Have a good story? The Palatine Public Library District wants to hear it! Writers of all ages are invited to submit their best original piece of short, short fiction for a chance to win one of three merit-based prizes.
Inspiration for this contest grew from the library's successful, annual campaign to promote National Poetry Month. The library wanted to give local writers in the community another chance to continue honing their skills this summer.
"'Flash fiction' is a short, short story," says librarian Tracie Padal, "It challenges the writer to tell a complete story that includes all the classic elements of literature -- theme, setting, plot, conflict and resolution -- but uses very few words to do so."
While authors and editors define flash fiction in many different ways, the library's Flash Fiction Contest is limited to stories under 500 words.
Contest guidelines are available online at www.palatinelibrary.org. Valid District cardholders can submit their original pieces via the website, or by delivering their work to any library location through Monday, July 15. Entries will be displayed in the Main Library, and winners will be notified by Thursday, Aug. 15.
"We welcome submissions from kids, teens and adults," adds Padal. "The top entry in each age group will earn a Barnes and Noble gift card."
Christopher Peterson, a local author, will assist with the judging process. Peterson holds a master's degree in literature from Northwestern University, is an alumnus of Palatine High School and shares flash fiction on an experimental blog, centilogue.wordpress.com. While the brevity of flash fiction can be daunting, Peterson has also found it to be rewarding.
"The form is the challenge [in flash fiction]," Peterson asserts, "and the challenge is the inspiration."
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