Our (o)mission statement since our founding in 2009 has always been Putting Gravitas on a Lo-Carb Diet. We remain a non-profit (not by choice!) dedicated to helping our circle of friends (about 750 of you) become better writers by sponsoring contests with inspiring themes (about 50 of them to date), though our current contest, The Drinking Fountain, is our first contest that is overtly of a social/political nature. Our staff is totally volunteer, and while interns have come and gone, our rock solids have been Diana Diehl, Ed Coonce, Monika Spykerman, Morgan Sully (mon fil) Stefanie Allison, Tiffany Vakilian, and Derek Thompson (true Brit) and Kristina Tsatsakos. So let me publicly thank them all!
When the world interferes (as it did abundantly this year) we (I) am not always able to deliver on my promises. Diane Cresswell won our previous contest the year War and Peace was published, and has been waiting for her trophy to arrive ever since. Alas, I had her brass engraving on my desk since August, but I take the composition of a trophy as seriously as the composition of a contest entry, and had several failed attempts of crafting just the right effect. She won our “Heal the World” contest, and I can at last safely say the trophy is on its way.
I have already crafted our trophy for The Drinking Fountain, which is the placard that serves as our prompt mounted on a sheet of free-standing plexiglas, needing only a winner’s name for the brass engraving to be mounted beneath it.
Our trophies and cash prizes are meant to add a little excitement, but for our current contest, which, by the way, offers the trophy AND $500, it is my hope that the real impetus for you to submit your stories is that you can no longer be idle under the crushing weight of the status quo, and you want to be a pebble in the pond, fueling that gentle ripple until it becomes a tsunami that flushes our nation clean of all the hate and bigotry that has dehydrated human decency.
Please, help us. Google writing groups in your state, send a personal invitation to the administrator of just three of the hundreds of writing groups you will find. Tell them how important this contest is, entry fees have been waived in favor of by-donation–only, that their writer’s work will be seen by an ever growing number readers, and that the contest will be judged by social activist and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jonathan Freedman.
What if your Christmas present to the world was a renewed commitment to love and social justice?
I do hope to have a word from you. Actually, 500 of them.