Monday, January 05, 2009

"Ascension" Short Fiction Contest

Feeling the winter blues curling around you? Need a little juice to kick the cold in the nuts? You've come to the right place!! (I almost said "write place," but that would be dorky to the tenth power.) The "Ascension" Short Fiction Contest officially opens this Wednesday, January 7th. Welcome!!

This contest is my 10th. Not sure if I believe it. But since The Clarity of Night is halfway into its 4th year, I guess I've gotten around. And get this! Another contest winner has secured her first book deal! She will be featured as a guest writer after the contest closes and will treat us to her vision of the "Ascension" photo. Warmest congratulations to she-who-is-yet-to-be-named! (If you know her, shhhhhh.)

So, let's get to business. 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, January 14th (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.

As always, to make things interesting, I'm offering the following prizes. Please note that since I haven't run a contest for six months, Readers' Choice prizes have been expanded, and First Place has been increased:

  • 1st Place: $50 Amazon gift certificate, 8 x 10 print of the "Ascension" 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 1st Place: $15 Amazon Gift certificate, 8 x 10 print of the "Ascension" photograph (inscribed by Jason Evans)
  • Readers' Choice Award 2nd Place: $10 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • Readers' Choice Award 3rd 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. 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! You can send your entries early, but the contest will officially open and entries will be posted starting on January 7th.

Help spread the word!


Sameera Ansari said...

I am sure it will be a grand success!As for the novelist-to-be,I won't let the cat out of the bag :P

Happy New Year! :)

Sarah Hina said...

Very cool, Jason. :)

I hope everyone chooses to take part! It's always a blast. And those are some very generous prizes.

Geraldine said...

I can't wait to start reading the entries Jason! This is gonna be good. Thanks again for hosting your contests.

Geraldine said...

PS: I have a Write-a-Book Challenge happening over at My Poetic Path right now. Perhaps some of your readers would like to participate. I hope so. I think it's going to be another wonderful and inspiring project.

Jaye Wells said...

Can't wait to read the entries!

Scott said...

Awesome! I've been thinking about this for a while now. I so enjoy your contests. I always think to myself that I won't be able to read all the entries, but it's like a drug, but one without harmful side-effects.

Jade L Blackwater said...

Hooray for Jason and Aine! Thanks again for inviting us to join in the fun. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Cool. Glad to see you running another contest. I'll try and come up with something. Looking forward to all the entries.

Anonymous said...

Jason: Looking forward to it. [I consider this contest as the literary equivalent of a January thaw... now if you could just do something about the miserable month of February.]
John McAuley

Anonymous said...

Newbie here. Are these supposed to be serious stories or the kind of thing submitted for Evil Editor's writing exercises?

Anonymous said...

Newbie Anon - Yes. All of the above.

Jason - I thought you typed "welcome to this LAST contest" instead of latest, and my stomach fell to my ankles. *whew*!

I'm kicking off a 2009 Writing Challenge with your contest, hope that's okay!

Anonymous said...

Sameera, Sarah, Geraldine, Jaye, Scott, Jade, Charles, John, Anon, and Aerin, thank you all for the warm wishes! I can wait to see what you all cook up! Mmmmm. Exciting. :)

Anonymous Newbie, the stories need not be serious. A humor story placed in the last contest. However, the writing is serious. Check out the Note on Judging in the contest rules for a description of the judging criteria. The strongest writing, in my judgment, based on those criteria will claim the prizes.

Aerin, I doubt this contest will be the last. I hope your writing challenge kicks up the heat!

Geraldine said...

Hi Jason, You mean you can't wait, right? ;<)

A lot of my blog buds are planning to enter your contest for the first time. It's going to be wonderful to read all the entries. I can't wait either!

Anonymous said...
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JR's Thumbprints said...

Does this mean I have to refinance my house? All I want to do is submit a 250 word story with normal fonts and the occasional funny print (italics) and trademark symbol.

Jason, I can't wait to read the entries. I'm sure the competition will be fierce. This is just what I needed to take away the winter doldrums. Let's have some fun with it!

Anonymous said...

Geraldine, I'm with you!

JR, LOL! Attack of the mortgage spammers!

Anonymous said...

I spread the word and put it as a sticky post at the top of my blog.

Thanks for the contest!


Ello - Ellen Oh said...

Oh Jason, I wish I could this time. But I'm crazed with revisions and behind on preparing for classes and so I just can't find the time to write an entry. But I did plug the contest on my first entry in my new blog space!!

Anonymous said...

just send emailed you my entry, I think this is the first time that I actually have to take out words, I usually add and add but I guess 250 isn't that short

anyway, have a wonderful day!

laughingwolf said...

rats, sorry jason, i sent it in without double spacing paragraph breaks :(

Aparna (Life Takes) said...

oops! i'm late for the contest!!!

Anonymous said...

Inspiring Website.