Robert Swartwood says:
Hint Fiction is two years old. Hard to believe that what originally started as aÂ not-so-serious essay which was intended to be read by only a handful of people turned into something this big. After all,Â Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer came out in November toÂ very positive reviews. It was featured onÂ NPRâ€™s Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon. It was chosen as one ofÂ The Nervous Breakdownâ€™sÂ favorite books of the year. And the Gotham Writerâ€™s Workshop featured Hint Fiction as theirÂ writing contest this past fall. So yes, a lot has happened in the past two years, and to celebrate Hint Fictionâ€™s continuing success, weâ€™re having another contest!
First, what is Hint Fiction? Inspired by Ernest Hemingwayâ€™s infamous six-word story â€” â€œFor sale: Baby shoes, never wornâ€ â€” Hint Fiction is a story of 25 words or fewer that suggests a larger, more complex story. These are complete stories that hint at a larger story, not a first sentence or random sentence plucked from a larger work thinly disguised as a story. To see examples, look at the past two yearsâ€™ winners and finalists (2009 and2010), or check outÂ examples of my own Hint Fiction. Or, better yet, readÂ the anthology.
This Yearâ€™s Judge:
Two years ago the very first Hint Fiction contest was judged byÂ Stewart Oâ€™Nan. Last year it was judged byJames Frey. This year? Why, this yearâ€™s judge is the legendaryÂ Joyce Carol Oates, who really needs no introduction (though I will mention that her story in theÂ Hint Fiction anthology was the much-loved â€œThe Widowâ€™s First Yearâ€).
- The first place winner will receive $100; the second place winner will receive $50; the third place winner will receive $25. The first place winner will also receive a slew ofÂ journals and anthologies donated by a handful of publishers:
- a copy ofÂ The Best of Every Day Fiction Three, donated by editorÂ Camille Gooderham Campbell
- a copy ofÂ PANK, donated by editorÂ Roxane Gay
- a copy ofÂ The Emerson Review, donated by editorÂ Doug Paul Case
- a copy ofÂ Dark Sky Magazine, donated by editorÂ Kevin Murphy
- a copy ofÂ Monkeybicycle, donated by editorÂ StevenÂ Seighman
- a copy ofÂ A Thousand Faces, donated by editorÂ Frank Byrns
- All runners-up will also receive a copy of theÂ Hint Fiction anthology, signed by over a dozen contributors, including Benjamin Percy, Michael Martone, Edith Pearlman, Randall Brown, Roxane Gay, and more.
The contest starts now and will take entries until midnight April 30th eastern time. There is no entry fee. You are allowed to submit up to two stories of no more than twenty-five words each in the comments section of this post or, if you would prefer, in the alternative submission form below. (The submission form is for those writers who do not wish for their stories to be publicly read or who have concerns that, because the stories will appear in the comments section of this blog, they will be considered published. I personally donâ€™t think itâ€™s a problem, but I donâ€™t want to leave anyone out, so the submission form is an alterative.) Any writer who submits more than two stories will be disqualified. If submitting two stories, submit them at the same time. At the end of this contest, all submitted stories will be deleted from the comments section. No reprints. Titles are not required but encouraged, as they can create an extra layer to the story. Winners will be contacted by email and announced here. In the meantime, â€œlikeâ€ Hint Fiction onÂ Facebook or follow Hint Fiction onÂ Twitter for any and all Hint-related news. Have fun!