In 1998, Braden Thomas Gardner received the “Mind Juice Terrifying Title Contest” and received to create a Goosebumps quick story with R.L. Stine and all his classmates at Southeast Warren Intermediate Faculty in Lacona, Iowa.
4 years prior, Scholastic and Parachute Press held one other Goosebumps title contest. Solely this time, the competition was for brainstorming the title for the subsequent Goosebumps e book. Tim Vanderwerff of the Prairie Faculty Studying Middle coordinated the competition and claimed the profitable title would turn out to be the subsequent e book within the unique Goosebumps collection.
As reported by the Chicago Tribune, younger Jimmy Smylie of Glencoe, Illinois received the competition together with his entry Slime Doesn’t Pay.
Nevertheless, for some mysterious purpose there was no Goosebumps e book, or quick story, given the title Slime Doesn’t Pay. Just like Lifeless Canine Nonetheless Fetch and the Goosebumps Creepstakes contest, this was a thriller to perplex the Goosebumps fandom for many years. With a little bit of investigation, Jim Smylie was discovered on fb by the use of Smylie Brothers Brewing Firm, based by Jim and his brothers Michael, Bart, Matt, John, and their mom Nancy.
I reached out to Jim to speak to him about Slime Doesn’t Pay and that contest from 1994.
Depraved Horror: Hiya Jim, thanks for getting again and being up for shedding some gentle on this longstanding Goosebumps thriller.
Jim Smylie: My pleasure! Amazed and delighted you had been in a position to hunt me down.
WH: In keeping with what archived information articles the fandom may discover, you had been the winner of a Goosebumps title contest held in 1994. Are you able to inform us about how the competition was marketed, or the way it got here to your consideration?
Jim: I believe it had a giant splash advert within the month-to-month Scholastic Ebook Membership catalog. I used to learn that religiously, begged my mother for half the books in it, earned as many factors as I may to spend on stuff like pens and stickers. I wished a brain-shaped eraser, however I by no means saved up sufficient factors.
WH: Sources say you had been the large winner with “Slime Doesn’t Pay,” and talked about a Lauren Fishman was the runner up with the title “You, Me, and Monster Makes Three.” How did it really feel to know your title was picked because the winner?
Jim: Like I’d received the lottery! Right here I used to be, the dorky theater child who spent all his recess time studying, immediately remodeled right into a nationwide contest winner. I discovered a solution to work it into each dialog for some time. Large ups to Fishman for her title, too, it will need to have been a tricky name at Goosebumps HQ.
WH: What got here to thoughts while you had been considering of “Slime Doesn’t Pay?”
Jim: There have been so many humorous, snappy Goosebumps titles, so I used to be sitting within the Central Faculty library, wracking my mind for as many concepts as I presumably may. Rhyming, alliteration, and so forth…none will need to have been any good as a result of the one different one I keep in mind was “Rabid Rabbit,” however then Slime Doesn’t Pay got here like a bolt of lightning. Fairly positive I wrote it in all capital letters.
WH: Now, clearly, the largest thriller has been what occurred with “Slime Doesn’t Pay” and why there by no means gave the impression to be any growth for it going ahead. Are you able to inform us about what occurred following the tip of the title contest?
Jim: I received an incredible reward package deal, it had a fan membership coffin and all the things. There was a poseable skeleton, a number of books, sweet, a Goosebumps hat…there might have even been a letter from RL Stine in there, too, but it surely’s all been misplaced to time. I requested my mother what she remembers concerning the aftermath and she or he requested me why Stine hasn’t written the e book but!
WH: Do you suppose “Slime Doesn’t Pay” might have been repurposed into one other Goosebumps e book, possibly one of many Monster Blood sequels?
Jim: That’s truly fairly attainable! Monster Blood was my favourite Goosebumps e book on the time. I can’t keep in mind whether or not the competition occurred earlier than or after Monster Blood II got here out, but it surely’s very seemingly I had it in thoughts whereas I used to be brainstorming. I may have even written down “Monster Blood II: Slime Doesn’t Pay,” however I don’t suppose Stine would have wasted gold like that on a subtitle.
WH: Your brother reached out to R.L. Stine just a few years in the past on Reddit asking him about what occurred with “Slime Doesn’t Pay.” Did anybody ever get again to you or him on the matter?
Jim: No phrase, sadly. Possibly the e book’s within the to-do pile and Stine doesn’t wish to reply till he will get to it.
WH: In all honesty, do you suppose there’s an opportunity Slime Doesn’t Pay may nonetheless be used for an precise Goosebumps story? Except for the brand new books Stine has been engaged on, IDW Comics and has been releasing four-issue miniseries with completely different artists and writers.
Jim: I can solely hope! Possibly with a footnote giving encouragement to nerdy youngsters who learn throughout recess. …and, you understand, royalties to me for giving him the concept. That’d be cool too.
Since chatting with Jim, the Goosebumps fandom just lately dug up an archived interview with R.L. Stine from the Goosebumps web site discussing “Slime Doesn’t Pay” and the opposite profitable entries within the contest. The runner-ups included (alongside their usenames):
- THE GRIM REAPER LIVES IN MY LOCKER… by Mike Sneed (SNmentor16)
- FROG’S BREATH CAN KILL YOU by Cliff973
- SCREAM CHEESE By Tobia Falzone (JCoffey325)
- HAVE YOU SEEN MY HEAD LATELY? By Michelle Devlin (HarborMS)
- YOU, ME, & MONSTER MAKES THREE Lauren Fishman (LC Youngsters)
As of proper now, there’s no reply as to why Slime Doesn’t Pay wasn’t made right into a Goosebumps story regardless of the competition guidelines. There’s nonetheless hope for the longer term, and we hope Jim Smylie will sometime get to see his title adorn an official Goosebumps tome.