Hello, fellow Tumblorgs! Yesterday I reblogged a post announcing a 100 word short story contest by my literary agency @newleafliterary. My agent is Jo, and she’s outstanding. She’s basically changed my life. Anyway, I know there are a lot of writers here on Tumblr—both professional writers and writers looking to be discovered—and I’ll bet there are quite a number who follow me here. Though writing a 100 word story with a specific theme and using a few keywords is far from the most natural exercise, the prize (a query critique or a first page critique) is so worthwhile, I really think everyone who has any aspiration to write professionally should give it a shot. This could be just the push you need to get you over the next hump.
I also know, though, that it can make one a bit nervous to send a piece of writing—however small, however impersonal—out into the world. There may be some writers here who could win this contest—and who would really benefit from getting a critique—who might never enter simply because they’re afraid of what the reaction will be. In order to help ease that pain, I’m going to enter my own submission here, so that you will know—for a fact—that your story will not be the worst story submitted. No, no. This is the worst story that will be submitted:
“New Year, New Love”
A woman with a grin like ten Mona Lisas passes out champagne. “Two minutes to midnight!” her voice jingles. The man in the corner watches, his emotions like the 90% of an iceberg nobody sees. Even with closed eyes, he senses her: the smell of her perfume; the feel of her dress; the sound of her laughter; the taste of the aforementioned champagne. The man makes his firstresolution. Tonight, he will accept the challenge. Tonight his word will be cousin to his deed. Tonight he will tell her—
The man awakens. Just a dream. Oh well. Maybe next year.
There it is: The worst 100 word story that this contest will see. Your story is already better than this one. Now you have no excuse. For example, you could submit this same exact story and change the word “ten” to “eleven” and your story will be better—one better, in fact.
So, give it a shot! The worst that can happen is you’ll submit the second worst story.
This is my entry for the New Year, New Love! contest hosted by NewLeaf Literary. The maximum number of words I could use was 100 and I had to incorporate the words: first, resolution, challenge, cousin and midnight.
I hope you all enjoy my entry!
“First! You have to tell him you love him!”
“It’s your resolution for the new year! Finally, telling him.”
“NO! H-he’s your cousin!”
“It’s already a challenge just to be next to him. If he said no… . it would ruin everything.”
Emily waved this excuse away before plunging into her next thought, “Hannah! Tell him at midnight tonight!”
“At the party?!”
“Yeah, it’ll be perfect.”
“And utterly humiliating.”
“Yes! What would I say? ‘Hey, Henry just so you know I’ve been in love with you for the past year.’”
There’s still one day to enter @newleafliterary‘s 100 word short story contest and get a chance at a critique from one of the best agencies in the publishing world! You can read more about the contest here. But since there are people who I think are still on the fence about submitting a story, here it comes: Another absolutely terrible 100 word story that will definitely not win. If you think you can write a better story than this one (and you can!), then you should submit before the deadline (11:50 p.m. EST tomorrow!).
And now for this (prepare yourself):
So it’s New Year’s Eve, and I want to go to my first ever New Year’s party with my cousin Jaidyn, but my mom says I have to clean my room. It’s a huge mess! I know it’ll be a challenge, so I call my friend Jaiden to help. Turns out if you have a vacuum cleaner it’s not so bad. We just put away the stuff and then it’s clean, but now it’s almost midnight! We count down, and then I make a resolution to spend more time with my new love: the vacuum cleaner. Always there for me!
You can do better than this! If you’ve ever wanted to write professionally, getting a critique from a major literary agency can’t but help you—and I absolutely adore @newleafliterary. There’s still a little over 24 hours to enter, so get to it! 100 words is a lot shorter than you think. (Even doing this I had to cut out 20 words!)
We had so much fun hosting the #NLpitchperfect Twitter pitch contest. There were so many great ideas popping up every second (literally!). All the talent and creativity sparked a lot of discussion between the assistants, so we wanted to thank everyone who participated!
We thought it would be fun to share some stats from the contest:
We received over 800 pitches in two hours.
We favorited almost 80 pitches.
It took us four hours to go through each and every tweet.
We were trending on Twitter for about 6 hours.
Popular topics included pirates, fairies/faeries, dead best friends, princesses, and instruments/musicians.
Burgers and milkshakes got us through the night.
We’re excited to see the follow-up queries, and hope to host other similar contests in the future. Thanks again to all you brave, creative souls for pitching your books in >140 characters. You all ROCK!