Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween! Spooky Story Winners and Some Scary Good Linkage

Happy Halloween, AC family! Are you ready to get scared? After a week of reading scary stories, we've picked out our very favorite and two runners-up. Turn out all the lights, dip into the candy you're giving out to all the little boys and ghouls later tonight, and read on.

(Photo credit: Nvadim of

Without further ado, the winner of our Halloween Flash Fiction contest and the $100 prize is... David Donch, for the creepy and witty vignette, "Parts!" After you read it, you may never break into a junkyard on a dark and stormy night again. Then again, maybe you already had enough common sense not to break into a junkyard on a dark and stormy night!

Since we received so many great submissions, we're announcing two runners-up as well. Each will receive a $25 open assignment to write about the topic of their choice.

Our first runner-up is The Thirteenth Scarecrow, by Mark Perretta. This spooky story is creepy without being graphic. Go ahead and read it to your older kids to give them a scare!

Our second runner-up is There's Something Out There Digging, by John Robertson. What will happen to the young narrator when her mother invites a mysterious creature to breakfast with the family?

Which of the hundreds of spooky entries was your favorite? Post it in the comments section!

Meanwhile, back at AC, there's some fun news to share: For the past few days, some of the best Halloween articles on have been linked to directly from Yahoo! Events, on a special Halloween page. Check out the box in the lower right corner of the page.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Remembering Regina Sass

It's a sad day in the Associated Content community. One of our most successful and beloved Contributors, Regina Sass, has passed away. She will be greatly missed by her many readers and friends.

Regina was a passionate gardener who enjoyed sharing her wealth of knowledge, gleaned over more than 50 years of gardening. Her readers' gardens are surely vibrant and beautiful, thanks to Regina's recommendations. Regina was also a pet lover who often wrote about unusual or new dog breeds, pet health, and animal rescues throughout the country. Regina was recognized as one of the top 10 Contributors on Associated Content in 2009.

A writer's legacy can hardly be summed up in a single blog post, so we'd like to share with you some of our favorite articles published by Regina over the years. There were many to choose from; in a little over three years, she published 2,797 pieces of content.

Regina's careful advice will walk you through this landscape beautification project easily, whether or not you have any landscaping experience.

The summary written for this piece of content says it all: "There is no limit as to how high you can go with a little bit of practice." Regina applied that philosophy to her writing.

Regina's fondness for her own family shines through in this fun article encouraging families to be active together.

Wine appreciators will recognize one of their own in this article about an unusual wine grown under unique conditions.

Part memoir, part news, this is Regina's very first contribution to Associated Content. In it, she recounts her excitement as a then-Queens resident when the Mets won their second world series, and her fondness for the team as the 2006 All Star Game approached.

Bringing this list full-circle, here is Regina's last article written for Associated Content. In it, she again generously offers up her gardening expertise, as she did so often over the years.

Please feel free to share your memories of Regina and any favorite articles of hers in the comments section. We at Associated Content will miss her dearly. Our sincerest condolences go out to her family and friends, who will remain in all of our thoughts.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

September 2010 Best of AC Awards

This month, we honored extraordinary Contributors in the topic areas of Pets, Shopping & Fashion and Television. Congratulations to our winners!

Best of AC: Pets - Rena Sherwood
Rena Sherwood is a pet lover who has spent a lifetime studying animals. She's shared that knowledge generously with AC's readers, producing 176 pieces of Pets content so far. Her personal experience in the horse racing industry informed her recent article on cruelty in Standardbred harness racing, which exemplifies her informative yet conversational style and strong research skills.

Best of AC: Shopping & Fashion - Charley A. Prescott
In her first six months as a Contributor, Charley A. Prescott has established herself as one of Associated Content leading voices in her featured categories: Beauty and Shopping & Fashion. Whether she's crafting one of her detailed and well-researched shopping guides (like "Fab Fall Boots under $100"), reviewing beauty products or commenting on style icons like Coco Chanel and Naomi Campbell, Charley's good taste and passion for fashion come across in all of the work she publishes.

