Friday, September 11, 2009

Our Big Announcement!

Today is the last day of our week on shorts, and we'd like to announce our 2009 Genre Wars Fiction Writing Contest!

We invite fiction writers to submit your 1 to 2,000-word short stories to us. The contest deadline is December 1, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. PST, and we plan to announce the winners on January 7, 2010, which marks the Literary Lab's 1st anniversary. Multiple submissions allowed.

With Genre Wars, we want to celebrate all genres of writing. So, whether you write science-fiction/fantasy, horror/crime, literary, romance/women's fiction, children's literature/middle grade/young adult, or experimental, send in your work!

Write something new. Send something old. Polish something up. If you've never written a short story before, now's your chance to try it out!

20-30 special selections will be chosen for inclusion in the 1st Genre Wars Anthology. All of the profits from this print-on-demand publication will be donated to a writing/reading non-profit organization that will be announced in the future.

6 genre class winners will be selected, one from each of the genres listed above (assuming we have entries in all genres). Each of these stories will be posted on our blog, followed by an author interview. Each winner will also receive a $10 gift card to a book store of their choice.

1 overall winner will be selected from the genre class winners. In addition to the prizes listed above, this writer will receive an additional $50 gift card to the book store of their choice.

Contest Guidelines
1. E-mail your 1 to 2,000-word short story to before December 1, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Paste the work in the body of the e-mail with breaks between paragraphs (hit return twice). We will be reading all submissions blind, thanks to a kind volunteer who will send us the entries with all names removed. No attachments will be opened.

2. In your e-mail subject line type GENRE WARS ENTRY. In the body of the email include your name, the title of your work, word count, and which genre category you'd like to compete in: 1. science fiction/fantasy, 2. horror/crime, 3. literary, 4. romance, 5. children's literature/middle grade/young adult, or 6. experimental--yes, you have to pick one.

3. Works must be previously unpublished, and we ask for the rights to post the winning stories online and/or in print in the anthology. Afterwards, you are free to include the story in your own collections or as a reprint in another anthology.

The judges for this contest will be the Literary Lab co-authors: Michelle Davidson Argyle, Scott G. F. Bailey, and Davin Malasarn. (We'll temporarily post our own writing samples in the comments section.)

Please Spread The Word!
We've created a button for you to put on your blog posts, sidebars, and websites. Please help us spread the word. The more entries we get, the more exciting it will be for everybody! Remember, all proceeds of the Anthology go to charity.

If you're uncomfortable dealing with graphics, advertise any other way you wish. I've pasted some directions in the comments. Thank you! Let the entries begin! We can't wait to read your work. We're excited!


  1. Glam I was having a happy morning and now I am crying!

    No seriously it was beautiful. I am endlessly impressed with your writing. I could see it all in my head and feel her pain too.

    The competition is very exciting but I just don't know if I can write a short story but then I didn't think i could write a book, so we'll see.

  2. Lady Glamis - LOVE! IT! I may even dare the treacherous waters of the Sea of Short Stories. Maybe! Okay, I probably will. Love the title of the contest. Does it happen in a place far, far away? Does the masked villian utter the words "(insert name here) I'm your father?" Sorry, couldn't resist.


  3. Alexa: I am so sorry I ruined your happy morning. Glad it was a beautiful sad, though. That's always better than scary or mean sad or something.

    I have no doubt at all that you can write a brilliant short story. So get on it!

    Scott: Glad you like the title! It was Davin's idea, and I'm still chuckling about it. Hope your short story writing is a great experience! It can get addicting...

  4. I'm assuming that you can submit multiple shorts, or do you want to limit the submissions per writer in any way (e.g. only one submission per genre, but you can submit once for each genre)?

  5. Gorgeous story, colored with a sure hand, Michelle.
    And that contest is too cool. You guys know how to party!

  6. Nice story, Michelle. I love how the seasons carry it along.

    I'm so excited about this contest!

  7. Yay! I like this contest. I'll get to work :)

  8. Rick: That's an excellent question. As far as I know, Davin and Scott aren't against multiple submissions in any genre. So have at it! I'll have to go put that in the rules.

