How can we get more Mormons exposed to interesting Mormon literature? In a recent discussion on this blog, I recommended posting more short works online as an easy-to-access gateway to the field. Well, Scott Hales and I resolved to “go and do” and organized a contest for very short works which will culminate in a one- or two-week “blitz” of short new work on the Mormon Artist blog. We’ll work to build a broad audience for the project–but we need your work first. Please consider responding to, and spreading the word about, this call for submissions. Update 19 Nov: You can also help by sharing the contest page on Facebook or following us on Twitter.
CALL FOR CONTEST SUBMISSIONS
Now announcing the first ever Mormon Lit Blitz Writing Contest. Send up to three submissions by 15 January 2012 to email@example.com for a chance to win a Kindle and more.
What we want:
Short work for Mormons to be published and read online.
“Short” means under 1,000 words.
“Work” means creative writing in any genre, from literary realism to far future science fiction, and in any form: fiction, essay, poetry, even play or screenplay if you can keep it under 1,000 words. Give us a tiny, polished gem we can show off to people who love Mormonism and love great writing but “know not where to find” a place where the two meet.
“For Mormons” means for committed Latter-day Saints. Yes, that’s an extremely diverse audience (see the “I’m a Mormon” campaign—and your ward members), but it’s also an audience with distinctive shared values and history that don’t often get attention in creative work. We want you to write something that will appeal to us as people who believe in the sacred, who have ridiculous numbers of brothers and sisters we see every week, who worry about being good and faithful servants no matter what our day jobs are and wonder what it will be like to meet our grandparents’ grandparents in heaven. We don’t need your pieces to preach to us. We do need them to combine your creativity and religious commitment in a way that excites us and gives us something cool to talk about with our Mormon friends.
“To be published and read online” means we’re going to post six to twelve finalists’ pieces on Mormon Artist magazine’s blog (www.mormonartist.net) and then ask readers to vote on their favorites.
One catch: since even 1,000 words can be intimidating on a screen, your piece needs a strong hook of no more than 120 words (or eight lines for poetry) to be visible on the main blog page. Mark the end of your hook with [MORE]. Even our editors will only read further if you’ve piqued their interest.
Submissions must have fewer than 1,000 words with a hook no longer than 120 words (or eight lines for poetry). Submissions must be engaging to Latter-day Saints and engage with their Mormon identity in some way.
Authors may submit up to three works. Each submission must be attached to an email as a .doc or .pdf file. The selection process is blind, so the author’s name should not appear on the document.
Email any questions and your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submission emails should contain the author’s name, the titles of each submission, and contact information (telephone number or email address).
By submitting, authors give us the one-time rights to publish their work electronically. Previously published work is OK if you still have the rights to the piece and if it meets the above contest requirements (don’t forget to add a [MORE] tag to the end of your hook).
The contest editors will select six to twelve finalists. All finalists will have their short works published online starting in mid-February 2012 and actively promoted across the LDS blogosphere by the Mormon Lit Blitz team.
After all pieces have been published, readers will vote on a single Grand Prize Winner, who will receive a Kindle pre-loaded with LDS literary works, including Parley P. Pratt’s classic short “A Dialogue Between Joseph Smith and the Devil,” Peculiar Pages’ recent Monsters & Mormons anthology, Zarahemla Books’ Dispensation: Latter-day Fiction, the poetry anthology Fire in the Pasture, and recent issues of Mormon Artist magazine.