NYC Midnight Short Story Contest

On a whim I’ve entered the #ShortStoryChallenge2019.

Short story is such a challenging genre for me and I’ve been saying for over a year that I’m going to take a stab at writing more short stories. But so far I’ve only produced one and I wasn’t entirely happy with the result. I think I have a little block when I think of short story. I grew up on Alice Munro, the queen of short story, and there is just so much packed into such a small package in a perfectly crafted short story. The pressure is on and then I draw a blank.

So, as with any achievement we are striving for, it helps to have a goal and some external motivation. I used to need this back when I was a runner. I’d sign up for half marathon races not because I wanted to win or even necessarily beat my prior time but so I would keep running and getting better and working towards a goal. Who knew you could do the same with writing?

So the short story contest works like this. You sign up. In round 1, you are given a genre, subject, and character. You can interpret those things in fairly broad terms but there are rules for following them. You have 8 days/nights to write your short story. Then the judges pick the top 5 in each heat to advance to round 2.

Round 2 (if you make it) takes place in April and you are given a new genre, subject and character and then you have THREE (3) days to produce your story. Finalists are selected for the final round, which takes place in May and those writers are given just 24 hours to write a new story.

Whew! I’m a fast writer and do best when I write quickly so I thought this would be fun but I’m already feeling stretched as I’ve received my genre: spy; character: salesperson; subject: graduation. I have a few ideas already and plan to write this afternoon but I have to say the spy genre is not one I would ever attempt so I’m going to have to dig deep to produce a good spy short story. Wish me luck!

More information on the Short Story Challenge can be found on their website:

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