    Tricia: Thanks, Tricia! Partay!

  9. Annie: Thanks! The seasons were inspired by Annie Dillard. I decided to share this story because I shared the beginning in a post awhile back, and because it has won an award for a magazine before, so I thought that fitting.

    Morgan: You just started writing shorts, so yay! Good luck!

  10. Hmmm. I'll have to see about this. Yours was wonderfully vivid, Glam. As always!

  11. Hi everyone,
    Here's my story. The other reason we thought we should post our work is so that people can know a little bit more about us judges--not to say that we won't love stuff that is completely different from our own work.

    "God In Frogs"

    Victor spent the first night alone and awake. He listened to the rats scratching inside the walls. He traced the line of red dirt that circled his room at ankle height. There was one bathroom for fifteen men, and that too was stained with red: red in the grout between the tiles, red fingerprints on the single water faucet that let out only cold, red tracks spiraling down toward the drain in the shower like a small red solar system. The men, too, were covered in red dust, and soon Victor would be red with them when he went to work in the mines.

    He was alone Saturday night, but there were two beds lying parallel, one beside the window and his beside the wall. There was a closet, which he slid open. He discovered a shrine for Mary. A faded postcard in a pewter frame. Rosary beads hanging from a corner. A white candle, bent downward in the heat, praying, perhaps weeping.

    On Sunday it was quiet in the mess hall where he sat alone and ate stewed beef and okra. Some men sat and watched a television program about a woman who dreamed about being in love. The men did not turn to look at him, so Victor did not sit down with them. Sunday: Domingo. He only knew a few words.

    He looked at the books on the wooden desk separating his bed from his roommate’s. There were geometria algebra books and algebra books and quimica books. There was a small radio. The antenna was held to the back by a rubber band; the end was taped to the wall.

    The other man arrived after dinner. His skin was dark and clean, washed for his trip, wherever he had gone. They shook hands.

    “Do you speak English?”

    The man shrugged.

    “I’m Victor.”

    The man stood up straight and said, “Paulo Coutinha.”

    They shook hands again.

    Paulo lay in his bed, covered his face with a towel, and soon he was asleep. Victor reached into his suitcase and lifted out his journal. He was composing a toast for his brother’s wedding, for which he was the best man; it would be his only trip home this year. He stared at the white page for a while, then he closed the journal. Work would begin tomorrow. The process involved spraying cyanide across a field of red, crumbling rocks to dissolve the gold inside. It would seep down through grates and coat carbon troughs where it could be collected. Gold: Ouro. Cyanide: He did not know that word.

  12. ("God In Frogs" continued)

    He went to the bathroom and found that his toothbrush was already covered in red dust. He looked at his teeth as he brushed, watching the pink foam covering his teeth. He wondered if he would ever be blind to the red around him.

    When he opened the door to his room, Paulo was unpacking clean clothes from a backpack and arranging them into a drawer underneath his bed. American music played on the radio. The Police: “Don’t Stand So Close To Me.” Paulo looked over his shoulder when Victor came in.

    “How do you say cyanide?” Victor asked.

    “No ingles,” Paulo said, shrugging.

    Victor slid the fingers of one hand between the fingers of the other to show the cyanide moving through the rocks and the gold leeching out.

    “Ah, cianeto, cianeto,” Paulo said.

    “Cianeto,” Victor said, remembering. He smiled. “How long have you worked here?...Muito tempo?”

    Paulo shrugged.

    “Muito tempo? Muito anos?” Victor said.

    Paulo lifted up his hands, five fingers on his left and three on his right.

    “Everyday?” Victor said. “Eight anos? Red everyday?...Vermelho todos dias?”

    “Vermelho,” Paulo said. He pronounced it differently from the way Victor had said it. He looked around the room at the red track as if he just remembered it was there. Victor sat down on his bed. He did not say more. For a moment, the two were quiet, but Paulo seemed to be impatient. He lifted up a finger to get Victor’s attention. He said, “Ra.”

    “What?” Victor said.

