(Satikush Hemingcat oversees the random selection at the towers)
Good evening from the towers that ARE …A Word with You Press!
I shiver…but deliver! I’m telling Santa (seen here in the photo out of uniform) if you scroll by all of this to see if your name is among the finalists. “Read this, O Caesar, that you may live! If not, the Fates with traitors doth contrive!” (Artemidorus , side kick to James West in the TV series The Wild wi—? Oh? Really? Artemidorus, warning his emperor, Julius Caesar)
I will defer making comments about this contest and site being so kuhl to all of you. I am strictly about biznez now!
You, who are finalists, will write no more than two hundred fifty words to the prompt: “…but by then, it was too late.” Entries must be sent as a word attachment and include a title, sent to email@example.com no latter than midnight, December tenth Pacific Standard Time. Winner will be announced on Sunday, December 15th. If the winner has a Paypal account they will be issued $500 in full immediately. If not, then by Western Union less the Western Union fee.
The plan was to select three finalists based on merit, and three randomly. Random means I am looking at folded pieces of paper on my desk at the towers, and I am about to draw three names out of the empty oreo box to add to the ones that are my personal favorites. No finalist will know if they were chosen by chance or by design. In the past, twice have authors who were randomly selected ended up finding their stride and winning the contest.
The dilenema is the obvious one; with so many good stories, how do I choose? Could stories that did not make the cut be substituted for one that did? Absolutely. So there is at least a chance of justice in that a very fine story may be selected randomly.
My own preferences? First, the story needs to be a story. A beginning, a middle, and an end, and not just an anecdote. Secondly, the creative use of language always sucks me in. I reviewed a book years ago about William Daumier(A Pirate of Exquisite Mind) who did not have good press, but managed to circumnavigate the globe THREE TIMES before Magellan. Daumier added over a thousand words to our vocabulary from his travels. (chopsticks, yahoos, avocados–which was an Indian word for testicles, etc.) But Daumier changed the way we used language. No one had ever thought to link the words “gentle” with “slope” before when he described anchoring in a harbor. Language evolution and creation is beauty to behold and it is shown in abundance on this site.
Mostly what I look for is emotional authenticity, and work that is not done in expectation of an audience response, but is a genuine and truthful expression of the author. Given the choice between a story that makes me feel and one that makes me think…well, I am a touchy-feely kinda guy. “The world is a comedy to those who think, and a tragedy to those who feel.”
But the point is, my tastes are subjective. A Word with You Press exists to allow each writer the freedom to write as THEY see fit, and on subject matter that THEY deem important.. We just try to help them do a better job of it, by holding contests such as this. We are not censors; we are editors.
I was asked by one participant if we are a writers’ critique group or a support group.
We are both, and one does not exclude the other. What I have found is that it is far more productive (with the goal of creating better writers) to emphasize what the writer does WELL! They will replicate that automatically rather than focus on their flaws. Like an old Jackson Brown song “Don’t you confront me with my failures. I have not forgotten them.”
As the Editor-in-Chief, I have certain rights and perks. One is to change the rules on whim. And I have done just that. I chose my three finalists according to the parameters I just gave you. Madam Parisianne Modert was not in the three, though as several of you commented, she well could have been. Rather than leave it to chance that she will be selected as a finalist, I would like to acknowledge the phenomenal job she has done giving comments to everyone’s entries. Her depth and insights far exceed my own abilities, and as a result of her participation, all of us have benefited tremendously. I am inviting her to participate in the finals which will be independently judged.
Therefore, instead of six finalists, there are seven. and those would be:
Madam Parisianne Modert,
Best of luck to you all.
Oh! And I am posting now instead of 8:00 pm! Outta oreos!