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

Glad to see this one has an extended window of opportunity, great idea! I’ll definitely be submitting something this time! (Okay, not definitely…)

My only objection is that I’m going to have to wait for 2011 to read everything! :smiley: The boy will be in town, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find the time, but we’ll see.

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.

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

And there - the vacation auto-response is set with the words and the photograph.

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.

And there’s another one from LVBoPeep - great!

I have the weekend off so I’l be sending my email in sometime tonight.

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. :smiley:

Looking forward to it!

This is the part I should have paid attention to. :slight_smile: 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!

It’s been a nice way to pass the time actually!

There’s something quite inspiring in a deadline.

(Merry Christmas, all!)

Submitted! Looking forward to reading the other submissions!

Well, I have submitted something. I feel like this submission doesn’t suck as much as my previous ones.

Savannah, Jules Andre, Clockwork Jackal - I just got home to your three stories. Great work, all of you.

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.

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.[URL=“”]

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…

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?