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Contest Guidelines

Let’s have some fun with some easy Writing Contests.
There will be prizes, and the entries will be anonymous to the other attendees, so no need to be shy.

KILLER FIRST LINES and HAIKUS*

  1. Submit your work at the conference Registration table anytime from 6 pm on Friday to 2 pm on Saturday.

  2. A maximum of 2 entries of Killer First Lines and 2 entries of a haiku are permitted. Naturally all work must be original.

  3. You will receive a numbered page for each First Line or Haiku and the Conference staff will keep your name and the corresponding page number.

  4. All entries will be posted on the Contest Board in the Erma Ora Byrd Atrium.

  5. Conference attendees will vote for the winners. TO VOTE, place the tickets provided in your Conference tote bag into the appropriate vase, which will be located at the Registration table. You may vote for only one First Line and Haiku.

  6. Conference organizers may not enter the contest but may vote.

  7. We will announce the winners at the close of the conference.

 

Sample Killer First Line:

Call me Ishmael.

-- Moby Dick, Herman Melville

 

Sample Haiku:

I write, erase, rewrite,

Erase again, and then

A poppy blooms.

-- Tachibana Hokushi

 

*Haiku—a type of short-form poetry originally from Japan. The haiku typically consists of three phrases that contain 17 syllables in a 5,7,5 pattern. It may also contain a seasonal reference and a kireji, a “cutting word,” that may tie the beginning to the end.

 

 

 

FLASH FICTION AND SHORT POEM

  1. Submit in advance of the Conference by 2 pm on Thursday, September 8, 2022, to writersconferencesu@gmail.com.

  2. Each contestant is permitted to submit a maximum of 2 works of flash fiction and 2 works of short poetry.

  3. The minimum/maximum length of a work of flash fiction should be 6-500 words.

  4. The maximum length of a short poem should be 60 words.

  5. Your name and the title of your work should appear only in your email subject line.

  6. The work’s title should appear on each page of the work. On the contest board, your work will appear anonymously.

  7. Conference attendees will vote for the winners. TO VOTE, place the tickets provided in your Conference tote bag into the appropriate vase, which will be located at the Registration table. You may vote for only one work of Flash Fiction and Short Poem.

  8. The submitted works will be judged by Sadie Shorr-Parkes, Director of Creative Writing at Shepherd University (poetry), and by Mary Elizabeth Ellzey, Chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages at Shepherd University (flash fiction).

  9. Winners will be announced at the close of the conference.

 

Example of a short poem:

​To everything, there is a season,

and a time to every purpose

Under the heaven:

A time to be born, a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up

that which is planted.

-- Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (Anonymous)

 

Example of flash fiction:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

-- attributed to Ernest Hemingway