A Goosemother Contest

Greetings, Skarylings! There hasn't been much on this site in the past few weeks as I've been preparing for my move to Portlandia. There will be a few more days of radio silence from me yet while I actually do this moving thing. In the mean time, I have a job for you!

Remember The Goosemother Scroll? I still have several of the original sketches. They're all just scraps, really, but they went on to become the digital paintings you saw in October. And they could be yours - if you win this contest, that is. Details below!

The Goosemother Sketches - A Contest

The prize: several original pencil/pen sketches that were used in the artwork for The Goosemother Scroll.

What you have to do: draw any character or scene from the story. Use any medium - pencil, pen, paint, crayon, digital. Your choice!

The rules:

1. Send a copy of your artwork to me at with the subject "The Goosemother Sketches - Contest Entry".

2. In your email, include your full name and complete mailing address for the prize, should you win.

3. Send your artwork by 11:59 PM Pacific, December 10th, 2012.

4. This contest is open to everyone, anywhere worldwide.

5. All artwork must be original and yours.

6. Only artwork that features one or more characters from The Goosemother Scroll will be considered.

7. There will be ONE winner selected by judges. For the sake of fairness, I am not one of those judges. The winner will be announced on this site, Facebook, Twitter, G+, DeviantArt, and by email. Winners will be announced within 7 days of the contest end. The prize will be mailed shortly after.

And the winner is...

Merry Skary Christmas, everyone! I hope that all of you are having a marvelous day, whether you celebrate or not. Now *drumroll* for the winner of the contest to win a signed copy of my book: *more drumrolling* BRYAN CALLAGHAN and his daughter. Bryan, send me an email at and tell me where to send the book and to what name I should write the inscription. :)

We Wish You a Skary Christmas

What's the one thing you want for Christmas more than anything? Well, I'm afraid I can't give you a unicorn that transforms into the Batmobile on command, but I can give you the next best thing:  a signed copy of Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow! All you have to do is comment on my Facebook or Google+, OR follow and tweet @katytowell on Twitter, telling me why you want this book. You can enter to win it for yourself or gift it to someone you love! Send your comments today through Christmas Eve (until 11:59pm Pacific, December 24th)! The (one) winner will be picked and announced some time on Christmas Day. The contest is open to anyone in any country, and the book will be mailed to the winner after the announced winner sends me his/her/their giftee's mailing address. Happy holidays from the Childrin!

Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow




Book Giveaway

Well, that was fast. Remember that June 20th date I mentioned in my previous post? It just so happens to be the deadline to sign up/log in at GoodReads and put your name in for one of two advanced reader copies of the Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow that I'm giving away! I made it easy for you this time. Just click the button below to get started. Anyone in any country is eligible. Signups start now and end June 20th, 2011. GoodReads selects the winners, and I will sign the winner's copies. Keep in mind that these are paperback ARCs only - they're pretty close to the finished hardcover product but not quite. Either way, it's a chance to read it (and review it, of course) before almost everyone. You'll even see some artwork in there that's a little different from the final version! Ready? Get thee to GoodReads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow by Katy Towell

Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow

by Katy Towell

Giveaway ends June 20, 2011.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Halloween in March winners chosen!

The Halloween in March: Unseen Letters contest came to an end as of the 7th, and my judges and I severely (yes, severely) enjoyed your entries! So, before I get to the winners, let me first say that you're ALL fantastic, and if you didn't win, it was because we could only pick three and so had to get down to the nittiest, grittiest, brassest of tacks to make our choices. And those choices are: 1st place Katie

Katie also submitted this one, which we loved:

2nd Place Rachel

The poet ghost!

This one made us laugh:

3rd Place Stephanie

Stephanie also sent us this cute one:

Congratulations, Katie, Rachel, and Stephanie! I'll be in contact with each of you about your prizes soon.

Halloween in March Contest

Remember last year's 31 Days of Halloween? Of course you do! Unless you don't. But that's another matter entirely. You see, you - yes, you! - could win one of those 31 letters for yourself. Not just one of you, but three of you. First things first, though. Here are the three letters up for the winning:

One of you will win your choice of any of those three. Another of you will win your choice of the two still on the table after the first pick. And the third place winner will win the remaining note. Now, here's what you have to do. It won't be too painful. This time.

