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The Picture Book Buzz

Susanna Hill's 9th Annual Halloweensie Contest

It's that time of year again. Mummies, skeletons, princesses, unicorns, pirates, goblins, and an IRS man (seriously folks, I had a kid dress as this a few years back - saying "I'm your worst nightmare!" Boy was she was right!) running loose through the town. All stocking up on candy and preparing to indulge in a sugar comma.

However, for children's writers, this time of year brings squeals of laughter and the anguished pulling of hair as they try to write a full story for kids 12 and under in 100 words. That's right - 100 words (or less if you're really good).

Here are the rules, if you dare to join us:

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 potion, cobweb, and trick. Your story can be scary, funny, sweet, 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!) NO ILLUSTRATION NOTES PLEASE! (And yes, you may submit more than one entry if you’re so inclined 🙂 )

So, you ready for my entry?

Wait a moment, Cass wants to wave hi to you.

© 2011 Gayle and Jeanell Strickland

Now that I have your attention (unless you're running in the opposite direction screaming), here is my entry.


by Maria Marshall

(100 words)

Bessie longed to be the first witch to graduate spy school. But first, she had to cross a moonlit lake and a white sand beach in her black hat and gown.

“GRRR! Not working!”

“The trick is to hide in plain sight,” a voice whispered.

Bessie shrieked. A red spider appeared on her curtain.

“Hi, I’m Cass. You just need some magic.”

“But, my potions don’t work!”

“Well, I enjoyed that fly you conjured.”

“That was supposed to make ME fly.”

“Make me more flies, I’ll make you invisibility cobwebs.”

“Best spy team, EVER!” they chorused, on Gradu-ween night.

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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