Contest CLOSED. Last date for entries was Wednesday, 27th May, 2015. If you missed this, don’t worry! Contest 17 will be on its way shortly.
So just like that, we’ve stumbled onto Contest 16. We had some great writing in Contest 15. If you missed it, please head on over there and sample some of the entries. You may also want to look at the results to see who won, what they got and so on.
The topic for this time is: Dreams that don’t let go.
We all dream, both in sleep and in waking. Some dreams come to us again and again, and don’t let go for years at a time. Some dreams come true, but they get replaced by others that tease and tantalize. This process repeats itself over and over, and one could argue that the cycle breaks only with our deaths.
Here are some ideas
1. I don’t mind whether you want to make this fiction or nonfiction. If it’s fiction, you will talk about the one dream that does not let go of your character, and changes him. If it’s nonfiction, you will talk about the one dream that has taken hold of you, either now or sometime in the past.
2. Dreams could be sleeping dreams or daydreams. Daydreams tell us about the deepest conscious wishes of a person, whereas sleeping dreams (some say) give us a glimpse of a person’s subconscious. Choose what you’d rather explore in your writing.
3. The topic lends itself beautifully to poetry. It is also a great subject to write essays on. Dreams make for great mood pieces too, and also good stream-of-consciousness pieces. Choose a form that you want. There are no restrictions.
4. What I would like to see is some exploration of the dream-reality concept. Our dreams are always in some fundamental manner different from our real lives. Our real lives, sometimes, take on the characteristics of a dream. Dreams and reality are opposites, but they’re connected together by invisible threads in our minds. Can you tell me your thoughts about this through your writing?
5. A lot of speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy and horror) has been written about dreams. What would you do if you could control your dreams? What if your dreams told you about the future? What if you dream about your past life? What if dreams allowed you to talk to dead people? What if, what if. Ask the what-if question about your own dreams – or your character’s – and see where it leads you.
As always, you can write in any form that you’re comfortable with, be it fiction, nonfiction, memoir or poem. The only ‘rule’ is that you use two of the prompts in the list to spin a story that the rest of us would enjoy reading. The word limit is 500 words.
How do you enter the contest?
You have to be a member of my email list to post a valid entry to the contest. If you’re not, please click on the button below to join. This is to make sure that I can contact you if and when you win. Of course, you have my word that I won’t do anything shady with your email address.
Once you’ve joined the list, entering the contest is child’s play.
- Leave a comment to this post with your entry.
- 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.
- If this is your first time here and you’re wondering how this whole thing works, please take a look at previous contests for an idea.
What’s the prize?
The best two entries of the contest will be given Amazon vouchers of 500 rupees each. It looks like this:
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 27th of May, 2015. The winner will be announced on Saturday, the 30th of May, 2015. (Allow a day or two as ‘grace period’ in case there are too many entries.)
2. Sexually explicit or offensive material will be deleted at my discretion.
3. 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.
Image Courtesy: 1