    Paulo slid the closet door open. From underneath the shrine of Mary, he pulled out a small wooden case.

    “Ra em uoro,” Paulo said. He brought the case over and knelt beside Victor. He opened it and revealed a frog entombed in gold.

    “In the field?” Victor asked, imagining the frog trapped in the carbon troughs as the gold rained down and suffocated it.

    “Ra,” Paulo said. He lifted the frog by one of its arms and held it out to Victor. Victor turned it and examined the details of the gold coating. Every fold and bump was revealed and permanently fixed. He saw his own reflected face morph as it slipped over the surface of the frog.

    He returned it to Paulo who placed it into its case and slid it back underneath the shrine. Before closing the closet, Paulo knelt down and prayed to Mary.

    He turned off the light.

    Victor sunk into sleep, thinking of what he might find.

  13. This is awesome, ladies and gents. I'm going to see if I can work something up for this. I'll put up a post on my blog about it as well, mostly because I think you guys rock. It's also just a cool thing to do, so I might as well be part of it :)

  14. Michelle, the story is lovely. I especially like the way the beginning unfolds--the lingering prose of the first paragraph contrasts so effectively with the first line of the third paragraph: "The doctors say my daughter has two years left, perhaps three if she’s lucky." We go from admiring the detail to sitting straight up and taking notice. I almost didn't read to the end--would I trust you with this subject, as a mother--but I am so glad I did. It is really well done.

    And the contest is very cool. Although instead of a gift cert. I wish the prize were a critique! :)

    You guys are going to be busy!

  15. Jennifer,
    I hope you know that I'm ALWAYS open to providing you a critique! I'm very curious to find out what everyone is writing around here. Feel free to email something to me--not a contest entry, ha ha--but I think as a writing community, we should always be willing to help each other. I'm actually meeting with an old teacher this afternoon to talk about my book that she was willing to read.

  16. Eric: So glad you'll be taking part and helping us out. Thank you very much!

    Jennifer: Thank you so much for your kind comments! I'm glad you stuck it out. Sometimes the best stories for me to read are the ones I'm trudging through at the beginning. When I make it to the end I always see why it was slow at the beginning, and it worked.

    Jennifer, I hope you enter! As Davin says, I'm open to give critiques as well, as long as it's not a contest entry and you're willing to wait a bit to get it back from me.

  17. Lois: Thank you! Hope you'll be trying out some shorts!

  18. How exciting! Haven't yet read your stories, will wait for when I have a longer stretch of time later in the day. Thanks for doing this.

  19. Love a contest! But, there a Middle Grade category?

    And, I love being able to read what Glam and Davin have done. Both beautiful, atmospheric pieces. Well done. Reading each others work lets us know a bit more about that person, doesn't it? Like peeking into their soul for a brief glimpse.

    Thanks for sharing that.

  20. Tess,
    Forgive me if I misunderstood something, but I thought middle grade could fall into the broader category of young adult. We had to lump some group together so that we didn't have too many subclasses. Does that work? If not, we can easily edit the announcement. Let me know!


  21. Ooo, sounds fun. And it fits so perfectly with the announcement I was going to make on my blog. I'll give this contest a shout out. :)

  22. Tess, we went ahead and changed it. Sorry for the mistake!

  23. Yat-Yee: Thanks! Hope you get to read them. :)

    Tess: You're so right about fiction providing a glimpse into the writer. I think Davin talked about that a bit ago. I'm so excited to read all the entries! I hope we get a lot.

    Renee: Oh! I'll have to check out your blog. Cool.

  24. What a fun contest! I am amazed by people who can write short stories. I've never tried one before, save for those random assignments in grade school or high school. I'm intrigued!


    Davin asked me to post directions for pasting a button on your blog to announce the contest. I'll do my best to explain.

    For Your Blog Post

    1. Right click the SMALL or LARGE Genre Wars graphic in the posts. (The small graphic is formatted specifically for side bars, the large graphic is large enough for blog posts). Click SAVE AS (save the graphic to your desktop or a folder you know you can find it)

    2. Open up a new blog post in your blog. Click the ADD IMAGE button. A window will pop up where you can click BROWSE. Choose the graphic from your desktop or file you saved it to. Click UPLOAD IMAGE.

