Contest Winner

Jill Proctor - Winners Circle

Jill Proctor

Winning Entry: Scarecrow

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Welcome to the Winners Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL and IFW Contest winners. Today we’re celebrating Jill Proctor whose entry Scarecrow came in First Place in our Fall Poetry Contest!

Jill Proctor - authorWhat contest was your winning entry submitted to?

I submitted my winning entry to ICL’s Fall Poetry Contest

How many writing contests have you entered?

I’ve entered too many contests to count.

Please give the title of your entry and a short summary of the story.
The title of my poem is SCARECROW. While autumn’s crops are being harvested and wildlife prepares for winter, Scarecrow droops in lonely disrepair. As home fires burn and townsfolk feast, children mend Scarecrow’s wounds and drape bright scarves to keep it warm.

What inspired your winning entry?
I wanted to feature a scarecrow in my poem, which led to my imagining what a cool, autumn day in the heartland might look like.

How has entering this contest helped your writing?
Entering this contest has strengthened my resolve to complete a project, pushing through to the end instead of quitting halfway through. I can take a leave of absence, but I shouldn’t give up on it.

How did the critique in the Winners’ Workshop help you?
Suzy’s critique helped me see where tweaks might be in order. She also discussed the strong points that stood out to her, which encourages me to persevere on my writing journey. It is helpful to see my work through someone else’s eyes.

Are you a full-time writer? If not, what is your “day job”?
ICL complete logo lgI am retired and write as often as I am inspired.

How long have you been writing?
I have been writing since I was a wee first grader.

What will you do with your piece now that it’s been recognized?
I hope to have my poem published.

Any fun plans for the prize money?
I have no specific plans for the prize money at this time. I’m saving it for a rainy day.

What do you do when you’re feeling discouraged or blocked? Do you have any tips for your fellow writers?
When I’m discouraged, I sulk for a while all by myself. When I’m blocked, I take a break and focus on something else.

If you could go to the yard sale of any character in the history of children’s literature, whose would you go to, and what would you buy?

If I could go to the yard sale of any character in the history of children’s literature, I would go to choose to attend a yard sale by Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz, and I would purchase a pair of ruby slippers.

Anything you’d like to share about your IFW experience?

Having seen ads for the Institute of Children’s Literature writing courses for, oh, so many years, I finally signed up for their lessons in 1989. I loved the course. But it wasn’t until 2011, when I entered ICL’s Kindergarten Story Contest and won 2nd place, that I was encouraged to begin submitting my work to publishers. During those early years, particularly, I always had ICL’s Book and Magazine Market Guides on the shelf next to my dictionary and thesaurus. ICL has been with me every step of my writing journey—and their contests are so much fun!


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