500 reasons to read this entry ($)

“I swear, it’s not too late.”


I have procrastinated to sail to the edge of the world, for fear that I would drop off the edge into oblivion. But I have had to sail to the edge in search of a contest that will challenge your abilities to produce a brilliant and important piece to enter a new contest…

But I digress.

You, who are new to our site.  Let me give you a little background.

Peggy Dobbs.

She became everyone’s favorite: the lover/mother/sister/friend we wish we had always had.

About three years ago, when A Word with You Press materialized from the ether in cyberspace, we advertised a contest that would coalesce in the real world. The Coffeeshop Chronicles: Oh the Places I have Bean, was one of our first printed books. We asked that you send a story about anything in the world, as long as you could tie it back into a cup of coffee, and the response was not only phenomenal, it launched our site in a direction we had not at all envisioned: a community of writers united by a willingness to improve their writing through monthly competitions in which not only did we have absurd and coveted prizes, but a chance to get the feedback from other contestants who took an active interest in each other’s growth as story tellers.

One of our initial contestants was Peggy Dobbs, who at 77 years had just decided she might like to share her writing with others.

She had stories collecting mold in the bottom drawer of and Alabama dresser, and many more homespun stories to tell, mostly about her life and relationship with the man of her life, Homer, to whom she was married longer than I had even been on the planet.

At first, the tentative Mrs. Dobbs did not even know how to send an attachment to her emails to enter our contests and enlisted the aid of her daughter.

But once she got the hang of it, there was no stopping her, and Peggy not only entered (and eventual won one herself) our contests, but became everyone’s darling, offering commentary and encouragement to everyone who entered what she affectionately called “our playground”.

Peggy left us in June, and is no doubt editing the bible somewhere in heaven. She inspired us all-not just to write, but to love one another. It is in her honor that A Word with You Press proudly announces

The First Annual Peggy Dobbs Write-of-Passage contest.

The last three years of her life Peggy got immense pleasure and comfort by being an active and very fine writer. I love her. (Love is one of those rare verbs that can never enter the past tense). So many of us did. And this, though our only encounters were in cyberspace and the playground that is A Word with You Press.

Thinking about Peggy, I began to ponder the truism: “It’s never too late.”

And that inspires our prompt and our contest.

You may submit between seven hundred and fifty and a thousand words an original piece of fiction or non fiction that must contain the words, “I swear, it’s not too late.” (To everything, turn turn, there is a season, turn, turn)

Too late for what?  To stop the downslide, to get him/her back, to forgive or ask forgiveness, to embark on an impossible adventure, to love, to relinquish control/to regain control, to fix your entire life with a single act of atonement, to make amends or extract revenge.  The possibilities are endless. Up to you.

Submit up to THREE entries. Each entry must include the author’s name and email address (which we will not share except with Edward Snowden).  Entries should be sent to thorn@awordwithyoupress.com. Entries should be submitted as a worddoc attachment, double spaced and in twelve point Times-New Roman font. For those who have submitted an entry to previous contests there is no fee.  For all others there is a fee of $10 per entry by Paypal. (also submitted to thorn@awordwithyoupress.com)  However, once you have entered three of our contests you will be considered part of the family and there will be no additional fees to enter, except in extraordinary circumstances, such as a highly monetized prize. All new entries will get professional feedback on the stories we post. The other requirement is that for each entry you submit, you must provide commentary to at least two of the other stories that your fellow writers have submitted. By submitting (ahh! I never tire of them submitting!) you are authorizing us to publish your story but after publication all rights revert to the author). You also agree to name your first born after moi.

The contest ends Thanksgiving Day. At that point the editor-in-chief (moi) will select six finalists and give a new prompt for a write-off. Three finalists will be selected on merit and three randomly. While you may bribe the judge with sex, money, beer, coffee (I like Sumatran), chocolate, or something imaginative, the finalists will be judged by someone(s) beyond reproach. (Still looking into that).