Best of AC: Television - Jolie du Pre
Recent "Page View Millionaire" Jolie du Pre has been rocking Associated Content Arts & Entertainment category with her sharp writing and engaging large audiences with her timely analyses of hot issues in the entertainment world. In September alone, she asked lots of provocative questions and shared her take on television topics ranging from Survivor Nicaragua to the recent honors given to David Simon, creator of HBO's The Wire. But her insights aren't confined to AC -- check out her recent piece about reality TV star Kim Kardashian's tweets for omg! from Yahoo!.

Congratulations to our amazing honorees!

Looking ahead...

October's award categories will be Sports, Personal Finance and Politics. Don't forget to nominate your favorites here!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rising Stars for September, 2010

Congratulations to our Rising Star Award winners for September, 2010! These up-and-coming Contributors took the plunge into a new publishing platform and displayed both talent and confidence in producing great, informative content. Check out the full-length announcement here.

Rising Stars of September, 2010

Emma Vine joined the AC community in June and has since produced 89 pieces of content, received nearly 20,000 pageviews, and become a Featured Contributor for the Food and Wine and Local categories. She really shines when writing about her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas.

Emmaleigh R. Hall has more than a few things in common with our first Rising Star of the month--both have "Emma" in their names, both joined in June, and both have 40 fans at the time of this posting! But superficial similarities aside, Emmaleigh is a truly unique and captivating writer with a sense of fun and creativity that's all her own. She's a Featured Movies Contributor, with 77 pieces of content and nearly 17,000 pageviews.

Amy Ess joined AC this July and has already attracted almost 38,000 pageviews to her library of 84 pieces of content, focusing primarily on arts and entertainment. She's rocking a Clout 7 badge already, and like the previous two winners, has 40 fans! Amy is a student double-majoring in psychology and human development and family studies.

Maggie Lumpcik has been with us since August and has already created 53 piece of content, drawing almost 28,000 views to her library and rising to Clout 6. Her content is flavored both with personal expertise and skillful research.

Lauren Finnegan has only been with AC since September, but she's already produced 62 pieces of content and almost 33,000 pageviews. She's even earned a Hot 500 badge, along with reaching Clout 7. Lauren is a military wife and proud mother who shares her knowledge as a Featured Contributor in the Shopping & Fashion and Fertility & Pregnancy categories.

Congratulations to our September winners. Don't forget to nominate your favorite rising stars for an October award!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Go Pink this October

Shine from Yahoo! is honoring National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with an online hub devoted to sharing & comparing the personal insights of thousands of individuals with a personal stake in battling the disease. All this month, put on your virtual pink ribbon by clicking over to Shine’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2010 page.

Members of the Associated Content community have contributed their stories and expertise to the Shine hub:
  • Breast cancer survivor Coral Levang explains how the diagnosis that changed her life became her "biggest and best teacher."
  • Patricia Sicilia shares her own story of survival, and reflects on the myriad ways it has shaped her identity over the years.
  • Featured Health & Wellness Contributors R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen, Marie-Luise Blue and Debra Cornelius share some important breast cancer prevention tips relevant to women of all ages.
Wondering how can you contribute?

Check your assignment desk! Our Content Managers will be releasing a variety of Featured Contributor assignments pertaining to breast cancer awareness in the coming weeks. If you have a story that you'd like to share, you don't need to wait for an assignment. Email with the details and we'll connect you with an editor.

Tell Shine why you're turning pink this month! For each person who updates their pink ribbon status on Yahoo! Shine and Yahoo! Pulse this month, Yahoo! will donate $1 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation up to $50,000. More than 17,000 people, including Yahoo! CEO and breast cancer survivor Carol Bartz, have shared their inspiration so far.

Thank you for helping us raise awareness and battle breast cancer, a devastating disease that affects more than one million women every year.