This is the greatest opportunity for publication you will ever have.
Welcome to Creative Writing Institute’s annual short story contest. This is going to be our biggest and best contest yet. In a small fee-based contest like this, the competition is much less and your chances of winning are much greater. Our fee is the price of a Starbucks’s cup of coffee and it helps subsidize our nonprofit charity contest, so invest in us and at the same time invest in yourself.
Publication: we will publish the first, second and third place winners, two honorable mentions, and ten additional Judge’s Pick stories in our fifth annual anthology, along with best-selling guest authors and stories written by Creative Writing Institute’s staff. Enjoy the competition. Join the fun!
Judge’s Pick: you may be asking what a “Judge’s Pick” story is. That is a story that impressed a judge so much that he/she nominated it for publication, even though it was not a winning entry. A very high commendation for the author!
* $150 and Gold eMedal OR a free, privately tutored writing course valued at $260
* $100 and Silver eMedal OR $200 applied toward a privately tutored writing course
* $50 and Bronze eMedal OR $125 applied toward a privately tutored writing course
Fourth and Fifth place:
* Honorable Mention eMedal
In addition, we will publish ten Judge’s Pick stories.
For the First Time — the Lucky Draw!
We would like to express our gratitude to Microsoft and TechSoup for donating a Norton AntiVirus Package for five computers, valid for one year. *The Norton Package will only open in the USA, but that’s fine. You have 15 other opportunities to win!
eMedals: You will love the classy eMedals. Make them any size you want. Post them on your site and on social media!
Revealing our Cover: for the first time, we are revealing our cover for the next anthology, which will be titled LOST. (You can see the enlarged picture at http://www.CreativeWritingInstitute.com.)
The theme sentence is below the picture. Be sure to use it in your story.
“I am completely and utterly lost.”
- Open genre
- One prize per person
- Entry fee: $5 per submission
- Submit each story individually
- Word limit is 1,500 to 2,000 words.
- Story may not have been published before.
- No swearing, profanity, explicit sexual scenes, graphic violence, etc.
- Your story must include this theme sentence: “I am completely and utterly lost.”
- Winners agree to minor editing rights and will grant first, non-exclusive, electronic rights.
- All Rights return to the author upon publication.
- Accepting submissions until August 31, 2017, midnight, USA Eastern Standard Time.
- Apply the theme sentence to an emotional state, a physical location, fighting illness, or any other application that comes to mind.
- Copy and paste your document into https://CreativeWritingInstitute.submittable.com/submit.
Do NOT send your submission as an email attachment. We will not open it. Direct questions to head judge Jianna Higgins, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get thirty short stories written by short story contest winners, invited best-selling writers, contest finalists, judges, CWI staff, and guests! The perfect gift for relatives, readers and writers. For a chance to win a FREE $10 Amazon gift card, share this ad on Facebook Dec. 6. Every time you share it, your name goes into a drawing. We will draw THREE winners at midnight Dec. 6, EST. Winners will be announced at www.CWInst.com. Get the new anthology, called EXPLAIN, at http://amzn.to/2gQiKCH.
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Secrets of Winning a Writing Contest
by Bob Bruggemann
If you want to win a contest, the first thing you must do is follow the guidelines. Many submissions are disqualified because they don’t meet all the requirements. If the rules state a maximum of 1,000 words, a 1,025-word story, however brilliant, will hit the trash. (Do not include the title or byline in the word count.)
If the contest calls for G-rated material (which means no swearing, vulgarities, or erotica) and your entry contains just one swear word, it will be discarded. If you are in question as to whether a word will be considered a swear word, don’t use it or write to email@example.com and ask.
Assuming you follow the guidelines, the judges will look at the following four elements.
Some contests give you a theme, such as, “Wedding Day.” What’s the first story idea that comes to mind? Whatever it is, forget it. You can bet everyone else will have thought of it, too. A large percentage of submissions will be so similar that the competition will be fierce, but if you use an original angle, the judges will love it.
Don’t wrack your brain for an idea. Relax. Get your conscious, critical mind out of the way and allow ideas to bubble up from your subconscious. In other words, daydream.
Ask yourself who, what, when, where, why, how, and ‘what if?’ Let your train of thought go where it will. Before long, you’ll have an idea for a unique story.
In short story contests, you’ll never wrong with the KISS method: (Keep It Simple, Sweetie.)
Don’t try to impress the judges with $3 words. Like any other reader, they want a story that is easy to read.
Every sentence must move the story forward. The reader doesn’t want flowery descriptions of a rose garden in the moonlight. He/she wants to know what the girl is doing there at two in the morning and what will happen next. Stick to the point.
A short story contest calls for three distinct parts: the beginning, middle, and end. It’s not as easy as it sounds. The beginning introduces the main character and the action and what the story is about. The middle develops the theme and keeps the reader hooked. The ending must be believable, resolve the problems, and leave the reader satisfied.
Above all, don’t overlook simple formatting rules.
- Make a new paragraph for every new speaker
· Single space your short story and indent paragraphs
· Run the spellchecker!
