I had no idea, but it seems that May is National Short Story Month. I didn’t know anything like that even existed, but it seems that it’s celebrating it’s 2nd or 4th year depending on how you look at it.  (I found an interesting article on it here.)

I’m quite excited about this.  I love short stories.  There’s nothing like being able to read an entire plot and character arc in a single sitting.  I like being introduced to different ideas, concepts, and even writing styles in a short story anthology.  And I love how compact a short story is; how every word counts.

So, to celebrate National Short Story Month and to incorporate the character discussions we are also having this month, I’m going to hold a little contest this week.  I present the Buried Editor’s Character Short Story Contest:

  • Take your main character from the story or picture book you are working on and write a 500-2000 word short story featuring that character.  (Write an actual short story, not another picture book MS.  For some short story writing tips, click here. To see the difference between a PB MS and a short story, click here.) 
  • However, here’s the catch. Your story must take place before the start of your existing story.  In other words, the short story should be a prequel.  Besides being good practice at writing a short story, this exercise should also help you become better acquainted with your primary character’s back story.
  • The short story can be for any age range between read-aloud to teen. It just must be a short story.
  • Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator!To enter the contest, post your story before 11:59 CST Friday, May 6, 2011, on the Board I set up for the contest.  I will pick my 2 favorite stories, and then the readers of this blog will vote on a winner.
  • The prize will be a signed copy of Mo Willems’ latest picture book, Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator! This picture book is 6 1/2 short stories, so it seems like the perfect prize.

Any questions? Leave them in the comment field below!

© Copyright 2006-2011 Madeline Smoot. All rights reserved.
May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.
%d bloggers like this: