Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-16-2010, 10:36 AM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seaton Village
Posts: 6,735

SDMB Short Fiction Contest - the 2010 Holiday Theme edition - Logistics Thread.


Hello and welcome. We've had two Short Fiction contests this year, in May and in September. They've been tremendously fun, and there has been interest expressed in doing another. (And may I again congratulate our last winners - The Hamster King, May 2010, for his excellent story Quarrantine and Spoons, September 2010 for the outstanding Homeward By Polaris )

So, I propose something rather different this time around. The last few have centered around a specific weekend, and interested participants had to decide if they had enough time free to get something in on time. Because this is an incredibly busy time of year for everyone, I'd like to suggest the following - the contest will run from Monday, Dec. 20th until Monday, January 3rd, 2011. Any writers interested in participating somewhere within that period can send an e-mail to sdmbpoetrysweatshop at gmail dot com - the photo and the three words will be in an out-of-office auto reply. The writer will then have 60 (sixty) hours from the time and date of that auto-reply to submit their story.

The story can be any style or genre, but it must centre around 3 randomly selected words and one randomly selected photograph. Also, for this one, a Holiday Theme has been suggested, and I like the idea very much. (These requirements are partly to ensure no one dusts off a story they've been working on for months, and partly because it's really interesting to compare what different writers do with the same source material.)

Sorry, but the contest is open only to Dopers - Mods, Administrators, Members, Charter Members, Goats, Squids, people with funny titles - but contestants must have the right to post here.

I will start an Anthology Thread of all the stories I've received sometime in the first week of January. At 10 PM, Monday, Jan. 3rd, 2011, entries will be closed and I will establish a multiple-choice poll in the Anthology Thread. A week later, the poll will close and we will declare a winner.


A couple of editorial/logistics points to bring up. I will be doing some very minor editing this time around - just for appearance on the computer screen, I will ensure that there are double returns between paragraphs. I would also strongly prefer that all the stories have a title, and if they don't come with a title, I'll refer to them as Untitled (First few words of the opening sentence.)

Also for legibility and appearance, I would like to post the first hundred words or first paragraph, whichever is most coherent, in the open reply. Then, I will put the rest of the story in a spoiler box. Then I'll have the spoiler box with the author's name. The reasoning here is to avoid the Gigantic Wall of Text effect. I'm open to other people's suggestions here, though I thought this worked very well last time.

I quite like the multiple choice polls and I would like to keep that as a feature of the Short Fiction contests. Placing the writers' names in spoiler boxes also seems to be a good compromise between giving credit where it is due and keeping the voting based on the merits of the individual stories, to the extent that is possible.

I think that's everything - I'm hoping many of you will be interested in giving it a go sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Best wishes,

Le Ministre de l'au-delà

Last edited by Le Ministre de l'au-delà; 12-16-2010 at 10:38 AM.
  #2  
Old 12-17-2010, 04:04 AM
Jules Andre is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,155
Glad to see this one has an extended window of opportunity, great idea! I'll definitely be submitting something this time! (Okay, not definitely...)
  #3  
Old 12-17-2010, 10:29 AM
Shot From Guns is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 12,143
My only objection is that I'm going to have to wait for 2011 to read everything! The boy will be in town, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to find the time, but we'll see.
  #4  
Old 12-18-2010, 04:01 PM
Spoons is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 17,289
Looking forward to it!

Also, I like the idea of a time window during which one writes and replies. At this time of year, scheduling is tight, but the flexibility is much appreciated. I should be able to find enough time to give it a shot.
  #5  
Old 12-19-2010, 05:22 PM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seaton Village
Posts: 6,735
I will set up the auto-reply at just past midnight, Easter Standard Time on what will be Monday, Dec. 20th. That's about 5 and a half hours from now.

Hoping you can all find the time and inspiration,

Le Ministre de l'au-delà
  #6  
Old 12-19-2010, 11:01 PM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seaton Village
Posts: 6,735
And there - the vacation auto-response is set with the words and the photograph.
  #7  
Old 12-22-2010, 09:11 AM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seaton Village
Posts: 6,735
And fifty eight hours later, there's mine. I'd actually hoped to write mine on the train home from Windsor Monday morning, but instead I fell asleep and stayed that way for four hours. I ended up writing this from about 7:30 this morning until 10:00. No edits, not even a spell check. Hope that worked...

Hoping to see some more stories come in the next few days.
  #8  
Old 12-22-2010, 10:19 AM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seaton Village
Posts: 6,735
And there's another one from LVBoPeep - great!
  #9  
Old 12-23-2010, 07:23 PM
Jules Andre is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,155
I have the weekend off so I'l be sending my email in sometime tonight.
  #10  
Old 12-23-2010, 08:50 PM
chrisk is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Southern ontario
Posts: 6,588
Thanks for setting this up again!

I'll probably be pressing the [go] button for this new adventure sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday noon - after I'm back home from Christmas dinner with the family, and can actually concentrate on creative stuff for a while before going back to work.

Looking forward to it!
__________________
Stringing Words Forum
Aspiring writers and authors supporting each other.
Goals and resolutions our particular specialty - also sharing commiseration and triumphs.
Join today!

Last edited by chrisk; 12-23-2010 at 08:50 PM.
  #11  
Old 12-25-2010, 01:42 AM
Savannah is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Greater Victoria, BC
Posts: 4,700
Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Ministre de l'au-delà View Post
The writer will then have 60 (sixty) hours from the time and date of that auto-reply to submit their story.
This is the part I should have paid attention to. Next time, wait 'til Boxing Day... c'est la vie!

::back to feverish, Christmas Eve keyboard pounding::
  #12  
Old 12-25-2010, 02:18 AM
Spoons is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 17,289
Quote:
Originally Posted by Savannah View Post
This is the part I should have paid attention to. Next time, wait 'til Boxing Day... c'est la vie!

::back to feverish, Christmas Eve keyboard pounding::
Reviewing my schedule over the next few days, I may well end up doing the same thing on New Year's Eve!
  #13  
Old 12-25-2010, 03:27 AM
Savannah is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Greater Victoria, BC
Posts: 4,700
It's been a nice way to pass the time actually!

There's something quite inspiring in a deadline.

(Merry Christmas, all!)
  #14  
Old 12-26-2010, 05:29 AM
Jules Andre is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,155
Submitted! Looking forward to reading the other submissions!
  #15  
Old 12-26-2010, 01:36 PM
Clockwork Jackal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 290
Well, I have submitted something. I feel like this submission doesn't suck as much as my previous ones.
  #16  
Old 12-26-2010, 02:16 PM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seaton Village
Posts: 6,735
Savannah, Jules Andre, Clockwork Jackal - I just got home to your three stories. Great work, all of you.
  #17  
Old 12-26-2010, 07:10 PM
elfkin477 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 22,709
I'm going to have to wait until the blizzard is over to send for the stimuli, since a recent 5-day power failure proves that I could blow past the deadline without ever getting to type a word.
__________________
Stalk follow me on Twitter
  #18  
Old 12-26-2010, 07:52 PM
Jules Andre is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,155
There's still plenty of time for people to email in and get something submitted. The more participation we get, the more voter participation we'll get too, I bet. It would be great to see these contests gain some traction. If we get enough people involved I wouldn't mind pitching in for a small prize or something.
  #19  
Old 12-27-2010, 04:35 AM
DMark is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Chi NYC Berlin LA Vegas
Posts: 13,728
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules Andre View Post
It would be great to see these contests gain some traction. If we get enough people involved I wouldn't mind pitching in for a small prize or something.
A Mercedes would be nice - or a Kindle or Nook if you are a bit tapped out after the holidays.

Seriously though, it would be great if more people would only read the submissions and vote - always kind of depressing to see the "winner" getting only 8 votes or something...
Dopers seem to like reading, so not quite sure why they won't read these?

At any rate - I submitted my entry. It was fun and to be honest, had no idea where my story was going after I wrote the first paragraph.
Sort of forced myself to finish the story from that point and finished in two hours. A bit too short, and could probably have used a few re-writes, but know myself too well. Would have fiddled for days with re-writes, so just sent it off as-is.

BTW, that was one odd photo! Eventually it worked for me, but when I first saw it - well...
  #20  
Old 12-27-2010, 11:11 AM
Spoons is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 17,289
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark View Post
Seriously though, it would be great if more people would only read the submissions and vote - always kind of depressing to see the "winner" getting only 8 votes or something...
Dopers seem to like reading, so not quite sure why they won't read these?
Wonder if twickster could republish some of them in Teemings? By the time of that publication, the contest may be over, but at least more people might read the stories.

Quick question for Le Ministre, although I suspect I already know the answer. The word limit is still 2000 words, correct?
  #21  
Old 12-27-2010, 11:20 AM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seaton Village
Posts: 6,735
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoons View Post
Quick question for Le Ministre, although I suspect I already know the answer. The word limit is still 2000 words, correct?
2,000 words or less, enforced with Procrustean exactitude. I'll only cut out the best bits...
  #22  
Old 12-28-2010, 06:29 PM
chrisk is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Southern ontario
Posts: 6,588
Okay, my story is in with 33 minutes to spare on the time. I actually procrastinated on starting until this morning.

Thanks once again for co-ordinating, Le Min. And I rambled about these contests a little on my blog last Saturday, not quite sure why.

