"Imagine two vast armies separated by a plain. Gryphons. Dragons. Mech walkers. Knights. Wizards. Rows of muskets. Rows of laser rifles. Rows of cannons. Velociraptors. Robots. Chariots. Hovercraft. Between these armies stand two teens. Siblings. A brother and sister. They hold outstretched hands, stretching out their other hands toward the armies, willing them to stop..."So. I've wanted to figure out some way to help send a young writer in the area to the incredibly awesome Shared Worlds summer writing camp for teens at South Carolina's Wofford College for a while. Next summer's (2011's) program is scheduled for 17-30 July, with (among others) instructors Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, Nnedi Okorafor, Will Hindmarch, &c. Yeah, wow! You can read about Jeff's thoughts on teaching there via Matt Staggs at Suvudu. Yeah, wow! While it'll take further fundraising to make it all the way, it's time to get things started, as registration is already open.
What: A flash fiction contest for area teens, with stories inspired (in part, very loosely, or not at all!) by the opening paragraph in this post, on the theme of: teen siblings trying to stop a war. Magic. Technology. Either/Or/Neither. Fearlessness. Hope?
Errata: Stories must be at least 500 words and at most 1000 words, not including the title. (Stories may also be untitled, that's fine.) One story entry per person. Stories must not have been previously published.
Eligibility: Residents of the Triangle area of North Carolina who this coming summer (2011) will be rising 8th graders through rising 12th graders. So, currently in 7th grade through 11th grade.
Prize: $50, publication in Bull Spec #5 (around late March, 2011), and a contributor copy of the issue. Further, if the winner is accepted to the Shared Worlds program, a partial scholarship ($200) will be provided along with fundraising efforts to get as close to the full tuition ($2000) as possible.
Note: You don't actually have to want to (or be able to, you may have summer plans already, etc.) go to Shared Worlds to enter and win the $50 and publication. The age/grade requirement above still stands, however.
Judges: The judge for the contest will be award-winning editor Ann VanderMeer. YEAH, WOW!
Runners-Up: Outstanding runners-up, if any, will be mentioned by name and title of their submission.
How: E-mail your story either in the body of the e-mail or as an attachment, whatever, to [contests at bullspec dot com]. Please include your legal name, the name under which you want the story mentioned or published (if different), your mailing address, and your age and current grade level at which school, or if homeschooled or unschooled. Please use the following subject line: TEEN CONTEST ENTRY: <Insert Your Name Here>.
When: Deadline for entries is high noon EST, Friday, 25 February 2011. So you've got a little less than six weeks. Winner and runners up (if any) will be announced by high noon EST, Friday, 11 March 2011. Update: If this deadline is looming a little too largely and you are working on a story, please let us know and ask for an extension.
Other: Please, spread the word! Libraries, high schools, middle schools, etc. If you've got questions, drop me a line at [sam at bullspec dot com].