Chez Shaffner

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Writing Contests and Powerpuff Girls

As those of you who have read my biography know, I have been in and out of the writing world the last few years. My re-introduction has been very pleasant so far, with one of my pieces appearing two weeks ago in The Beat and a slew of pieces going out for consideration in the last two weeks. My fingers are crossed.

I have also been looking into a variety of contests. It may not be surprising that the deadlines are fast and furious through the fall, especially when you include those publications staffed primarily by students.

Many contests are straight-forward, their guidelines providing little more than a general format (fiction, creative non-fiction) and word count (500, 1000, 5000). But I recently came across a fun one, which I just have to post here. Not because I want to encourage competition, of course, but because it's FUN.

edifice WRECKED is a fantastic publication, very professional in layout and content, and typically playing host to a wonderful selection of short stories, flash fiction, and poetry from many brilliant authors, some of whom I've had the good fortune to work with through various online workshops, including Zoetrope Virtual Studio.

Here are the basics... For full details, check out the official contest guidelines.

Due Date: Sept 30th
Word Count: 600 words
Theme: Halloween

The Catch: You have to use the following six phrases (in no particular order) as seven of those six hundred words...

  • Buttercup
  • Rainbow
  • Baby Lotion
  • Sunflower
  • Rastafarian
  • Brackish

How about that selection of words? Hot damn, got to assemble some incredibly random ideas to pull those together.

I am ashamed to admit that upon reading the list, I immediately thought of the Powerpuff Girls. Last week, I was roped into a game of Cranium with my girlfriend's sisters. Ker and I cleaned up, despite our (my) weakness at charades. Enter "Cadoo," a free throw-in from the KB Toys dude at the mall. A Cranium clone, targeted to a younger audience. Against our better judgment, we opted to try it.

The questions were easy. The three ladies got questions such as: "Spell this word backwards -- morning." The turn passed to me, and I drew a trivia question: "Which is the smartest Powerpuff Girl?" Huh?!? Who the hell are Powerpuff Girls? The choices were Blossom, Buttercup, and Bubbles. I guessed Buttercup, which was wrong (the answer, for those of you who may need this datum in the future, is Blossom).

But I digress... I am looking forward to writing this contest entry! And I'm pretty sure it won't have anything to do with children's cartoons...



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