Let's cheer ourselves up with a fiction contest!
I asked you what kind of stories you'd like to read and submit, and you gave me a million great suggestions, all of which I've filed in my Super Amazing Ideas for Fiction Contests folder. This time, I'm going with a theme suggested by AishwaryaCullen, and seconded by Shurikun, galwaygirlxoxo, synchrogirl117, and others:
Stories based on songs.
"Based on" is the key phrase. Simply referencing a song is not enough. Acceptable: The tale of a country bumpkin intimidated by her first trip to L.A. Not acceptable: The tale of a moody basketball player who shouts, "I hate 'Party in the U.S.A.!'" as he fights an army of zombies.
Entry period: March 1 — March 31
Story length: 2,000 words max
What to send:
1) Your username
2) Your story, pasted into the body of an email
3) The title of your story
4) The name of the song on which your story is based
Where to send your entry: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who may enter: Middle school/junior high, high school, and college students. One entry per person, please.
What to leave out:
1) Expletives. If you include any curse words, I'll have to bl**p them out with asterisks, unfortch.
2) Grammatical errors. I won't edit your stories at all, so double check your work to avoid embarsing typpos.
What the winner will receive: Adulation, adoration, and hearty congratulations.
FAQs (updated 3/3)
Is it okay if my story's depressing?
Do I have to write a story based on an English-language song?
Does it have to be one song? Or can it be a bunch of songs with a similar theme? Or a bunch of songs by the same artist?
It has to be one song.
If the song is originally Russian, but the people sing an English version too, can I use it?
What if there is an English version of a song, but it's fan made?
If I can link to it on YouTube, that works.
If the song is mostly in English, but includes a few lines of Spanish (Shakira, we're looking at you) or another language, can I use it?
Does the song have to be well-known?
Can I use a song my friend wrote?
If there's a video of your friend performing the song on YouTube, sure.
Does the song have to have lyrics?
Can we include a line or verse of the song in our story?
Yes—but I've read many entries already, and it seems tough to include verses in a non-awkward way.
Can the name of the story be the same as the name of the song?
Yes, although I'm including links to the songs at the very end of the stories, so that readers can try to guess which song the story's about. If you're okay with giving away the game, it's fine to use the title of the song as the title of your story.
Can the song be of any genre?
Yes. As long as the song has English lyrics, it qualifies.
Is it okay if the song includes curse words?
Is it okay if the song is about violence?
Can I switch around the genders of the characters in the song?
Should the story be based on the lyrics, the music, or the song as a whole?
The lyrics. I'm not sure what "the song as a whole" means, but that sounds okay, too.
Say the song you want to use doesn't have a very clear meaning. What if you base your story off of YOUR interpretation of the song, which *might* not be correct but is still logical?
Does it count if it's technically not fiction? What I want to write goes along with the story of a song, it just actually happened to me...
That's fine. The line between memoir and fiction is a blurry one at best.
My story is over 2,000 words. Will you read it anyway?
What if my story's 2001 words long?
It's one word too long to qualify for entry.
Can people in grade 11 enter?
Can guys enter?
Can non-U.S. citizens enter?
Should I use American spellings?
If it feels more natural for you to attend the theatre wearing grey-coloured trousers, that's fine by me.
How many winners will there be?
One. There may be runners-up, too, as there were last time.
Can the winner put his/her victory on his/her college application?
Absolutely. The runners-up can, too.
"Even Angels Cry," by Medea37
"Sunrise," by Shinytrombone11
"Winter," by jahamette
"Back In Your Head," by camipop
"Smile," by inalandfarfaraway
"Mannequins," by leames1701
"Looking for Yourself," by B15air
"No Child Left Behind," by EMDEE_3
"Long Distance," by sodapopc21
"Answers," by clarissavandell
"Narcissistic," by sligers118
"The complicated truth," by ekename
"The Kiss," by chocoflakken
"Pink Robots," by javypsychrock
"Young Folks," by crazycrayon
"Good Enough," by Leannan Sith
"Things I Remember About You," by timeenough
"Six Years," by PieHo
"You Don't Know Me," by pyromist
"A Sorceress Spurned," by nesgurl90
"Teen Spirit,"by Scarlet Maria
"When I Wake," by i.am.unique.too
"You Don't Know Me," (second one of the contest!) by djmcleod17
Good luck, Sparklers! I can't wait to read your stories!