Finding It’s That Time of Year Again (Or What? The Highlights Contest Already???)

As you may recall when I wrote about my mission to acquire Cheryl Klein’s SECOND SIGHT, I am not one to give up easily. And so once again, I shall be rolling up my sleeves, flexing the brain, and looking for an unusual newspaper headline for my Highlights Fiction Contest story.

Yep, it’s that time of year again when hope springs eternal and visions of dollars dance in my head as I write up a scathingly brilliant kiddie story of 750 words or less (475 words if I think up something brilliant for the younger readers of Highlights). Although, I’m a little flummoxed at the moment by this part:


A funny story inspired by an unusual newspaper headline.

I mean, I can do funny, and I read all kinds of newspapers. But I may have to do some digging to come up with an unusual newspaper headline to write this story and send by January 31.

Not that I’m deterred. On the contrary. ‘Cause you know what? I finally won SECOND SIGHT. And Highlights Fiction Contest? You’re next.

Keeping Up the Old Contest Spirit

So, I did not win the Highlights Fiction Contest. Again.

I’m heartened by the fact that I know TONS of fabulous writers. But I do not know anyone on this winners list. So I think that means that there are TONS of fabulous writers who are authors, and editors, and publishers even, who are not Highlights winners. When I look at the situation through that lens, I feel downright perky.

In fact, I feel excited enough to try the Pockets Annual Fiction Contest. Entries are due by August 15th if you want to try. You can win $500 and a publishing credit if you win. And you know what else? Past winners are ineligible. I’m feeling positively thrilled about that. And best of all, you can send multiple submissions (though they must be unpublished).

It just so happens I have a wonderful story (or two) lying about.


Keeping Up with the Highlights Fiction Contest

Yes, it’s that time of year when I dutifully try to win the Highlights Contest. I seriously think that one of these years, the Highlights folks will give me a special award. Something like “Most Entries into Highlights Contest Without Winning.” Or maybe the “Seriously? You Again Award.”

But this year is going to be different. The 2011 theme is embarrassing moments. I can come up with a few ideas without even racking my brain. I mean, my middle name in grade school was “Embarrassment.” And so now, I can use the Highlights Fiction Contest as a sort of cathartic exercise.

Not to worry, though. The names of the innocent will be changed. Or will they?

(Entries due by January 31st, no fee, up to 750 words. Get more details here.)

Finding A Blog, a Booklist, and Your Byline

In my zipping around on the wacky world of the web, I often come across terrific info and bookmark it-then forget to EVER go back and actually read up on the info. Kinda defeats the purpose, right?

So, I found that when I share these info-tastic links here on Finders & Keepers, I’m less likely to forget. And more likely to read up. Plus, you get to check out the info-tastic links, too. It’s a win-win-win!

First up, I came across a fun blog called The Writer’s Alley, wherein that old bugaboo, “Show, Don’t Tell,” was discussed. And within the post, I found a delightful link to an interesting worksheet that might be helpful if you struggle with this bit of a sticky writer wicket.

Next, I loved, loved, loved this site called Flashlight Worthy, with handpicked book recommendations on bunches of topics. I bookmarked the Children’s Books page which will take you to lots of different lists. Like Picture Books we Love to Hate or Books If You Like Cinderella. Seriously, I could spend a month reading these lists.

And finally, I found the latest Highlights Current Needs. Increase your chances of seeing your byline in the magazine by sending in something that Highlights needs. I’m partial to that “humorous stories” for young readers on the list, but there’s plenty to go around, no matter what you like to write.

That should keep you busy. Unless you bookmark this post to read for later!

Keeping up with the Highlights Fiction Contest 2010

I’m ending 2009 with a great way to start 2010: The Highlights Fiction Contest!

With three (Yes, three!) prizes worth $1,000 each (Yes, $1,000!) AND no entry fee,  it’s crazy not to give this contest a try. Which is why every year, between January 1 and 31st, I write a story and send it to the folks at Highlights.

I haven’t won this contest yet, but the stories I’ve written for the Highlights Fiction Contest have won in other children’s fiction contests. So, technically, that’s a win, right? Which is why I’m starting my year, thinking about family stories (the theme for this year’s contest). As the saying goes, I’ve got a million of ’em.

I just have to clean them up a bit for the kiddies!

(Find all the details here, and read EVERYTHING! Including a couple of issues of Highlights Magazine for Kids!)