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Yo, Writer's Forum. I know you very well by now, as writing contests have been the only source of income on Gaia for me for about a year now. I guarantee that I have at least clicked around on every single "Short Story Contest" thread that's been posted here for the last six months or so, and that I've entered quite a few of them as well.

However, I also know the cliches of this forum very well, such as the overdose of fantasy, emo angsting, and omg i em scar3d of beeg ratingz!!!11. And, frankly, I'm sick of it.

I've been entering contests here for a year now, and it's time for me to give back. My friend and I had a romance contest going once, but she got hacked and it all fell to pieces. There will not be a repeat of this. I've recently sold something very valuable of mine and, after spending like crazy, I have 10k left over to use for this contest.


Vital Information
What I'm Looking For


You might've noticed the title. Apart from it being cleverly used as a heading while also being an old Cher song, it pretty much sums up this contest. The theme is modern fiction. There's a lot of different definitions for this, but in my book, it includes:
--Real-life issues (i.e. drugs, pregnancy, crappy jobs, etc.)
--Explicit relations (for those who don't like the s-word)
--Not-so-happy things (being laid off, whores, muggings)

I will also allow the slightly different topic of modern fantasy, since fusing the real world with some made-up elements has always been an inspiration for me. This includes:
--Post-apocolyptic scenarios
--Future-type settings
--Magic in the slightest degree
HOWEVER, if you so choose the second theme, you still must incorporate the elements I listed for the first theme. Also, if I see just one sword, I swear by my checkered skirt Zony Discman ( biggrin ) I will end you.

Optional Prompts

As a writer myself, I have a lot of problems getting started on something without a prompt. In light of this, I'm offering three optional prompts to get you started if you so choose to use them. Of course, they must be used with the theme in mind.
--1. Capgras Syndrome.
--2. Lyrics: City of Blinding Lights, U2.
--3. "Occasionally, [Character 1] wondered what would have happened if he/she'd never met [Character 2]. Undoubtedly, it would have thrown a monkey wrench into his meeting [Character 3], but he/she had a sneaking suspicion that he/she and [Character 3] would have come together in the end anyway."


For quick reference, here's the bare basics:
--Wordcount: 700 - 5,000 words. Any less is not a story, and anymore I don't have time to burn my eyes out reading.
--Entry Fee: Nonexistant
--Deadline: July 30th (which also happens to be my half-birthday).
--Post your entries in the thread.


First Place: 10k
Second Place: 6k
Third Place: 3k
Honorable Mention: 1k apiece (There will be two.)

Thread Rules

I really shouldn't have to say these. But, just for reference:
--Be kind and courteous to everyone. If you get nasty, you will be disqualified from the contest.
--I allow all ratings, but if your entry is above PG-13, please PM it to me.
--Obey the Gaia TOS.
--Be respectful to me.

1. Excellent grammar. I will not tolerate chatspeak or 'semi-literates' (what is that, anyway? You're either literate or you're not). You have SpellCheck right on MSWord; run it through your piece when you're done. If you don't have SpellCheck, find a beta to help you out. Small mistakes are common and I don't care about them, but if you're mixing up 'there' and 'their', you have to go back and check again.

2. Dynamic characters. This does not mean 'dark and brooding'; it means characters with different facets of their personalities, not flat cardboard cutouts. Give them a personality, please.

3. Plot. Give me something I can follow, alright? Even if it's light as angelfood cake (since plot, as I well know, is hard to deal with), show me a storyline.

4. Title. I know this isn't such a big deal, but it seems a lot of people submit their pieces without titles. For filing purposes, I require that you have one, even if it's just "Untitled".


--Stupid Asian references that don't pertain at all to the story (like using honorifics [-chan, -san, etc.] or having Asian names in a non-Asian setting).
--'Girl is abused/hurt/abandoned and becomes an assassin.' Oh please. Unless you've written it like the reincarnation of Ernest Hemmingway would, don't submit it.
--Not reading the rules.

1. I t i, Counterfeited (page 2)
2. i_love_nutmeg, Not Worth Hoping (page 4)
3. Cassandra022, Bone Demon (page 5)
4. Iorwen, Father Complex (page 6)
5. Ms. Jade Puget, The Treasure Box (page 10)
6. triplenegative, The Bone Chair (page 14)
7. sweetdeily, Holiday Home (PM)
8. Voll de Galle, Savior of Hartford (page 14)

9. Panthino the Moth
10. Panda Bunni, Face Down (page 17)
11. AngelofthePhoenix, Toast, Anyone? (page 16)

12. + Vanir Wolfe +, The Penthouse Murder (page 19)
13. Iamanna, Wallflower (page 19)
14. fluteplayer987, What Was Once There Is Gone (page 19)

15. hiriyou, Loraine (page 22)
16. bertabird, The Blind Lead On (PM)

17. fragileragdoll, Drowned Rape (page 23)
18. Lunaartin, We Lie By the Garden (page 23)

19. [ pipoTASTIC! ], Forbidden Dance (page 24)

20. sango-chan17, Purposeful (page 25)
21. experimentme, Untitled (page 22)
22. Mcphee, The Day (PM)

23. Lolita Pop, The 'Rain' of Eva (page 25)
24. Ginny-ryu, Most Notions Show Emotions (page 26)
25. Cutina124, Happening (page 26)

26. Miss Snark, Enough (page 26)
27. Fuyubi, Forever

(More spaces will be added if needed.)

Can I submit a part of something I've already written?

Yes. God knows I've chopped up and submitted my new novella enough times to alert the government.

Do you have any biases when it comes to male/male or female/female couplings?

No, none at all. But don't do the gay thing just to be 'different', okay?

Er... I don't know if you already mentioned this, but can people submit more than one? Just wondering!

I'm going to say no, because in the end, you're just competing against yourself. Pick your favorite piece and submit that instead of multiple ones.

Can I submit a fanfiction?

No. I'm not going to award prizes for someone else's inventions/characters.

Do your characters have to be gypsies, tramps, and/or thieves?

No, they don't (but they can be if you want them to). The title is random and reflects the theme in a way, but otherwise has nothing to do with your pieces.


WOW. Just...wow. Everyone give Mahayr and the WW&CCF a huge thank-you, because they donated 10k to this contest. Prizes just majorly upped!

Did everyone see the banner that Cassandra022 made? It's made of awesome! Thanks so much, Cass!

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And we're open.

*ceremoniously cuts ribbon*
Never realized how much U2 I had on my iPod...o.0
Ooh, I love U2... *clears throat* So, anyway, is urban fantasy permitted, so long as it relates to the theme and there aren't any swords?
Oh, definitely. Just please refrain from chain mail and armor wink
All right. If I can just stitch this one story together in time, I'll definitely enter.
Awesome ^^
I'll try.

I'm glad ^_^
Got a lot of Everclear, too. Hm.
And The Beatles. Man, why do I have so many Beatles songs?

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