Lessons In Stalking was recently offered as the prize for a short-short story writing contest on a website called Fear of Writing. I was a contest winner on the site years ago and I remember h0w thrilled I was to have won something writing related. The site's founder, Milli Thornton, and I have stayed in touch over the years. So when Milli posted a writing prompt around the theme "It's Raining Cats & Dogs," and asked if I would donate one of my books as a prize and be a judge, I jumped on it.
It was fun reading through the final entries. What I love about Milli's contests are that she bases the winning entry on creativity and originality. Unless there's a tie, little attention is paid to spelling, grammar, punctuation. Sounds like it goes against all rules of writing, right? But her goal is to make writing fun and accessible and to take the "I must be perfect in order to write" fear away from would-be writers. It was a completely different experience to judge entries just based on "fun" writing that appeared in their stories.
To see the winning entry and the author's reaction (which is quite humorous), go here: http://fearofwriting.icontact.com/archives/killer-rain/posts/contest-winner-more-tips-on-successful-contest-entries.html.
Also, if you know any budding writers blocked by fear, I highly recommend Milli's book "The Fear of Writing." It makes a great gift!
Congratulations to Giselle Hurley, the winner of the contest! Your book is on its way. Enjoy!