    The graphic should now be in your post.

    For Your Sidebar

    1. Right click the SMALL Genre Wars graphic in the posts. (The small graphic is formatted specifically for side bars). Click SAVE AS (save the graphic to your desktop or a folder you know you can find it)

    2. On your blog, click CUSTOMIZE at the top of the screen.

    3. Click ADD A GADGET.

    4. In the Add A Gadget window, click the PICTURE option.

    5. You can type a title for the picture, and a caption. BE SURE TO LINK THE GRAPHIC BACK TO THIS POST:

    There is a line to paste this link into.

    6. Click the FROM YOUR COMPUTER option, and upload the graphic you saved to your desktop or file. UNCLICK the "shrink to fit" box since the graphic is already formatted to fit into most side bars.

    7. Click SAVE

    8. Move the gadget to where you want it to appear in your sidebar.

  26. Cindy: Maybe consider trying a short this time around to enter? You never know where it might lead!

  27. So this is THE surprise. Like opening a big present. Wonderful. I'll blog about it and twitter it, facebook too. Hope you get A LOT of entries. :)

    Great writing Michelle.

  28. Sounds interesting. Don't know if I could give it a shot though, I've only worked on one short story before and that was well over 2,000 words. Is it difficult to write a story so short?

  29. Charlene: Just try! I usually start by freewriting ANYthing that comes to my head about a character, a setting, and a conflict. I move on from there. If you keep your focus really narrow (focusing on a small scene, one conflict or emotion, etc., it should be easier).

    Short stories are different for everybody. For some it comes naturally. Others it's harder than a novel.

  30. Charlene,
    There are also a lot of literary magazines focused on flash fiction if you want to get an idea of what's out there. SmokeLong Quarterly is the one I work for. There's also Quick Fiction, Frigg, Noo Journal, and plenty of other ones. Some of these also have longer stories, though.

  31. Wow this sounds like fun! I'll need to pull out my light saber and begin some mean edits.

  32. Lies My Enemies Tell About Me, part 1

    The bus is late again. The people at the bus stop stamp their feet impatiently, pace a few steps, look at their watches and scowl up the street. Those without coffee cast looks across the street at the espresso stand there, calculating the odds: can they run over, buy a coffee and pastry and be back at the stop before the bus finally shows up? No one takes that bet. The bus is nowhere to be seen, but clearly this is not a lucky day for public transportation.

    We could view this waiting for a late bus, this broken spoke in the wheel of our morning routine, as a lesson in the entropic nature of the universe. We might embrace the opportunity to learn a little better that we are not in control of our own lives, that our habit of sleepwalking through the days has lulled us into a dreamworld of security and stability, when the fact of the matter is that the edifice of life is so fragile that at every moment we run the risk of disaster, given the appropriate well-timed random event. The lateness of the bus--and it is quite late now--serves as a reminder that the universe is much larger than we are, that the grand spectacle of life is so immense that our own lives disappear within its vastness if you pull back far enough to see the bigger scope.

    Or it could so serve, but the people actually standing on the pavement in the cold and wet on a Monday morning are in no mood to reflect on the nature of the universe. Rather than accept that they are being carried along by time and space, they insist that they are their own engines of progress and so they scowl up the street, stamp their feet and pull out cell phones to warn coworkers that no, they’ll not be coming in on time and a few make irritable remarks to one another about the lousy bus service and everyone’s mood slides down a notch into frustration, despair and anger.

    One man finally breaks with the pack, jaywalking across the street to buy a cup of coffee. The bus appears in the distance, five blocks away. Those at the bus stop stand straighter, preparing self-righteous glares to unleash upon the driver, checking their watches and computing the time they’ll arrive at the office. The man who has gone for coffee has also purchased a scone, and has made it back to the stop as the bus arrives. Some of his fellows look askance at him, envious of his coffee and scone and wishing that he had been delayed at the espresso stand, missing the bus completely. It’s almost as if this man had been rewarded, singled out for a prize rather than suffering with everyone else. He and his latte can fuck off. Hope he chokes on his scone.

