I’ve decided to enter a couple of short story competitions to keep me writing while I’m letting the novel breathe. I love short stories, but I find that I keep tricking around with the old ones rather than write new stuff. To remedy this, I’ve entered a very interesting competition with NYC Midnight. NYC Midnight host a number of competitions throughout the year, one of which is a Short Story Competition.
The competition organisers divide the entrants into heats, and assign a genre, an object and a character to each heat. There will be three rounds, and after each round they select the top five entrants in each heat to go through to the next round. The challenges are:
- The word counts and deadlines are reduced as you progress through the rounds. You get a week to write a maximum of 2500 which in round two is reduced to three days to write max. 2000 words and in the final round you have twenty-four hours to write max. 1500 words;
- The genres, a character and a subject are assigned.
The competition charges an entry fee of $55, but as I’m guaranteed to get individual feedback on each story that I submit, I feel the fee is reasonable, and obviously, the longer I remain in the competition, the better return I’ll get on my money.
I’m in heat 79 with around thirty other people, and I’ve been assigned the following:
Character: A martial artist
Subject: Prescription medication
I’m excited about trying to meet the challenge, but I’m also totally stumped. I can’t see how I could possibly combine these three things into a coherent story. Prescription medication? And comedy? And a martial artist thrown in for good measure? Are they having a laugh? I keep having visions of kung-foo panda on antidepressants, but is that funny? I don’t think so. It just makes me really sad.
Not getting an entry into this competition makes me really, really, really sad too, so I’d better get cracking.