Almost the most twisted.

I almost won a little online writing contest!

Well I did win, then I didn’t. I sort of cheated, I guess, on accident.

The contest was to write a story idea based on a prompt provided by Kari Lynn Dell on her blog .

The prompt was: 16 people are trying to get a job being a caretaker on a desert island mansion.

 I heard the bell ding as the light bulb lit up and I typed out a quick entry into the comment box (I did not take the time to transfer it into Word to get a word count, or even a spell or grammar check (Which would later turn out to be unfortunate).  I just wrote what I thought up and hit post. Here is my entry:

The sixteen applicants jumped off the boat and gathered on the beach looking at each other. They wondered what it would take to win this position, a chance to live on this island paradise. How would they prove themselves the best possible choice?
A man in an aloha shirt walks up to the group, laden with multicolored plastic beach toys; shovels, buckets, and sifters. He drops them into a pile at the center of the group without a word and climbs into the boat. As the boat backs out of the beach, he calls to the baffled crowd. “The guns are in the house.” Then with a laugh, “The bullets are in the sand.”

I didn’t think much of it. It was a fun idea, I ran with it. “What if” is my favorite part of writing, it is the easiest for me. “What if this or that” is how a story starts for me, starts are easy, finishing is hard. So I typed in my “what if” and carried on about my day.

Today I thought I would check back in and see who won. I had already read all the entries before me and while I liked mine, there were several others that I thought were just as good. I was surprised to find a post saying that I had won but had been disqualified because I went over the 75 word maximum.

Was I sad that I didn’t win? Hell no! I am bouncing off my seat happy. I feel really bad about the stir that I caused by going over the limit, many people wrote a lot of bad things about the contest because of the word count issue. I wish I had read the rules a little bit closer, I could’ve shaved forty words off my entry no problem (it probably would have made it better, the idea won, not the writing), but ultimately I know that I had a good idea and so does Kari. I still feel like a winner, and I got a little recognition for my work, to me that is way more valuable than any prize I could have won.

I would like to thank Kari for picking me and apologize for any grief anyone has given her over my entry. I truly am sorry, it was a great contest and a huge success in my book. An even better prize is Kari took the time to critique my query letter v1.0 . Check it out, I think she gave me some real gems.





  1. winner

  2. ALMOST???? Your are twisted!! Loved the bit – all 114 words of it. What would you go for first the guns for the bullets??

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