Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The "Midnight Road" Short Fiction Contest--Information and Rules

My friends,

Tonight, moonlight and clouds weave, and the road stretches in darkness. I invite you to take a walk with me.

Perhaps you need a creative spark. Perhaps you're itching for a challenge. Perhaps you'd like to meet a friend. All of those things, and a little more, are waiting for you on the Midnight Road.

Using the photograph above for inspiration, compose a short fiction piece of no more than 250 words in any genre or style. Paste your entry into an email and send it to me at jevanswriter at yahoo dot com any time between now and midnight, Wednesday, June 28th (Eastern Standard Time, United States). Each entry will be posted and indexed.

To make things interesting, the following prizes are on the line (and to support the publishing industry!!):

--1st Place, $35 Amazon gift certificate
--2nd Place, $25 Amazon gift certificate
--3rd Place, $15 Amazon gift certificate
--4th Place, $10 Amazon gift certificate
--5th Place, $5 Amazon gift certificate

But this is about more than prizes. I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to meet and interact with your fellow writers. Read and comment on the entries. Teach, and learn, from others. Let's make writing a less lonely process.

At the end of the contest, I will post what I liked most about each entry. Also, if you request it, I would be happy to offer any constructive comments I might have by private email.

Now for the rules:

1. 250 words maximum.

2. Titles are optional, but encouraged. Titles do not count towards your word count.

2. One entry per person.

3. Any genre or style is welcome.

4. All rights remain with you, the author; however, you consent to the posting of your entry on this blog.

5. Judging will be conducted by me on the basis of pacing, entertainment value, technical use of language, storytelling, and voice.

6. Please provide a name for your byline. If you have a website or a blog, I'd be happy to link your name to it. If you don't have a website or blog, feel free to include a short bio. A bio does not count towards your word count.

That's it!

At the close of the contest, I will announce the date and time for the announcement of winners.

Best of luck to everyone! Spread the word, and above all, have fun!

**UPDATE** The contest is underway!! Click HERE for the index of entries, or go HERE for the top page of the blog.

(Previous contest: The "Two Lights" Short Fiction Contest)


Flood said...

w00t! Let the games begin. Good luck to everyone and I look forward to reading entries, as well as participating.

Scott said...

Here here! I'm excited too, and only just a little jealous that Flood beat me to the first comment. I too will be watching every entry and commenting. Let the games begin. Thanks Jason. You did a lot of work last time, and this should be even more.

Jaye Wells said...

Why are you guys commenting? Shouldn't you be writing your stories? Oh, wait, I should be too. Thanks, Jason.


Nav said...


Thanks for organising such great contests, which definitely encourage novice writers like me.Hoping to participate in your contest..


Anonymous said...

Flood, Scott, and Jaye, you guys are wonderful! What would I do without you? :)

Nav, I just visited your blog. Thanks for all the support! I hope to have the pleasure of reading your entry.


Yikes, this is the first time I'm seeing the picture on my old, tired work computer. Let me know if it's way too dark. My LCD monitor at home shows it great, though.

Anonymous said...

BTW, in furtherance of Murphy's Law, Yahoo's site seems to be inaccessible for login. Hopefully, it is saving any emails being sent to my address.

I don't expect entries so soon, but if you do send one this morning and you don't see it posted within half a day or so, let me know. Thanks!

anne frasier said...

jason, i love that photo! and would you believe yesterday i was wandering around trying to take photos for my PI blog, and ended up taking about 10 of an elecrical tower against the cloudy sky. i doubt they came out nearly as cool as this image though. beautiful!!

Melissa Amateis said...

Ok, I'm going to TRY to do this, but don't know if I'll be able to what with the huge weekend we have coming up with our family. BUT - we do have a six-hour drive there and back...that might give me some time...

Anonymous said...

Goodness! What is this I stumbled upon today???

Wow! What a wonderful concept, Jason, and everybody's excitement sure is cotagious :)

Esther Avila said...

The photo is awesome, Jason! Just looking at it gave me chills.

Thanks for doing this again. I had such fun with the last contest and can't wait to come in and read everyone's stories.


Jerilyn Dufresne, author said...

Looking forward to it, Jason. Thanks for sponsoring this again. It's fun!

emeraldcite said...

Great pic.

I have to say, this is another great contest. Working on my entry as we speak. I have over 400 words, so I have to cut cut cut.

Of course, I do 80% of my writing in the rewriting...

Looking forward to reading the entries!

Anonymous said...

Anne, I don't know. There's some kind of zen thing going on here. Some trippy mojo on the astral plane, perhaps. What are you thinking now? WAIT, don't tell me. Ah, yes, I agree. :D Looking forward to seeing YOUR pictures!!

Melissa, I missed you the last time. I do hope you can fit it in! :)

Melly, yes, we've got a nice buzz going on. :) Can I count you in?

