SDMB Short Fiction Contest - the Feb. 2011 Valentine's Day Theme edition - Logistics Thread.

Hello and welcome. We’ve had three Short Fiction contests so far, in May, September and over the holidays between 2010 and 2011. They’ve been tremendously fun, and there has been interest expressed in doing another. May I again congratulate our past winners -

The Hamster King, May 2010, for Quarrantine
Spoons, September 2010 for Homeward By Polaris
Spoons, Holiday Edition 2010 for He Knows a Lot of People

So, I propose something rather different this time around. The first two centered around a specific weekend, and interested participants had to decide if they had enough time free to get something in before the deadline. I’d like to suggest the following - the contest will run from Thursday, Feb. 24th, 2011 until Thursday, March 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, because the Holiday Theme was such fun, I’d like to propose making this month’s a Valentine’s Day Theme. (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 - Guests, 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 early next week. At 10 PM EST, Thursday, March 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.) If you use special text (italics in particular, but also bold face and underline.), please mention it in the return e-mail - the codes don’t always transfer and I do try to respect writers’ conventions. Sometimes this means doing a search word by word to make sure the codes get written properly.

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 the last two times.

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 few days.

Best wishes,

Le Ministre de l’au-delà

It has been brought to my attention that there is no word count in the OP!! It just wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t forget at least one thing.

2,000 words or less has been our word count for the last three, and I’ve really liked the results.

I’m a glutton for punishment (no votes on one of the contests) so I will try again. :slight_smile:

I will start on Saturday as I have to take care of a close relative this week.

I’m in as well. This one will be more difficult for me as I’ll basically have to do it within a day instead of having a three day weekend to work with! Still, should be fun!

These are always fun. Looking forward to it!

The words and photograph have been found, and the auto-reply message is up and running. Have fun, everyone!

I’m going to the opera Thursday night, :), so I will do it on the weekend. I like the idea of a longer time frame to use the limited time frame in, if that makes any sense.

Looking at my schedule over the next few days, and the pile of work I brought home for the weekend, I hope I can get to it. But I’ll try.

I really like doing these, but talk about bad timing…I teach and finals are coming up.
Will see if I can find some time in the next few days to come up with something, but might have to pass on this one.

Just finished my first draft, and it’s approx 2150 words. Darnit, must find something to cut out. :frowning:

My own story is finished as of yesterday morning, and I did, indeed, get yours, Justin Credible.

chrisk - I was over by 72 words on the first draft - what is it about Valentine’s Day that makes us verbose?

Still lots of time for any interested writers - 10 AM Eastern on Tuesday, March 1st will mark 60 hours before the close of the contest.

I had to edit out lots of my story too, and I hated doing it. It was nearly 2300 words before I started any editing. I eventually got it down to exactly 2000 words, heh.

Okay, uploaded my story. After editing, I agree that Valentine’s Day makes us verbose–I think it’s because necessary character development requires a lot of explanation. To pull it off within the 2000-word limitation is a real challenge. Good luck to all!

I uploaded mine early in the morning, I’m looking forward to reading all your contributions soon.

Looks like my schedule will give me about twenty hours, split over a few sessions over the next day, to get this done. The great thing about the word limit is that a single inspired hour can finish the rough draft. Here’s hoping!

Mine took just over an hour to write, so maybe you’ll find the time after all :slight_smile:

I requested the pic and words but just couldn’t come up with the inspiration this time due to exhaustion and stress I have going on right now. SO mad at myself, but will knuckle down better next time and look forward to reading the contributions.

The Anthology Thread can be found at this link.

elfkin477 - I beg your pardon for a mis-attribution of your story. I have alerted the Mods and I’m sure it can be fixed as soon as one of them has a spare moment. My humblest apologies.

No worries, it’s fixed now.