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In 1980, shortly after I had 4 children’s books published, I began teaching a course, Writing for Children, at the New School. Among my first students was an advertising copy writer. He worked on a story about a lost dog that barked backwards. What came out was: Wow bow! Wow bow! Wow bow! The lonely dog roamed through the woods trying to be heard and eventually found an animal (I can’t remember what kind) who understood its unusual bark.

I don’t know if my student revised the story enough to make it salable. I remember writing on my critique that the dog was delightful and the idea very fresh.

What does this have to do with the 6-word LOVE ‘N STUFF animal contest? And announcing the winners? I’m getting to that, I think.

Your contest entries are delightful. Fresh. The two other judges and I are tickled and touched by your originality, cleverness, and spirit. I am thrilled so many readers showed up.

I would be hard-pressed to pick a winner. I know a few of you who entered, and even though I haven’t seen you since we went to Bar Mitzvahs and played hooky together in tenth grade, I find it hard to be impartial. So I decided to bow wow (ha, ha) out. And let the two other judges choose.

What a difficult time they had! I am not surprised. After much back and forth, they picked the following winner and 2 runners-up:

LISA ROMEO—winner for her entry: Teenage dream: Tall, dark, handsome. Horse.

JUDY MILES—runner-up for her entry: Mother-in-law wore dachshund as a boa.

RACHAEL—runner-up for her entry: He enters, dog barks. Hint, hint.

Judy, Lisa and Rachael will receive their prizes–books–in the mail.

Congratulations to them and to everyone who took part in the contest. Your entries are great! You were read. You were heard. There will be another contest here very soon. The next prize will be from my neighborhood store, Fishs Eddy.

Meantime, bark however you feel good barking. Forwards! Backwards! Wow bow!


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