September, I'm glad the picture is evocative. I hold the strongest ones aside to see if they grow on me. I want contest photos to be an easy point to leap from. (*whispering* Psst, everyone. September was one of the winners last time!)

Jer, my pleasure! I hope everyone has a good time. :)

Emeraldcite, ooh, I know how that is. I hope the trimming isn't too painful. ;)

emeraldcite said...

Emeraldcite, ooh, I know how that is. I hope the trimming isn't too painful. ;)

When Rogue asked Wolverine in X1 if it hurt when his blades came out, he replied "every time."

Same thing applies :)

Anonymous said...

Great photo Jason.

Thanks for putting on another contest. I know how much time you put in last time--thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I'll do my best, Jason. In fact, I'm already trying to come up with something...

This is really exciting. I feel like I'm in a marathon, with adrenalin rush and all :)

Cavan said...

Great contest, Jason (found you via Flood's blog). Saw the picture this morning and I managed to put something together during my break at work today. The thing clocked in at 249 words, thank goodness, so now all I have to do is type everything up and send it off.

Hey, maybe I'll get the first submission (that's right, I'm so desperate for bragging rights these days, I'll make a big deal out of even the lamest of achievements).

Jeff said...

I'm looking forward to reading some great submissions! The last contest was a lot of fun.
Great photo, Jason.

Linda said...

Good Luck to everyone! I will have fun reading everyone's submission. :)

Shesawriter said...

I'd enter, but I'm not good with short fiction. I'm too verbose. Why do you think my books always come out at about 120K. It takes me months to cut them down to a reasonable word count. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Emeraldcite, amen, brother!

Jamie, I'm happy to host it. =)Thanks for being such a strong supporter!

Melly, I'm down the course handing out cups of water. ;)

Cavan, you got third submission, my friend. Not bad!

Jeff, thanks! I had a wild outdoor photography session one night a few weeks ago. I'd like to do more to see what kinds of effects I can get.

Beady, see, I've lined up lots of reading material for you! hehe.

Shesawriter, remember Rocky III? Eye of the Tiger, my friend, Eye of the Tiger. ;)

Bhaswati said...

Thank you for doing this again, Jason. The photo is intriguing, and the responses should be interesting. I posted a little plug on my blog.

Is the deadline a little tighter this time?

~ Sury

Anonymous said...

Sury, thanks so much for the mention on your blog! The contest length is about the same, I think. Perhaps just a touch longer. (Last was Fri. - Thurs. evening; this is Wed. - Wed., same time.)

Anonymous said...

My stories don't seem to understand the concept of 250 words. However, they are available for everyone to read @

Anonymous said...

Slapped an announcement to this one on my site. We'll see if it draws in any other fledgling writers.

Already have a good idea for my story. Now I just have to scratch it out.

For The Trees said...

Oh, God. Now I gotta stay up all night so I'll be in prime shape to write at 5 a.m.! Time to go make coffee...

Jason, you GOTTA make this word limit a LOT bigger. I'm just too cramped in this tiny space!

Anonymous said...

TheFrizzle, sometimes the constraint can yield surprising results! Once I did a 69 word flash piece for a contest. I think I really achieved something in those 69 words. If you're interested, it's reproduced at Flashing in the Gutters (link to the right).

Jim, thanks for the promotion! The participants are what make these contests so amazing.

For the Trees, I know, it can be tough. But in a way, it's an opportunity also. It forces economy in the extreme. Also, I worry that a longer length contest would discourage entrants. I don't think as many would enter if it took a lot of time.

Ginny Warth said...

Sounds like fun. I'm going to try to get a story in by the 28th. Can't wait to read the others.

briliantdonkey said...


Great blog and fantastic idea. Thanks for coming up with and doing this thing. I find these stories very intresting. Do you post all of the entries at the same time after the deadline or post them as they come in? I got the impression they were posted as they come in but i cant seem to find them and am just wondering if i am looking right at them and just blind.....wouldnt be the first time thats for sure.

again great site,


Anonymous said...

BrilliantDonkey, this page is a post deeper in the blog. Go back up to the top by clicking HERE. I'll add a like in this post too.


briliantdonkey said...

yes thanks Jason i just figured that out as well. duhhhh


Anonymous said...

What a great website! It is so nice to be able to read and comment on the various writings. And to receive personal feedback on your own writing is great. It is like a world wide writing club. Thanks, Jason, for such an opportunity!

Anonymous said...

To For The Trees and others who find 250 words restrictive:

Abraham Lincoln made the most memorable speech in history using 271 words. The 23rd Psalm has 118 words. And I believe it was Hemingway who wrote an entire story in just 6 words.

"For Sale. Baby shoes. Never Worn"

Brevity. How powerful!