss Halloweensie in 2020.

Word tells me it is exactly 99 words, so we’ll hope it’s correct.

Halloweensie is a tiny (100 words or less) children’s story contest created by Susanna Leonard Hill. There are hundreds of entries each year. You can get your spook on by reading them here.

Entries are for children age 12 and under and must contain the words creep, skeleton, and mask. Here’s my attempt.

New Friends

By Stacy S. Jensen

For Halloween, Henry drew a sugar skull design on his face. 

Creepy!” Dracula yells. 

“Spooky,” Spider mutters.

“Let’s play,” RBG says. 

They crawl, swing, and leap around the playground. 

“Are you new?” Frankenstein asks. 

“Yes. I’m Skeleton,” Henry says. 

After playing, they visit neighbor after neighbor.

“Trick or Treat,” they yell. 

“Dissent!” says RBG.

With full buckets, they return to the playground to trade candy.

“Sticky. Not for my braces,” RBG says.

“Nuts,” Spider says. 

“I don’t like this,” Henry says. 

After all the swapping, Dracula declares, “Let’s eat! Remove your masks.”

Henry blinks, “I’m not wearing a mask.” 


So, that’s what you get for 99 words. Hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Halloweensie 2018: Piper’s New Potion

Halloweensie 2018: Piper’s New Potion

Piper’s New Potion

By Stacy S. Jensen

Piper wanted a new cauldron.
The Shiver Store had a Howling Halloween sale.
But, she was short on cash.
Piper fed the dragon, cleaned her room, and sprinkled dust.
Her allowance wasn’t enough.
She searched for change. No luck.
Piper made a sign: Potions for $1.
Her Toil and Trouble Potion sat untouched.
She returned to her lab.
Her Pet Potion turned unicorns into gargoyles.
“No more rainbow toots!” she said.
Parents gobbled them up.
Her “Do What I Say” Potion sold best.
Piper’s math finally added up.
With a new cauldron, Piper created a “Stop Falling Houses” potion.
Halloweensie is an event not to be missed.
There is still time today, Oct. 31 at 11:59 p.m. EST to enter. Visit Author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website for the details.
For the contest, you write a 100-word story for children. The story must include shiver, cauldron, and howl. I’m at 99 words. It’s always a challenge to write a full story at this word count.  Visit Susanna’s blog post with links to all the entries. The contest always brings out a ton of spooky and funny stories.
I hope you have a Happy Halloween. We woke up to snow and a school delay this morning. The sun is out now. So, all the children will hopefully have a fun and chilly Halloween.

Halloweensie: Candy, Candy, Candy

Halloweensie: Candy, Candy, Candy

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I’m posting on deadline — my life story.
The Halloweensie Contest is the brain child of Author Susanna Leonard Hill. Thanks Jilanne for encouraging me to participate.

Candy, Candy, Candy

By Stacy S. Jensen

Candy wore the same thing every day.
White. Orange. Yellow.
Another Candy also wore the same thing every day.
Red. White.
They were bored and craved change.
“Let’s do it,” Candy Corn said on Halloween.
She dressed like a monster with a pink bow.
Candy Cane became a tree with a star topper.
The girls loved their costumes. They rang doorbells and filled their bags until ….
a shadow startled them.
“LOL. It’s me,” Candy Heart said. “I wanted to join the fun. XOXO.”
“Change is good,” Candy Corn said.
The girls skipped to their next adventure.
Word Count is 97. 

Read more about the rules and more entries here.
The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words candy corn, monster, and shadow. (Candy corn will be counted as 1 word.)  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 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 🙂  (And yes, I know 100 words is short, but that’s part of the fun and the challenge!  We got nearly 150 fantastic entries last year, so I know you can do it!)  Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. monsters, monstrous, shadowy, shadowed, whathaveyou 🙂  NO ILLUSTRATION NOTES PLEASE! (And yes, you may submit more than one entry if you’re so inclined 🙂 )

Halloweensie Contest 2016

Halloweensie Contest 2016

Happy Halloweensie! It’s that time of year again when children’s writers gather ’round the cauldron to craft a story in 100 words or less. Author Susanna Hill is the gracious founder of the contest. She and her assistants deserve tons of treats for reading all the contest entries.
This year, each 100-word or less entry must contain the words spider, ghost and moon. Variations of the words are allowed. Stories should be kid-friendly and contain no illustration notes. Here are the rules, if you want to participate. You have until the strike of 11:59 p.m. EDT.
Here’s my 2016 entry:

