Sunday, March 20, 2011

1st 250 Word Contest comments

Thanks all for participating. There are 16 entries and I do not envy Alyson at all---there are some wonderful entries to have to choose from.

I have posted all entries up, 1-16.

If you find a mistake on your your entry, please leave a comment here with details to the problem and making reference to the appropriate paragraph or sentence--don't forget to tell me the post number I will make the correction as soon as I can.

I am inviting all to make comments to each author's submission. Please nothing rude. Only helpful or encouraging comments will be accepted.

Results will be posted as soon as I get them. I'm expecting about a month, give or take. As soon as I know, so will you.

This was a lot of fun and I can't wait until next months contest. That's right, I already have another planned.

Last thing, please leave a comment here to thank Alyson for her time. She is a busy person interning at Ayesha Pande Literary, and I think it was great that she donated her time for us.

So...THANK YOU. :) You're the bestest (my blog I get to make up words).

I've noticed that when you hit older posts that it skips a numbered post. To review please hit the post number located on the side. That way every post will have a chance for comments without getting accidentally skipped over.

The Management. :)

Please note that the management does know how to count but for some reason the posts will not save in the correct order. What happened?? I don't know. I tried to edit and edit them but they keep messing up. I think I might have it fixed now.

Submission #1

NAME: Kim Batchelor
TITLE: The Mists of Na Crainn (Middle Grade)

A sharp wind cut through the leaves above the girl’s head. Their shredded remnants bolted forward and so did she, running with her arms pulling at the air.

“Lyric Doherty!”

Had she truly heard her name being called? Lyric brushed the thought aside, ignored the call, and kept to the path. To stray meant more danger than to keep to the foot way she now traveled by memory.


This time the voice certainly came from somewhere nearby. Lyric stopped, and only in stopping did she make out a slight glow on the ground just to the right of the path—a shimmer like water. The light from a single star illuminated that one spot.

Lyric took a few more steps and slowly eased herself to her knees. Her eyes fixed on the small patch of grass. She stared a long while, or what seemed a long while. The dry foliage above her head thrashed against itself, sounding a familiar warning.
Something is here, she thought. Her fingers quivered as she threaded them through the blades. The task required care, or otherwise whatever called her might slip away, as it sometimes did if she were too eager. The object might sink into the ground or dissolve into the air or… What’s this?

A delicate silver spiral appeared in the center of the pool of light. Lyric opened her hand and gently lifted it to nestle just inside her palm, then placed it in her pocket. The grass returned to its forest-green hue as a churning cloud dimmed the light from above.

Submission #2

Name: Amory David Day

Title: Pills and Plastic (Literary Fiction)

No one ever tells you how loud it is when you’re inside an ambulance. The sirens are blaring, and you’re at ground zero. Not to mention the EMTs are shouting at each other. Usually pleasant things like “his hearts about to stop! Can you find the Naloxone already?”

Also, if you are in your early twenties, and you're in an ambulance with a heart that is about to crash, it’s usually safe to say that old age and natural causes are not phrases that come to mind.

At sixteen I wanted to live forever, now, now I couldn’t care less if I made it one more minute.

It’s really too early to tell you that, you don’t have the context yet. I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Kar Daniel Kellerman. Now I know what you’re thinking, who in their right mind names their kid Kar?

Well, it was the eighties, Buddhism was hot, and anyone on Wall Street had to assuage their guilt for robbing the country blind somehow; there were worse ways than Buddhism, especially if you ignored the being poor part, but kept the authenticity you gained because it was eastern. I guess picking an eastern name for your kid was chic at the time.

For me, it was just one more way for people to give me shit, but, alas, I digress. You’re probably wondering right about now how I ended up in an ambulance, screaming through the New York night like a modern day banshee, my fate resting on some underpaid and undertrained med school washout struggling to find the Naloxone.

Submission #3

Name: Angela

Title: Envy (YA)

First 250 Words:
“You have got to be kidding me,” I whined to the tall mirror, pushing aside my bangs and squishing my face even closer to the glass just to verify what I saw. Sure enough, smack in the middle of my forehead, right between my eyebrows was the faintest indications of an oncoming breakout. And on my first day of senior year and at a new school no less. To be honest it formed a little line and what looked like a tilted L, slanting downward and pointing at my nose.

