Halloweensie Writing Contest

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The wonderful Susanna Leonard Hill is currently running her 4th annual ‘Halloweensie’ writing contest: http://susannahill.blogspot.co.uk/

The rules are to write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words pumpkin, broomstick, and creak.

Head on over to see the entries already posted (or enter yourself, if you’re a writerly type!) but in the meantime here’s my entry:

Halloween Hop

Webs are strewn as decorations,
Scary pumpkins line the walls,
Jellied eyeballs on the tables,
Ready for the worst of balls.

First one in is Frankie’s monster,
Clomping round in heavy boots,
He’s soon joined by Caspar’s ghost
Who flies about with shrieks and hoots.

In zooms Winnie on a broomstick,
Her cackles causing quite a din,
She’s closely tailed by Zac the zombie,
Creaking and groaning as he shuffles in.

All night long the un-dead dance,
Bobbing for apples and drinking red pop,
Then tired and happy they sink in slumber,
To dream of next year’s Halloween Hop.

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On not taking yourself too seriously…

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One positive trait of a comedy writer IMO is the ability to laugh at yourself.

Yes it can be painful and sometimes embarrassing, but appreciating humour — even if it’s ego-bruising — is a valuable character writing tool. How are you going to write about your own protagonist’s catalogue of fails convincingly unless you too have been on the receiving end?

Once I came out of a supermarket carrying a full bag of shopping in each hand.

As I headed for my car I tripped on a kerb, and had to keep the momentum going by running forwards to prevent myself from falling over head first.

After gathering a fair bit of speed I was eventually halted by a 6 foot chain-link fence, into which I face planted.

Immediately I heard children laughing, and looked around expecting a group of kids poking fun at my misfortune. I was somewhat relieved — and amused — to discover that as I’d gone racing past a kiddie’s 50p ride outside the shop, I’d activated a sensor, causing a recording of children giggling to emit from within.

I chuckled to myself all the way home, imagining what I must have looked like to an observer, and marvelling at the coincidence of a machine ridiculing me.

So next time you do something foolish, remember that it’s simply your turn to be on the receiving end of the Universe’s wonderful sense of humour.

laughing 50p