Halloween Tracks 

By Stacy S. Jensen

Oliver saw the tracks every Halloween.
They were colorful with a sweet aroma and looked like scat. Oliver never ate it, but other owls did.
“Who?” he wondered made them. He flew over the streets in the moonlight searching
And, in circles for the critter.
He saw bunnies, coyotes, and spiders and almost gave up.
Until, he heard …
Oliver followed the noises to a little ghost.
“Your tracks!” Oliver screeched.
“My candy,” Ghost cried.
Oliver helped Ghost collect his spilled loot.
“Here’s a treat!” Ghost tossed a candy to Oliver. “Happy Halloween!”

Word tells me I’m at 98 words!

There will be plenty of entries at Susanna’s blog. I am always impressed by the very talented work created in this contest and also how similar our thought process can be. I’ve been a happy Halloweensie participant since 2011 — 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.
I hope you all have a spooky, fun-filled Halloween!

P.S. I’ve been re-working my website in recent weeks between other projects. It’s not “done,” but decided Halloweensie is more important than “done.”

Halloweensie: Gilda’s Zombie Fix

Halloweensie: Gilda’s Zombie Fix

It’s the most spooktacular time of year!
The Halloweensie Contest!

Author extraordinaire Susanna Leonard Hill runs this contest and it’s a ton of fun. The rules follow my entry:

Gilda’s Zombie Fix

By Stacy S. Jensen

On Halloween, Gilda always wore a white costume.
She always ate dark chocolate.
And, she always visited an old haunt.
But, this year was different.
Her friends acted a bit alien-ish.
Their moans signaled trouble.
Gilda grabbed her emergency bag.
She passed out water, candy, and encouragement.
“Keep shuffling! Now drag a foot.”
Most zombies perked up, but not Isaac.
Gilda gave him a brussels sprout.
When Isaac tooted, he was normal again.
“Let’s Trick or Treat!” he said.
Gilda took Isaac to Planet #893, where neighbors gave the best treats in the universe — chocolate covered brains.
Word Count: 97
The rules are here.

Basically, you write a children’s story in 100 words or less; include three words — costume, dark, and haunt, and  no illustration notes. Seriously, it’s 100 words period (not including the title). The story can be scary, funny, prose, rhyme … just about anything you want, as long as it is geared toward children.

Stories should be posted on your blog between Oct. 26 and Oct. 30. Be sure to check the rules for the posting deadline and options on how to post a story, if you don’t have a blog. There are wonderful prizes and more importantly there are dozens (if not a 100-plus) of fun stories to read.

To read additional entries, visit Susanna’s blog.

If Waffles Were Like Boys

If Waffles Were Like Boys

Here’s my selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday:

If Waffles Were Like Boys
Written by Charise Mericle Harper
Illustrated by Scott Magoon
Balzer+Bray, 2011
Suitable for: ages 4-8
Theme/Topic: Comparison, Adventure

Opening Spread: If waffles were like boys … [page turn]
breakfast would be a BATTLEFIELD!

Brief Synopsis: From Amazon.com description—
What if everything were just like boys?

If shopping carts were like boys . . . grocery stores would be racetracks!
If pillows were like boys . . . bedrooms would besuperhero hideouts!
Perfect for bedtime, this funny and tender celebration of boyhood will have everyone seeing their world in a whole new way.

Resources: Create your own story with different objects. Use the construction like in Charise’s story: If ____ were like boys/girls … _____(what would happen). It’s sort of an if … then construction. For example… If zombies were like boys … brains would be fast food. (Or something silly like that.) Several books with a similar format include:  Miranda Paul’s book Water is Water (we discuss this a lot on foggy or wet days), Jim Averbeck’s Except If, and Sean Taylor’s When a Monster is Born (which offers two possibilities for every scenario). Lots of possibilities to compare and contrast with this book. You can also discuss whether you agree with the ending of each line or not?

Why I Like This Book: We found this book while researching a publisher. The side benefit is that Enzo and I had a fun time exploring the different scenarios in the book. “If shopping carts were like boys …  grocery stores would be RACETRACKS!” The story obviously generalizes some boy behaviors. And, many of them fit into my boy’s mindset, so he liked the book.  Since we read this book, we’ve added several more of Charise’s books on our library list. She has a really cool FAQ – kid focused – on her website.

For more PPBF books, visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Blog.