Short Story Writing Contest $
I just spontaneously created a writing contest. I’m looking for short stories about a mysterious, locked thing being opened. I was inspired to do this while reading an article about an old chest at an Art Museum finally being opened.
This casket is made of wood covered with leather that has been cut to create images and designs. Iron straps surround the exterior, and there is a large lock on the front, suggesting the casket was intended to hold objects of great value. When it arrived in the lab, the casket was locked. There is no key and no record of it ever being opened at the museum.
Cool, right? The article describes the casket in more detail, then says:
As the casket was turned around to examine all sides, conservators noticed the faint noise of something moving inside. What was inside the casket?
Read the whole thing and you’ll find out that they were able to get it opened, and what was inside. All very interesting, but nothing made me sit up as much as the line “conservators noticed the faint noise of something moving inside.”
Here’s the submissions form at Submittable, where it says:
Write a story (of any length) about finding and opening such an elaborate casket. Make it vivid, make it larger than life, make it weird, make the pages turn themselves. The only guideline is that the story has to be about opening a mysterious locked thing.
Three winning entries will be paid (burger money) and will receive PGP’s new book by Stephen Dixon and will be published here and in an ebook from Publishing Genius. Writers, get writing.
I think I was also inspired by finally reading Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan. Good book. Because it’s set in Silicon Valley I thought it might dramatize how tech startups can improve bookstores, but it’s not (another thing that’s more on that subject is Elisabeth Egan’s novel, A Window Opens). It’s even better. It’s about these people who are trying to crack the code of all these mysterious books, thinking that if they study them hard enough, they’ll discover the secret to everlasting life. Then the startup people basically show them how to use Google Analytics as a shortcut. I still have a few pages to read so I don’t know if they become immortal. Don’t spoil it for me in the comments.
Anyway, send your thing by April 20. There’s no fee or word limit or anything. Winners will be announced on April 27, my birthday. Real Pants writers are welcome to submit, except Amy. Sorry Amy.