The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lucky 13

          Bylines  2013 calendar is almost closed for submissions. If you want to check out the guidelines, go here. It's quite a helpful site. There are even a few examples of the kind of pieces they want. 

This is the 2012 Bylines calendar.

       I sent a submission a month or so ago. I've got another one I'm almost finished with. And since the deadline is tomorrow (at midnight) I am sure I will be up until an unreasonably late hour 10 or so, writing a third.
      They welcome all genres. That means you, Shay, could get your spirits working to compose several submissions. (You might even be able to bring Emily into your piece.)
        Lisa, you're so wonderful at inspiring others. I know you have a submission in you.
        Zandrea, here is your chance.  It's short (300 words, which includes your bio). Send it to me tonight or tomorrow; I'll be glad to help you with it. 
        My WWWP peeps--you better send something off. (Lynn, you could create a "letter" to your inner critic?)
       Marcia, Rebeca, Becky, Donna, Barb, Val and all my other blogging and writing friends...Surrender and submit.
       (And Sylvia Forbes...You might get tired of seeing my emails pop up in the next two days, but at least I'm trying.)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Are You Hooked on Hockey?

        Chicken Soup for the Soul has extended their deadline for hockey stories. That means only one thing: they have not gotten enough marvelous entries to round out their anthology.

      And that means one thing to us as writers: we have a few more days to send  in a submission (or another submission). The deadline is March 4.

      I sent in a submission about being in the locker room with Brett Hull; getting drawn in by his impossibly-blue eyes, I became a cougar--or at least a cougar in my mind. (I hope my submission is not one they have tossed aside as crappy...)

     I did have another story that I had worked on, but it needed major revising. Chicken Soup's extension has prodded me to take the time to work on it, so I can increase my chances...a little.

     Neither of my stories are true hockey stories. I've never been to an entire hockey game--only to one partial game. I imagine there are writers out there who have a hockey story to tell (their son played street hockey or hockey in school) but it's stuck in the crevices of their mind.

    Dig around. Unearth that story. And submit...

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.