How I Love the Smell of a Contest in October

It was once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary…

Ummmm. Okay, it was the middle of a sunny afternoon, just last week. And I’d just had a delightful little siesta so I wasn’t so much weak and weary as I was perky and up for a little shenanigans. Which I found in a contest over at Math is Everywhere, Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez’s home on the web.

And this contest has everything I love: prizes! A 200 word limit! Creepy picture prompts! And did I mention PRIZES?!

So today, when it was at long last a bit overcast with a slight chill in the air for about 37 minutes, the mood was right for a little Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy. I chose this image–though if I’m being honest, it chose me–and I wrote a little 197-word story I like to call…

             Worms Crawl In


The  worms crawl in, the worms crawl out

She could not get that song out of her head. What was that called again?

Oh, yes. An earworm. She smiled, holding her pumpkin. Only she could see the hole she’d carved in the back of it; only she knew that she’d scooped out its pulpy insides…

A giggle slipped away from her. Annabelle was not a bad person. Honestly, she’d been an awfully good girlfriend, always looking out for Brad. It was Annabelle who always reminded him to lock his car door, brought him special treats, helped him with his homework. She was a good listener, too, so when he’d laughingly admitted his unnatural fear of worms during Biology class, she’d remembered.

She watched as he walked toward her, his arm draped around Chloe Davenport’s shoulder.

“Happy Halloween,” said Annabelle.

Brad smiled awkwardly but he took the pumpkin. And then screamed like a banshee as the gummy worm dropped onto his shoe.

Not funny,” said Chloe.

It was sort of funny, thought Annabelle. But the giant pumpkin full of live, slithering worms would be way funnier.

She giggled gleefully. That boy would never learn to lock his car.


So if you’re up for a little creepy or Halloween cheery writing fun, join in the shenanigans before the clock strikes midnight on October 11th. Here’s all the rules and prizes. And here’s where you can officially enter.  

And here’s where you can find the rest of that mood-enhancing poem,  The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. Because one can’t always count on 37 minutes of overcast skies with a chill in the air when you live in Georgia, even in October.  (And good luck!)


17 thoughts on “How I Love the Smell of a Contest in October

  1. Love your biting dark humor! You’ve created a relatable character and satisfying story arc in just a few words. Annabelle *worms* her way into our hearts. @AnneLipton

  2. That will teach Brad, or not. Lol. It does pay to listen carefully. Good luck with the competition and congratulations with your win at the Alabama SCBWI Conference. That IS fantastic!

    • Thanks so much, Colleen! At first I wondered what Alabama SCBWI conference? And then I remembered that my blog highlights other posts. Long ago posts at that! (Can you believe I’m still revising that manuscript? In fact, I’m working on it now. Or distracting myself with writing for the Kidlit Fall Frenzy instead of revising. Whatever. 🙂 )

  3. Cathy–I’m slacking enough with my current writing projects. I don’t think I can consider entering a contest. However, your “Raven” beginning made me remember when I was a kid, I daydreamed about catching a crow and teaching it to say, “Nevermore.” When I went to the Grand Canyon, I saw lots of ravens, and learned how incredibly intelligent they are.

    I hope your Georgia fall is delightful.

  4. Cathy, I was practically rolling on the floor laughing and that was BEFORE reading your hilariously be vindictive piece for the contest. Love the ending! Thanks so much for entering, I adore starting my day with a laugh!

  5. Pingback: Winners for the Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy 2019 – Math is Everywhere

  6. Pingback: The October WOOooOooo Wrap-up! | Cathy C. Hall

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