Now CLOSED for entries. Final Date was: Friday, 30th January, 2015. If you missed this contest, don’t worry! The next one is coming up shortly.
And just like that, we’re onto Contest 12. That means we’ve been going pretty much steamroller-like for 24 weeks now, which is close to six months. While there is good cause to celebrate that such a nice thing has been going for such a long time, let’s not jinx it by saying – or even thinking! – many good things about it. It’s been fun, and long may it last.
For a long time now, I’ve been thinking of doing a contest where the prompt is short and snappy. Many writing prompts that you find on the internet are what I call ‘situational’ prompts, which go something like: ‘You wake up one morning in a strange place, and when you reach out for your glasses, you find that your had touches…’ (Incidentally, that’s one of my biggest fears: that I will wake up one day and not find my glasses next to me.)
Such long, meandering prompts are good, and we may do some of them soon enough, but I prefer short prompts, preferably one or two words long. These prompts necessarily don’t describe much of the situation but aim to communicate emotion as succinctly as possible.
So for today, the prompt is
A few points to note:
1. You’re free to punctuate at will. That means you can choose to put an exclamation, question mark, a period, an ellipsis, a semi colon or anything you want after ‘Me’ to make it whatever you wish. But these two words should ideally appear in your piece, unless the meaning is so utterly clear that you don’t need them.
2. This prompt travels across genres. Your first thought may go to romance, but there is significant room here for nostalgia, science fiction, fantasy, a thriller, or even horror. In fact, one of Mary Higgins Clark’s novels – a rather dark haunted house story – is titled ‘Remember Me’.
3. Fiction, poetry, essay or mood piece – you decide.
4. Use the images littered all over this post as inspiration.
5. The word limit is 500 words. (Yes, I decided to spike it up from 300 because no one’s staying under it anyway.)
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 Friday, the 30th of January, 2014. The winner will be announced on Sunday, the 1st of February, 2015. (Allow a day or two as ‘grace period’ in case there are too many entries.)
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.
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