One Hat. Two Versions.

Highlights coverSometimes I’ll rewrite a story so many times I’ll forget how much it’s changed.

That was certainly the case with my story Harold’s Hat. As I mentioned on this blog, Harold’s Hat was published in the July issue of Highlights for Children. And because the  folks at Highlights are lovely, wonderful people, they gave me permission to reprint a PDF of the finished story! Here ya go:

Harold’s Hat mag layout PDF

I just adore Harold’s crazy eyes in that last illustration.

This isn’t the only version of Harold’s Hat floating around. An embryonic draft of HH appeared on this blog in June 2013, which I wrote for one of Susanna Leonard Hill’s awesome writing contests. Both versions share many of the same story beats, but otherwise they are two very different animals.

Feel free to compare ’em. It’s fun!


56 Replies to “One Hat. Two Versions.”

  1. It’s so awesome illustrated! Was that how you imagined The Hat? (Though I do see a few of my critiques in there, I still humbly offer my sincerest apologies for not being Harold’s biggest cheerleader!!!!)

    1. Oh, you. I don’t need cheerleaders. I need critiquers!

      I sort of imagined the hat that way. The folks at Highlights (understandably) didn’t want the hat to shoot sparks, so that changed the design a bit.

  2. Love seeing the illustrated version. And oh my – Billy no longer says “Do-be-do-be-do” – huh! 😉 It’s really great Mike! Glad they shared the PDF.

    1. Just so you know, I won the Highlights contest with Sinatra’s “do-be-do-be-do”! (And, no, I can’t believe it either.)

      “Banky boodle” was a suggested editorial change for the magazine. I’m pretty cool with it.

  3. Such a wonderful story, Mike. Love seeing the illustrated version. p.s. I know what you mean about rewriting a story so much that you forget how much has changed.

  4. I loved it the first time but the final that was printed is so much better. Did you do the edits? Or were they suggested to you? Can one still acquire a copy without having the subscription?

    1. Thanks, Mrs. P! After the Susanna contest, I revised the story quite a bit before submitting it to the Highlights Fiction Contest. After the story won, the fiction editor of the magazine suggested a few changes for publication.

      The most significant editorial change was to get rid of the Sinatra stuff and replace it with “banky boodle”. That was Highlights’ idea, but I was fine with it.

      Individual copies of Highlights are certainly available on magazine stands — but since this issue has come and gone, one might now need to contact the publisher directly.

      1. I do like the revised version better…and I will put hunting up a copy on my to do list! 😀

  5. Such a fun story. I really like Harold. He reminds me of someone I know… (who’s first name begins with a M). I’m curious as others are, did the Highlight editor suggest changes, or did you do them yourself? I wonder if Highlights would like any of your doodles??? But the illustrations for your story here are great. CONGRATS!!

    1. Most of the changes from the early draft to this one are mine. The Highlights editor did, however, cut the Sinatra stuff and replace it with “banky boodle.” I OKed it before it went to press.

      As for Harold being like me… Are you suggesting that I’m inventive or spiteful? 😉

      1. I’m adorable? Aw!

        And Harold will continue to live on. Well, sort of. In one of my PB manuscripts I have a character named Kimmie whose personality is so similar, she and Harold could be twins.

  6. Quite the awesome story in an awesome magazine! I agree with changing the Sinatra stuff, although I think that works well with moldy oldies like me. “Banky boodle” is much more hilarious to a kid.

  7. I have found working with Highlights to be a wonderful experience. Their editors are very attentive. I thought Sinatra was quirkycute, but Banky Doodle cinched it. BtW, someone donated a stack of Highlights to the free shelf and I got a bonus by finding YOUR July copy. It’s dandy knowing the author of such a fun story.

  8. Mike,

    this is fantastic! I love the illustrations and your story is wonderful. It must be awesome to have your story in Highlights. Highlights is the top goal–in magazines for kidlit short story writers–is it stornot? I always think it is. Congrats Mike! the other version shows how revising a piece is always worthwhile, even when the story is great.

  9. That was so fun. Congratulations, Mike. I feel like I know someone famous, finally! As others have mentioned already, Harold looks oddly familiar. I used to love Highlights and the Overlord is almost old enough for his own subscription. Keep up the excellent work 🙂

  10. This story cracks me up every time I read it. Not to mention that I now automatically reach for Highlights every time I go to the doctor’s office. I was looking at Highlights the other day at the eyeglasses doc, and another patient said, “Um, the grown-up magazines are over there.” “Yeah, I know,” I said, still reading my Highlights. See, that’s proof you are changing the world with your stories!

Leave a Reply to heylookawriterfellow Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: