2014 Writing Contest Winners! Congratulations to Kenda Henthorn!

2014 Writing Contest Winners! (Source: http://rateyourstory.blogspot.com/2014/03/2014-writing-contest-winners.html )

2014 Writing Content
Our judges say that choosing was no small feat!
But for now…
This is it, folks. 
The moment you’ve been waiting for. 
Out of nearly 300 entries total, we are very proud to announce. . .
The Rate Your Story 2014 Writing Contest WINNERS!
Picture Book Category – Prize Winners
Jane Patton
Credit: Roxyanne Young
1st Place
How We Made the Sky. . .Cry
by Anne C. Bromley
and Jane L. Patton
A lyrical, free verse picture book about six-year-old Callie’s unique solution to the severe drought that has befallen her town.
2nd Place
Ribbit! Ribbit! Gotta Go!
by Jill Proctor
When Froggy escapes from his cardboard dungeon he leads his captor, giggling school children, and a broom-wielding teacher on a flagpole-flying, death-defying chase, ultimately winning his freedom to return home to his children.

3rd Place
Little Orphan Sandy: The True Story of a Stray That Became a Star
by Nancy Churnin
The true story of a teen who rescues a dirty, neglected and frightened dog and turns him into a Broadway star.
Picture Book Category – Honorable Mentions
A Tad Too Short
by Heather Preusser
When Tad tries to follow his older brothers aboard the Buccaneer at Pirate Playland, the burly pirate at the other end of the plank says he’s too short, so Tad finds some friends and develops a plan to pull one past the pirate.

Funny-Face Grace

by Krisann Bergo Brown
When Grace makes a silly face that gets stuck, she sets off a hilarious epidemic that changes the face of the world.
No Dragons Allowed 
by Kevin White
Harold the dragon’s simple quest for an egg from the castle (needed to bake a cake) turns into a tale of disguises, favors, and acceptance as they all discover unity in their diversity.
Run! Run! Run! The Amazing Story of Elizabeth Zane 
by Sue Frye
In 1782, Elizabeth Zane easily outran every boy at Fort Henry, and when the fort came under siege, she made her famous run through flying arrows to grab the hidden stash of gunpowder – which saved the fort.   
Pumpkins and Promises: America’s First Halloween
by Nancy Churnin
Historical fiction about an Irish immigrant girl in 1851 who teaches her American friend about her favorite Irish holiday, Halloween, and how together they give the celebration an American twist by carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns instead of the traditional turnips.
Novel/Novella Category – Prize Winners
1st Place
30-Minute Superhero
by Sandy Grubb
Ten-year-old Nick would rather impress his friends than their mothers, but when shaking his Mr. Nice Guy image proves impossible, he takes it undercover like his old hero Superman, only to be faced with a mystery that must be solved … and time is running out.
2nd Place
Perfecting Albert Hall
by Irene Wittig
Perfecting Albert Hall is the story of a lonely, middle-aged man whose need for purpose takes him to Uganda to search for his friend’s missing child.
3rd Place
The Case of the Missing Hand
by Marcia Berneger
If Robbie and Becca don’t solve the case of the missing hand, and the ensuing attempted murder, their grandparents could spend the rest of their lives in jail.
Novel/Novella Category – Honorable Mentions
Hoofin’ it to Hollywood
by Kenda Henthorn
Twelve year old Katie Kitchen dreams of Hollywood stardom, but instead, she’s stuck competing against her two older brothers for a role in her parent’s small-time, small-town western movie where it seems summer can’t get any worse—until Josh Sullivan steals her heart—and her part in the movie.
Mom Wars
by Mindy Alyse Weiss
Twelve year-old Jennifer Michaels is already at war with Mom over money issues and Dad’s disappearance when two unpredictable boys, a mysterious check, and a summer filled with secrets turn her world upside-down.
Before I Sleep
by Patti Richards
Only the Wordkeeper knows why forest darkness causes death, and Ada must find him before time runs out for her mother and her world.
Everything Else Category – Top Winners

1st Place

“Ernie Buford, Ripsnortin’ Whopper Teller” (short story)
by Sherry Walz
Ernie Buford hails from a long line of whopper tellers, but he doesn’t believe in his own ability to tell incredible tales – that is – until the day he tangles with a rough and tumble tornado.
2nd Place
“Stubborn Sam”
by Carol Woodson
A very active youngster gets more than she bargained for.
3rd Place
“I Can Do That Job in Six Sh*ts and Ten Son of a Bi*ches”
(short story)
by Mary Jo Wagner
The story of what happens when one rather non-mechanical man decides to fix a garage door opener, and prompts his children to count the swear words until the typical disaster is over.
Everything Else Category – Honorable Mentions
“Princess Polymita and Zunzun, the Hummingbird Prince: A Cuban Love Story Retold”
(folk tale)
by Betty Matthews
When Polymita, the world’s largest and most colorful land snail, despairs about her beauty and self-worth, Zunzuncito, the world’s smallest hummingbird  must tell the story behind their unusual friendship.
Ethan to the Rescue
(chapter book)
by Sheri McCrimmon
Ethan finds out superheroes have a hard life when practice rescues turn into embarrassing disasters and epic problems loom.
“Helpers of 9/11”
(nonfiction essay)
by Jacquie Sewell
In the midst of the tragedy of the 9/11 terrorist attack, the strength of our nation shone bright in the actions of the many Americans who answered the call to come and help.
The Magic Nose Pinchers
(chapter book)
by Danielle Dufayet
Isabelle, the French mouse, loves beauty and cleanliness, so her husband invents a pair of magic glasses that she wears everyday until one day they fall off her nose and she gets a shocking and heartbreaking surprise.
Congratulations, all!
Also, we’d like to extend a very special thank you
to the prize donors, including:
Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary
Madeline Smoot, CBAY Books
Miranda Paul, Children’s Author
Our many, many judges!