Now I wasn’t usually vain or the type to flip out because I got one measly pimple, but it would have been nice to start my new school with a sparkling, fresh face. It was already bad enough that I was starting after the semester had at a teensy private high school where the student body totaled just under two-hundred. But it didn’t matter how many kids attended the school because there was this whole issue with me being socially retarded. L for loser.

The uniforms weren’t terrible. My skirt was blue plaid and fell just above my knees and I had to pair it with a navy blue sweater vest that was made of something akin to wool and would have been massively scratchy if not for the capped-sleeve polo underneath. Thankfully, they didn’t expect us to wear knee-socks and saddle shoes. I don’t know of anybody who could rock that look and pull it off, but otherwise the look was complete prep-school cliché.

Submission #4

NAME: PK Hrezo

TITLE: Starsong (YA contemp)

I will flat out die of embarrassment if Tanner Westin sees my notebook.

Victor is carrying it under his arm. He’s twice my size with a face like a puppy dog, and as Finlay High’s star defensive lineman, he has no trouble blocking my lunges.

“Give it back!” I demand.

He chuckles like it’s a sick game, stopping in his tracks and flipping my notebook out in front of me. My fingertips brush past the cover as he lifts it out of my reach again.

If Victor wasn’t so big I’d kick his shins in. Instead, I wrap both my hands around his mega bicep and pull down as hard as I can. Victor just grins and heads right for Tanner, my body dangling like a flimsy paperdoll.

We reach him huddled beside his Jeep with his buddies, looking oh-so-cool in his black skater tee. They gawk at us as we approach.

I let go of Victor’s arm and drop to the ground.

“Hey, Tanner, what’s up, my man?” Victor holds up a hand, waiting for contact.

Tanner slaps Victor’s hand in his friendly guy way and flips his chin-length sandy hair to the side. “What’s up, bro?”

“Just stumbled across some interesting info, thought you’d like to know. It’s about Pinks here …”

Trying to be sly, I reach for the notebook again.

Victor blocks me with ease, flipping the notebook from under his arm and handing it to Tanner.

Tanner glances at me, his face baffled.

Submission #5

Name: Pippa Jay

Title: KEIR (Scifi Romance)

First 250 words:
In the darkness and the silence, the young man sat with his teeth gritted against the pains that racked his body. With each jagged breath he sought to shift his focus from the aching ribs that he was sure must be broken, making every movement a torture and a struggle. He tried not to feel the sharp stabbing in his head where his hair lay matted with blood against his skull. Knowing that he was running a fever, that he could be dying, he clenched his fists against the shaking in his body.

Wordlessly he raged against the injustice of it all, as though the anger could keep his life burning but knowing that wasting his energy in this way only hastened the end. Even the tears that stung the cuts on his face were pointless, the symptoms of his own fear and resentment, that he should die young and alone in this place. He would have screamed his fury and terror if he had had the strength, if it would not have been such a futile protest.

When the iron door clanged open against the stonework with a harsh sound and off-key echoes, he was slow to register the change. It seemed such a long, pointless way back through the pain to the here and now. By the time he had gathered his senses, the guards had slammed the door shut again to leave nothing but a draft of smoky air and the sounds of movement.

Submission #6

Name: Nancy S. Brandt
Title: Sword & Illusion

The bedchamber on the top floor of the mountain hermitage was dark and he was almost overwhelmed with the heavy odors of incense and lemon weed. Several Monks of the Tinaldor Order, charged with caring for the dying and unwanted, hovered around the opulent bed, praying and waving smoldering sticks over the woman lying there.

Prince Varian, ruler of Tellan, entered the room and stared at the thin, weak figure who lay there.

His illusory disguise slipped a little when he recognized the face of Princess Violetta Eugenia Francine. As grief and regret overwhelmed him, the minimal concentration required for the spell was disrupted a bit. Fortunately, the monks attending her were not looking in his direction when it happened.

As far as they knew, he was Emory, Duke of Wellsbury, an elderly relative of Violetta's from Andarnnon.

He grabbed the door frame to steady the trembling that shook him. The urge to turn and leave this place was strong, but he had to talk to her, had to find out why she'd left him, why she'd stayed away and let him think she'd died.

Memories of seeing another wife, and an infant son, lying dead in their bed were still fresh in his mind and his heart ached to escape, but Varian wanted to be as strong as possible to hear whatever she had to say.

He took a deep breath and pulled himself together.

"I am gratified you came, Your Grace," Violetta said as he walked farther into the room.