Avoiding Mutiny and annoying scrutiny

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, where traditions began!
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, where traditions began!


My Dad was somewhat of a genius(no, really…IQ of 160). At the age of twelve he approached the Brooklyn Eagle (mid 1920’s) and offered to write a weekly mystery column to boost circulation (theirs, not his!) They agreed to pay him 25 cents a week to write a mystery, and he always left off the ending.  Readers were invited to supply the ending, and they could win the enormous sum of $5 for the winning ending, which my father would judge and post the following week.  Seeing the disparity between the two bits he was paid, and the fin to the winner, he quickly realized that he was the best writer, and deserved to win, all the time.  So he supplied the winning entries for each contest under a fictitious name, and awarded the money to himself.  Never caught!

And so, when we have exceptional cash prizes, if you see that it is won by a newbie, whose name you do not recognize, I assure you, it is not me!  MY money is made from all those wonderful gratuities from those of you who offer me wine, coffee, or my favorite position.

Does that clear things up?

Now, regarding judging Beneath the Surface.  All entries must be received by mid-night, August 22. I will select five finalists; three according to my judgment, and two at random.  I will supply an additional prompt, and the finalists will have 48 hours to submit an entry.

When they are announced, everyone who ENTERED the contest will get three votes. Two votes for their favorite, one vote for second favorite. Everyone who did not enter but left comments on at least THREE stories PRIOR to August 22 will have two votes, and must split their vote. This should make sure the winner is chosen on the merits of their work, rather than their good looks.

I encourage EVERYONE to post your stories on Facebook, and ask your friends to vote for you–that is to be expected–but they will also be voting for one person who is NOT you. Votes should be sent to me at thorn@awordwithyoupress.com after the three finalist stories have been posted. Votes will NOT be posted in the comment boxes as they were in the recently concluded contest.

The winner will be announced at the Book Launch of author Tiffany Vakilian at sunset, August 29th.

NEXT contest? Entries will be posted anonymously!

Alles Klar?


13 thoughts on “Avoiding Mutiny and annoying scrutiny

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    Yes, I am clear. None of my offerings within this contest nor any other future contests should be considered for anyone’s judgment for competition or prize nor will I place another vote even if asked to. It is reward enough for me to be able to be published, to share with and read the writings of others.
    “Alles Klar”?

  2. Jack Horne says:

    Love these contests, Thorn, and I say it’s not the winning that matters, it’s the taking part. How British is that? I loved your father’s idea – may just try that with my local rag, LOL. Seriously, so glad to see this site again.

  3. Thornton Sully says:

    Thanks Jack, especially for the Cognac you sent. Not that it will influence the judge. those days are past. But I do think you have an excellent chance of winning. Have you entered yet?

    • thorn says:

      Let me see if I start a rumour here if it will circulate throughout the site: Next contest will be anonymous. Send in your entry and you will be given a pen name. No one will know it’s you except me. And then we may even have a contest whereby you try to guess who the writer is by their style. whaddya think?

      • Parisianne Modert says:

        Je préférerais choisir mon propre nom de plume et ma propre langue s’il vous plaît. Avons-nous un monsieur d’accord?

        • thorn says:

          Non. Each entrant will be assigned a name alphabetically according to the order in which their entry nis received. If MPM is the third entry, I will assign her a name begining with C… Celeste, Clarise, Camille, or even a male name Carlos, Christopher and so on. Non doubt if you chose your own name, people will know it is you. So no, you can’t be Sylvia Plath!

          • Parisianne Modert says:

            Merde! Mon dieu! Bon…ne…que… A=Anais, B=Bronte, C=Chanel, D=Diamond…G=Gas oven, H=Heptonstall…P=Pink…W=Wednesday…? Non S=Sylvia? Non E=Elphaba? Hommes!!!

  4. Parisianne Modert says:

    I actually think the anonymous approach is very wise and provocatively interesting; although Z=Zugzwang would please me.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      What will you do if you get more than 26 entries in the new anonymous contest? If a person enters more than one poem/story will they become multiple personalities?

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