Dr. Chocolateâ€™s Chocolate Chateau is located at 579 Selby Ave. in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A., so, if weâ€™re going to have a very short short story contest, it seemed obvious that it should be only 57.9 words long.
Writing a story fewer than 60 words in English might seem easy, but brevity is a virtue, and like many other virtues, it may be harder than first imagined. We believe youâ€™re likely to find the challenge an amusing diversion, and that successfully meeting it can be exhilarating if not addictive. In any case, give it a try and see what you can come up with.
To make it even more fun, Dr. Chocolate is awarding literary merit prizes of $357.90 for First Place, $257.90 for Second Place, and $157.90 to the Third Place winner (all USD). There may be some chocolate in it for some of the Honorable Mentions, too.
Some selected entries will be posted without authorsâ€™ names on our web site at www.DrChocolate.Com, on our Facebook pages at www.Facebook.Com/ChocolateChateau, and other places for reader feedback and potential author inspiration during the course of the contest and until winners are selected. You may be invited to read your entry in person at the Chateau, too, if you are willing.
The (Not As Short As Iâ€™d Hoped) Short Story Rules List:
- Deadline is October 1, 2012.
- No fees or author pre-qualifications of any kind.
- Stories must be in English, though common non-English words or idioms may be acceptable.
- Any topic is fine for your story.
- The word limit is 57.9 words. Fewer are ok.
- Title is a maximum of 8 words and is not included in the word count.
- Any word listed in the dictionary is a word.
- Punctuation is not included in the word count.
- Contractions and abbreviations count as single words. Example:â€œYouâ€™llâ€ is one word.
- Hyphenated words count as two words. Example: â€œNice-lookingâ€ is two words.
- Exception to Rule 10: Words that donâ€™t break down into two separate words. Example: â€œtrans-Atlanticâ€ is one word.
- Initials stand for words and are counted as words. Example: â€œU.C.L.A.â€ is four words; unless they are parts of acronyms. Example: â€œCBSâ€ is one word.
- Numbers are words. Numerals count as one word. Example: 579 counts as one word. Hyphenated numbers count as two or more words. Example: â€œFive seventy-nineâ€ counts as three words
- Submit as many as 5 stories, but each must be in a separate e-mail with "Short Story" and the title of the story in the subject line.
- Include your contact information: Either the â€œreplyâ€ or an alternative e-mail address, plus your city, state, province or region, and your country, with each submission so we can respond to you for any reason related to the contest. (Dr. Chocolate abides by strict privacy rules, and your contact information will never be used without your permission by us or anyone else for any other purpose beyond contest correspondence or winning notifications.)
- The top stories will be ranked by panels of judges selected by Dr. Chocolate.
- Prize money is intended for authors of previously unpublished stories. However, previously published stories, identified as such and submitted by their authors, may be considered for random monetary or chocolate awards for novelty, poignancy, twist, or other excellences depending on the whims of the judging panels.
- The panel(s) and Dr. Chocolateâ€™s decisions regarding rules, rankings, winners and awards are final.
- E-mail entries to: 579Story@DrChocolate.com
Good luck. I look forward to hearing from you.