Tag Archives: writing challenge

CONTEST and GIVEAWAY

3 Aug

The time for the first contest and giveaway has arrived. No entry fee!

Enter your fiction of 5,000 words or less for a chance to win one free editing/proofreading package for your choice of writing project (30,000 words or less).

Package includes: initial project meeting by virtual media of your preference (email, instant message, Skype, in person only if in the Metro-Richmond, VA area); editing/proofreading of text no longer than 30,000 words; and final project write-up with editing summary and suggestions. This is a prize worth $1,500* awarded to the contestant with the most engaging piece of fiction.

This is an open contest, meaning there is no theme. Your only restriction is that it must be fiction 5,000 words or less. I will score from 1-4 in each of 4 categories: engaging introduction (catch my attention, make me curious about what’s coming next), continuous forward momentum (includes climax–does your story peak too soon? too late?), lifelike characters (even if they are imaginary or not human), and well-crafted conclusion (wraps up the story or suspends the moment in an inventive, pleasing, or surprising way).

To submit, email your attached text in word document or PDF form to marsicoam@gmail.com with FICTION CONTEST in the subject line by SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2013. Entries without the proper subject line will not be opened and will likely go to the spam folder. Please also put your email address in the header of each page of your text so that I may contact the winner via the email address used to submit. If you would like to submit a cover letter with your story, that is fine, but it is by no means a requirement. I will not accept entries from those with whom I am personally acquainted.

Thanks for reading! It keeps this blog alive. Now, it’s my turn to give back 🙂

Happy writing and good luck.

 

*No cash given for prize. Value of prize based on price charged to clients for identical editing package.

Shorts Project Update

23 Jul

Since I’m behind in the Shorts Project anyway (due to my vacation) I’ve decided that now is the best time to put that endeavor aside and finally finish editing my manuscript. Expect to see snippets of chapters posted in place of shorts until the project is complete or Fall classes start back up at the end of September, whichever comes first.

Short #4

2 Jul

Worthwhile Travel

Smog, fog, rain—Ellen thought of it as her cozy blanket for years. It kept her delightfully secluded even when surrounded by people. “Alone together.” That’s how she’d described city life in one of her calls home. After she finally broke away from her childhood town, it never occurred to Ellen that there was any place else for her. Why would she leave the comforting urban canopy of carcinogens and clouds?

Apparently, “Because I said so,” still worked. When Ellen’s mother called to tell her that Pops passed, she preemptively refused all invitation home. Ellen found herself on a jet, a puddle jumper, and then a bus back Snoreville anyway. The bus stopped in front of the law office where Ellen was destined. The corner where the office and the pharmacy met the main road was the only bus stop. No special treatment.

The welcome from her family was stiff and forced.

As her family filed out of the office, the lawyer grabbed Ellen’s shoulder. “The will instructed me to give you this envelope privately. Go to his old place and open it somewhere peaceful.”

“Oh, Ok.” She stuffed it into her purse.

The bewildered look on her face must have been severe because the lawyer went out in a hurry.

In the breeze and sunshine of her grandfather’s land, she opened the envelope and read:

The address to my safety deposit box is on the back of this page with the password you’ll need to access it. Go. Get the money. It’s yours. You’ve got the courage and love the rest of this family is missing. That part of you always stays the same. Use the money for the rest of your surgeries. Ignore what the family says. It’s your body. I love you, Alvin. Ellen.

-Pops

Short #3

1 Jul

Necessary Attire

She was missing a glove. The young lady of the house was frantic, clutching at her naked arm. As petty as this might seem in summer months, it was actually quite the scandal. When the search began, the house maids scurried more like mice than ladies upending baskets of linens, disheveling neatly made beds, and tossing tasseled pillows into the floors of carriages. From the balcony of the manse, the man of the house, her father, shouted at the help to hurry their searching. After all, a lady without her glove may as well have been a pauper or a common whore. The lady could not leave without it—that pair passed down from lady to lady of the family through generations. Wearing them spoke of dignity, station, and propriety, and of a continuity of physical self that balanced the inconstancy of mind and spirit for which women were so known. As such, she just could not depart without that glove. Oh, and did I mention the hand, member of the glove’s safe, modest keeping, was also missing? From the wrist down to be exact…

Short #2

30 Jun

Sight

“Alright, so, you know that feeling you get when you can’t sleep because you’re looking forward to something the next day?”

“Mhm.”

“Ok. That feeling is yellow. That’s what yellow is.”

“Ohh, I felt yellow when Mommy and Daddy took me on vacation tomorrow!”

“You mean last week?”

“Yeah. We went to the beach!”

“What color do you think the beach was?”

She shrugged her shoulders. “Next color!”

“Ok, next color. Think of the yummiest dessert you’ve ever eaten.”

“Like cake?”

“Like chocolate cake. Or fudge. Brownies, caramel, hot chocolate, s’mores! That’s brown.”

“So brown is your favorite color?”

“Well, those foods are some of my favorites, but brown isn’t my favorite color.”

“Which one is?”

“Orange. Orange is what fall smells like, and what the leaves crunching under feet sound like. Now, red, that’s heat, love, anger; it’s all those feelings that are hard to hold back. Green looks like salad tastes, and blue looks like life feels. Think air, breath, water, refreshment, and relaxation.”

“And purple?”

“Purple is the feeling of velvet fabric, the sound of jazz music, and the taste of lollipops. So now what color do you think the beach is?”

“All those happy colors at once! I bet that’s what Mommy and Daddy look like, too.”

Short #1

29 Jun

The Claiming

Twenty years after his burial, there was a knock on the top of the casket. The corpse heard this because his soul had waited there for God to come and take him. After 15 years, he thought maybe he should start waiting for Satan instead. The knock elated him as much as any unclaimed soul in his rotten body could be elated. There was a second knock and a third. The forth was a strike which splintered the wood into odd angles. With one final blow the moonlight trickled in, illuminating too much space around him. His first-dead body had filled the whole casket. His skeleton found it spacious. The soul slithered out of the coffin, climbing the trail of moonlight out of the hole. What he saw beside his coffin appeared human, but too beautiful, and more animal. He watched the pale hands effortlessly lift his skeleton from its rest and toss it onto the grass beside his grave. The pale thing climbed into the coffin and pulled what was left of the casket lid back over him. A shower of dirt followed the movement. Homeless, the spirit floated to the nearest town and found respite in the eaves of a large barn. For 20 more years he hovered, this time having something to watch. In that time, he learned that it had been a vampire who robbed his grave and that not even the undead wanted to claim him. It became obvious that he was meant to do the claiming. The exorcisms began the following week.

Shorts Project

29 Jun

I love shorts. Not the kind you wear, but the kind you read. They are extremely difficult for a wordy girl like me to write. SO! I have challenged myself to write a collection of 300-word or less short stories this summer. You can find them on the Shorts Page.

Care to join? Link to your Shorts Page in the comments section!

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