Note: please check the updated official page, http://mythgard.org/writing-contest/, because some of the details of registration have changed since I wrote this blog post — and here is more info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMEQZdyUvfk.
Dear Creative Writers and lovers of fantasy, mystery, and speculative fiction! I am happy to announce Signum University’s “Almost an Inkling” Creative Writing Contest!! This contest is running concurrently with a fundraiser for the University’s Annual Fund: your entry fee will help to support creative, accessible higher education (you are encouraged to give a larger donation when you submit). Register for the Signum University fundraiser kickoff, tonight! There, you’ll hear about the Creative Writing Contest and other great events.
Are you a writer?
Many readers of classic literature, fantasy, and speculative fiction find that writing is contagious: they want to write like their favorite authors! If this desire is burning in you, here is your outlet: Signum University’s first creative writing contest! Pick up your pen, pencil, laptop, stylus, quill, parchment, or papyrus, and write like J.R.R. Tolkien—but in a hobbit-sized story.
This contest calls for submissions of TINY original works. We are looking for creative, imaginative, wild, well-crafted pieces of what William Nelles calls “microfiction,” “flash fiction,” “sudden fiction,” “minute stories,” “short-shorts,” or what Luisa Valenzuela calls “iridescent insects.” These miniature works of fiction showcase writers’ skills in a microcosm, calling for deft handling of character, plot, action, and description in a bite-sized space—or the surface area of a smartphone screen.
How it works:
Each week for six weeks (beginning on #HobbitDay, Bilbo’s birthday), new prompts will be posted, calling for minuscule stories on a variety of exciting topics. Tune in each Sunday as new guidelines are released for that week, then get writing! There will be doors, dragons, knights, time travel, spells, and sonnets.
- Everyone is invited to submit entries to this contest! You do NOT need to be associated with Signum University or the Mythgard Institute to send in your work.
- The public is invited to vote on their favorite entries! Each week, you will be given a link where you can go and click “like” on all the best works.
- All submissions must be the original work of the author, previously unpublished anywhere else (including on a personal blog or other web space), and not under consideration for publication anywhere else.
- This is not a place for fan fiction! All characters, names, specific fictional settings, and other unique story elements must be original and not lifted from any known work of literature. We are also not looking for anything that could be construed as pornography, libel, or hate speech.
- Please follow each week’s prompts and length requirements carefully. Failure to follow these specifications will result in the failure of an entry to be considered for a prize. There will be no refunds of fees for entries submitted in error.
- The entry fee is eleventy-one cents ($1.11) for each submission. Please fill out this Week 1 Registration first, then you will be given a registration code and a link to a submission form where you can send us your entries.
- Contestants may submit multiple entries to any prompt and to any week in any combination.
What Winners Want:
There will be one winner and two runners-up in two categories of winners chosen from each week: one by popular vote, one by the literary judges. This means you have thirty-six chances to win—plus you and all your friends can vote on your popular favorites! Winners will be published in a special-edition ebook by Oloris Press and will receive an opportunity to read their work aloud during a webinar at the end of the contest. The judges are Prof. Sørina Higgins, Chair of the Literature and Language Department at Signum University, and Robyn Stone, Director of Poetry at Oloris Pubishing.
Signum University’s Annual Fundraiser
This creative writing contest is part of Signum’s fundraising campaign, going from Hobbit Day (Sep 22) through Halloween (Oct 31). We will be hosting special events, prize drawings and contests.
The fundraiser kicks off on Hobbit Day, Tuesday September 22, with a Tolkien Trivia Challenge and a presentation of the fundraiser goals and schedule by Corey Olsen, Signum president. Join us live! Reserve your seat for Tuesday September 22, 9:30 pm Eastern time. Sharpen your knowledge of Middle-earth and join us to vie for prizes—Amazon gift cards of $10, $20 and $30 for the third to first challenge winners.