Oh, and by the way…in addition to a kuhl trophy and bragging rights, this contest is offering a $500 cash prize. Prize money will be paid December 15th, just in time for Christmas and only slightly too late for the start Chanukah

Hope I got your retention—oops!—ATTENTION!

Best to all!


Editor-in-briefs (thong you very much!)





23 thoughts on “500 reasons to read this entry ($)

  1. Salvatore Buttaci says:

    Peggy Dobbs was one of the kindest people I have ever met on the Net. A talented writer, she seemed to beam with the joy of writing as well as with her positive commenting. We all miss her.

    • Jodi DOBBS McDanal says:

      She was talented in a lot of things and enjoyed doing them all. She could paint so well, but tired of that a long time ago. Writing was her passion and she did find great joy in it. You have consistently said such sweet things about Mother since she died and I appreciate it so much. Jodi

  2. Diane Cresswell says:

    Oh my Miss Peggy is thrilled with what you’re doing here oh Chief Thorn. I for one, among the many, miss her so much. How best can we honor her – in writing. I know she will be reading each and every one of the entries. So this I say to you Thorn dear…be very very careful on your choices at the end of the contest…Peggy AND Homer are going to be sitting on your shoulder and if they don’t agree with your choices – remember the fried chicken you always wanted to have Peggy make for you…well it just might wind up spilled over your head!!! And now to the imagination realm to find something worthy of Miss Peggy with lots of love involved..

    • Jodi Dobbs McDanal says:

      Hey Miss Diane – that would be a hoot to see her fried chicken just dropping down randomly from above – what a thought. Thorn is not completely out on the fried chicken. Even though I hate to cook, I can fry some mean chicken. She taught me how a long time ago and there is a certain way you have to treat that bird to get it to turn out right. I’ll fry him up some one day. I love your comments too and find you quite interesting. You get your thoughts together and win that contest! Jodi

  3. Jodi Dobbs McDanal says:

    …..she is no doubt editing the bible in heaven – that is so, so funny and I know she and Daddy are laughing it up. In fact, that sounds like something he would tease her about! What an honor Thorn that you have chosen such a way to spotlight my “amazing” Mother in this way. You probably made her laugh and cry at the same time. It took me FOREVER to teach her how to write and spell her words correctly – HA! just kidding. I think it was the other way around! It sounds like a great contest and I know you will get a great reaction to it. Good luck to you in your new location and again, thank YOU and EVERYBODY else writing on the site for such kind and sweet comments on Mother. Every single day I want to talk to her – I miss her more than I thought possible but, I know where she is and who she is with and that makes me smile.

    Blessings to all of you. I will be popping in from time to time. Jodi DOBBS McDanal

  4. Salvatore Buttaci says:

    I’m letting a story percolate in my head. Soon enough I’ll write it down, then hold my breath and hope I’m one of the finalists. Unless I start turning blue, in which case I will resume breathing.

  5. Parisianne Modert says:

    Let the contest begin. Tonight my first two stars (entries) have fallen upon Moscow, Idaho’s editor with a confusion to defy the Heavens. I wish everyone good writing and great friendship as we remember a lovely lady from Alabama. I’m sure she is looking down at us with smiles and encouragement.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      All three entries in as my third and fuller star has fallen on Moscow’s editor in chief. I did my best Peggy and Homer. Enjoy the dance of eternity while us mere mortals struggle to understand what you already know. May God bless and keep us all.

  6. Michael Stang says:

    Yes, Peggy’s angelic grace still lauds over what use to be a word with you press, and what the site is now. i feel her presence as i read over Thorn’s survival mode, comments from members, and this, a new contest.
    Like i am the tin man and little miss Dorothy gives me the squirts…oh my! I begin to use those atrophied muscles and start a light shuffel, the clicking of heels–the happy dance.
    “I’m in.”
    Wishing all well.

  7. kristinerosegrant.com says:


    If it is not too late…..I think I might try to enter this one (: Call me if you get a chance.


  8. Pingback: Jack Horne…Our loch smith from across the pond… | A Word with You Press

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