Halloweensie Challenge

28 Oct

TRICK OR TREAT!  Susanna Leonard Hill is having a contest to write a short (less than 100 word) children’s story, poem, or prose for Halloween which must include the words spooky, black cat, and cackle.   There are great prizes involved.  So even though I have never tried my hand at this before, I decided to give it a go!  After all it’s not really Halloween if you’re not scared.  If you’re not scared (or even if you are) and you want to join in the fun, here’s her link.



Before I started, I looked through a great facebook page called Once Upon for inspiration.  This is a site devoted to artistic illustrations.  This is the painting that spoke to me.  (Notice the little black cat walking on the rooftop.)  It’s called Witch’s Moon by  Hazel Billingsley, I have included it for your enjoyment and the added dimension it gives my prose.

Don’t forget to leave me a comment (tab on the left).


Sleepless Hallow’s Eve

by Juliana Lee


Full moon shining in the grey-black night

Ghostly shadows slip silently overhead

Barren tree branches scratch the sky

Spooky noises fill the air


Rattle Clatter Cackle


Bats on velvet wings swoop low

Black Cat pads soundlessly on the roof

Deep sighs inhale then release

Spooky noises fill the air


Rattle Clatter Cackle


Midnight hour tolls warning

Footsteps fall outside your door

Heavy hinges creak unknowing

Spooky noises fill the air


Goodnight dear

Sleep tight





57 Responses to “Halloweensie Challenge”

  1. Jarm Del Boccio November 2, 2013 at 4:57 PM #

    Love the image, Juliana, and the “sleep tight” after you have set such an ominous scene . . .good job!


  2. nicole snitselaar October 31, 2013 at 4:01 PM #

    very poetic !


  3. Laura Shovan October 31, 2013 at 11:20 AM #

    Whoa! Your last lines should be comforting, but with the set up you created in this poem, they are chilling.


    • Juliana Lee October 31, 2013 at 11:34 AM #

      True! I wondered how a person could read those lines….they could be very eerie instead of comforting. I guess that’s where a good illustrator can make a big difference!


  4. clarbojahn October 31, 2013 at 10:56 AM #

    HI Juliana! Your name is also the name of my queen of Holland from where I’m from. I think it is lovely.

    I also love your poem with it’s lyrical language and beautiful prose. I love the imagery and spookiness of the poem. The picture advances the cause quiet nicely, too. And thanks for the facebook page. I’ll look it up. 🙂


    • Juliana Lee October 31, 2013 at 11:18 AM #

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad you liked the poem. My mother also told me about the Queen of Holland, it always made be feel a little special!


      • clarbojahn October 31, 2013 at 11:42 AM #

        You are special.

        May YOUR day be special!

        I always say that when I autograph my book “Annie’s Special Day” for kids. I want them to know that they are special. 🙂


  5. Carrie Finison October 31, 2013 at 10:00 AM #

    Very atmospheric and perfect for Halloween!


    • Juliana Lee October 31, 2013 at 10:10 AM #

      “atmospheric”…. Love it! Thanks for the comment. Read your lovely poem too and left you a comment about Cincinnati. If you’re in town, we should try to get together!


  6. Catherine Constance October 30, 2013 at 12:31 PM #

    Love the spooky feel to this 😉


    • Juliana Lee October 30, 2013 at 12:40 PM #

      Thank you Catherine. I couldn’t find your story, but your name sent me to your Facebook page where I couldn’t help but notice the lovely artwork you have! And, coincidentally, I also lived in Bordeaux for a very short while!


  7. laurimeyers October 30, 2013 at 10:22 AM #

    Such a spooky mood I need to go get some hot chocolate to warm up! Thanks for the tips on the Facebook site.


    • Juliana Lee October 30, 2013 at 10:39 AM #

      Happy to pass on good tips! Your story reminded me of a picture I just saw on Facebook too…. Why Witches Don’t Have White Cats. (can’t copy it here, but the cat is sleeping on her outfit leaving white fur all over her dress) hahaha um,er, cackle-cackle-cackle!


      • laurimeyers October 30, 2013 at 10:49 AM #

        That’s funny, I let my friend borrow my black cape the other day and totally forgot she had cats 😦 Yes, hair is a very good reason for witches to not have white cats.


  8. julie rowan zoch October 30, 2013 at 3:18 AM #

    Love the mood set here. Well done!


  9. Stacy S. Jensen October 30, 2013 at 12:47 AM #

    Great words and imagery too. I don’t want to go to bed now!


  10. Margaret Greanias October 30, 2013 at 12:46 AM #

    Love the spooky tone and the beautiful imagery!


