The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Bloody Writing Contest

          Saturday Writers' latest writing contest has just opened up. This time, it is a short story murder/mystery/whodunit contest. The word count limit is 2,012 and the entry fee is $5 for members and $7 for nonmembers. If you would like to check out the specific guidelines, go to Saturday Writers.  I would encourage all my blogging friends to send in an entry. Why?  Read on to find out...

        This year our contests are designed for writers to think outside the box. For example, the contest that just closed was a short story romance. I am so far from a romance writer, nor do I read them. However, some of the "romances" that were highlighted in our January meeting were "Sid and Nancy" and "Twilight." There are no heaving bosoms and no Fabio-like men on the covers of those books. I brought up the movie Fargo when someone got spitting mad and said that "all romances have a happy ending." If I went over the edge and chopped up my husband and put him in a wood chipper, it would indeed be a happy ending...for me.

      I submitted two entries to the romance contest. Neither one involved a man and a woman. Neither one even involved two people. And probably, neither one has a chance of winning.

      So why enter, if I'm fairly certain that I will be deemed a loser? Because one, it got me writing. (Actually, it was more "recycling" but that's beside the point.)  And two, it got me thinking outside my comfort zone.

     At the meeting, a new member leaned forward and asked me, "What kind of outside-the-box ideas are there, besides the 'mystery' of childbirth?" (She's too new to realize I'm the wrong person to ask that kind of question.)

photo by mikaspics
This photo gave me a bunch of new ideas...The "murder" of an apple or a pumpkin...
"Murdering" an expensive piece of meat by roasting it until it's dry as a bone. The
possibilties are endless...

     I replied, "What about the mystery of men? We try to figure out how they work, but are probably just overthinking them. What about the mystery of hair? As we age, on some parts it starts to disappear and on others," (and I gestured toward my "mustache" that needs to be macheted away every month) "it grows more prolifically."  At lunch after the meeting, we spoke of murder by frozen leg of lamb. One of the members--I won't name names, but she has the same name as one of the Brady Bunch daughters--is working on a story involving a knife, and when someone in the works-in-progress group asked, "How big a knife are you talkin' about?" she pulled a knife out of her purse! (She claims she was taking it to get sharpened after the meeting, but I don't know. I think I am going to make sure I don't tick her off from now on.)

       So, check out the contest. The romance contest did not have too many entries, so your chances might be good.


  1. I think Bill M will have that contest sewn up. Do I know the knife wielder? I would be inteterested in your stories, by the way.

  2. Hmmm...I'm thinking your name is a little hint about where you think relative to that proverbial box. Thanks for sharing the contest! Love the Saturday Writers website.

  3. You're always full of good ideas (don't I know since you've been so kind as to pass some on to me). Thanks for sharing in your humorous way. I just may try my hand at something I don't normally write.

    1. Great googly-moogly! You must have the vapors after witnessing that knife incident. Don't venture south of Lindbergh Boulevard, you timid shrinking violet. My mother, a card-carrying septuagenarian, has had a pocket knife in her purse for as long as I can remember. And she's not on her way to get it sharpened.

      Thanks for the contest tips. I might try to fight my way out of my box and shoot an entry your way. Hope that sentence didn't frighten you. My problem will be the word limit. I'm a kitchen-sink-er.

  4. Your blog is conspiring against me. First it blanked out when I tried to post my previous comment. It took me back so I didn't have to start over, but it put me in reply mode. I am SO not trying to take over your blog! And apparently, I am not fluent in Verification.

  5. Linda--I imagine he would, but he might be too busy with other projects to write something for the contest. At least I can hope.

    Tammy---Yes, unfortunately, I am never even IN the box.

    Lynn--You could write a murder by letters story, yes?

    Val--I'm assuming your mom doesn't fly on commercial airplanes with her trusty knife, right? I, too, am having lots of trouble with the word verification since it has changed. It all looks like gobblydegook to me. And if you ever want to take over my blog, I'd be honored, since your posts are always rollicking good fun.

  6. Aw, I wish I had known about the romance contest. I definitely would have entered. I'll check this new contest out and see if I can come up with anything. Thanks for the head's up!

  7. Lisa--How about combining romance WITH murder or mystery? Just an idea...

  8. Sioux,
    I LOVE the idea of murdering a piece of tender and delicious meat by cooking it to the point of shoe leather. That is fantastic! And I like the mystery of men but my husband has told me so many times, "We're simple creatures. We need food, sex, and to poop. That's it." Maybe women should be the mysterious creatures but there is nothing wrong with me and we ALL make perfect sense, ALL the time.
    I'm not a mystery writer by any means but I'll be tossing some ideas around in the next few days. Good luck to you!

  9. Ok. Sure Bill would probably win - but that's an "in-the-box" assumption. And there are also 2nd and 3rd places. And don't forget that wnners are likely to be PUBlished in the SW 2012 anthology.
    And it may be noted that the knife in purse was a large chef's knife ... which is now all fresly sharpened.

  10. Rebeca--Thanks.

    Knife-Wielder (I know who you are): Aaargh! A freshly sharpened knife! All the more threatening.


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