November/December 2012 Writing Contest- Holiday Theme


It’s that time again for the monthly writing contest.  I have chosen to combine November and December for one big holiday theme and greater prizes (see below).  For this contest only, the three finalists will have their stories posted separately each day after it closes for everyone to read before voting begins.

For those who are new to the contest, or haven’t participated in a while, pay close attention to all the details. The stipulations and rules are listed below.  For further information, stop by the Monthly Writing Contest page to see the complete listing of rules and other information you should know (along with who the previous winners are).

You will have until December 15th at midnight (EST) to submit your entry. On December 16th, I will announce the first finalist for the contest and continue to announce a new one each day until all three have been posted.  After that, I will open up voting for three days.  There are typically three finalists, but if more than ten entries are submitted, I may select four and add a day for announcing it.  It will remain my right to use assistance from outside sources in the selection process, if I cannot decide easily. Those who judge will have no stake in this contest or its outcome.

Prizes

1st Place- $25 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Place- $15 Amazon Gift Card
3rd Place- $10 Amazon Gift Card*

*The third place prize (and increased prizes for 1st and 2nd) are for the holiday contest only.  In January, they will return to the normal levels of $20 gift card for 1st place and $10 gift card for 2nd place.

**As a new permanent prize, authors who win will also be eligible for getting their book advertised on this blog.  Please see this link for details.

*THIS IS A “NO FEE” CONTEST!!!

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Now, here are the stipulations and rules.  Follow them closely or you will be disqualified!

Stipulations:

1) The theme is holiday stories.  Entries must be relevant to holidays which occur during the November-December time frame, regardless of religion or country of origin.  So long as it is documented as a real holiday somewhere, it can be written about.

2) The story itself may be one from real life or one you made up, but it must be originally written by you and not copied from any other source.  No plagiarizing.  The story must not be one that can be found elsewhere prior to the contest even if you did write it.

3) The holiday in question should be made clear.  Whether you tell it from the point of view of humans, animals, or supernatural beings is entirely up to you.

4) Style and mechanics will be considered for those stories chosen for finalist positions.  After that, it will be up to the voters to decide.  The tale can be sad, happy, or humorous but keep in mind your audience will be looking for something that touches them in some way.

5) Word count: Up to 2500 words (no minimum)

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General Rules:

1) No extreme language. There are people here who do not want to see it and I prefer we not have anything that might be too offensive to the average reader. Light profanity is acceptable.

2) Making me laugh or cry will gain you favor in my selection, though it isn’t a requirement. All genres of writing are welcome (if you are erotica, try to keep it mild please).

3) Post your story in the comments section of this post. Do not email it to me.

4) Ensure you include your name (even if it is only a first name or nickname) and a title for the story. Neither of these go toward word-count.

5) Anyone who has won a prize in any of the last three months is not eligible for a finalist position. They can submit a story if they wish, just for fun, but they cannot win.

6) Any story submission posted here can be posted elsewhere AFTER the competition is over. The only thing I ask is that you put a disclaimer saying that it was written for a contest on this blog (a link back here would be nice).

7) Must be your original writing that has never been published or posted elsewhere prior to this.

8)You are allowed one edit where you can fix one sentence in your story after it is posted.  Contact me prior to the contest closing date/time and specify exactly what you want changed.  ***New Rule***

9) Anyone may enter the contest  but must be able to receive an Amazon gift card from an Amazon site that is in English (they are not transferable).  I will convert US currency to the currency of the Amazon country site requested, based on current exchange rates.

10) In the event of a tie during the finalist voting round, I will ask (at a minimum) three previous winners who are not involved in this round of the contest to vote anonymously (via email to me) and use the majority of their votes to make the decision on who will win.

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That is everything you need to know.  Come back on Sunday (December 16th) and the following days after that to see who the finalists are and vote in the poll for your favorite candidate (or maybe even yourself).   The poll will open on December 19th and stay open until midnight (EST) Friday, December 21st.  That is approximately three days for voting.  On Saturday, the 22nd, I will announce the winner and runners-up.  They will all receive their Amazon gift cards at that time via email.   Good luck!

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~ by Suzie on November 15, 2012.

16 Responses to “November/December 2012 Writing Contest- Holiday Theme”

  1. […] those of you who somehow missed yesterday’s post, the writing contest is open.  The top prize for this one is a $25 Amazon gift card.  There are also prizes for second […]

