I participate in a couple of writing contests each year. I love to do them because not only is it a break from writing my novels, but I feel like working on these keeps me and my muse sharp!
One of my favorites to write for is The First Line. The First Line is a great contest, and it's free to enter. They have four prompts throughout the year. Stories are due February 1, May 1, August 1 and November 1. The stories should be between 300-3000 words.
I also try to participate in the Writer's Digest Your Story contest. The Your Story contest takes place every other month. Between keeping up with The First Line, NaNoWriMo and my own novel writing, I usually forget to do the Your Story ones.
Here are some of the stories I have submitted recently...I hope you enjoy reading them!
It's been a little while (almost 4 years!) since I wrote one of these for The First Line, but it sure did feel good to get back into it! My fifth attempt, February 2017. 2013 words.
Eddie tended to drift into whatever jobs were available that would pay the rent. He was working one of those jobs one day when fast-talking New York City girl Summer Madison walked into the diner and sat at the counter.
“I don't suppose you have espresso, here?”
“Nope, sorry. Fresh out.”
My fourth attempt for The First Line. August 2013, 2862 words.
There must have been thousands standing in the rain that day. The sky was a dark grey and the clouds looked menacing, ready to unleash the crackling lightning at any moment. I hurried past the crowds, willing myself invisible for if one of them saw me, I would not be able to make my destination in time. Indeed, I would be mauled by the crowd. As the wife of the Prime Minister, they would demand my comments on the situation. I pulled my hood down low on my face, kept my eyes on the pavement and walked briskly down the street. I made it to the end of the block and turned the corner. I breathed a quick sigh of relief for making it this far, but halfway down the block I spotted the car that was waiting for me. My journey was almost complete and I continued my brisk pace.
My third attempt for The First Line. February 2013, 2449 words!
On a perfect spring morning with flat seas and clear blue skies, Captain Eli P. Cooke made a terrible mistake.
Eli had gotten up at four am for his usual five-mile run on the beach. Typically, he would finish his run, take a quick shower and then grab coffee and a breakfast sandwich at his favorite cafe. Today was not a normal morning. The fight with his wife the night before had kept him from sleeping last night. He needed some peace and quiet, so he sat on the beach after his run, enjoying the sunrise and the calm waters.
My second attempt for The First Line. November 2012, 961 words. Enjoy!
Sometimes, when it's quiet, I can remember what my life was like before moving to Cedar Springs.
Most of the time, though, I don’t want to remember. Remembering is painful and I moved here to escape from the pain. I was eighteen when I gave birth to Jasper. He was the light of my life and my whole world revolved around him. He was two when he was diagnosed with leukemia. And he was sixteen when he died.
This is the first story I wrote for The First Line. August 2012, 3393 words.
A light snow was falling as Charlie Reardon left the diner and made his way down Madison Street.
“Ugh, more snow,” he grumbled to himself as he looked around in disgust and burrowed further into his heavy winter coat. Already they’d had three feet of snow and it was only October. Shivering into his coat, he trudged on down the street.