  1. Write your own ghost letter. It can be from a known spirit in the house or from a new one you've imagined, but it must be related to the story of last year's 31 Days of Halloween.
  2. But you're not just writing it. You're creating it. Use whatever materials you have available to make your letter stand out, whether that's crayon, Photoshop or some kind of strange voodoo. Presentation is important.
  3. Finish it by 12:01 AM Pacific, March 7th, 2011. No exceptions. Not even if you beg.
  4. Send it through the form below. Do NOT send Facebook links. Feel free to post your work anywhere you like, of course, but you must use the form below to enter the contest! Note: the form below is for uploading image files. If you have a video, please upload it somewhere public. Then attach a screen cap via the form below and include a link to your video in the message body.

You may send as many letters as you like, but only one from three different people will be chosen. This is about quality, not quantity. You may get help from friends and family, but only one letter will be sent to you should you be a winner.

Be creative and have fun! Winners will be announced here, on Facebook, and on Twitter by March 11th, 2011.

[CONTEST CLOSED. Results posted soon!]

T-Shirts now on sale! Auxiliary Magazine interview! Contest results!

There was so much going on in this post that I actually had to break it up into two as I wouldn't want Death and little Elsie (and Barcas, of course) to be swallowed up by all this other news. So, expect that trio later. Now, onto the news!

Skary tees are now available in the store! Mister Creazil and the Plague Kid are waiting to be worn by you, but they're currently in limited supply. Get yours while you can! All orders will be fulfilled by the good people of PrintMojo.

In more news, do you know about Auxiliary Magazine? Rena Finkel recently interviewed me for Auxiliary, and that issue is now available for free online and in print in just a few days. There's lots of other good stuff in there too. Check it out!

Also, the Show Your Allegiance Contest was a spectacular show of talent! The judges and I loved all twenty-two of your entries, and we were sad that we had to pick just one. And that winner was Katrina Pomerance with her handmade doll! Katrina has won a Mister Creazil tee for her adorable creation. Congratulations, Katrina!

Cynthia Cheng's delightful comic about the process of making her submission was the first runner-up, and we couldn't just let her slip by without notice. She'll be receiving a little something in the mail as well. Yay, Cynthia!

The other entries will be posted to the fan art gallery soon. Again, thank you to all of you who entered!

Less Than Three Days Left!

There are fewer than three days left to show your allegiance and win your choice of the new Skary tees. Are you ready? I'll tell you now that you may have to step up your game. The entries we've gotten so far are top-notch. Picking a winner will not be easy! See what you're up against? (And these are only a few of them!)

Candace's Music Video:

And this one from Liz and her sister made me laugh:

There are plenty more where those came from, but yours can only be one of them if you submit it by 11:59 pm Pacific, July 29th! Details here if you need a refresher.

Are you readying your proof?

Only a few days have passed since the Show Your Allegiance contest was announced, and already several are vying for their t-shirt. Here are just a few of the submissions that have come in so far. What have you got up your sleeve?

Rory recites "Agony"

Cynthia gives us a making-of comic for her illustration:

Asa's niece is unequivocally Skary:

Show Your Allegiance Contest

A few weeks ago, I asked you all what kind of contest you'd like to win one of the upcoming Skary tees. Your answer: everything! There were so many wonderful suggestions that I couldn't pick one. So, naturally, I've picked everything. Here's how it's going to go down.

What you're winning:

your choice of one Plague Kid tee OR Mister Creazil tee in your specified size.

What you're going to do:

Show us how much you love Childrin R Skary in whatever way your creative brain can invent. Make a video, write a story, paint a picture, compose a song, organize a parade (that one might be a bit over the top)... anything you want! Just so long as no one gets hurt, it's legal, and you can submit some version of it online. Keep in mind that your submissions may be posted to, so don't do anything that's going to haunt you when you become a senator in a few decades.

Who will win?