  2. The Tooth Fairy vs. Santa Claus- A Twisted Christmas Tale
    By
    Charity Parkerson
    507 words
    The fat man needed to die, Kevin decided as he stared at the fire blazing in the fireplace. The orange glow of the flickering flames gave the tiny room its only light, but it did nothing to relieve its bleakness. Three years in a row now, he had sat in this exact spot, and waited for the red-suited jolly man’s arrival only to have his efforts thwarted each time, but not this year. He was ready for him this time. A plate of arsenic sprinkled cookies and a glass of rat-poisoned milk sat at his elbow as a welcoming gift for an unwanted yearly visitor. Evil lurked behind those coal-colored eyes. Santa might have lured the rest of the world into his mythical white van with a promise of free candy, but Kevin knew the truth. He was no more than a thief. Three hundred and sixty-five days a year Kevin donned his tiny pink tights and slaved away collecting his pearly white treasures, always making sure to pay the going rate, only to have an obese borderline diabetic drop in once a year and destroy his treasure with sticky sugary sweets. Gripping the metal pliers that he held at the ready a bit tighter, a smile of pure satisfaction touched Kevin’s lips. This year Kevin would take his treasure in trade. A cold blast of wind whipped through the room, killing the fire, and plunging the room into darkness. Restless hooves beat against the rooftop as the sound of heavy footsteps fell across the wooden floor. The rapid beating of Kevin’s heart drummed inside of his ears and his eyes refused to adjust to the sudden loss of light. The air stirred at his side and Kevin leapt from his seat, swinging the heavy pliers wildly. When his blow met with only empty air, the momentum carried him full-circle and left him off-balance until he landed solidly on his rear-end. A jolly laugh filled the room as a wave of exhaustion fell over him and he was no longer able to hold his eyes open.
    The bright morning sunlight fell across Kevin’s face pulling him from a deep sleep. Disheartened, Kevin realized he had slept through another Christmas Eve night. In his chair sat a bright red stocking overflowing with sticky sweet candies. The weight of failure sat heavy upon his chest until he spied the empty glass. Kevin nearly cackled in laughter as he moved to the table. He might have missed seeing him, but Santa would not survive the night. However, sitting on top of the now bare plate was a tiny white note.
    “Thank you for the milk and cookies. I use them to fuel my sleigh. If you wish to best me, might I suggest sleeping during the day? Until then, please accept this gift without fear, as I look forward to matching wits with you again next year. Sincerely, S.C.”
    Underneath the note, amongst the cookie crumbs, sat two pearly white teeth. If he wasn’t mistaken, they were from the front.
    The End.

  3. One Last Christmas- A Tale of Hope and Love
    By:
    Catherine Woodruff
    Words-791

    One More Christmas… that’s all that’s left I just couldn’t wrap my mind about the 3 little words that changed my life. I was just about to burst into tears when I realized I just had to stay strong for my mom and dad and Sarah. I didn’t wasn’t them to be more hurt then they all already were. If I cried they would too. Why dose life have to be SO hard, why can’t it just be easy, with no emotional rollercoaster rides? I sighed and picked up my steaming cup of hot cholate, it was in my favorite mug. The mug was all white with little pink cursive letters saying HOPE. Hope, is basically my life motto, well you see I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 10. I have already been through tons of chemo theapery that made me not only lose my hair but also my friends and almost all my happiness. If it wasn’t for my family I don’t know where I would be now. My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by my mom bringing the grocies. I idmeatly got up off my hot pink fuzzy coach and ran over to her and grabbed a bag out of her hands. “Thanks Izzy” My mom said trying her best to sound happy, but I know she will never be the funny, care free mom she was to me to Sarah. I wiped a tear off my face that somehow made me want to cry more. I tried to occupy my mind, so I went to look through the big brown bags my mom left on the counter. In every single bag there was Christmas stuff. Christmas decorations, lights, Tincle, holly, mistole, candy canes, gingerbread men kits, ginger bread house kits, everything Christmassy was in these bags. I gave my mom a confused look, she just smiled and replied “ I decided we shouldn’t be mopping around dreading our last Christmas together we should be living it to the fullest as a whole family” I smiled and nodded “ I would love that” she gave me a big hug and whispered in my ear “ I knew you would”. I knew she was advoding this question for days but now I had to ask her. “Ummm… Mom is dad going to be here before I umm you know die” She looks at me very sadly and tears are streaming down her face. “Not until5 more months Izzy… I’m so sorry he can’t he tried so hard though his general said he can’t leave deployment early… I’m so sorry Izzy”. I was crushed in side I felt my heart just break into a thousand little pieces, but I had to be strong for Sarah mom and dad. “I’m okay mom honestly, Oh look Ginger bread let’s make some” I smiled at my mom she laughed a little and smiled back.
    2 weeks later- Christmas Day
    “Wake up wake up wake up” screams Sarah while jumping on my bed. I open my crystal blue eyes and saw Sarah jumping happily up and down right on top of me. I smiled and hugged her tight “merry Christmas Little Sis” I whispered to Sarah. “Merry Christmas Big Sister” she screams at the top of her lungs while running out of my room. I grab my peace sign robe and throw it over my cookie monster pajamas. I excitedly ran down my hard wooden steps jumping off the last to and landing on the ground with a big thud. I look up and see mom and Sarah looking at me. I look at her. She smiles big and points to a big box, she smiles bigger and says “it’s for you I know you will love it”. I ccautionly open it and see the only thing I wanted to see my dad in his military uniform smiling back at me. “Daddy” I choke out as I hug him so tight I think he lost all feeling in his body. ‘Izzy” He chokes out trying to hold back tears. The rest of the best day of my life we chated and played with our gifts, family came and we ate. Of course I am sad to leave this earth and for many days I begged God why me why did I have to get cancer, but now I know why, because my cancer brought my family closer together and when I leave this earth they will still be close. When I leave this earth I’ll be happy with God but not happier than the day they come up to heave with me and we can be a happy family again.