    The man with the latte and scone fails to notice this bitterness as he finds a seat near the back of the coach. He is aware of only his own relief at having managed to fetch breakfast while not missing the bus. He drinks his latte, putting the scone into his briefcase for later that morning. Putting on headphones and turning up the volume of his iPod, he watches the city slide past the windows in the gray dawn light. It has been weeks since anyone has seen the sun, and all the colors have been leeched out of the world by the constant rain. People have given up looking at the sky, for winter had transformed it into a flat, gray mass of dirty concrete, even the crows losing interest in flying as the air itself seemed to give up hope for a ray of sunlight or a patch of blue. Did we used to see stars at night? Did the moon once have phases and a face of its own? Was there ever a sound but the sound of rain?

  33. Lies My Enemies Tell About Me, part 2

    Across the aisle, on the other side of the bus, a 24 year-old woman watched the man drink his latte. She shivered and hugged herself to combat the chill. She hadn’t dressed for the weather, foolishly choosing style over practicality, and had been surprised when her umbrella turned up missing from her backpack. Her roommate had borrowed it without asking, again. While it wasn’t raining heavily that morning, her light cotton sweatshirt was still soaked and she was cold and miserable. She looked at her watch and decided that she’d be happier skipping the morning’s research at the library to have a hot breakfast instead.

    She got off the bus at the next stop that came up and half-ran up the block to a coffee shop. By the cash register was a display of umbrellas for sale, brightly colored, compact and inexpensive. She bought one while ordering a coffee and a lemon tart, thinking that it had certainly been a good idea to come here rather than continue on the bus to the library. Her research partners could make do without her this one time.

    She carried her tart, her coffee and her new umbrella to a table by the shop’s window. It was still raining out, but armed as she was with a new orange and red umbrella, she thought that perhaps the city was not quite so ugly as she’d been telling herself all morning. Her coffee was warming her up and the lemon tart was delicious.

    The woman considered and then rejected digging her research notes from her backpack. For a few minutes, she thought, I’d like to forget I’m earning a master’s degree and be nothing more than a girl having coffee on a rainy morning. I’ve never been to this shop before; it’s nice, if a bit small. The coffee is good. I should get one of these tarts to go. I could get up early once in a while and come here before class. The barista’s cute. I wonder how old he is. He’s singing along to this music, whatever it is. Sounds English. No, I don’t know it.

    She turned from the barista and looked outside again: still raining. Her attention wandered from the weather to the storefronts across the street. An Indian restaurant was directly opposite her, a record store on its left and a clothing store on the other side. She’d passed through this neighborhood daily for months on end, but this was her first foray off the bus here. I can’t believe I’ve never been here, she thought. The shopping looks pretty good. A lot of places to eat, too, and isn’t there a movie theater a few blocks down? I wonder what the rent is like around here. I’d love to have my own place, know that my new fancy umbrella will be where I put it when I need it.

    Her cup and saucer were both empty, and she carried them to the counter where she thanked the barista while getting a better look at him. Way too young, she thought, and stepped outside into the light rain. Unfurling her cheerful new umbrella, she walked down the street, looking into shop windows and up at brick facades of apartment buildings. The light was changing, the city less gray as the clouds began to break and the sun brought touches of color here and there. The rain continued unabated.

    She walked along, heading west on the north side of the street. What a perfectly charming neighborhood she’d discovered. Hard to believe she’d barely known it existed. A mail carrier walked by with a full bag. She smiled at him. He smiled back.

    Out of an alley, a large spaniel bounded, running up to her with wagging tail and a foolish grin. “Hello puppy,” she said to the dog. “Aren’t you cold? Where do you live? No, I don’t have any food for you. Sorry. Yes, you’re a gorgeous dog, but you have to go home now, okay?”

