Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Shootout Writing Contest & A New Forum!

This weekend, I set up the Martin T. Ingham Official Fan Forum!  It's something that is still in the early stages, and I haven't had the time to post much there yet, though it is something I have thought about doing for quite a while.  This will be a place for my readers to converge and interact, to share what they like about my stories and learn more about them.  I'm not sure how hopping it'll be, but it will be another venue for activities.

The main impetus behind the forum's creation is the upcoming 2012 Exceptional Summer Shootout Writing Contest, which I will be hosting.  I was planning to have it over at the Pill Hill Press Forum, but as the editor/admin over there is pretty busy at the moment with some personal stuff, I made the choice to move the venue to a new locale.  What better place than my own fan forum?

There will be a pretty good prize for the ultimate winner of this shootout.  I'll be putting together a short story anthology, and the winner of this shootout will be granted publication to that collection!  It's something I've been thinking about doing for a while now.  The finalists are always the best of the best when it comes to writing, so I have no doubt that the winning story will be of sufficient quality.

So, any of my fellow writers who want a shot at the contest, here is the official invitation.  Keep in mind, space is limited, so sign up soon:

I'm pleased to announce the Exceptional Summer Shootout writing competition, which will test the mettle of writers near and far in a grand test of skill and stamina!  It all starts July 14, 2012!

These contests are always fun, and they spur the creation of highly publishable works.  Many shootout stories over the years have found homes in various anthologies and zines, and every participant receives valuable insights into their stories during the review process.

The shootout concept is simple.  Participating writers are given a prompt and one week to write a short story based on that prompt.  The subsequent week, the stories are reviewed by the participants.  Story authors remain anonymous until the reviews are final, and the reviews are kept anonymous for fair and unbiased opinion.

For the Exceptional Summer Shootout, we'll be setting up a team system, where 2 or more groups of writers will be competing head to head.  There won't be eliminations, so each writer will get the chance to write and review in 3 regular rounds.  After those 3 rounds, the top scoring writers on each team will compete for the win.

There will be one Grand Prize awarded to the writer who wins the final round:  Publication!  The winning writer will have their final story accepted for publication to an anthology that I will be editing for Hall Brothers Entertainment.  There will also be a nominal monetary payment given in addition to the publication acceptance.

To sign up, post in this thread, saying you want to participate:

Additional purpose and value of the shootout:

For those of you who haven't participated before, you may be asking this question.  Above and beyond the grand prize, these are the main reasons to participate in the shootout:

1: Entertainment –This is the first and most important aspect of the shootout.  It is designed to be a fun experience, something a writer does because they like to write, and they want to test themselves against their contemporaries.  It's a game, first and foremost!

2: Reviews –A lot of writers enjoy the critique part of the contest.  Not only do you receive valuable reviews about your own creations, but you also have the opportunity to give your two cents worth on the stories of fellow writers.

3: Free Stories –If you're a writer, you have to enjoy reading, and participating in the shootout gives you the opportunity to read fresh material from your fellow writers.

4: Prestige –There is a certain level of pride one can have in themselves and their skills when they successfully run the entire gamut of a shootout.  Even though the finalists and eventual winner may have the greatest bragging rights, any participant can feel good about successfully creating new works of fiction in a short amount of time based on a particular prompt.

So, even if you don't win the shootout, you have some very positive reasons to participate!

Contest Caveats:

Participation Requirement:  If you sign up, please be sure you can handle the workload.  You'll need to write a short story in one week and then review 5 to 8 stories the following week (number of stories reviewed will depend on the number of participants we end up having).  This will happen 3 times in a row (write then review), so do your best.

Negative Feedback:  While reviews are expected to be considerate and constructive, they're also supposed to be honest.  It is possible someone may provide actual criticism of your story.  Be prepared to receive a modicum of negative feedback.

Document Format:  Your stories/comments will have to be submitted via email in either a .doc or .rtf format.  No .docx files!  Please make sure you can submit in the stated formats.

Well, I think that covers everything major.  Let's see some volunteers!

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