Time to wait for the end of the entire writing window, now.
  #23  
Old 12-30-2010, 09:28 AM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seaton Village
Posts: 6,735
I'm just giving this a bump in case anyone's unfulfilled New Year's resolution for 2010 was to write a 2,000 word short story. There's still enough time.
  #24  
Old 12-30-2010, 10:12 AM
Tristan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: leaffan for president!
Posts: 5,848
Just to clarify, guests are ok, as we (I am a guest, despite being a long time doper) to submit? I got the PM, I just don't want to step on any toes...
  #25  
Old 12-30-2010, 10:13 AM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seaton Village
Posts: 6,735
If you can post, Tristan, you're welcome to participate.
  #26  
Old 12-30-2010, 10:50 AM
Shot From Guns is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 12,143
We really need a better catch-all word than "members." Maybe "people who have an account"? Still pretty clunky.
  #27  
Old 12-30-2010, 10:55 AM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seaton Village
Posts: 6,735
It might also have helped if I'd put 'guests' on my little list up there. Sorry 'bout that, chief.
  #28  
Old 12-31-2010, 12:13 PM
DMark is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Chi NYC Berlin LA Vegas
Posts: 13,728
Still time for some of you to write something this weekend, assuming you are like me and prefer to stay at home New Year's.

BTW, Le Ministre de l'au-delà, hope you got mine and how many are there so far?
  #29  
Old 12-31-2010, 12:49 PM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seaton Village
Posts: 6,735
DMark - yes, indeed, I did receive your hard work. I beg your pardon for not having said so here. For the record, so far I have my own story, plus six other stories from LVBoPeep, Savannah, Jules Andre, Clockwork Jackal, DMark and chrisk, making seven.

Two others have been sent the words & photo but there's still plenty of room for more!

Last edited by Le Ministre de l'au-delà; 12-31-2010 at 12:50 PM.
  #30  
Old 12-31-2010, 12:51 PM
Spoons is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 17,289
Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Ministre de l'au-delà View Post
Two others have been sent the words & photo but there's still plenty of room for more!
Received mine within the last hour. Interesting words and photo. Looking forward to what people can do with them!
  #31  
Old 12-31-2010, 03:20 PM
Savannah is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Greater Victoria, BC
Posts: 4,700
Bumping the thread. I enjoyed the challenge so much I did it again. Googled "random Flickr image" and I had a site bookmarked that generates three random words for stories. Gave myself three days and 2000 word limit. I didn't give myself a theme, however.

I, for one, would like to continue to do this on a regular basis. It's a lot of fun, and a good writing exercise. Maybe that will be one resolution for 2011.

Anyway, do join in the SDMB short fiction contest!

Last edited by Savannah; 12-31-2010 at 03:22 PM.
  #32  
Old 12-31-2010, 05:00 PM
Jules Andre is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Savannah View Post
Bumping the thread. I enjoyed the challenge so much I did it again. Googled "random Flickr image" and I had a site bookmarked that generates three random words for stories.
What is that site? I'd like to give this a try too.
  #33  
Old 12-31-2010, 05:15 PM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seaton Village
Posts: 6,735
I've been using this site - Random Word Generator (Plus) when I'm away from home.

When I'm at home, I like to use my percentile dice from D and D ('Why, yes, I am a geek - how ever did you guess?') to generate 4 and 5 digit numbers, then I look them up in Roget's Thesaurus. For the Poetry Sweatshops, I've also used the dice to find words in the collected works of Wallace Stevens, Seamus Heany, Walt Whitman and e e cummings.

Flickr: Explore interesting photos is an excellent random photo browser. Random Photo Browser is also really good. There is also the Flickr Random Image Generator at beezbuzz, which is not affiliated with Flickr.
  #34  
Old 12-31-2010, 05:51 PM
Jules Andre is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,155
Awesome, thanks!
  #35  
Old 12-31-2010, 06:58 PM
Savannah is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Greater Victoria, BC
Posts: 4,700
This is where I am (about to be "was") getting my three random words: http://shortstoryideas.herb.me.uk/random.htm

I've started hitting repeats, though. I was trying to write a flasher a day for November and December -- 100 word stories, and burned through the word selection pretty quickly. Three words, incorporated into the 100 word story.

http://beesbuzz.biz/crap/flrig.cgi was where I got the random Flickr image.

I got a really good one for the current story, but of course, I can't find it again. (I copied and pasted into my Word doc.)

