Wednesday, July 09, 2008

"Running Wind" Short Fiction Contest

The rumble of the engine beneath you.

The last colors of the setting sun, your invitation.

It's time to race away into the summer night. Welcome to the "Running Wind" Short Fiction Contest!!

This contest is the 9th in what has become a wonderfully fun series. Clarity of Night contest wins have been reported in agent query letters, served as inspiration for a soon-to-be-published novel, and helped to springboard writers to bigger success.

Here's how it works. Using the photograph above for inspiration, compose a short fiction (or poetry) piece of no more than 250 words in any genre or style. Send your entry to me by email at jevanswriter at yahoo dot com before 11:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 16th (Eastern Time, United States). I'd prefer attachments formatted in Microsoft Word or Word Perfect (please see the format request below), but if you have something more exotic, you can paste the text into the body of an email. Each entry will be posted and indexed.

To make things interesting, I'm offering the following prizes (not to mention bragging rights):

  • 1st Place: $25 Amazon gift certificate, 8 x 10 print of the "Running Wind" photograph (inscribed by Jason Evans)
  • 2nd Place: $20 Amazon gift certificate
  • 3rd Place: $15 Amazon gift certificate
  • 4th Place: $10 Amazon gift certificate
  • 5th Place: $5 Amazon gift certificate
  • Readers' Choice Award: $15 Amazon Gift certificate, 8 x 10 print of the "Running Wind" photograph (inscribed by Jason Evans)

But this is about more than prizes. I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to meet and interact with your fellow writers. Our different perspectives, styles, and skills shine when we all start at the same place. It's a great opportunity to learn from each other.

  1. 250 words maximum.
  2. Titles are optional, but encouraged. Titles do not count toward your word count.
  3. One entry per person.
  4. Any genre or style is welcome. If you choose to submit poetry, you must have narrative movement within the poem if you wish to compete with the prose pieces for the prizes.
  5. The copyright remains with you, the author; however, you grant me worldwide first electronic publishing rights to post your entry on this blog indefinitely.
  6. Judging will be conducted by me, Jason Evans. For an explanation of the judging criteria and scoring system, see A Note on Judging. You can also read the winning entries from past contests.
  7. Please provide a name for your byline. If you have a website or a blog, I'd be happy to link your site to your byline. 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.
  8. At the close of the contest, I will give the date and time for the announcement of winners.
  9. After the winners are announced, I will post what I liked most about each entry in the comments.
  10. The Readers' Choice Award is awarded by vote of the contest participants. The entry with the highest number of votes wins. The rules for this portion of the contest will be posted after the entry period closes.
  11. Public critiques in comments are encouraged, but must remain respectful. I reserve the right to delete comments and ban participants who do not abide by the collegial spirit of Clarity of Night contests.
  12. For prior contests and their results, see the links on the sidebar.

Format Request:
These are not rules, and I will not reject an entry which does not conform, but if you follow them, my work in running the contest is much less. For that, I will be eternally grateful!
  1. Single space lines, and double space paragraph breaks.
  2. No tabs or indents for new paragraphs.
  3. If you have italics in your text, please code it for html by putting a begin italics code < i > where it starts and an end italics code < /i > where it ends.
  4. Although it's rarely used, handle bold < b >< /b > and underline < u >< /u > the same way.
  5. Write your title at the top of the document left justified in title case (first letters capitalized). On the next line write your byline left justified (example, by Jason Evans). Add two blank lines, then begin your story.

Welcome to this latest contest! The entry period is now open.

Help spread the word!

[Click HERE for the contest underway.]


Geraldine said...

Although I don't feel inspired by this particular pic, I will certainly be stopping by to read entries as they come in.

I loved participating in your last contest Jason.

Cheers, G

JaneyV said...

It's awfully good of you to do this again. Your contests are the best! I hope I find the time to enter but in any case I'll put a link on my blog to help spread the word.

Great picture. !

Born to be WI-I-I-LD!

Chris Eldin said...


tea and cake said...

same as chriseldin said, with a WOO HOO!!! added on.
I Luuurve getting prompts that I wouldn't ever have thought of writing about, thanx Jason!

Sarah Hina said...

Love the inspiration, Jason. :)

Start your engines...

Beth said...

