Writers are invited to create and submit a short story consisting of 50 paragraphs. The contest provides the first and last paragraph (see below) and the short story writer crafts the rest. 

First prize is $1000, 2nd prize is $500, and 3rd prize is $250 with the winning short story published in an ebook short story anthology for Amazon, as well as an invitation to give a public reading at Inkberry Books in Niwot, CO. Twenty-four (24) Finalists will also have their short stories included in this ebook anthology. 


Paragraph #1: copy and paste this text as the first paragraph of your short story

No coverage, not even one bar, the battery was dead anyway.  It was still daytime, but there was an overcast and the sky had a perfectly even dullness, so there was no way to tell what time of day it was, much less which direction was north or south or anything else for that matter.  A two-lane blacktop road snaked up into the distance and disappeared into some trees, or a forest if you wanted to get technical about it.  It also snaked down toward some lumpy hills and disappeared there as well.  What sounded like a two-stroke chainsaw could be heard in the distance, but it was impossible to tell whether it was up in the forest or down in the lumpy hills.  This had been happening more often lately.  Two different ways to go, with a dead battery and no bars, and nobody left to blame.


Paragraph #50: copy and paste this text as the last paragraph of your short story

They made their way through the crowd, and back to the El Dorado.  And as they approached it, a crow flew directly over their heads and landed on the hood and then looked at them.  They stood some distance away and watched the crow watching them.  Another crow flew directly overhead and landed beside it.  The first crow squawked and then both flew away.  They watched the crows disappear, looked at each other, and then got in the El Dorado.  Only one way to go this time, with five bars and full battery.


Click SUBMIT below for additional contest details.



ABOUT THE CONTEST 

Owl Canyon Press provides the first and last paragraphs — you write 48 paragraphs to complete the middle of the story.


Paragraph #1: copy and paste this text as the first paragraph of your short story

No coverage, not even one bar, the battery was dead anyway.  It was still daytime, but there was an overcast and the sky had a perfectly even dullness, so there was no way to tell what time of day it was, much less which direction was north or south or anything else for that matter.  A two-lane blacktop road snaked up into the distance and disappeared into some trees, or a forest if you wanted to get technical about it.  It also snaked down toward some lumpy hills and disappeared there as well.  What sounded like a two-stroke chainsaw could be heard in the distance, but it was impossible to tell whether it was up in the forest or down in the lumpy hills.  This had been happening more often lately.  Two different ways to go, with a dead battery and no bars, and nobody left to blame.

Paragraph #50: copy and paste this text as the last paragraph of your short story

They made their way through the crowd, and back to the El Dorado.  And as they approached it, a crow flew directly over their heads and landed on the hood and then looked at them.  They stood some distance away and watched the crow watching them.  Another crow flew directly overhead and landed beside it.  The first crow squawked and then both flew away.  They watched the crows disappear, looked at each other, and then got in the El Dorado.  Only one way to go this time, with five bars and full battery.

Write the 48 paragraphs between the 1st and 50th provided above, and then submit your complete 50 paragraph short story to enter the contest.


CONTEST DETAILS

  • There’s no cost to enter.
  • Anyone can submit, including outside the USA, but the stories must be in English
  • 50 Paragraphs total – first & last provided below
  • No maximum word count, but each paragraph needs to be at least 40 words – this isn’t flash fiction so feel free to use as many words as you need to tell the story
  • NO DIALOG IN “QUOTES” just narrative and action, what the characters are doing, thinking, seeing, feeling, and even saying -- as long as it’s paraphrased in prose (e.g., He asked if it was ok to look?  Instead of “Is it ok to look?” he asked.)
  • Authors retain all rights to their short stories
  • Authors agree to permit Owl Canyon Press to publish their stories in the eBook Anthology
  • Failure to comply with any contest guidelines may result in disqualification. 
  • Finalists receive up to $1000 in cash awards, publication in a short story anthology, and an invitation to give a public reading at Inkberry Books in Niwot, CO.
  • Winners will be notified in August 2018.


For additional information check the Owl Canyon Press Hackathon FAQ