Few things are as satisfying as having time to get comfortable with an engrossing work of fiction. I stand in awe of skilled fiction writers and, for that reason, draw your attention to the latest fiction writing contest being hosted at The Clarity of Night: Listening for the Words in a Quiet Corner of the Night. The Fiction, Poetry, and Photography of Jason Evans.
Participants are challenged to compose a very short story — 250 words or less — in response to the same visual prompt. Thus far, Jason has posted 55 entries — a wildly divergent, eclectic mix of prose. I have read many of them and urge you to do the same as you will be entertained and amazed by the varied themes developed and stories told in so few words. However, some of the entries left me frustrated, wanting to know more about characters with whom I was barely acquainted when the oh-so-brief tales ended abruptly.
Jason’s contest is an excellent example of the blogosphere as community. He describes his purpose for hosting the contest this way:
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.
The submission deadline is Wednesday, January 14, 2009, at 11:00 p.m. Eastern time. Jason will be judging the entries himself, utilizing a scoring system based upon his own philosophy and the challenge he issued to the competitors.
In my view, stories are everywhere, but the skill to make a story come alive on the page is far more rare. Transport me into your world with the first line and keep me there to the end. Don’t let me wriggle out of your grasp.
Good luck to all of the participating writers. And if you are one of them, be sure to leave a comment directing us to your story!