by Max Griffin
Show Don't Tell Contest Message Forum
Welcome to the SHOW DON'T TELL Contest!
Show, don't tell! How many times have you heard that? We all know it's one of the toughest things to do. Some editors and agents will decide whether or not to read your submission based only on how well your first sentence does this. Our contest is all about showcasing and practicing this important skill.
The most basic rule for our contest is that you must show all the facets of your story as opposed to telling them. Each month, we'll give you four or five sentences that will serve as a story prompt. Your task will be to write a story that includes the information in the prompt. You will need to show that information--along with all the other aspects your story. This contest is all about showing and not telling.
Ruby awakes in an unfamiliar room.
She doesn't remember how she got there and doesn't know where the room is located.
Someone is playing an out-of-tune piano in a distant room in the building where she wakes.
An envelope with her name on it is resting on a dresser in the room. She reads the note inside the envelope and is shocked.
She runs out of the room to find the piano player.
She has an emotional reaction when she finds who is playing the piano.
Notes. You can choose any emotional reaction for Ruby that you like: laughter, fear, relief, panic, or something else. It's up to you. You can make your entire story consist of the above six items, or just use these for the opening. The only rule is that they must all be present, and shown, not told. Finally, if you'd rather have a male protagonist, feel free to change "Ruby" to "Roscoe."
In order to be sure all entries receive a fair reading, we will limit the number of entries in each contest round to ten. Entries are first-come-first served, so enter early! You may enter only once in each round, but you may enter every contest round if you wish.
What are the rules? ▼
Will my entry be disqualified if I don't follow the rules? ▼
What are the prizes? ▼
Is there a limit to the number of entries in each contest round? ▼
How often and for how long does the contest run? ▼
What is the deadline for entries? ▼
What are the judging criteria? ▼
I'm really pumped! Can I enter more than one story? ▼
What are the other rules? I've got this awesome, unfinished erotic poem in non-rhyming choriambic foots. Can I enter it? I know you'll love it! ▼
May I edit my story after I enter? ▼
Contest Judges ▼
LInks to stuff ▼
Past Winners ▼
Our Generous Contest Sponsors ▼
How do I enter? ▼
What are you waiting for? Start writing!
November 2018 round of the contest is open for entries!
As of 7AM, November 16, there are 5 entries in the contest.
There are 5 remaining openings.