Short story contest
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  1. #1
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Default Short story contest

    Okay, all you aspiring writers - I need motivation to sit down and put pen to paper again, so I'm thinking about challenging you all to a short story contest. Anyone game?

    The general idea would be to give ourselves "x" number of days to write, then post the story here and let the village vote on which one they like best. Depending on the number of people interested, we could even separate by genre or run it in heats, if that works better.

    So how about it - anyone willing to put their creative infant on the table and be told it's ugly?

    Let me know by the end of the month, and I'll post the parameters. I would just ask that you be willing to start from scratch and not dust off a story that you've had a lot of time to polish already.
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

  2. #2
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Nope. I'm not actually an aspiring writer, so I don't qualify.

    But I'll volunteer to judge and critique entries if you like. My credentials are that I've published dozens of short stories, judged contest entries for Romance Writers of America for many years, have written several as yet unpublished novels, and am currently employed very part-time as a contributing editor for a camping magazine. I also served as a mentor for newbie novelists for several years through a chapter of RWA. And I've edited a cookbook and co-edited a handbook for beginning novelists.

    I've critiqued a lot of other people's work over the years (at their request) and been told I'm a good critiquer (or critter, if you will.)
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    “Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you.” -Mildred Lisette Norman
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  3. #3
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Published writers also allowed, SD. Not sure how I will set up judging, if we actually get contestants, but thinking about just setting it up as a poll, and hoping people vote for the story they like best, vs. the person they like best.
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

  4. #4
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    I am open to people who want to contribute anonymously, btw, in case you really can't make that last little leap into publicity. I know we have a lot of creative people who maybe just need that little nudge of self-confidence to step out of the shadows! Just PM me.
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

  5. #5
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    If you're going to vote in a poll to determine a winner, then IMO all the entries should be anonymous to help ensure the votes are cast based on talent and not popularity. People can always claim their stories after the voting closes if they want others to know what they wrote.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you.” -Mildred Lisette Norman
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  6. #6
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Sad, sad, sad. Well, at this rate, I know who the winner will be!

    The plan is this - I will post a picture on August 1st. Whoever wants to jump in, feel free, and write a short story (or you can write what you consider an open-ended chapter to a longer story, if you would like), using the picture as your inspiration. (If your story goes totally south of the picture, but the picture inspired a thought in you that led to the spark that sent you down that creative path, so be it. Your story does not have to be ABOUT the picture, just inspired by it.)

    Stories due between August 15 - 18.
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    My specialty! I sold a lot of stories making something out of nothing!

    I wonder if this idea wouldn't get more interest in the winter, about the time cabin fever sets in for those of us in the northern tier. About mid-January, maybe.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you.” -Mildred Lisette Norman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit Deer View Post

    I wonder if this idea wouldn't get more interest in the winter, about the time cabin fever sets in for those of us in the northern tier. About mid-January, maybe.
    Good thought -- I know for me, now is not a good time to spend precious time "just writing". Canning, back-to-school, etc. are taking up all my time right now.

  9. #9
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Well, the way I look at it, there are people on this board who would like to make money with their writing, either through blogs, articles, books, etc. I, personally, just feel a need to dust the rust off of my writing skills. Like any other skill, it needs to be worked to get better. So, while I may certainly do this again in the winter, I think waiting half a year to write is like only running when the weather is good. You will never get into shape doing either.

    So for the people too busy to take time to knock out one short story in two weeks, no worries. We'll give it a go again when you are ready.
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

  10. #10
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Here is your inspiration....
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

  11. #11
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Started working on the story and am about 1/3 of the way through my first draft. I have the beginning and the final paragraph, but need to get from Point A to Point B.
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

  12. #12
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    And here it is:

    It was two weeks ago when I first awoke with a start. I had been dreaming, I realized, but the vague images faded as quickly as the sleep from my mind. I tried to remember my dream, what had taken me from a deep and restful state to one of startled awareness, but I could not grasp it. It fled my memory, and left nothing but ghosts in its wake. Mumbling my discontent at having my evening disrupted, I eventually slept again, and I did not dream again that night.

    To my great surprise, however, I had the dream again the following night. I knew it was the same dream, even before I began to try to remember it. This time, I recalled the image of a house, and a path leading me toward it, but nothing more.

    The third day, upon waking, I realized that the house I was seeing in my sleep was the house of my childhood, a place of bittersweet nostalgia and memories. In my dream, I walked a path toward the house, bathed in the light of a summer sun. Before me, the house was curtained and silent, but I thought I saw just the hint of movement behind the curtains, and as I awoke, I choked out my disappointment, wanting to find my way home again, and wanting to see who waited for me behind those silent walls, but sensing something else below my disappointment, a feeling I could not yet identify.

    On the fourth night, I anticipated the evening, hoping to dream again, and hoping to progress. I was not disappointed. I found myself back on the path to my childhood home, progressing to the front door I remembered so well. Again, the curtains shifted slyly as I approached, leaving me uncertain as to whether they were moved by a hand or simply by a draft of air. I picked up my pace, wanting to reach the door, so intent on my goal that I did not immediately notice that the sunshine had faded, and that a gloom was starting to surround me. I stopped and looked about, and the entire path was in shadow, both behind me and before me. A chill shuddered through me, unbidden, and yet I turned to continue to the house. Suddenly, I was awake and sitting up in my bed, and the feeling that had saturated my waking over the past several days suddenly was clear to me -- it was a feeling of great unease.

    The next several nights found me closing upon the house: each night, the path disappearing into the gloom; each night, the curtains shifting subtly, so I was not sure if they had actually twitched, or if it was a trick of the light. Unlike previous nights, however, I did not look forward to reaching my destination. Each night fed into the dread that was starting to engulf me in my sleep, and I realized that I no longer wanted to reach the house, nor even traverse the path, and that I did not want to met whatever waited for me behind that closed front door.

    I have been trying to not sleep these past few nights. For, in the most recent incarnation of my dream, I placed my hand upon the doorknob, and felt the metal warm and dry, as if I had touched flesh rather than brass. The house, or some thing within the house, thrummed with feverish anticipation. Reluctantly, I started to turn the knob, revulsion and fear welling in my throat, and I awoke screaming.

    I have had the dream fifteen nights now. I fight sleep, but eventually must succumb, and each time, I find myself in front of that monstrous house, my hand on the doorknob, my throat closed with terror. I do not know how many more nights will pass before I must open that door, but I think not many. I leave this note for whoever may find it. I fear the night. I fear sleep. With sleep comes the dream, and with the dream, the door. I know I must open that door, and either step through it or let whatever is waiting for me there, step out. I wait in terror for sleep to come. I wait in terror for the dream to come. But God help me, in my terror, some part of me also welcomes what is to come.
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

  13. #13
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Intriguing!
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    “Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you.” -Mildred Lisette Norman
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  14. #14
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Goal for the next story is August 31st.
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

  15. #15
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Haha! I have an article and a column to get done by then, so that will be it for me.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you.” -Mildred Lisette Norman
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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