Everyone who has ever gone to elementary school has done the art project where the teacher draws a line on a piece of paper and the student turns it into a picture.
Some students start drawing immediately, others stare at the paper and agonize over what to do. Some of the pictures are so well executed that the original line needs to be pointed out, others look like a dinosaur doing a somersault into a stack of pancakes. Some children manage to draw what they always draw, a few take that line places that even the art teacher wouldn’t have thought of.
That line is a prompt, an idea that inspires one to create something larger, more developed than the original idea. In writing, prompts are generally ideas that come to us at random times in everyday life. But sometimes, there is a contest that starts with a writing prompt.
Like this one!
I am officially hosting a flash fiction contest (500-1000 words), any genre, in which all entrants will start their story with the same line. Where you take that prompt is up to you, but the submission that pleases me the most will win either a $10 e-giftcard from Amazon.com, or a hardcover edition of the children’s book, Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson* (winner’s choice). The winner will also have their story “published” in the Layinda’s Blog post of Monday, March 8, 2010, as well as a link to his/her blog, if there is one. (Keep the salivating to a minimum, please.)
1. Entries need to be posted by Friday, March 5, 2010, 11:59 P.M., Eastern Standard Time, in the Line in the Sand comments on Layinda’s Blog (authors will retain all rights to their work).
2. Each entry needs to be 500-1000 words in length, any genre, but no smut, please.
3. THE STORY MUST START WITH THE PROMPT.
4. Only one submission per author.
5. To qualify, entrants must mention the url to my blog:
either on their blog or in a comment on someone else’s blog, and include the url to where that mention is posted in the same comment as their entry to this contest.
6. The contest winner’s name and winning story will be posted in this blog on Monday, March 8, 2010. Arrangements will be made at that time as to logistics regarding the prize.
Any questions? Post those, too.
HERE IS THE PROMPT:
She watched the boat sail away.
* See my previous blog post, Oldies but Goodies: Great Books for First Graders.