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Jim Westfall writing contest
Tweets by Jim Westfall

Jim Westfall

I do this. I do that. I pour ketchup in my hat...and then the cops show up.

Story: Cracker Jacks Are Full of Surprises


Angelina kb

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You are a genius. Anyone ever said that to you? If you had included the phrase "flip your pillow to the cool side" and ended it with "rosebud"...... How nostalgic. Blink blink. Kb

Rose Burke

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Ha I loved it! I wish someone told me a story like that when I was a kid! Very original, and light hearted. Overall a great read! If you get a chance check out my story This Girl and a Bartender, thanks!


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Very interesting story. Kinda reminded me of my Dad. He always talks crazy and loves the Andy Griffith show.

Reading Fan

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I agree that the synopsis was a 5 star. Read every word! The story wasn't quite as creative. It was easier to skim over the sections, after reading the first few, and the HAHAHA's made it easy to figure out where each individual diaglogue ended. Should have been heavily edited and then it would have been a very enjoyable short read!

Beavers Rock

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I dunno, I really do like this story. It's simple, but funny and sweet. Then, of course, the "synopsis" which had me laughing quite a bit. I think it's really well done and deserves to win.


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I like this story. The author did try to hint that one should visualise as one read this story, so the laughing then fit the story! The humour is exaggerated but I find it approriate since it is suppose to be child like.

Lisa Rose

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Love is unexplainable, kind of like this 'story'. It shouldn't have worked, but mostly it did. It was funny, touching and annoying (in some parts). But that is what writing is for to touch the reader. Would have like to see more traditional writing instead of HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Like (My daughter laughed so hard that bubbles drifted from her nostrils.) If you have the time, please read my story, Drift Away and give me a review.


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I didn't like the HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA's, they felt like forced laughter.

Pixie Dust

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A surprisingly off-kilter read. I found it charming and whimsical.


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This story is, at once, both well-written and poorly-written. There is no narrative, and there really should be. All of the little girl's laughter should be described, not included as dialogue. The HAHAHAHAHAs were disruptive and increasingly off-putting. It wasn't really a story; it was actually a script. That said, it was very charming and clever, but the child character is unrealistic and her "laughter" is unrelenting in a bad way. Mr. Westfall writes very entertaining dialogue, but this reads more like a radio play for Prairie Home Companion than a true short story. And the joke goes on just a little too long, or the daughter's lines make it feel too long... I'm not sure which. In short, fun and inventive, but it misses the mark.

Roger D.

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You know, having a daughter of my own, I really loved this story. Spending quality time with your child, cracking up over ridiculousness is what life is all about. Cheers and I hope to be reading more from you. - Roger D.


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I agree with everything Mr. Bishop said. This contest does not appear to be about quality writing, which is unfortunate. However, this story was entertaining (even with the obnoxious, overused, capitalized, HAHAHAHAHAHAs) So I'm rating it a bit higher. It reminded me of my uncle who would tell outrageous stories like this to us kids sitting around the Christmas tree.


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I won't lie: I couldn't get passed the many "HAHAHAHAHAHAs." Too many forced laughs.

Entertain Me

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The story had some bright spots--it was very creative--the author could have created a fun tall tale and left it at that. Unfortunately, the HAHAHAHAHAs acted like canned laughter and distracted from the story. Additionally, the story was sweet enough without the wrap up at the end to tell us exactly how we should interpret it.

Mr. Bishop

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I can only guess that many people who rate these stories are friends of the writer, and that is why there are so many 5 star ratings. That does not apply for this story alone. Mr. Westfall's Biographical allegorical satire was highly creative and warrants a 5 star rating. His story, 2 stars at best. While it is moderately imaginative, and his technical writing was fair (writing not necessary or commonplace, and it is quite distracting. Description of the laughter would be more apropriate), it is not fitting as the child would have to be one age to fit the story, yet act as though she were much older to contribute the dialogue for her part. Not believable. It felt entirely too drawn out without additional substance. It would be nice to see more jury (non bias) related reviews on these stories rather than it appear as nothing more than a popularity contest to see who has the most friends to vote for them.

Allison M. Dickson

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I love this story for so many reasons, but namely because of the mutual gift that is the father-daughter relationship. And because I really really love caramel corn.


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Brilliant story....truly brilliant. definitely looking forward to more from this author.

Dean Treadway

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A wonderful tall tale, told alongside a moment of father-daughter bonding. Its bountiful emotion comes from the buzz of both giving and receiving laughter, and it completely transported me to those times in my life where I've thankfully been able to make someone giggle uncontrollably, and those times where I was worn out by another person's outrageous humor. Plus, Westfield doesn't shy away from sweetness; he gives it a big ol' hug instead. A great story.


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Best Damn Box of Cracker Jacks I ever et...


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Enjoyed it very much :-)


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I've read this 3 times it more each time, and I lovedit the first read-through. Would happily read full length novels written with this mood, tone, and style.


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Jim is probably the funniest person I've ever met, but his humor is topped only by his humanity. Love it, and can't wait to share with others who will appreciate this clever little trip down memory lane, complete with a spot-on Andy Griffith.


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CRACKER JACKS ARE FULL OF SURPRISES brought a smile to my face and heart. A tender, well-crafted story for anyone who's ever had a heart.


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The most excellent story i have every read!!!!!!!!

The Turtle Lady

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Jim Westfall is a writer of great talent. And what a tender, touching, and hilariously funny story he has written here! Would that I had the ability to guide a loved one through a disappointment in such a way as to leave her in tears of laughter, having learned a most important lesson about life. I would certainly like to read more...much more...of Westfall's writing!

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December 18th, 2012
The winner of America's Next Author 2012 has been announced! [...]
December 7th, 2012
Questions and answers about the Battle Round. [...]
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