Short Short Fiction = Big Big Winning

Oh. My. 78 words. Can you write short fiction? ‘Cause this contest is AMAZING.

The Aspen Writers’ Foundation and Esquire Magazine want your short fiction. Not just any short fiction. Your 78 words of short fiction. Yes, it must be 78 words. 78 really amazing words.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Writing 78 brilliant words is tough. Really tough. But if you can pull it off, you can win something big. Really big. TEN writers will be flown to New York for a fiction workshop taught by Colum McCann. And the grand prize winner will win a full scholarship to the advanced fiction workshop at the Aspen Summer Words in 2012.

78 words. No entry fee. No fancy formatting. Just 78 winning words. (By October 7th)

LAST (Contest!) CALL

The last few days of the month are always a mad dash for me…I look up at the calendar above my desk and think &^*%! Two days? I’ll never make it!

Maybe it’s a conference I need to sign up for (along with a formal manuscript critique), or a writer-ish bill to pay. (Okay, The Beneficent Mr. Hall is going to pay that bill. But I still have to remind him.) And then there are the CONTESTS. So as it’s August 30th (OH MY GOSH, IT’S AUGUST 30TH!), we really don’t have time for dilly-dallying about if we want to make these deadlines:

The 2011 Good Housekeeping Fiction Contest on a theme that reflects some aspect of women’s lives today. Good news? That’s practically anything (including Zombies)! Bad news: You’ve only got till September 1st. More good news? It’s online entries, so you can wait till the last possible minute! More bad news? There can be only one (winner). Okay, there can be three, actually. I just like to use the Highlander line.

The 2011 Family Circle Fiction Contest on a theme…hmmm. There appears to be NO theme. Wheee! But I’d suggest a quick look see at some of the past winning stories to get a handle on what Family Circle likes. Good news? You have till Septemeber 9th for this contest! Bad news? You have to mail the entry. But you can send TWO entries!

Now, off you go, my little writers. TIME’S A-WASTIN’!

Tuesday Tip on a Submissions Goldmine

I cannot tell a lie. (Well, I can. And have. Many times. This is not one of those times.) Um, where was I? Oh, yeah. I did not want to share this rich vein of submission deadlines. Truly, Sally Clark’s blog is that good and the little devil on my shoulder said, “Now, Cathy C., here’s a goldmine you can sit on, and cash in big.”

But the little angel on my shoulder said, “Shame on you, Cathy C.! Now you get your little boomerosity in that chair, go to your blog, and share what you found.” Well, I don’t need to tell you that when your angel starts talking about your boomerosity, you better listen.

So if you’re looking for one blog to check regularly for a ton of submission opportunities, then you shouldn’t miss the Christian Writers Submission Information. And if you want to catch up on deadlines, then zip over to this page and check out the month.

There’s enough there to keep you busy writing all month long. And that’s a good thing. Because as you know, an idle mind is the little devil’s workshop.

LOTS of Tuesday Tips: Getting Your Writing in Shape

So, whilst engaging in my early morning marketing (Okay, checking Facebook), I realized that the newest issue of WOW! Women On Writing was out. Wheee!

There are TONS of great articles, as always, but I’m a little partial to Get In Great Writing Shape for FREE! When I found all those university classes for free, I knew that info would make an exciting article. Because who doesn’t want FREE stuff?

So, I added a few more resources for FREE stuff for writers: conferences, books, professional memberships, and all those great giveaways that make me go wheee! Wheee! Wheee!

I hope you’ll go wheee, too. Because really, who doesn’t love free stuff?

Starting the New Year with a B-B-B-Bang!

You know how I think of the most scathingly brilliant things in the shower? I just toweled off so fast, my hair is still dripping. BUT, I had to share my scathingly brilliant way to start 2011.

In checking my calendar of last year, I noticed an alarming trend. To wit, I start with a bang and fizzle out. So, I thought I’d capitalize on my Big Bang nature and bang out a couple of goals in the first few weeks!

Introducing the Big Bang B & N Followers Contest! Here’s how it works: You tell your followers about Cathy C. ‘s Hall of Fame and her brilliant contest. They scurry over here and follow me, telling me who sent them (and leaving contact information). One lucky NEW follower will win a $20 gift card from Barnes and Noble! And there’s more…the faithful follower who sent them ALSO wins a $20 gift card! YAY! I’m ending the contest on January 24th; new followers can post a comment on any post during that period, as long as they fill me in. So spread the word, my faithful friends and followers. I’m in a hurry to bang out my goal of getting over 100 followers. Because let’s face it. By May, I’ll be all “followers, schmollowers.”

If you’re like me, you start the year thinking of all the submissions that will fly out from your brain and into an editor’s hand. Except that your brain’s still in an eggnog-induced, turkey-overloaded fog. You need something short to get the old brain ball rolling. Here’s TWO competitions, with NO entry fee, that just happen to begin with B. Brilliant!

For fun and games, try the Binnacle Ultra-Short Competition. Even if you don’t win (Um, you should know that they get about a gazillion entries), you’ll jumpstart those sluggish neurons, working on your 150 word poem or prose. And lots of folks get Honorable Mentions. Why not you?

The Bevel Summers Prize for the Short, Short Story is accepting stories of 1,000 words till March 31, 2011. Now, I know it’s from Washington and Lee University and you’re thinking it’s all hoity-toidy (is that how you spell that?), but honestly. I know many of my followers are gifted short story writers who could win this competition and 250 bucks. So brush off your best short story and send it. I’m sending one of mine.

That’s how you get to be a better writer-and how you eventually get published. Oh, and don’t forget to send me your followers for a chance to win big bucks and bust my budget for the year. Now, let the New Year begin with a B-B-B-Bang-and let me go dry my hair.
P.S. Couldn’t start the year without a word from Cathy-on-a-Stick. She says, “Hey.”