As people seemed to like the format last time, it’s another ‘random word’ story competition.
But, to give everyone a more equal chance, this time the competition will be judged in two categories:‘Open’ and ‘New Writer’.*
Please state in the header of your email if you’re a ‘New Writer’. Otherwise, I’ll assume you’re not a ‘newbie’ and include you in the Open judging.
* What do I mean by ‘New Writer’?
Well, if you’ve never had a paid article or story published in a magazine, newspaper or on-line and if you’ve never won a competition or been runner-up (regardless of whether it was published or not).
I will still count you as a ‘New Writer’ if you’ve done none of the above but you’ve written (or posted work on) a blog; had letters published in a magazine or if you’ve written for a non-profit making publication and not been paid (eg: an article for the local parish magazine or a school magazine).
If you’re in any doubt, email me or leave a comment and I’ll tell you whether you qualify as a ‘New Writer’. If you think you might be ‘borderline’ (it could happen!), then please avoid the ‘New Writer’ category, to save any tears (yours) or heartache (mine). I don’t want to see any ‘New Writers’ ‘outed'; neither do I want to have to wrestle the prize from anyone’s hot sticky hands.
Talking of prizes…..
First prize in each category (so, two winners), is a sparkling brand new copy of Iain Pattison’s excellent book, ‘Cracking The Short Story Market’, kindly donated by those lovely people at The Writers Bureau.
And, because I am feeling especially kind, there’s an additional prize for the New Writer category only. If the winner sends me one of their longer short stories (up to 2000) words, I’ll send them a critique and some pointers on where they might send the story.
And now, a little word about our sponsor. The Writers Bureau, as I’m sure many of you know, offer a range of home study/distance learning courses on writing. They’ve been going since 1989 and I’ve mentioned them before on here because they run open free monthly writing competitions and because I’m one of their (poetry) tutors!
How to Enter:
Write a story (max 250 words) and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org in the body of the email (no attachments). Your story MUST include the following 4 random words:
Reluctant; plague; magazine; sleep
You can use the words anywhere in the story (including the title), or in any way – as long as it makes sense and is ‘proper English’!
You can, in the interests of creativity, ADD to the words but you can’t take any letters off. Eg: sleeping is fine (or asleep or oversleep) and plagued is OK, but plaguing is not, because the ‘e’ drops off. As a test, ask yourself, if I did a search on Word for each of the words in your story, would they appear? If you’ve included all the letters as above, they would.
How were the words chosen? Well, I picked a book at random from the shelf – ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ – and put my finger in a page, randomly, four times. Just be grateful, dear reader, that you didn’t get ‘coffee’ 4 times because Stieg Larsson was obsessed with the stuff – as I wrote once here.
Names and email addresses will NOT be passed on to any third parties. All entries will be deleted after judging has taken place.
I will be shortlisting but the final judging will be done by another ‘person who writes’ (she doesn’t know yet, I’m going to ask her tonight) – and anonymously.
1. Send your entry in the body of the email (not as an attachment), to: email@example.com – please add your name too.
2. It’s FREE to enter and open to anyone, regardless of where you live.
3. You can enter as many times as you like.
4. The winner and up to 4 runners-up, in each of the 2 categories, will be published on the blog.
5. Your entry must be your own original work and must not plagiarize. (as if I really need to say that…!)
6. Copyright remains with the writer.
7. Maximum length: 250 words (but less is OK).
8. Your story’s title is in addition to the 250 words
9. Your story must not have won or been placed in another competition.
10. Deadline for entries is midnight Tuesday 18th September 2012. The results will be announced on here 1 week later, on Tuesday 25th September 2012.