Posts Categorized: Fiction

Contests Off the Beaten Path

Last week, I received an email from the Missouri Review about their 5th Annual Audio Competition, which welcomes audio submissions in poetry, fiction and audio documentary. It was a welcome reminder that literature exists not just on the page, but also somewhere else—in sound, and in memory. Then, this morning, I got a notification from Geist, the fabulous Canadian quarterly, about this year’s Annual Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest. For this year, their eighth, Geist editors are requesting that each entrant hand-make a postcard, then write a story inspired by it, finally submitting both elements together.

Inspiring stuff!

Missouri Review and Geist’s original, multimedia approaches to the literary contest got me thinking about how contest call-outs can serve as encouragement for writers to work outside their comfort zone. Would you ever hand-make your own postcard prompt, if no one suggested it? Would you think of recording a short story, weaving it together with music? We writers are solitary beasts. Contests—especially themed ones—offer us lonely folks both an opportunity to expand our repertoire and a way to connect with wider communities.

In fact, there are contests out there specifically for writers who identify with particular groups. The Saints and Sinners Literary Festival Short Fiction Contest is open for work with LGBT content about—what else?—saints and sinners. If you’re a lady writer, you’re in luck: WOW! Women On Writing is sponsoring a Flash Fiction Contest this fall; there’s another flash fiction contest, Feminist Flash 2011, is open to any genre of work, 200 words or less, with a feminist theme; and the organization A Woman’s Write is holding two contests, one for previously unpublished novel manuscripts and one in creative nonfiction.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds more writing contests out there, each with a slightly different slant. If you have a favorite themed contest, feel free to share it with us!

Michael Martone

Last week, Michael Martone lunched with us and gave a wonderful, hilarious, compelling reading. We’re excited to present some video from that event! Here he reads a contributor’s note from Michael Martone and the Musée de Bob Ross entry from The Blue Guide to Indiana.

He also read from his latest collection, Four for a Quarter, which explores and challenges and plays with the theme of four.

Fact, or Fiction?

See how you fare on our fiction contest quiz:

1. I’ve sent fiction to Indiana Review for regular submissions, but am still eligible to enter the fiction contest.

FACT! IR is currently accepting submissions for the 2011 Fiction Prize judged by novelist Kevin Brockmeier.

2. I have until October 15th to enter.

FACT: There are still 10 days to prime those stories and get them in!

3. The entry fee is a ridiculously good deal.

FACT:  It’s only $15 dollars to enter, and includes a subscription!

4. If I win, I get $1000 and will appear in the journal.

FACT:  Not only will you get an issue, it will have your name on it!

5. IR makes it easy for me to submit.

FACT:  see our contest guidelines here for more information.

6. Indiana Review has spiffy AGEs ready to read your work–one is waiting, as we speak, here, in the office, sporting a Shakespeare tie!

FACT: you will have to trust me on this one.

7. IR wants you.

your FICTION. send some!

 

In Honor of Michael Martone…

We’re all really looking forward to spending some time with Michael Martone this week. In honor of his visit, I’d like to share this interview I did with him for the radio station WFIU, our local NPR affiliate. Michael and I talked for a long time about the new series of books about Indiana and the Midwest that he’s co-editing with another formidable Midwest writer, Susan Neville, for IU Press. Here’s an excerpt from the audio:

The process of leaving a place and re-creating it in a piece of fiction, Martone says, is “probably the big American issue.”

“The big American drama has to do between two worldviews that we hold as Americans—not just Midwesterners or Hoosiers. We really believe in what we call ‘small-town values,’ ‘family values,’ but we also believe in our incredible freedom to move—both spatially and also economically—that we can move up in class and rank. But the truth is, in our country, that mobility won out. And so there’s this kind of lost limb feeling that I think we all have: There is that longing, still, for that other America.”

We’re so pleased to be collaborating with IU Press and Boxcar Books this week in hosting Michael’s visit to Bloomington. We hope those of you who’ll be in the area will drop by the reading at Boxcar, October 5 at 7 pm.