Great tips about how to make Librarians love your school visits! Thanks Toni Buzzeo and Jane Kurtz!!

Connecting Author Visits with Picture Book Month: Advice from Dianne de Las Casas

 If you haven’t ridden the wave of Picture Book Month activities this year, it’s never too early to start planning for next year.  My friend and founder of this celebration, Dianne de Las Casas, author, storyteller, and children’s book advocate extraordinaire, gives terrific advice on just how to do this!

Picture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book during the month of November every year. Now in its third year, through the power of the Internet and social media, Picture Book Month has grown exponentially each year with partners such as SCBWI, the Children’s Book Council, the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association, and many more. Every day in November, the website features an essay about the importance of picture books written by a prominent author, illustrator, or mover and shaker in the children’s book industry. All over the world, schools, libraries, and bookstores are celebrating Picture Book Month with author visits, Skype author visits, Google hangouts, YouTube and Vimeo videos, blog posts, Twitter chats, and big picture book displays. In addition, students are reading thousands upon thousands of picture books. A school in Hungary last year read over 6,000 picture books during Picture Book Month! Here’s how you can tap into the movement and connect with Picture Book Month.

1.     Become a Picture Book Month Ambassador. Become a Picture Book Month Ambassador and place the Ambassador badge on your website, with a link HOUSE-NewPictureBookMonth.com. There is no cost and it shows your support. Educators, librarians, the home school community, booksellers, bloggers, literacy organizations, and parents are celebrating Picture Book Month in November. Becoming a Picture Book Month Ambassador demonstrates that you believe in the power of print picture books and support picture books as a building block of literacy. You can register to celebrate Picture Book Month (it’s never too late) and even get listed as an author on the website.

2.     Offer School and Library Visits During Picture Book Month. Many schools and libraries celebrate Picture Book Month with author visits. If you are an author of picture books, November is a great time for you! Send out postcards, advertise in your email newsletter, and post to your social media sites that you are available for author visits during Picture Book Month. Check with your local libraries and schools to find out what they are doing to celebrate. Perhaps you could be part of their kick-off or finale.

  • LittleReadHen3.     Offer Skype Author Visits During Picture Book Month. Librarians like John Schumacher from Brook Forest Elementary School in Illinois and Teachers like Colby Sharp, who is a Nerdy Book Club Blogger, love doing Skype visits with authors during Picture Book Month. When schools and libraries don’t have the funds for an in-person author visit, they often turn to Skype author visits as a viable solution. They love nothing more than to connect their readers with the writers of their favorite books. A Skype Author Visit is a great way to link your picture books with schools and libraries during Picture Book Month.

4.     Check Out the New Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide. Marcie Colleen, Picture Book Month’s Educational Consultant, has created an incredible 16 page Picture Book Month Teachers Guide. The guide correlates picture books to the U.S. Common Core and learning standards. Educators have less time to spend on content that falls outside of their assigned curriculum. Our Teacher’s Guide demonstrates, with research and data, that picture books are a valuable part of a student’s education. You can use our study guide as a springboard to create your own and illustrate how your picture books tie in to the curriculum and the Common Core.

5.     Connect with the Picture Book Month Community. One of the great ways Dianne - Storyteller - Rita Crayonto receive invitations to schools, libraries, and conferences is to become involved in social media. Picture Book Month has a thriving Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest community. Our Twitter handle is @PictureBkMonth and our hashtag is #PictureBookMonth. Join the conversation, post your favorite picture books in response to our daily theme, and even connect with other authors and illustrators. Many of our Picture Book Month champions are on Facebook and Twitter. Read the daily essays on the Picture Book Month website and be sure to comment. Each comment is entered into our drawing for a chance to win autographed books from our Picture Book Month Champions.

Picture Book Month is all about promoting literacy by celebrating print picture books, the authors and illustrators who create them, and the readers who love them. Join us! November is Picture Book Month. Read * Share * Celebrate!

DiannedeLasCasasinherlibrary1920X1920Dianne de Las Casas is an award-winning author, storyteller, and founder of Picture Book Month. Her performances, dubbed “revved-up storytelling” are full of energetic audience participation. The author of 22 books and the 2013 recipient of the Ann Martin Book Mark award, her picture book titles include The Cajun Cornbread Boy, There’s a Dragon in the Library, The House That Witchy Built, The Little “Read” Hen, and The House That Santa Built. Visit her website at diannedelascasas.com. Visit Picture Book Month at PictureBookMonth.com.