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.
Le Ministre de l’au-delà