After giving it some thought, I’ve decided that I’m going to go ahead and do it. I’m going to hold a writing contest. This thought seems new and strange to me, though, really, it shouldn’t, since I produced an anthology for my writing group in college, though that wasn’t so much of a contest as all of us submitting our best work to show off. Still, the idea of asking people to submit their work so that I can cleave their blood, sweat, and tears into a collection under my publishing brand seems like a pretty weighty and presumptuous task. But you know what? I’m going to do it anyway. I know I leap at the chance to try to get into these sorts of things when they crop up; why wouldn’t other people be the same?
So I’m here to announce the opening of my contest to build a great Autumnal anthology of stories in horror and mystery genre. The idea was inspired by my roommate, who suggested I put together a collection of stories to be released on Halloween after yet another inspiring episode of SyFy’s FaceOff. Knowing fully well how I work, I knew I couldn’t put together a few stories (much less more!) by the time Halloween rolled around, so I thought perhaps I could get one or two stories out, and the rest can be filled in with the works of other people. I really love the idea of throwing together an anthology of stories, and I knew I wanted to do one eventually, so why not now?
Why not now, indeed! So here’s how it works. Submissions will be accepted between Wednesday, September 12th and Sunday, September 30th. I know this isn’t a very long contest, but hopefully it’s not so short that my readers and fellow writers won’t have something to submit. All submissions must be in short story format, though there will be no word count limits. Anything from flash fiction to just short of a novella will be considered. The only restriction is genre. This is a Halloween collection, so please submit your best scary stories, ghost stories, murder mysteries, or anything else that might be suitable for a collection intended to thrill and chill.
Submissions will be reviewed through the first week of October, and the slated publication date for the anthology will be October 31st, 2012. Unfortunately, at this time, I cannot offer monetary compensation for winners of the contest, but I will gladly reward winners with several print copies when they are ready (I would offer ebook copies, but I’m still not sure how to do those free yet). Hopefully, this is a great chance to get some work published and out there, even if in a small and fledgling little compilation.
Please email submission to firstname.lastname@example.org in a Word doc or Text file. Every day of the contest (or just about), I’m planning on posting a prompt if you’d like inspiration. I’d love to have the submissions be inspired by the prompts, but it is not a prerequisite for eligibility. Stories that do take advantage of the prompts, however, will likely have a higher chance in consideration.
Submit as many stories as you’d like. If you really want to wrestle the challenge and get mega accolades, take on the challenge of writing a story for each prompt! This aspect of the contest is inspired by the contest Morgan Dragonwillow ran a while ago; I think I made it through a week before I fell out of the “story every day” part, but, boy, even if that anthology didn’t take off, a lot of really great stories came out of it! So challenge yourself, even if you’re not going to submit, because you never know what might come out of the efforts.
In the event that I feel there is not enough material submitted to warrant an anthology, I will instead choose to honor those who did offer up their work in some way on the blog.
In the meantime, let’s start with the prompt that started it all, from the Pirate episode of Sy Fy channel’s wonderful special effects make-up show, Face Off. The following image is the brilliant work of Sarah Elizabeth. And, the “inspirational” word to go along with it, to be used by itself or in conjunction with the image, will be “urchin.”
Happy writing! I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!