When first I beheld the veritable flood of entries pouring in for my First Annual John Shore 10-Word Short Story Contest,I couldn’t help but reflect upon how next year I’m going to allow only five stories per writer. Nathan.
Then I thought, “Man this is a lot of stuff. And some of it is truly great. If only I knew an international bestselling novelist who could help me judge these titillatingly terse tale tidbits.” Then I remembered that I sort of do know such an illustrious personage.
So I emailed the great Jacquelyn Mitchard, and asked if she’d like to help me determine which of the submitted mini-stories is best.
“Of course I’ll do it!” she wrote back.
Jackie’s first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was named by USA Today as one of the 10 most influential books of the past 25 years. Deep End was chosen as the first novel of Oprah’s Book Club, sold three million copies, and was made into a feature film starring Michelle Pfeiffer. All of Jackie’s novels have been greater or lesser bestsellers—and include The Most Wanted, A Theory of Relativity, Twelve Times Blessed, The Breakdown Lane and Cage of Stars.
Immediately after the October 2 closing date of my contest, I will send Ms. Mitchard a batch of what I think are the best submitted 10-word short stories. From those she and I will choose the Ultimate Winner. Besides an autographed copy of my (and the ever-awesome Richard Lederer’s) book Comma Sense, the winner of the contest will now also receive a copy (which I think might be autographed) of No Time to Wave Goodbye.
So get your short stories in today! (And only submit them as a comment to the original post.) And remember: Eleven words is one too many.
The Annual John Shore 10-Word or Less Short Story Contest: Achieving attentiveness through anal retentiveness.