Holiday Contest Winners


This year’s Christmas ornament by my daughter

I was thrilled when I read the announcement that I was a finalist in Susanna Leonard Hill’s 2015 holiday contest. If you haven’t already read my entry about Randolph the raindeer, click here if you wish to do so. And if you would like to read all the stories written by the finalists, click here.

I love Susanna’s contests, because they are always so challenging.

My daughter and I started to compose a song about Randolph, which is sung to the tune of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” It starts off like this:

Randolph the rainy raindeer
Had a very rainy cloud.

What? You say it needs a bit more work? Hmmmm….I’ll get back to you on that one.

Anyway, the results are in, and I tied for eighth place! Yay! To read the full results click here.

Today will be my last blog post for 2015. I am proud that I did for the most part stick to my goal of blogging every two weeks for this year. I will be back the first week of January, and I have decided to make the same commitment.

I wish everyone “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays”. I also wish you much writing success in the new year. And thank you to everyone who has taken the time to stop by my blog this year, and especially to those who have subscribed to my blog.

Holiday Contest 2015: Randolph, Not a Reindeer

It’s that time of year again. Yes, it’s time for Susanna Leonard Hill’s holiday contest. The rules can be found by clicking here.

I hope that my entry puts you in the holiday spirit.

Randolph, Not a Reindeer

“Packing up the presents at the North Pole workshop.” The elves and reindeer sang the traditional Christmas song. But Randolph couldn’t sing. Tears made the words stick in his throat.
Randolph was thinking about when Santa had told him that Randolph had not been chosen to pull the sleigh. “It’s not that you’re not fast enough, Randolph,” Santa had said, his eyes sad. “It’s…”
“Yes, I know, Santa,” Randolph had said, blinking back the tears. He had heard the rumours already. How all the children had cried, because Randolph had melted all the snow as he flew by.
Because Randolph was not a reindeer, but a raindeer, it rained wherever he went.
So instead of singing with the elves and reindeer, Randolph was doing what he did best: cleaning.
The elves started to chatter about the snowstorm that had taken place the night before in Canada.
“I’ve heard the snow is all the way to the rooftops,” said one elf.
“Santa is bringing extra food along,” said another.
The Christmas sleigh flew off , and everyone listened to the radio as it gave updates on Santa’s progress. All was well.
Then Santa hit Canada. The radio crackled, “Santa here, over. We’ve got an emergency, over. Send over everyone, over.”
Santa wanted everyone? Even Randolph?
Randolph flew high in the sky. Faster, faster, faster until he reached Santa and his sleigh.
Snow was not only up to the rooftops, but it was also covering the chimneys. That meant that Santa could not deliver the presents and food!
Elves were digging out the chimneys as fast as they could, but it was not fast enough. Randolph knew what he must do.
He flew over a house. The rain from the raindeer’s clouds melted the snow from the roof. Soon the chimney was exposed.
“Ho ho ho, well done, Randolph,” laughed Santa.
Santa went down the chimney, and then Randolph flew to the next house. And the next one.
“Packing up the presents at the North Pole workshop.” The elves and reindeer sang as they worked, and this time Randolph sang along.


If you’d like to read more of the contest entries, then click here for the links. All the writers appreciate it when you stop by and cheer them on.

And click here to read my entry from last year.

5 Canadian Children’s Publishers to Consider

When I was at the CANSCAIP PYI conference, Hugh Brewster kindly handed out a list of Canadian publishers that had children’s non-fiction programs. I decided to do some research on them, and I am passing on some of my findings to you. Those who write fiction need not despair, because they also publish fiction.
Some on Hugh’s list I already researched. You can take a look at this page for links to Annick, Orca, and Owlkids.
And keep in mind even if a house says it is closed to unsolicited submissions, you can write a query letter to get them to request your manuscript. More on that in this blog post.

1. Pajama Press

No unsolicited submissions, but you can request permission to send your manuscript.
Pajama Press is looking for picture books, middle grade, young adult, and non-fiction.

2. Kids Can Press

No unsolicited manuscripts from teenagers or children or from authors outside of Canada. They are looking for picture books, non-fiction for children, and chapter books for ages 7-10.

3. Second Story Press

This is a feminist press that does print children’s books. The focus is on Canadian authors; however, they do accept manuscripts from authors from other countries. They print non-fiction as well as fiction.

4. Tundra

They accept few unsolicited manuscripts and no unsolicited picture book manuscripts. However, I sent them a query after a conference, and they did look at one of my non-fiction picture book manuscripts.

5. Groundwood

No unsolicited picture book manuscripts. They are open to novel length fiction for children of all ages.

Those publishers that do not specifically mention that they print non-fiction on their submission wish list can always be queried. And, as always, do your research to make sure that the publisher is right for your manuscript.