  34. Lies My Enemies Tell About Me, part 3

    She pet the dog, who was soaked from the rain but didn’t seem to notice, and then turned back the way she’d come, looking for a bus stop. Should she pop back into the coffee shop and get one of those lemon tarts for later, or just come back tomorrow? Hey, is that dog following me? Damn, it is.

    “Hey, puppy. You can’t come with me. I’m getting on a bus in a minute. Go home. Good dog, go home now.”

    The dog barked once and sat down.

    “Okay, you can sit there if you want, but you can’t follow me. Okay? Good boy. Girl. Dog.”

    She walked away. The dog jumped to its feet and followed for half a block and then wandered down a side street. It smelled sausage cooking somewhere and though the dog was not particularly hungry, its nature dictated that it must investigate.

    Miles to the east, the man with the scone in his briefcase was getting off the bus and checking his watch. He was a good quarter-hour late already. Still, there was always time for a smoke before going into the office. He stepped under the partial shelter of a large tree and dug a pack of cigarettes from his coat. The sun, he decided, was undeniably starting to make an appearance.

    The woman walked past the coffee shop, having spotted the bus stop. She cast a quick glance through the window and had a brief but detailed fantasy conversation, romance and sexual encounter with the too-young barista. She decided that she’d pick up another lemon tart today before catching her bus. Turning on her heel to go back to the shop, she slipped on a slick spot of something and fell backwards. Her left hand held her cheerful new umbrella, her iPod was in her right hand, and the moment of hesitation where she couldn’t quite figure out how to break her fall was enough time for her to cascade down in a blur of purple sweatshirt, orange-and-red umbrella and chestnut hair, all the force of her fall taken by the back of her skull against the rim of a steel trash can. Her body felt as if a bolt of lightning had passed through it and she saw a flash of blue-white light. Then she was sitting on the pavement in the rain. Her head didn’t hurt at all.

    Was she sitting? Why was she sitting? The back of her head felt wet and hot. Why was water falling on her? Am I taking a shower? It’s very bright in here. Why am I wearing clothes in the shower? It’s cold. Where’s the hot water tap? Is it over there? Is that the door? No, it looks like a car. Why is there a car in my shower? Does this room have a skylight? The light’s pretty today. I wonder if it’s nice outside. Hey, is that a bus? It’s driving fast. I wonder if

  35. Michelle, just wanted to clarify--the reason I almost didn't finish it was that as a mother I have a hard time reading about something bad happening to a child, not because of pacing. I actually really liked the pacing and the beautiful prose!

    Davin, thanks! I may seriously take you up on that at some point. Unfortunately what I would really want you to read is the long short story (approx 7500 words) and that would feel like imposing to me. But it does raise another question...any advice on when you've focused on too many technical writing sources--blogs, books, whatever, during the writing of a particular piece and you basically wrote your voice out of at least part of your work??

    After a summer off from the long short story, I can clearly see that this happened with the beginning. By the middle/end I see my voice there, but the beginning is a cold thing, from my perspective. It's a balance--being technically proficient, and honoring your voice. But I'm having a hard time undoing it now!

  36. Jennifer, send it to me. I'll look at it. Writers are here to help each other, and I'm happy to do my part.

    I think you're right about the balance between technique and your own voice. I run into that all the time. I have two solutions that I'll suggest.

    1. Rewrite the story from memory. I did that with several drafts of my novel, and it really refreshes it and brings the voice back in.

    2. Revise quickly. If you're working from a hard copy of a manuscript, move fast as you write another draft into your computer. This doesn't allow you to censor as much and usually, at least for me, the original voice comes back.

  37. Wow, Davin. I had to read your piece again right away. First, I am so curious about what inspired this. And then I am swept up in the details, all of the description that not only sets the scene but the feel of the piece. I feel like I've experienced the hopelessness of the endless red, and then understood how something odd and unexpected can become a rope to grab onto, a shifting of focus that perhaps would only occur in the context of desolate circumstance.

    My favorite detail: "He saw his own reflected face morph as it slipped over the surface of the frog." It's such a perfectly painted picture.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  38. Scott, I loved your piece. It reminds me, in style and voice, of one of my all time favorite authors, Milan Kundera. Very unique, slightly quirky, full of observation and insight into human motivations. This was a treat--I haven't read anything like this in awhile.