That's to be decided by a panel of judges who will base their decision on your creativity, uniqueness, effort, and overall Skariness. So, don't worry if you don't have any fancy camera equipment, you're not a master ar-teest, or English isn't your first language. If we can tell you really love Skary and worked hard to show it, that's all that counts. But only one person will win! You can get help from family and friends, but you must be the primary participant, and you alone will receive the prize should you win (but do name your helpers if you have any. They at least deserve credit).

Send your entry by July 29th via the form below!

More Rules (we always gotta have 'em):

  1. Your entry must be submitted online with the form below. Not in person or by snail mail; sorry. You may post it anywhere you want, so long as there is a version that my judges and I can view, and you have sent me the link or file. The exception to this is Facebook. DO NOT SEND LINKS TO FACEBOOK. I always get submissions from people's Facebook pages, and 99% of the time, I don't have access to them. So, let's just throw that one right out. No Facebook.
  2. You may only submit one entry. But if you make a mistake or do a better version, you may resubmit. Only your final effort will be considered, however. This is to make sure you're putting your best effort into it. This is about quality, not quantity. This also means you can't just resubmit fan art or previous contest entries you've sent me before.
  3. All participants are welcome, regardless of country. However, my judges and I primarily speak English. So, if your entry depends upon the spoken or written word, we ask that you provide an English translation to accompany it. You may get help with translations.
  4. While you may get some help if you absolutely have to, the idea and as much of the execution as possible must be yours. You may parody something else for your entry, but you cannot copy or steal. If it's discovered that you've stolen someone else's work, OH MAN, you will be in so much trouble. Like, banned for life from ever entering anything of mine ever again. Probably a pox on your house, too.
  5. Your entries are due no later than 11:59 PM Pacific, July 29th, 2010. No exceptions, even if your entry is really superduperawesome. Winners will be announced August 1st, and shirts go on sale for everyone else August 2nd. That gives you two weeks! Snap to it!

Lastly, please remember that you are wonderful, and so is your entry even if you don't win. There are always a lot of entries, and they can't all win! I sometimes get very sad messages from people who feel like they have failed because they weren't picked. Don't do that. It's just a t-shirt. A really lovely one, if I may say so myself, but not worth sacrificing your well-deserved pride over.

Update 7/30/10: Contest is over! The winner will be announced this Sunday.

Almost Contest Time Again

Happy Friday, everyone! I'm putting together the latest batch of (fantastic!) fan art. There's a new illustration in the works as well as a new animation (though that one's quite a while off). T-shirts will be on their way soon, too, which makes me think it's a good time for a contest! But what sort of contest should I do for a Skary shirt giveaway? Is there something you've just been wishing I'd ask for so you'd finally get your chance? Send your suggestions here!

Fan Art Contest!

I'm about to embark on a journey to NYC. When I return on Sunday, I intend to post all the fan art I've been late on posting before. But I could always use more! That's where you come in.

You have until 12am, Monday the 22nd to send me a Skary picture in any medium (digitally drawn, pencil, paint, Crayon, photo, whatever you like). But the theme, you see, is vacation. How would a Skary child enjoy a trip away from home? Send me your picture using the fan art form. Judging will take place all next week, and the winner will receive any print of his/her choice (signed, of course) from the Skary ImageKind store!

Rules (gotta have 'em):

  • Your artwork must be original and by you and you alone!
  • You must use a current email address when you submit your pic. Your email won't be shared with anyone, but I need a way to get in touch with you should you win!
  • File type must be jpg, gif or png. No bitmaps, please!
  • Entries will be accepted from anywhere in the world
  • Theme must be "Skary vacation"

Remember: the deadline is 12am, March 22nd, 2010. No exceptions!

Winners to be announced soon!

