March 25, 2009

Call for submissions: the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

If you’re not familiar with the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, you obviously read only cereal boxes and TV Guide, so why am I bothering with you? They accept entries year-round, but it’s getting close to the deadline for the 2009 contest. (All quotes below taken from their website.)

The challenge: “compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.”

Entry fee: none

Maximum number of entries: unlimited

Prize: “a pittance,” and eternal glory

Deadline: “The official deadline is April 15 (a date that Americans associate with painful submissions and making up bad stories). The actual deadline may be as late as May 30.”


Disclaimer: I do no vetting of contests, markets or calls for submissions posted here; enter at your own risk.


March 19, 2009

Can’t I ever have a new idea?

The first time I did NaNoWriMo, I wrote a fantasy novel. The premise was a land where everyone, except the protagonist, has magical powers. Then I found out that’s the premise of a published Jim Butcher novel. (Possibly a series of novels, I’m not sure.)

In 2008, my NaNoWriMo novel had the protagonist returning to his childhood, with all his memories of “later” life intact. There’s a Canadian TV show, Being Erica, with a very similar idea.

The other night, I jotted down in my journal an idea for a new poetic form — I thought. The form, cleave poetry, already exists.

I guess the only thing left to do is write Don Quixote.

March 16, 2009

Writing Exercise: Flashprompt: “Dot”

The exercise: use a random word as the prompt for a prose piece from 100-300 words long. The word for this exercise: “dot.”

The story (if one can call it that) below is completely fictional.


I’d assumed it was short for Dorothy; I was wrong. She had two brothers, Bob and Bill. Not Robert and William.

Dot wrote in the George Bernard Shaw way, using no apostrophes in her contractions: didnt, youre. She wasn’t a bookworm, and didn’t know who Shaw was until I told her. She read half of Man and Superman, then gave him up. If she was going to read, she preferred nonfiction.

On our fifth date, she invited me to her apartment for coffee. Her home was tidily cluttered, if you know what I mean; there was too much stuff, but everything had its place and a reason to be there.

As she was grinding the coffee beans, I kissed her from behind and tried to slip a hand under her blouse. She gently pushed it away.

“People think they want sex,” she said, “when they really want intimacy. It takes time to know someone.”

I cut the visit short, and the relationship, but we remained friends. I introduced her to my cousin Richard (not Rich, or Rick, or Dick), an English professor who wrote his thesis on Shaw’s language reforms. I was best man at their wedding, and now they’re expecting their first child.

The argument over baby names threatens to end their marriage.

March 9, 2009

Call for submissions: colonoscopy poetry contest

Filed under: Writing — crcb @ 10:41 pm

In the “Say what?” category…

Digestive CARE(TM) Online has announced “THE BOTTOM LINE Poetry Contest 2009,” offering $500 cash or a free colonscopy to the author of the best original poem about colonoscopies. Must be 18 or older to enter. Deadline: 3/31/2009.

For more info, including complete rules and guidelines, go to and click on Upcoming Events.

Disclaimer: I do no vetting of links, contests, or calls for submissions posted here. Submit at your own risk.

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