  4. Blue Christmas
    By
    Jon Recluse

    It was just after dark on Christmas Eve when I found myself outside the park. I paused at the entrance to let the spirit of the season wash over me as the snow gently fell and two old biddies beat each other senseless over a parking spot the size of a Matchbox car. Heartwarming as the scene was, particularly after a quick belt of holiday cheer from my flask, I had to move on to the business at hand and afoot. I lit a cigar to help warm my cockles, and entered the park.
    The whole thing seemed simple enough, which should have been ample warning that it wasn’t, but a case was a case and I wasn’t one to let knowing better keep me from risking life, limb and what was left of my sanity to make a buck.
    I cut across the park in the direction of Saint Stan’s church as I considered what I knew about the case. Recently, the suicide rate had shot through the roof, which was par for the course during the holidays, but the numbers were way off and most of the dearly departed were reaching the end of their ropes, belts and shoelaces in the stand of trees located on the rise behind the church, at the edge of the old cemetery. Where Agnes Snit was planted, almost a century ago, the only occupant in that patch of unhallowed ground. A suicide.
    Simple enough, really. A mournful spirit, whose pain touched the depressed and the sensitive even after all this time, and tipped the emotional scales in favor of imitating a Christmas ornament. A quick word and old Agnes would shuffle off to judgement.
    “…….come to me……..”
    I stopped dead in my tracks. I knew all the voices in my head, and that wasn’t one of them.
    “……so cold…..so lonely…..”
    I was over 100 yards away from my destination, and a couple of chills chased each other down my spine. This wasn’t right. She couldn’t be that powerful. That’s when I saw a pair of figures making a beeline for the trees off on my right. Two of the local homeless population, Smiley Jackson and Marbles, were heading for a self inflicted dirt nap.
    Tossing my cigar, I started running, trying to intercept them. As I closed in, I could feel the pull from the rise getting stronger, as waves of despair and hate washed over my mind. This wasn’t going to end well.
    I reached Smiley and Marbles halfway up the hill, and, yanking their coats, sent them sledding back the way they came. With them safely out of harm’s way, I headed for Agnes’ grave. As I reached the top, I got my first look at her. And wished I was somewhere else. She floated above her unkempt grave, looking like an old photo against a piece of rotten lace. Word was, she had been a beauty in life. It remained, in death, a surface sheen, like scum on stagnant water, while her black eyes were alive with need. And pure, blind hate. A hate that staggered me, like a strong wind. This wasn’t some confused, lonely spirit, looking for companionship. This was a vindictive she devil, hunting the weak. The souls of her victims huddled behind her, chained by mist to Agnes’ headstone, acting as an audience and a battery for her.
    She smiled at me, and my knees began to buckle under the onslaught. I wanted to lay down. I wanted to die. I wanted a drink, so I caught myself and tried to keep moving towards her. She reached out to me, and I was blinded by tears of sheer despair. I was going to be found swinging in the breeze tomorrow morning if she kept it up.
    And the church bell tolled. The bell Father Flaherty rang to call his flock home for a holiday feast and a warm place to sleep. The place where my two friends were heading.
    Agnes whirled around at the sound, and her concentration broke. As her grip on my mind broke, I leaped across her grave, slamming the communion wafer I held against her headstone, which collapsed like a sand castle. Freed from Agnes’ psychic anchor, the souls of her victims winked out like candles in the wind, while Agnes cut loose with a scream that nearly lobotomized me. I watched as she came apart like wet tissue paper, scattering in the snowflakes.
    I quickly spread some salt over her grave, shutting her only entrance back, and sat down hard, my head ringing. Smiley and Marbles approached slowly, dazed by their contact with Agnes.
    “You okay, Mr. Chase?”
    “Yeah, Smiley, I’m good. Help me up before my ass catches cold, okay?”
    It took a couple of tries for me to get to my feet, but I got the hang of it soon enough after a couple of snorts from my flask, which I promptly passed to my companions.
    “What just happened, Mr. Chase?”
    “Nothing to worry about, Smiley. We just shared a brain fart, y’know?”
    They didn’t look like they were buying it, but they nodded and smiled.
    “C’mon, let’s get you fellas to the church. You don’t wanna lose your places.”
    We walked together to the rectory doors and I slipped them a little holiday green.
    Marbles looked at the money and then at me.
    “Thank you, Mr. Chase, but I think we already got our Christmas present tonight.”
    He made to hand the cash back, with Smiley bringing up the rear.
    I waved them off, as I turned to go.
    “Merry Christmas, fellas. I got my gift already too.”

  5. […] The November-December Writing Contest will be ending tomorrow (December 15th) at midnight.  If you’d planned to get an entry in, […]

  6. Fantastic story, Jon! Love it!

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