Monday, August 31, 2015

2015 Tuscany Prize for Short Story Winners Announced

Last week I was thrilled after receiving an e-mail from Mr. Peter Mongeau, Founder and Publisher of Tuscany Press, notifying me that my short story, "The Judas Goat," was selected for an honorable mention in the 2015 Tuscany Prize for short story.

When I called Mr. Mongeau to accept the award, he congratulated me and asked me to tell him about myself and the background of my story.

During our forty-five minute conversation, he shared with me what he liked about "The Judas Goat" as well as why it didn't make the top five. I thanked him for the gift of his time and his candid comments and told him I'm looking forward to revising my story before it appears in the anthology.

The official announcement, which includes the names of the winning stories and bios of all the winners, was posted on the Tuscany Press blog yesterday. After reading the bios of the winners, I'm  humbled to have my story included among such an esteemed group of writers.

The publication date for the anthology, The Grove and Other Stories, is Spring of 2016. To share these stories with my blog visitors, I plan to give away a copy of the anthology some time next spring.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Got Flash in a Flash? MWG Semi-Flash Fiction Contest Deadline September 1

The Missouri Writers' Guild, which was established in 1915, is looking for original, unpublished works of fiction for their semi-flash writing contest. Semi-flash is a new term to me, but according to the guidelines, the length should be no longer than 1,000 words.
Writers do not have to belong to MWG to enter the contest. In fact, they don't even have to live in Missouri or the United States, but all entries must be in English.

Deadline: September 1, 2015
Entry fee is $10
First prize is $100. Additional cash prizes and other awards are detailed in the official guidelines
List of winners will be posted on the MWG website after November 1.


The general guidelines are listed below, and her is a link to the MWG contest site.
If you have questions, you can e-mail Judy Stock
Good luck if you enter! But act quickly, the deadline is September 1. 
General Submission Rules
1. Entries are open to all writers; there is no requirement to be a member of MWG.
2. Entries will be online and must be in English.
3. Entries must be original work of entrant and unpublished at the time of submission.
4. Each work must be treated as a separate entry. For each entry, use a separate cover
sheet/online entry form available at The cover
sheet includes the entrant’s name, address, telephone number, email address, and
a statement that entrant has read and signed the Terms of Agreement.
5. The deadline for all entries is midnight, September 1, 2015.
6. Entry should be double spaced, with a 1000 word limit, not including title.
7. Entries containing pornography, graphic violence, explicit or gratuitous sex, and
scatological content will not be accepted, nor will entry fee be returned.
8. Fees: Entry fee is $10 per entry. Payment may be made online through PayPal.
If entrants prefer, a check payable to MWG may be mailed to:
Missouri Writers Guild
Attn: Donna Essner, Treasurer
PO Box 2093
Saint Peters, Missouri 63376
9. MWG assumes no responsibility for misdirected entries.
10. May address any subject (except as noted in General Rule 7).
11. If you have questions, email Judy Stock
Terms of Agreement: Signing states the entrant agrees guidelines have been read and followed.
1. All submissions are judged by independent judges, whose decisions are final.
2. Judges may award up to three places, at their discretion, but will select at least one “Judge’s Pick.”
Entrants whose work the judges submit for Honorable Mention will receive certificates.
For a list of winners, check MWG website after November 1, 2015. Winners will also be announced in the MWG newsletter.



Friday, August 14, 2015

The Importance of Transitions - in Writing and in Life

Early in my writing career, my transitions weren’t obvious to my readers. In my mind, I knew where I was headed with a story or an essay, but on paper I didn’t always signal to my reader that something was about to change. Choppy, bumpy, and confusing were some hallmarks of my early works.

After learning about the importance of transitions, I tried to plan ahead and use transitions to make my writing clear, concise, and understandable. 
Just as smooth transitions in writing can help a reader find his way, planning ahead for changes in life is also critical. The past summer has been especially hectic and filled with some significant transitions in my little world.

Earlier this summer, my granddaughter enrolled in an online college course, which required dozens of writing assignments with short deadlines on her part and editing assistance on mine, also with short deadlines. While successfully completing her intensive course, she and I accomplished another important feat. We assisted family members in pulling off a surprise 50th anniversary party for one of my sisters. Also a success!

In the midst of that whirlwind of activity, everyone in our house pitched in for her big move back to her junior year at Mizzou, and her first apartment. Translation: hours of shopping online and numerous trips to several stores, along with packing and repacking and loading two vehicles.
During the move, her brother was a huge help. Not only did he help my husband load up her car and his own SUV and do the heavy lifting by carrying her belongings up two flights of stairs, he also put together her desk and chair.

As my grandson’s summer vacation came to an end, he got ready for his junior year in high school. He’s an easy shopper; we were in and out of the mall in less than an hour, and his entire back-to-school wardrobe cost about the same as his sister’s new comforter set.

The afternoon of his first day at school, we received a call from his guidance counselor that he had been accepted into a local tech school program.
That brought about a major change to his schedule.
Now, he attends morning classes at high school. Then, after a quick lunch break, he rides the bus with several of his friends to the tech school, where he will learn a skilled trade. He loves the outdoors and working with his hands, so he is excited about this opportunity to do something he enjoys that will also provide a promising future.

Transitions -- in writing and in life -- are not always easy, but they can help pave the way to smooth beginnings and happy endings.  

Friday, August 7, 2015

2015 Tuscany Prize Short Story Finalists and Notable Entries Announced

Earlier today I was surprised and thrilled when I received  an e-mail from the Tuscany Prize Committee notifying me that my short story, "The Judas Goat," has been selected as a top-20 finalists for the 2015 Tuscany Prize for Short Story.

According to the e-mail, the prize committee will select ten stories from the twenty finalists. The top ten will receive cash awards and their stories be published in an anthology from Tuscany Press.

Thanks to All Saints Catholic Writers and members of Coffee and Critique, who read an early draft of the story and offered comments and suggestions.

Even if my story doesn't make the top ten, it's an honor to be among the finalists.

Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V - Interviews with Lonnie Whitaker and Dr. Barri Bumgarner

Here is the second installment of interviews with contributors who have stories in Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V , from Ozark Writers, I...