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Summer Shootout 2013 (Writing Competition)

Discussion in 'Notice Board' started by Philip Overby, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    Hey everyone, I'm sharing this as it's something I've done several times and have enjoyed every time. It allows you to critique and practice writing under a deadline. If you have the time, you can contact Martin T. Ingham or you can ask me if you'd like more information or thoughts from a competitor.


    Martinus Publishing's
    2013 Falling out of Summer Writing Shootout

    Here we are again, getting ready for another exciting bout of writing excellence and competition. Yes, it's time to prepare for the next Martinus Publishing writing shootout. The "Falling out of Summer" Shootout will begin August 3, 2013. If you wish to participate, be certain to reply to this email, so I can put your name on the official roster. If you cannot participate this time around, also please let me know. If you can't decide yet, the invitation will remain open until August 1st or when we have 28 writers signed up, whichever comes first.

    For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a "shootout" is a writing competition in which writers of significant talent take on the challenge of writing and reviewing short stories. Participating writers are given a prompt and one week to write a short story based on that prompt. The subsequent week, the stories are reviewed by the participants. Story authors remain anonymous until the reviews are final, and the reviews are kept anonymous for fair and unbiased opinion.

    As has become customary in these shootouts, we'll be setting up a team system, where writers will be competing head to head. There won't be eliminations, so each writer will get the chance to write and review in 3 regular rounds. After those 3 rounds, the top scoring writers on each team will compete for the win.

    There will be one Grand Prize awarded to the writer who wins the final round: Publication! The winning writer will have their final story accepted for publication to an anthology that I will be editing for Martinus Publishing. The winner will also receive a nominal monetary payment of $25, as well.

    Additional purpose and value of the shootout:

    For those of you who haven't participated before, you may be asking this question. Above and beyond the grand prize, these are the main reasons to participate in the shootout:

    1: Entertainment –This is an important aspect of the shootout. It is designed to be a fun experience, something a writer does because they like to write, and they want to test themselves against their contemporaries. It started out as a game writers played, and evolved into its current contest form.

    2: Reviews –A lot of writers enjoy the critique part of the contest. Not only do you receive valuable reviews about your own creations, but you also have the opportunity to give your two cents worth on the stories of fellow writers.

    3: Free Stories –If you're a writer, you have to enjoy reading, and participating in the shootout gives you the opportunity to read fresh material from your fellow writers.

    4: Prestige –There is a certain level of pride one can have in themselves and their skills when they successfully run the entire gamut of a shootout. Even though the finalists and eventual winner may have the greatest bragging rights, any participant can feel good about successfully creating new works of fiction in a short amount of time based on the particular prompts.

    5: Further Publication Potential –Besides the grand prize winner, other stories may be offered publication in forthcoming Martinus Publishing anthologies. The shootout is designed to create diverse works of fiction, and many may find a home in various collections, some of which haven't even been announced yet. While publication is not guaranteed unless you win, there is no telling what might pique my interest and get a publication offer.

    So, even if you don't win the shootout, you have some very positive reasons to participate!

    Shootout FAQ:

    Q: How long do my stories have to be?
    A: While there is no set limit on word count, shootout stories usually fall within the 2,000-5,000 word range, though we sometimes see flash fiction, and a few longer pieces.

    Q: How many stories will I have to review each round?
    A: Depending on the number of participants, each writer will have to review 7 stories maximum each round (possibly only 5, depending on the number of participants).

    Q: How in-depth do my reviews have to be, and how do I "score" them?
    A: The amount of detail you give to each review is up to you, and there will be both a scoring chart and a reviewing format provided during the contest, to make it easy and balanced.

    Q: How does the "team" system work?
    A: Writers will be separated into different teams of 5 to 7 participants each. The writers on a single team will be competing against each other, and not competing against the other teams. Each writer will be reviewing stories from a team other than their own, so people won't be reviewing the stories of the writers they're competing against (no conflict of interest).

    Q: What kind of "prompts" are we going to see?
    A: The prompts are loose guidelines given out at the beginning of each round, and each writer interprets them in their own way. For example, some prompts given in past shootouts have been:
    Instrument Failure
    Medical Emergency
    The End of the World Seems Imminent
    The First Time Traveler

    Q: How do I submit my stories & reviews?
    A: The stories and reviews will be sent via email. All stories and reviews must be in a format compatible with mircosoft Word (.doc or .rtf format preferred, though I can now accept .docx files if you must send them that way). We'll also be using my fan forum Free forum : Martin T. Ingham Fan Forum to help coordinate things and to chat with fellow participants during the contest.

    Q: What Anthologies are you going to be publishing?
    A: Martinus Publishing deals primarily with Science Fiction & Fantasy. We also accept some supernatural horror and cross-genre works that incorporate some element of "speculative fiction" in them. The anthologies that are planned are diverse and varied. Some yet-to-be announced collections may have themes that are loosely tied to this shootout, and the finalist prompt will be geared toward a specific anthology that'll be in the works.

    HOW TO ENTER: Send an email to [email protected] expressing your desire to participate. You will be given further instructions, and informed if there is still room available.

    Please give this invitation serious consideration. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

    Martin T. Ingham
    [email protected]
    Martinus Publishing
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  2. Martinus

    Martinus Scribe

    I'm surprised more writers aren't eager to test their mettle in the thick of it.
  3. Martinus

    Martinus Scribe

    There is a typo in the invitation. The "How to Enter" email address is missing a letter. Please make sure to use the address in my signature, [email protected] when entering.
  4. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    I fixed it above in the original post as well.
    Martinus likes this.

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