I Advanced to the Next Round

in the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge!

The first round of submissions were due back in January and results were posted last week. There were over 6000 entries in Round 1! Broken in groups of 25 or so, each group was assigned their own set of story requirements. We had one week to write a short story based on the prompts with a word limit of 2500.

The key ingredients for my group were
genre: Fairy Tale
subject: Acceleration
character: a Bully

I LOVED my requirements.

I wrote a story titled, The Bully King, about a cruel and petty ruler who makes a wish in the hopes of wreaking additional terror but when the wish doesn’t meet his expectations, he makes another with even more challenging results. The word count was under 2500, and I submitted a full day early of deadline.

I placed 3rd in my group. The top five advanced to Round 2.

The 1,090 advancing writers were placed in new groups and challenged to create stories no longer than 2,000 words in just 3 days based on a new genre, subject, and character assignment.

A brand new story in 3 DAYS?!
A brand new story based on these obligations for my group
genre: Drama
subject: a Touchscreen
character: a Trustee
IN THREE DAYS?!

Suffice it to say, I was not nearly as excited about this round’s selections. I believe they were more of a challenge, but I did finish my story under the word count and also with early submission.

(When I get to a certain point, I feel it’s better to be done than risk messing it up and prefer to submit so it’s not hanging over my head anymore!)

I’m confident in my new story whether I advance or not. I enjoyed the challenge of a genre outside my comfort zone. Round 3 begins May 21, so I imagine we will have results for Round 2 by May 19. The next round allows only two days.

I will keep you posted.

This experience has been a lot of fun. It revived my dormant desire to write short stories. I’ve been out of writerly practice and enjoyed rekindling my skills.

If you’d like to read my advance-worthy story, The Bully King, click here.
I hope you enjoy it.

I have also posted the comments from the judges regarding my story here.

About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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3 Responses to I Advanced to the Next Round

  1. Carol says:

    Sounds like the contest rounds are challenging you to live under journalists’ rules. Deadlines, deadlines!!!

  2. Hey Mary:

    CONGRATULATIONS! This contest is right up your alley! And I love “The Bully King”. Thanks for sharing the judges’ comments. Good luck with the next round. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

    Thanks so much for the funny birthday card (and your added “Fun Key Town”). It made my day. 😊

    I’ve been meaning to send you the latest on my series. After many attempts at the character arcs of the first two books, I stumbled across K.M. Weiland’s website and her articles on character arcs (https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/write-character-arcs/). With her help, I figured out that in book one, Paul has a Disillusionment Arc and in book two a Fall Arc. I sent the info with my books in mind to Tim and he agreed (I’ve attached that info). Yahoo, finally success!! I think Gaige will have a Corruption Arc in book three and Jaelyn will have a Positive Change Arc in book four. I’m working on those arcs and the structures of those books now.

    Have a wonderful weekend,

    Kristin

    From: Writers’ Institute The
    Reply-To: Mary Lamphere
    Date: Monday, April 12, 2021 at 8:34 AM
    To: Kristin Oakley
    Subject: [New post] I Advanced to the Next Round

    Mary Fran Says posted: ” in the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge! The first round of submissions were due back in January and results were posted last week. There were over 6000 entries in Round 1! Broken in groups of 25 or so, each group was assigned their own set of story”

  3. Pingback: And that’s all she wrote… | Mary Lamphere

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