Wow, this is a tough one for me. I may be a lurker for this one, but as always think it's great that you're putting these on.

AngelConradie said...

i am so in this one! i missed the last two!

Charles Gramlich said...

Sounds like a great contest. I've already sent my entry. Now I'm off to check out some more stuff on the site.

Anthony Rapino said...

I received a notification for this contest in my e-mail today. It's been a while since I last entered one, but I have to say, this came just in the nick of time. I'm in dire need of some inspiration, and this may just be the kick in the pants I need.

Esther Avila said...

I'm so excited. My first thought was "huh? a motorcycle?" but as I read about the roar of the engine and setting sun, my mind started racing and I'm anxious to sit down and start writing. Thanks, Jason. I love these contests, and you're's not about the prizes, but the fun and knowledge I get by reading all of the entries.

Anonymous said...

Geraldine, you're most welcome, either way. I kind of view these pictures as inkblot tests. If you clear your mind and stare at them, sooner or later something will speak to you.

Janey, thanks. :) Yes, very wild.

Chris, maybe Johnnie can stop by. ;)

Tea and Cake, my pleasure!

Sarah, start your engines. ;)

Beth, if it speaks to you, that's cool. If not, that's cool too.

Angel, I'm ready!!

Charles, glad to have you from Bernita's blog! Welcome welcome.

Onipar, see that, I knew there was something behind my timing!

September, I do try to come up with different prompts. Different feels. So glad this one quickly sparked something in your mind!

Roger said...

I'm pondering a concept for a tale right now. Going to wait and see if it's something else someone comes up with first. Otherwise, I have a more interesting tale to tell...but it might be too long.


Unknown said...

Ooh, so tempting, Jason. Not to mention intimidating, with the amount of actual writers flocking to these contests of yours. Perhaps the weekend will bring some inspiration...

Sameera Ansari said...

I am all for it!I enjoyed participating the last time,am sure I would this time around too :)

Anonymous said...

I want to know how you got that picture, Jason!

(Hey Electric - come on down to Boulder and we'll go drinking to get inspiration.)

Jamie Ford said...

That's waht I was thinking too--who's driving that thing?

Is this really the 9th? Wow! How time flies. Thanks for doing this again.

Naxcz. said...

I'll have to agree with the other guys who commented on this - your contests are great! I wish I had the time to join, and I wish I could actually join, but I don't think my work would be up to par with the entries you posted, besides the fact that I'm a Filipino and it's gonna be hard for me to send you my entry due to some. . .uh. . . unexplainable things.

Quite all right, though, because I'm enjoying reading the entries! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Roger, looking forward to it!

EOH, I think it will come.

Sameera, yes!!

Aerin, I got the camera set up to go, then wore it around my neck ready for the shot. When I got to a spot on the road that I liked, I took my hand off the throttle and took the picture. Steadiness was a major problem, of course, with an exposure that long in the dark. Out of maybe 20 tries, this one was the only one passable after some photoshop effects.

Jamie, see above. And yes, can you believe it's #9?! Whoa. Thanks for stopping by!

Naxcz, good to have you reading at least!

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

Although the title Running Wind brings to mind many a funny story I can write, I shall repress my nature and try my best to restrain myself and actually write something serious, dark, deep, depressing so that I have a shot at winning!

Anonymous said...

Ello, write whatever you'd like. Stories from all genres have placed, including humor.

Anonymous said...

Jason - Seriously. Ello and "Running Wind"? Don't encourage her. :)

Cath said...

Got here via Charles Gramlich's blog. I am really interested in this for its ability to encourage, constructively criticise and help me develop. I'm not sure if I am "inspired" by the picture or if I will get time between housewifing (not!) blogging and moaning to get down to it, but I will bookmark for another contest if I don't make this one.

Great concept Jason and thanks for taking the time.

laughingwolf said...

looks good enough to try, thx jason :)

Aarti said...

Wow, this is interesting... waiting to kick start my engines!! :)

Anonymous said...

Very nice... Not sure if I'll enter (time's running out!), but I do heart the photo.

(Found you via Julie Weathers's blog, btw.)

Anonymous said...

Jason...I sent in my entry and THEN read the Format Request. Sorry about that. AND I had a lot of italicized words.

Anonymous said...

Welcome, everyone!! I hope you all are having a blast. :)