Make It Up

by

Once upon a time, it was a dark and stormy night when something wicked this way came. 'Twas the raven, tap, tap tapping on my door. With a wink of my eye and a slap on my knee, up the chimney did I flee. Up on the rooftop round reindeer paws, deep in the winter of my discontent, I shouted, "Call me Ishmael."

Though coyly crafted—albeit, technically plagiarized—were this your submission piece for BW's annual Fiction 101 Contest, you'd be disqualified.

Violation numero uno: Exactly 101 words as counted by Microsoft Word must be present and accounted for in the story. Not 100 words, not 103 words made into 101 with a few disguised hyphens. (Insert sneaky hint here: The title does not count as part of your 101 words.)

The remaining list of rules, should you choose to accept this mission include:

• Thou shalt not submit poetry. If you don't know the difference between fiction and poetry, look it up.

• Thou shalt not submit handwritten entries (hell, we can barely read our own handwriting, how do you expect us to transcribe your chicken scratch?).

• Thou shall provide BW with a monetary incentive of $10 per entry simply to read your piece. (However, do not be so silly as to send cash via snail mail.)

• Thou shall write your name, address and phone number on the back of each entry so that in the event we choose to stalk you following your mind-blowing entry, we can easily find you.

• Those who may be considered one of BW's working schleps, that is, anyone whose name appears on the BW payroll be it over or under the table, will be caned three times on the back of neck for attempting to enter.

• Thou shall remit all entries and related fees to the BW lair at the corner of Fifth and Broad streets no later than 5 p.m. Wed., Dec. 5.

He or she who authors the official winning entry wins money. So do the few lessor-placed individuals whose entries garner second and third places. Those several hundred words that find themselves at the top of the heap will make their way into the hallowed pages of this here newspaper for publication on January 2.

Now go forth into the world and write ... write like the wind. Questions? E-mail us.

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