Susanna’s Holiday Contest

It’s time for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Annual Holiday Contest. Stories have to be under 350 words and show weather impacting the holidays. Susanna’s contests are so much fun. Here we go!

Christmas cactus


Billy loved his new home in the desert. He swam, soaked up the sun, and caught lizards in his own back yard. But his excitement wore off in December. Hanging lights in flip flops felt strange. Making gingerbread houses with the windows open didn’t seem quite right either. Billy did not want a desert Christmas.

He tried ice-blocking to replace sledding, but only had a smidgen of fun. It still didn’t feel like winter. He turned on Christmas music and decorated the house, hoping that would help. It didn’t. Turning on a Christmas movie just reminded him of what he missed most. Billy sighed. “Does it ever snow here?”

He wrote a letter to the one person who might be able to help.

Dear Santa,

Christmas in the desert isn’t as fun as Christmas up north. Can you send snow? I will be extra nice to Macy.


Billy stared at the letter. “Who am I kidding? Santa can’t make it snow.” He crumpled the paper and turned to throw it away, but froze and smiled. He asked Macy to help him with a top-secret mission.

Billy and Macy crumpled every piece of paper from the recycle bin. They hid behind a bush, waiting for Dad to come home. Finally, Dad climbed out of the car.

“Desert snowball fight!” Billy nailed him in the chest with a paper snowball.

“What the…?” Dad said.

Macy joined the attack. A flurry of crunchy white flew through the air. Dad dodged, darted, and ducked. He scooped up some desert snowballs, and launched a counter-attack. Mom came outside to see what all the noise was about.

“Get her!” Macy hit her in the shoulder.

Mom joined the battle. The desert snowball fight went on until everyone was laughing too hard to continue. They collapsed on the green grass and looked up at the blue sky.

“That was awesome,” Billy said. “Let’s go eat popsicles around the Christmas tree. I bet they aren’t doing that up north.”


Full Manuscript Edit Giveaway!

dear-editorContests come and go, but here is one you don’t want to miss! Deborah Halverson is giving away a full manuscript edit to celebrate the completion of her latest book, Writing and Selling New Adult Fiction.

Deborah is an author and a veteran editor. I went to one of her classes at the SCBWI conference last summer and it was possibly my favorite hour of the entire weekend. She is amazing. You can find contest details on Dear Editor.