Evelyn's Puzzle Explained

While I'm working to rebuild the missing minute of The Mockingbird Song (brief summary of What Exactly Happened: the main file and its backup were corrupt. I don't know why or how. Fortunately, there was another version saved in Dropbox that I'd forgotten about, and it's complete except for about 63 seconds, which I'm working on now. It's faster than trying to unbreak the other one), here's some news for you! As announced via Twitter and Facebook earlier last week, we finally have a winner for Evelyn's Puzzle. You thought it would never be solved, didn't you? Well, our winner has asked to remain anonymous because the prize--the original sketch of Evelyn and Mrs. Nattingbottom--is going to be a surprise gift for someone special. Congratulations, Winner (and Winner's sweetheart!) But I did promise I would explain all the clues for you once the puzzle was solved, so, here you go:

1. Find the last of the Micronesians and tell them my name Their beloved songs will tell you the place

The domain suffix for Micronesia is .fm. So, "the last of the Micronesians" means "Tell them my name" refers to my username, which is, in this case, my actual name. Which amounts to Finally, the location of the piece is given in the title of a track that I have marked as a Loved Track. (It's also right there in Recently Listened Tracks.)

2. go to The place where our every Word Is spoken by the sialia bird, be careful lest you fail, my friend; These birds will carry you unto your end. They'll wrap you up in silken suture Exactly as they did the great sea creature, but never mind this. come follow me... look to the background. you will see! fear not if it seems your skill is bleak. for below the horizon Rests the gift you seek.

A sialia bird is a bluebird. Birds tweet. Who has a blue bird for a mascot? Twitter. So, the piece is hidden at the bottom ("below the horizon") of my background image. Oh, and the great sea creature wrapped up in silken suture and carried by the birds? The failwhale. And just in case this was all too cryptic for you, I also spelled out TWITTER with every capitalized letter.

3. And by the side the horned beast waits with great displeasure on his face 'Tis he who'll take you to the spot where all the words have been forgot Find the treasure at its source Look for a name - and the prize, of course.

In the sidebar of is a picture of Mister Creazil. Click him, and you'll see what appears to be a page with no content. But view the source of that page and you'll see this hidden somewhere therein:

Evelyn's getting nervous. What took you so long?

4. Consider everywhere I go. Look in the past and then you'll know.

This one was simple. I posted the location of a piece in a comment on an old, old Facebook post at

5. Find me where the memories flicker How empty is the stream! But if you add my name, it'll be much quicker and there's more than it may seem.

The piece was uploaded to my new Flickr account at But the piece itself was (at the time - it's public now) accessible only to people I add as friends. To find it, you had to add me first. I would reciprocate, and then you'd see the piece.

6. There was a crooked man, and he had something once, and it bought him a folder containing all things new, within which was another for Evelyn's nickname, which had a ping to it like "pea ell cee oh!"

"The crooked man who had something once" refers to the crooked sixpence nursery rhyme, which was the inspiration for one of my other sites: I added a folder called "new," inside of which was another folder for Evelyn's nickname (actually, three different folders with three different possible nicknames for Evelyn - Lyn, Lynn, and Evey) and placed inside it a PNG file called plco.png.

So, there you have it! All clues to Evelyn's Puzzle explained and clarified. Congrats again to the winner, and much applause for everyone who tried! This wasn't an easy one; I admit!

Evelyn's Puzzle: Another clue because I'm nice.

Sadly, our potential puzzle winner never responded to the multiple pleas to actually complete his submission. But that means that the rest of you get another stab at the very first piece! So, for the rest of you, here's part 2 of Clue #1, and it's only two words:



Remember to send your completed puzzle to me when you've found them all!

Evelyn's Puzzle: Do we have a winner?

A few days ago, I received a (very excited!) email from a possible winner of Evelyn's Puzzle. But, B, you used the wrong contact form and didn't attach the completed puzzle! Not only that, but it seems like you either mistyped or used a fake email address in your message. Oh no! So, this is my plea to you to try again. Until you send it in, the contest will continue! Don't miss your chance! For everyone else - if B hasn't responded by Friday, I'll post an additional clue for the notoriously difficult First Piece. Happy New Year!

(P.S. - new illustration coming soon! Of course, if you're following along on Facebook or Twitter, you might already know that. ;-))

Evelyn's Puzzle: Clue #3

Evelyn's Puzzle

Someone has already found the piece for the clue I'm about to give you. I think that officially means the race is on.

And by the side the horned beast waits with great displeasure on his face 'Tis he who'll take you to the spot where all the words have been forgot Find the treasure at its source Look for a name - and the prize, of course.

Check back next Wednesday for the clue to the fourth piece. And don't forget the rules!