This contest is CLOSED. Last date for entries was Wednesday, 15 October, 2014. The winner will be announced on Friday, 17 October, 2014. If you missed this, don’t worry! Another contest will be on its way shortly.
Welcome to Contest 6. This time, in honour of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, whose birthday occurred last week, we will write on peace.
Of course, it is impossible to write about peace without referring to war, so if your inclinations run that way, you can write about war and enmity. But make sure to link the overall theme and message back to peace in some manner. I’m leaving four images as ‘prompts’, all of which in some manner or the other depict the conflict between war and peace.
The main idea that we’re going to focus on in this contest is the fall of peace. In three of the above four images, peace has been depicted as a person. This person is generally a woman, clad in white, and is about to die in the brutal hands of war. Only in the first image there seems to be an equality of sorts between Mars and Venus (the Roman Gods of strife and love respectively). Their eyes are locked, and Venus is in the act of persuading Mars to relinquish his anger.
1. You could attempt a personification of peace in a similar way, but using your own images. Maybe in your head peace is not always a woman with white wings. Maybe if you had a choice, you would personify peace – and war – in different ways.
2. You could write an abstract piece with the fourth image as inspiration. There are no people here, only a skull at the base of a tree that is shedding leaves. The message appears to be that we cannot choose between the two, that we must have both. If you have a similar abstract piece to write, go ahead. But be warned, though, that such abstraction is hard to achieve with words.
3. How about writing an atmospheric mood piece that is leaves us with one or two striking images? Sometimes, forging one image with great detail leaves a deeper impact on a reader than a number of images hastily drawn.
4. A poem? Peace and war are universal themes, and many poems have been written on these topics before. Would you like to add to the pantheon?
The word limit is 300 words.
How do you enter the contest?
It doesn’t get simpler. You leave a comment to this post. If you leave two comments, they will count as two separate entries. The maximum number of entries you can submit is three. If you leave more than three comments, I won’t tell you off (I’m too nice for that) but I will only pick the first three.
What’s the prize?
A Flipkart e-gift voucher worth 500 Indian rupees. It looks like this.
No, you can’t touch it, but you can buy things – especially books! – with it. If you live outside of India, your choices are limited to e-books because Flipkart doesn’t deliver internationally (yet).
How is the winner selected?
Each comment will be rated on three things:
1. Clarity: We should understand what you’re trying to say. Good grammar and punctuation will help. So will a reasonable structure to your entry. Beginning, middle and end.
2. Personal Touch: We’re interested in getting to know you better. So go for depth, specificity and honesty. In narrative pieces, the deeper you take us with you into the scene, the better it is.
3. Beauty of the writing: Make your words sing. Give rich sensory detail. Describe well. Transport us to to your world. Be cogent, crisp and clear.
The above three criteria are ranked in the order of importance. So clarity is more important than personal touch. And personal touch is more important than evocative writing.
A Quick Note
Even if you’re not confident about the ‘quality’ of your writing, please participate. One of the great joys of running a community-style writing group like this is to behold the variety of ideas that come out. So give voice to your thoughts. Tell us your stories. It doesn’t matter how well or badly you (think you) write.
1. The closing date for comments/entries is Wednesday, the 15th of October, 2014. The winner will be announced on Friday, the 17th of October, 2014.
2. When you enter comments on this blog, you will find a separate text box asking for your email. I recommend that you enter your email into this, so that I will have a way of contacting you in case you win. Rest assured that I will not use your contact information for any other purpose, shady or otherwise.
3. Sexually explicit or offensive material will be deleted at my discretion.
4. Avoid plagiarism. I will check for it, and remove entries that I think are lifted from elsewhere.
Have fun! If you think this is the sort of thing your friends would enjoy, share this post with them and invite them to participate. You can share it with just a click on the sharing buttons below.
See you in the comments!
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