· Watch your punctuation
Last, but not least: write an original story specifically for the contest – but assuming you don’t follow that good advice, at least rewrite your story to fit the guidelines.
Creative Writing Institute’s annual short story contest is now in session and accepting entries until September 15, 2016. This is a small contest and your chances of winning are good. Invest in yourself and get your entry ready! For details and submission instructions, visit http://CreativeWritingInstitute.submittable.com/.
Prizes: First prize is $100, a first place eMedal and publication in the 2016 anthology.
Second prize is $50, a second place eMedal and publication in the 2016 anthology.
Third place is $25, a third place eMedal and publication in the 2016 anthology.
*We will also recognize honorable mentions and several “Judge’s Picks,” which means the story didn’t place, but at least one judge really liked it and it will be published in our anthology. Judge’s Pick winners will receive a Judge’s Pick ribbon.
Above all, have fun! Hey! Wait a minute! “Like” us before you go, will you?
See guidelines at http://www.CreativeWritingInstitute.com.
First, second and third place winners and seven additional Judge’s Choice stories will receive publication in our fourth annual anthology. In addition, we are giving cash prizes and professionally designed eMedals to post on your site. (See medals below.)
First place: Professionally designed Gold eMedal and $100, plus publication
Second place: Striking Silver eMedal and $50, plus publication
Third place: Brilliant Bronze eMedal and $25, plus publication
Fourth and Fifth place: Finalist eMedal and publication
This is a themed contest and this exact sentence must appear in the story:
“Explain how that happened.”
- Your story must be between 1,500 and 2,000 words.
- No swearing, profanity, explicit sexual scenes, graphic violence, etc.
- Your story must not have been published before. Winners grant minor editing rights for publication; Creative Writing Institute has first, non-exclusive, electronic rights to publish the winners and Judge’s Pick stories in our anthology. All Rights return to the author upon publication.
- ONE submission per person, please.
- Accepting submissions from July 15, 2016, until September 15, 2016, midnight, USA Eastern Standard Time.
- Entries will only be accepted through the form at https://CreativeWritingInstitute.submittable.com/submit.
- As you go through the submission process, there will be a space for you to copy and paste your document. Do NOT email attachments.
- Entry fee $5.
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Last week we talked about asyndeton – a method of listing items without using a conjunction for the purpose of showing more by saying less – and the week before was onomotoepia.
Today we will study polysyndeton, which is diametrically opposed to asyndeton. Polysyndeton is the repeated use of conjunctions for the purpose of intensifying the scene, building the excitement and indicating (like asyndeton) an endless and innumerable list.
Our thanks to Word Magic for Writers by Cindy Rogers for this example. This quote comes from Charlotte’s Web where a rat is telling Wilbur the pig, in no uncertain terms, what he expects.
“Struggle if you must,” said Templeton, “but kindly remember that I’m hiding down here in this crate and I don’t want to be stepped on, or kicked in the face, or pummeled, or crushed in any way, or squashed, or buffeted about, or bruised, or lacerated or scarred, or biffed.”
Do you think Templeton made himself clear? And how did he do that? He drove the point home by using the repetitious ‘or.’ You will find a lot of this in children’s books. If you will listen to children talk, they use a lot of polysndeton when they talk:
“Mommy, I want ice cream, and chocolate, and nuts, and whipped cream.”
Do you see how these examples build the scene by intensifying repetition? This is a simple technique, but don’t discount its importance.
P.S. Did you notice this example uses antiquated language? Writing styles are always morphing and wise is the writer who morphs with them. Today’s writer would have written “Templeton said” instead of “said Templeton.”
Write three sentences using ASYNDETON and three more sentences using POLYSYNDETON. Send them to DeborahOwen@CWinst.com. Memorize these words and know what they mean.
See http://www.CreativeWritingInstitute.com for all your writing needs. Sign up for our newsletter, The Writer’s Choice, on the front page, top right corner.
Writers have developed innumerable techniques to nail their reader’s eyes to the page, and one of those secret weapons is called asyndeton. However, there is nothing new under the sun. We have simply learned how to describe what we do and have tagged it with a name. These techniques have been around since Adam and Eve told stories to Cain and Abel.
Asyndeton means disjointed and unconnected. In literature, it is the art of stringing a list of clauses together without the use of conjunctions. Doesn’t sound that exciting, does it? But wait until you see the examples!
From Double Indemnity: Why, they’ve got ten volumes on suicide alone. Suicide by race, by color, by occupation, by sex, by seasons of the year, by time of day. Suicide, how committed: by poisons, by firearms, by drowning, by leaps. Suicide by poison, subdivided by types of poison, such as corrosive, irritant, systemic, gaseous, narcotic, alkaloid, protein, and so forth.
Writers aren’t the only ones who use this effectively. Orators and statesmen use it, too.
Julius Caesar said, “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
Sir Winston Churchill used it in 1940 in the address known as “We shall fight on the beaches:”
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
And John F. Kennedy used it: “…that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
Now it’s your turn. For hard core impact with a dramatic effect, try asyndeton!
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