Okay, back to the New Year's Eve house-cleaning binge.
  #36  
Old 01-01-2011, 09:08 AM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seaton Village
Posts: 6,735
The Anthology Thread is now up and running - come see what everyone has written!
  #37  
Old 01-01-2011, 06:03 PM
Spoons is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 17,289
Okay, just sent mine off. I've intentionally not read any that have already been posted, so I'm off to do that now.
  #38  
Old 01-01-2011, 07:50 PM
Clockwork Jackal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 290
So many uplifting stories about faith, and magic, and forgiveness and family!

SPOILER:

And then there's mine. Um...I think I need to see a therapist or something.


  #39  
Old 01-03-2011, 01:35 AM
elfkin477 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 22,709
Mine's in now, hopefully. And Clockwork Jackal, yours will now have company in not being about faith, magic, forgiveness (at least not to the story's villian) or family
__________________
Stalk follow me on Twitter
  #40  
Old 01-03-2011, 02:07 AM
DMark is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Chi NYC Berlin LA Vegas
Posts: 13,728
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clockwork Jackal View Post
So many uplifting stories about faith, and magic, and forgiveness and family!
And then there's mine. Um...I think I need to see a therapist or something.
Tell me about it...ever have that dream where you are naked and walk into the classroom and have forgotten you have a test that day?
Well...

Perhaps the "holiday muse" didn't strike everyone the same...in comparison, mine reads like a heathen farted in church. Oh well...it's January and time to take the tree down anyway.

BTW, great stories (everybody else!) and I really liked reading all of them!
Interesting that many thought the person wearing the hat in the photo was female...I just assumed it was a guy.
  #41  
Old 01-03-2011, 02:21 AM
elfkin477 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 22,709
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark View Post
Interesting that many thought the person wearing the hat in the photo was female....
Probably because the person is wearing pumps. You could be right, though, if not for the caption, I wouldn't have had a clue what the photographer was getting at.
  #42  
Old 01-03-2011, 02:45 AM
DMark is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Chi NYC Berlin LA Vegas
Posts: 13,728
Quote:
Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
Probably because the person is wearing pumps. You could be right, though, if not for the caption, I wouldn't have had a clue what the photographer was getting at.
I just went back to look at the photo again.
OK, now I know I need new glasses! (Or a better monitor.)
I seriously thought the person was barefoot! (Which got me thinking about my story...)
Then again, I only looked at the photo for about a minute.

Last edited by DMark; 01-03-2011 at 02:48 AM.
  #43  
Old 01-03-2011, 03:03 AM
Jules Andre is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,155
I took a little extra time to go through some more of the pictures in the same album to get some views of the place from a different angle and (hopefully) with better focus, just to see what the stuff in that room actually was.

It was interesting to me to see how my first reactions to our source photo differed from what actually was in viewing other photographs.
  #44  
Old 01-03-2011, 08:45 AM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seaton Village
Posts: 6,735
I just added another story to the anthology. Just over ten hours left to go.

I was going to post a link to the photo here, but then I thought "Why? If readers want to see the photo, they should just go to the Anthology Thread, look at the words and the photo and then read the stories. And vote, after 10 tonight!"

So I won't do anything to relieve your curiosity...
  #45  
Old 01-03-2011, 04:09 PM
elfkin477 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 22,709
Looking at the thread with the stories, I'd have to say that it's a lot easier to read with the spoiler box only containing the 101st word on. Thumbs up for this change.

Wouldn't you agree, folks we hope will vote?
  #46  
Old 01-03-2011, 08:22 PM
GIGObuster's Avatar
GIGObuster is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 29,026
I'm not sure, but can you tell me Le Ministre de l'au-delà if I did manage to send my entry on time?

Had to work longer hours today unexpectedly and I just managed to send it a few minutes ago.

Last edited by GIGObuster; 01-03-2011 at 08:26 PM.
  #47  
Old 01-03-2011, 09:13 PM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seaton Village
Posts: 6,735
The poll is established, and will close in ten days.


GIGObuster - your story was, in strict fact, late. I decided to include it in both the Anthology and the poll because I gave you the benefit of the doubt - you were close enough to 60 hours that it could well have been a misunderstanding on your part. In the end, I thought it was better to include a worthwhile story than to cavil about a few minutes...
  #48  
Old 01-03-2011, 09:25 PM
GIGObuster's Avatar
GIGObuster is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 29,026
Thank you Le Ministre de l'au-delà !
  #49  
Old 01-05-2011, 01:35 PM
Spoons is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 17,289
Quote:
Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
Looking at the thread with the stories, I'd have to say that it's a lot easier to read with the spoiler box only containing the 101st word on. Thumbs up for this change.
I agree too. A good idea, Le Ministre!

Surprised there are no comments yet--there are a number of good stories in this batch.
  #50  
Old 01-05-2011, 03:49 PM
Jules Andre is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,155
I think the voting thread has just gotten lost at the top of the forum.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:57 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017