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Rated: 18+ · Message Forum · Contest · #2189388
Read the prompt. Pick a genre. Submit a story by the last Wednesday of the month..
Max's Lair

I love reading short stories. I can't get enough of them.

This is an easy contest. On the first Friday of each month, I'll post two short prompts. Sometimes they will be quotes, other times photos, or songs, or even paintings. I might mix things up and have a quote for one prompt and a photo for the other. I'll also suggest three genres. To enter,
         *Bulletb* choose a prompt and a genre from the lists below;
         *Bulletb* write a short story based on the prompt and in the genre you select; and, finally,
         *Bulletb* post a link to your story here, in the message forum.
Each month, I'll give a merit badge to the author of the story I like best, provided I get at least three stories to read. If I like two or more stories a lot, I'll give more than one merit badge. The story itself also gets an awardicon.

This Week's Prompt

CAESAR (recovering his self-possession): Pardon him, Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.
    ---Ceasar and Cleopatra, by George Bernard Shaw{

OR use this image as your prompt:

Photo Prompt
    ---If you use this image as your prompt, include this link at the top of your story: {item:2190582}

This Week's Genre

*HeartP* Romance
*Web1* Scary
*Alieng* Science Fiction

How to win a merit badge

First, choose a genre and a prompt. Second, write a story I like. Third, write the best story this month.

This is like submitting to a magazine. The editor selects stories based on personal likes and dislikes. If there is more than one story the editor likes, he or she chooses the one he or she likes best for that issue. In real life, a perfectly good story can be rejected just because the editor liked a different one a little more. If your story doesn't win a a merit badge and awardicon, that just means another story did a better job of satisfying my admittedly eclectic tastes.

When you write your story, it's a good idea to think about what I like--and don't like. It's a long list, I admit. Click the link right below here.

What does Max like

In addition to Max's list above, here's some advice from other authors to keep in mind.

On plot, keep in mind Billy Wilder's summary of the three act structure.
In the first act of a story you put your characters up in a tree, in the second act you set the tree on fire, and then in the third you get them down.

For style, I like Elmore Leonard's advice:
Leave out the parts readers skip.

Remember your readers, who collaborate with you in imagining your story. Hitchcock teaches us that readers care about the characters, while the plot is there to give the characters something to care about. Kurt Vonnegut's version of this maxim is useful.
Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

what you get

*Confettib* Everybody gets 1000 GPS as a "thank you" for entering. Only one entry per author, per round, please.

*Ribbonb* The author of my favorite short story--or stories--for the month will receive a merit badge. The story itself gets an awardicon.

*Mailb* You may--or may not--get an in depth review, depending on my schedule.

*Flagb* I'll announce in this forum any awards the final Thursday of the month.

*Xb* What you will not get is a rating, a grade, or an explanation. This is about my personal tastes, not about what's "good" and "bad." You get the 1000 GPS as my thank you for entering, just like an editor--usually--sends a form letter thanking you for your submission.

Thank you for the donations that help make this contest possible..

How to Enter

*Penb* Write a story of 2000 or fewer words, based on one of the prompts, and in one of the listed genres. Pay attention to what Max likes--see above.

*Folderb* Save your story as a static item on Writing.com. If you're unsure how to do this, see "Create/Edit a Static Item. The first three lines of your item should be (1) the word count; (2) the genre; and (3) the prompt. This information, along with the title and byline, does not count against the word count. If the prompt is an image, the item ID will be included in the prompt on this page.

*Tackb* Post a message below in this forum with the subject, "My Story." The body of the message should include a link to your story. If you're unsure how to link to your story, see "Video: Linking to an Item.

*Stop* The contest closes to entries at midnight US Central Time on the final Wednesday ot the month, to give Max time to read all the stories. Do not submit an entry on Thursday or later since it won't get considered!

Wait, you're still here? Why aren't you writing?
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by Gerryonbroadway · 05-24-19 @ 3:16 am
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by CTKevinK · 05-18-19 @ 12:51 pm
by Azrael Tseng · 05-09-19 @ 5:08 pm
by Paul · 05-08-19 @ 8:26 pm
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by Max Griffin 🏳️‍🌈 · 05-04-19 @ 9:32 pm
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by Max Griffin 🏳️‍🌈 · 05-04-19 @ 4:50 pm
by Azrael Tseng · 05-03-19 @ 8:07 pm
by Max Griffin 🏳️‍🌈 · 05-03-19 @ 4:07 pm

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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2189388