Friday, July 03, 2009

"In Vino Veritas (Truth in Wine)" Short Fiction Contest

This spring, Jaye Wells released her kick-butt novel RED-HEADED STEPCHILD. Her debut. It was a wonderful moment for a hard-working writer and a great blog friend. (Go Jaye!)

RED-HEADED STEPCHILD had a birth of sorts back in August 2006 during the "Lonely Moon" contest here at The Clarity of Night. Jaye penned an honored entry called "I Can Dig It," which introduced the world to a rockin' female vampire/assassin burying her latest handiwork. That character is the beloved Sabina Kane now taking names and dishing punishment in her on-going series. Today, Jaye is returning to The Clarity of Night to inspire YOU, the next debut novelist who will ignite the world. Welcome to the "In Vino Veritas (Truth in Wine)" Short Fiction Contest in honor of Jaye and all of her accomplishments!! (Can I get an OH-YEAH?!!!) Please join me in welcoming her as co-host and in offering well-earned congratulations.


Now, down to business. Here's how the contest 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. After the contest opens, send your entry to me by email at jevanswriter at yahoo dot com before 11:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 15th (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.

Now for the goodies. The following prizes are up for grabs:

  • 1st Place: $50 Amazon gift certificate and a signed copy of RED-HEADED STEPHCHILD
  • 2nd Place: $30 Amazon gift certificate
  • 3rd Place: $25 Amazon gift certificate
  • 4th Place: $20 Amazon gift certificate
  • 5th Place: $15 Amazon gift certificate
  • Readers' Choice Award 1st Place: $30 Amazon Gift certificate and a signed copy of RED-HEADED STEPCHILD

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. Judging will also be conducted by Jaye Wells as co-host. (See below.)
  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.

Judging By Jaye:

As co-host, Jaye will also be judging entries. She is not bound by my scoring system. Here's what she had to say about what she is looking for: "No matter the length, all good stories elicit emotion from the reader. As I'm reading the entries, I'll be paying attention to those that make me feel something--fear, sympathy, amusement, etc. Of course, I'm a sucker for clever word play (but not too clever, if you're trying too hard it shows). The third element is probably the most important: Originality. Surprise me with your take on the photo. Stretch your creative muscles and give me the unexpected. Good luck!"

Welcome to this latest contest! You can send your entries early, but the contest will officially open and entries will be posted starting on July 8th.

Help spread the word!


Catherine Vibert said...

I have to say that this one was much more of a struggle for me than last. And that was a good thing I think. Regardless of how it places in the contest, I am happy with it and excited by how it stretched me. It is awesome that you have this contest. It is going to be really fun to see what everyone comes up with!

Margaret said...

Thanks Jason for giving us this chance to take part in one of your contests again. Wonderful that Jaye will be co-hosting it.

Did I understand rightly that I can post my entry before the 8th? I'm flying to Ireland on the 5th and would like to send it before I go in case I don't have Internet access there.

Anonymous said...

Catvibe, very much looking forward to reading it! I hope you have a blast.

Margaret, I'd rather receive entries starting the 8th, but since the rules are now posted, if you send the entry before the 8th, I'll hold it for you. :)

laughingwolf said...

hi jason, thx for another great contest!

struggled with this one, cuz of the direction it took me in... need to home it a bit more but should be done shortly :)

Aniket Thakkar said...

I am still nowhere with my entry yet. Bad bad timing to have a block. Well its not exactly a block. Its just that I have been so eagerly waiting for this that I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. :(

I had almost decided to go with one till I read Jaye say "Surprise me", and am back to square 1. Am highly counting on this weekend to do me some good. :P

Sandra Cormier said...

Jason, I'd really love to enter this because I have a piece that would fit the theme beautifully. The problem is I had already entered a longer version in Glimmer Train's May short story contest. I won't know results until the end of the month.

Would entering this contest with a shorter version of the piece disqualify me from the Glimmer Train contest? They specify the work to be 'unpublished' but I don't know if they include the internet.

Sandra Cormier said...

Oh, I found my answer on the Glimmer Train site. "Online publication does not disqualify an entry."

Whew. Back on track.

Anthony Rapino said...

Super-cool. Count me in.

Anne Frasier said...

can't believe it's been 3 years since the lonely moon contest! over the years i've enjoyed reading so many excellent entries. in every contest several writers always stand out, and you know it's just a matter of time before that first sale.

Woman in a Window said...

OH SHOOT! It's July already? For real? Shoot!

Unknown said...

This is totally exciting! I don't think Ive ever let anyone read anything I've written...this should prove interesting!


Unknown said...

Looking forward to participating, Jason - have already dreamed up a plot, now to get down to writing it. Have posted a link to the contest on my blog, on Twitter and Facebook...

Anonymous said...

Laughingwolf, Aniket, Chumplet, Onipar, Anne, Woman in a Window, Malice, Absolute Vanilla, thanks so much! The contest is nigh. I'm looking forward to great stories.

Unknown said...

Hey Jason!

I would love to take part. Had last time too. I saw your blog in good time! :)



Tessa said...

Oooh, how exciting! Even if I don't get my entry in on time (have just read about the contest on Absolute Vanilla's blog), it'll be absolutely fantastic to watch it all unfold and to read the winning entries.

laughingwolf said...

ok... my bit is ready, kinda/sorta

dunno how many times i 'fixed' it, but have to kick it out the door by tomorrow...

AngelConradie said...

Oh I am so in this time! Haven't exercised my fiction muscles in a while...

Mona said...

Ok , So I posted mine.

Sylvia said...

I admit it; I'm slow. :)

PJD said...

I finally had some time to compose my first draft today. Like others, I struggled a bit more with this one. I think it was because I didn't want to use a theme sure to be used by others. Now the trick will be cutting it down from 339 words to 250. Argh. But isn't that where the real craft comes in?

Thanks again for another great idea, Jason. I can't wait to read all the entries, though I don't know how I'll ever manage it.

The Preacherman said...

Well enjoyed my first go with Ascension so thought I'd have another bash.

Ta very much for doing what you do old bean.

Four Dinners

Rabid Fox said...

Neat contest. I just sent my entry.

Jade L Blackwater said...

Jason and Jaye - thanks again for hosting another great short fiction contest.... looks like I have some serious reading to do!


quin browne said...

nothing like sliiiiiiiiiiiding under the wire.

looks to be great fun... thanks for dealing with all of this.