Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our Short Story Writing Prompt

This post reveals the writing prompt for the contest which I blogged about here. No special fanfare. Here's the prompt:

In the spirit of H.G. Well's "The Time Machine," one character or a group of characters travel many years into the future. What do they find there? Are they able to come back home, or are they trapped? What has become of mankind? Is life better or worse? What's the political climate? The real climate? (IOW mother nature) The choices are up to you.

Various genres will work with this open prompt, including Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia, Utopia, and several other sub-genres. You may write in first or third person. If you would like to write a cliffhanger, please let me know first.

The only other requirements are word count and mature content. Please submit between 5,000 and 10,000 words. We would also like your piece to be appropriate for general audiences, though not necessarily geared toward children. Though we will use consideration, possibly giving you time to fix your story, we may decide not to approve your piece if these things are not met.

Although not a strict requirement, we do suggest you pay attention to your spelling, punctuation and grammar. The judges will take these into consideration, as well as the quality of your plot, characterization and dialogue.

The final date of submission has not been decided, but it will not be any sooner than April 15th. We want to give people enough time to finish their stories properly. Prescreening will start as soon as we get the first stories, and first round judging may start before the final submission date. It will all depend on how the next several weeks go as well as the schedules of the judges.

Based upon donations received and what the crew is throwing in, there will be a cash prize for the top three stories, delivered via giftcards. 1st place will receive $50 (USD), 2nd $30 and 3rd $20. These numbers could change, but barring emergencies, the numbers should go up, not down. So, please continue donating to this cause. All current donations will be used toward our writing contest.

Don't forget that the bigger goal of this contest is to collect short stories that would be publishable. You may not win a cash prize, but if you write a great piece, I would be happy to include it in either this first collection or a future follow up. Either way, my ultimate desire is to network while promoting some great authors.

If you are planning on submitting a story to our contest, please fill out the following form, even if you filled out the initial form. Future planning for judges will be based upon the results. We included "Synopsis" on the form. It doesn't need to be real detailed (please keep to 100 words or so) or contain spoilers unless you want to. The only ones who will see it are Bec and myself.

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