Lady scribblers! Gentleman scrawlers! Lend me your eyes and ears, for September is a most happenin' month indeed in the writerly realm. No, calm yourselves, the heart-stoppingly hectic, panicky-apoplectic moment of National Novel Writing Month has not yet reached us. You can put that one off until November. However, this first month in Fall has at least two prominent events to offer those inclined to sling a few words.
The first event of interest is Emily Suess's Writer's Week. Suess provides 50 truly oddball writing prompts for the daring contest entrant to finish in a creative way. There is no word limit or genre constraint. The contestant must post his or her piece to a public platform (e.g. some manner of blog) and (this is crucial) link the entry with an “official entry” button. Prizes are lavish, exciting, and hover tantalizingly just beyond our reach. This girl may just have to climb aboard that bandwagon.
The second noteworthy event is Round Seven of NPR's 3-Minute Fiction Competition. The stories for this competition must be 600 words or fewer (and thus able to be read in under three minutes). This round's challenge is about “arriving and leaving,” which means that the stories must contain a character who arrives in town and a character leaving town. The deadline for this competition is Sunday, September 25th at 11:59pm E.T. Prizes are: 1.) being exposed in public and 2.) an hour-long critique session. Yikes! Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to enter. But, man. What happened to coupons and trivial cash prizes? These prizes are both useful and terrifying.
Now, would you look at that? You now have two things to spur you on your creative way! Competition is a great motivator.
Now. Go on. Get after it!