  39. Jennifer: Thanks! I broke all sorts of rules when writing this story.

  40. Thanks for your nice words, Jennifer. I'm waiting for your story, so send it to me whenever you're ready. :)

  41. Davin and Scott: Just returned to read your stories. Wow. Each is so different and yet both pack a punch. Beautiful descriptions and insights. Thanks for sharing.

  42. Oh, thank you *rubbing hands together* now what to write....

    and, sorry to be so picky. But I don't consider YA and MG the same at all. It's like putting horror with mystery or sci fi with fantasy. Anyway, no worries.

  43. Tess, no need to be sorry for defending your genre. You have passed the first test! That's was all a test.

  44. I'm new to blogging, but I've got a site for authors written by a group of novices and I'm sure they'd love the contest.

    But, I have no idea how to post the contest link. I can figure it out if I know the name of the type of connection it is.

  45. Oops sorry, I found the information when I read further through the comments.


  46. C.E.: That's fantastic that you'll be announcing this over there. Thank you so much! I hope we get some entries from you guys!

  47. Just found your email buried amongst many. I tweeted a link for your contest :) Sounds like fun!

  48. Quite exciting! Excellent stories you three posted. women's fiction included? Not romance, but a fiction work that appeals to women?

    ~ Wendy

  49. Wendy: ALL genres are allowed! We just had to keep the genre classifications down to a minimum for the anthology. I'm going to pair romance with women's fiction. I know they are not the same, but neither is horror and crime, and we've had to classify them together. Hope that's all right! We look forward to reading your work, Wendy!

  50. Hi, Michelle, Scott, and Davin,

    I found my way here by way of Nathan Bransford's blog. I just now finished reading your short stories and love your writing! I'll announce your contest with a link to it on Twitter. :)

  51. I forgot to mention that I'm hoping to enter the Genre Wars contest - it looks great! - but, right now, the only unpublished short story I have is slightly over 3,000 words. :(

  52. I would love to put the advert on my side bar - but am too technologically challenged to do it myself.
    Can you mail me the code at nuts246 at gmail dot com?


  53. Marilyn: Thank you for stopping by! We really appreciated it. And thanks for the announcement on Twitter.

    As far as your story goes, we can't accept any of 2,000 words, but we're hoping you can get us one by December!

  54. Rayna: I emailed you a code. Let me know if you need any further instructions. Thanks!

  55. Glad to hear about the contest.
    Glad the deadlines a ways off.


  56. I think I may have to hop on board this one. :)

  57. Dave, haha, yeah, we're glad, too!

    Loren, thank you!

    Rabid Fox, hope you do!

  58. This looks like so much fun! What a fabulous idea. :) Can't wait to start planning out and writing my entry.

  59. I stumbled across this contest somewhere out in blogging land. It sounds like fun! I'm trying to pull some things together right now. I usually write in the YA and/or fantasy genres so you should get a couple stories from me in those areas. I'll have to remember to put the ad up on my blog once I enter...
    I wish all the judges luck choosing the winners. I love anthologies and can't wait to see how this one turns out! :)

  60. Bardmaid, thank you! We look forward to reading your work. :)

  61. I thought of a question after I posted last night. Will the winners receive a complimentary copies of the anthology? I know some contests do it that way but I didn't see any mention of it here. I don't mind buying it, I'm just wondering.

  62. Bardmaid,

    We've discussed your question. Since we're giving away cash prizes, and all proceeds of the anthology go toward charity, we won't be giving a copy of the anthology free to the winners. Thanks for asking!

  63. Lady Glamis, thank you for answering! :)

  64. email text has no capacity to reflect italics, per se, which is a strong literary effect - I certainly use it to reflect thoughts, as well as an emphasis of a word. In previous arrangements, similar to yours, I have asked submissions to place asterisks around the words (or phrases/sentences/paragraphs) where italics is meant to be used.

    Suggest you do the same.




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