24-hour Short Story Contest


writing under time pressure

I discovered an interesting short story contest by Writers Weekly. Participants receive a topic and final word count at start time, then has 24 hours to complete and submit their stories. It is happening this Saturday (14 July), and the entry fee is $5. The top three spots will receive great prizes, and even if you don’t manage that, there’s a boatload of great door prizes, so everybody has a chance to win something. This sounds like an exciting way to spend one’s weekend!

The best part is that this contest is open to everybody, no matter where you are in the world. That’s a biggie for me, since I’ve been denied entering countless great contests simply because I live in “the wrong” country.

If you decide to enter, here’s a tip. All the winning entries have something in common: they tend to steer clear of the “obvious” interpretation of the topic. Some of the other entries were better written than the winning ones (IMHO) but after reading a few of those, the eloquent prose used to repaint tired, literal interpretations of the same story quickly became just “more of the same” and I can understand why judges would discard them in favour of something original, even if it is not Pulitzer-worthy.

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