CLOSED. Last date for entries was Wednesday, 14th January, 2015. Don’t fret if you missed it. Contest 12 will be coming soon.
For a few weeks now, I’ve been wishing to do image prompts for a contest. After Contest 10 dealt with mirrors and reflections and things like that, I thought it will be nice if we can take our writing inspiration from one of the most famous characters to come out of myth and fable. His name is Narcissus, and many of you would know that he had a particular affinity for the mirror – or any reflective surface, really.
But his story is also closely linked to that of Echo, the wood-nymph who falls in love with him, and how she pines for him in life and death. The moment above, that John William Waterhouse chose to paint, depicts their love story with precision. On one side we have self-obsession, and on the other we have the pain of unrequited love.
You can choose to write about either of those two topics.
The prompt for this contest is to use one of the two paintings above as inspirations to write a piece on whatever comes to your mind. It is preferable that you write about either self-obsession or unrequited love (because those are the two dominant themes of the two images), but if you would like to set your mind free and write something else, that’s fine too. The only rule is to use the images as prompts.
1. You can write a piece of fiction that involves a character pining for a lover.
2. You can capture your feelings in a poem, if you feel so inclined. Or an essay or a mood piece.
3. You can interpret the images above in any way you wish, and you can draw inspiration from any part of them.
4. Word limit, as usual, is 300 words. But you know that we don’t impose this rule very strictly. If your piece must be longer, so be it.
5. Use your own experiences of obsession and unrequited love as beacons in your writing. Dig out those emotions, feel them again, crystallize them, and transmit them onto the page.
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.
1. The closing date for comments/entries is Wednesday, the 14th of January, 2015. The winner will be announced on Saturday, the 17th of January, 2015.
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!