    • Juliana Lee October 30, 2013 at 8:25 AM #

      Thank you Margaret. I read yours and tried to comment, but I couldn’t get through. So let me tell you here, I love the ‘ghost hunter’ idea! Nice work.


  11. Heather Annie Dent October 29, 2013 at 10:53 PM #

    The painting and the story are both beautiful! I can see why you chose that specific painting. It leaves so much room for your imagination to explore. Well done!


    • Juliana Lee October 29, 2013 at 11:01 PM #

      Thank you! I didn’t see your entry… are you playing along?


  12. Beth Stilborn October 29, 2013 at 9:35 PM #

    Ooooooh, great imagery, Julianna! And the delightful twist at the end. Super entry. Glad you joined us!


    • Beth Stilborn October 29, 2013 at 9:36 PM #

      OOPS! I spelled your name with too many Ns! Sorry!


      • Juliana Lee October 29, 2013 at 10:56 PM #

        Thanks Beth. Don’t worry about the name spelling, it’s a common mistake. Loved your Scaredy Cat also.


  13. Cathy C. Hall October 29, 2013 at 9:32 PM #

    Very spooky mood piece! Perfectly fits the picture, too.


    • Juliana Lee October 29, 2013 at 10:59 PM #

      Thanks. And I agree, you do deserve a Butterfinger – or six!


  14. jannatwrites October 29, 2013 at 4:51 PM #

    I like the spooky tone to this. What a relief it was only ‘goodnight’ 🙂


  15. Buffy Silverman October 29, 2013 at 3:31 PM #

    Lovely images and sounds!


    • Juliana Lee October 29, 2013 at 5:52 PM #

      Thank you. I took a minute to read your poem too. Love it!


  16. Stacy Couch October 29, 2013 at 2:41 PM #

    Lovely imagery, Juliana, and nice use of repetition. All of it creates a spooky mood!


  17. Grannymar October 29, 2013 at 1:21 PM #

    I loved the idea of the photo for inspiration. I must make more use of all the folders that sit in my computer! The words you painted complimented it very well.


    • Juliana Lee October 29, 2013 at 1:26 PM #

      Thank you so much. I always find it easier to write to a picture, either from my head or from a physical picture.


  18. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes October 29, 2013 at 10:34 AM #

    Love the painting, and your words paint an equally beautiful picture!


    • Juliana Lee October 29, 2013 at 10:43 AM #

      Thank you, of course I can’t take credit for the beautiful picture, but I do like it!


  19. Penny Parker Klostermann October 29, 2013 at 10:04 AM #

    Nice job! Love the Rattle Clatter Cackle!


  20. Donna L. Sadd October 29, 2013 at 8:13 AM #

    Great job, Juliana! :0)


  21. viviankirkfield October 29, 2013 at 1:43 AM #

    Nice to meet you, Juliana. Your story is wonderful…beautiful language and the images were lovely. And THANK YOU so much for the heads up on the Once Upon FB site…sounds like a great resource.:)


    • Juliana Lee October 29, 2013 at 9:15 AM #

      Thank you for the nice words, and you’re welcome for the heads up! The author and illustrator of Once Upon is great. She displays a lot of her own work and that of many other talented artists.


  22. Patricia Tilton October 28, 2013 at 11:23 PM #

    Beautiful imagery!


    • Juliana Lee October 29, 2013 at 9:08 AM #

      Thank you Patricia. I looked up your blog and noticed The Ghost Eye Tree, also one of my favorites! No wonder that particular picture spoke to me!


      • Patricia Tilton October 29, 2013 at 3:15 PM #

        Yes, your name sounds familiar, too. I attended the Northern Ohio SCBWI conference in September. I’m from SW Ohio.


        • Juliana Lee October 29, 2013 at 5:48 PM #

          No, I wasn’t there…. maybe scbwicincinnati or Books by the Banks?


          • Patricia Tilton October 29, 2013 at 5:51 PM #

            No, do you live near Cincinnati? I’ve been looking for a group closer to me than Columbus. I’m in Dayton.


            • Juliana Lee October 29, 2013 at 6:34 PM #

              Yes, I hope you do join us! We meet the first Tuesday of the month at the Sharonville Library. You can find us on the web and contact the ‘leader/facilitator’.


  23. cherylsec October 28, 2013 at 10:41 PM #

    Juliana, this is really beautiful. I’m glad you included the picture. Both the picture and the words set such a neat mood. Love it. Excellent work.


  24. nrhatch October 28, 2013 at 9:50 PM #

    Susanna’s contests are great FUN. Glad you decided to play along. Perfect last line to tie it all up.


  25. Susanna Leonard Hill October 28, 2013 at 8:52 PM #

    Love your beautiful prose, the lovely picture that inspired you, and your ending – which made me laugh! So glad you decided to try something scary and enter the contest – great job!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: