Monday, April 27, 2009

24 hour writing contest

Well, I experienced something new this weekend. I was entered in a 24 hour short story writing contest. At exactly 12:59 pm I received the assignment--subject matter and word count. I then had 24 hours exactly to write and submit a story.

What added to the fun was a friend was doing this at the same time. Her email account filtered the email with the assignment, so she had to go to the website. That was a little nerve-racking because we had to pre-enter and she was a little nervous that she may not be able to enter, but she found her receipt and we were on our way--at our separate computers in our separate homes working on the same assignment.

Two hours later she called me and said she was done! I said, "You've got to be kidding!" I was halfway through but wasn't sure how I was going to end it. I was still playing with the idea.

She was re-writing hers and an hour later I was done with my first draft. We emailed each other our stories and we convinced ourselves that we should quit our day jobs--not really, but we both thought each other did well. She was determined to send hers that night. They send you a confirmation email and she would sleep better knowing it was there. I, on the other hand, wanted to sleep on it, should I think of something else to add or change and I am so glad I did because I did want to make a few changes.

So, the next morning when I went to the email, I saw that my friend had sent frantic emails that she had not gotten any confirmation by morning. The rules clearly stated no entries would be accepted after noon central time. We were afraid again that her email may have blocked it and we were thinking of alternative ways for her to know that they had gotten it. Well, I finished mine up and two hours later I hadn't received confirmation either. Well, the judge must have started doing them all at the same time because within minutes we both got confirmations. Phew! We could rest easy.

The contest is advertised as the ultimate for creative stress. One of the most intersting things about creative writing assignments is to see all the different things that people come up with from the same start. My friend and I both enjoyed ourselves greatly--the challenge, the creative process and the camaraderie of knowing someone who was taking the same challenge at the same time. The winners will be announced in a month.

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