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. This contest is all about showing and not telling.
January 2021 prompt
This month, we're continuing to experiment with our prompt. We'd prefer you continue to use Ruby for your protagonist, but we've relaxed even that modest expectation.
Your story should blend two genres. Select one pair from the list below:
Supernatural and Romance
SciFi and Comedy
History and Crime
The header to your story should include which two genres you are using in addition to your title and byline. These items do not count against the word limits.
GIve your protagonist a goal.
Establish why the goal matters--these are the stakes.
Establish obstacles to achieving the goal.
Use the goals, stakes, and obstacles to establish, increase, and resolve tension.
In all stories, all characters should want something or have a goal. What the character wants has to matter--those are the stakes. Finally, there needs to be an obstacle to achieving the goal. Goals, stakes, and obstacles are the basic building blocks of tension. The characters care about the outcome of the conflict between the goals and obstacles because of the stakes. You can increase tension by raising the stakes, increasing the obstacles, or refining the goals.
Obstacles could be internal or external. They could arise from other characters, from the physical world, the political or social world, the spiritual world, or a supernatural world. You don't have to choose from this list, but be sure that there are tangible obstacles to the goals.
This month's contest lets you establish your characters' goals, stakes, and obstacles. Whatever happens should, by the end of the story, resolve the tension that arises from the interaction between goals, stakes, and obstacles. .
In order to be sure all entries receive a fair reading, we will limit the number of entries in each round of the 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? ▼
The January,. 2021 round of the contest is now OPEN
Contest closes when there are ten entries or on January 25, 2021 at 8AM, i.e,, in
whichever happens first..