Monday, August 13, 2012

500 Word Free Write Contest!

by Stephanie Morrill

So while I was on vacation, snarfing roasted hot dogs and s'mores, we apparently did some growing!

500 (plus!) followers - unbelievable!

Totally calls for some celebrating with a new contest. This round's contest is:

A 500 word free write!

Your 500 words should read like the opening of a story. That means you have 500 words to hook this round's judges into your story world. It also means you have the opportunity to get feedback from published authors on the opening of your manuscript, which is a pretty awesome.

Your entries are due Monday, August 27th by 11:59pm Kansas City time.

Here is how to submit your entry (slightly different than other shorter contests):

Please save your entry in some sort of word processing program (i.e. Microsoft Word). Please attach your document to an email and send it to Stephanie(at)GoTeenWriters.com. In the subject line of your email, please put: 500 Word Free Write.

I will send you an email confirming that I received your entry. If you haven't heard from me withing 48 hours, please feel free to check back.

If you have placed in a Go Teen Writers free write contest before, you may NOT resubmit the same entry you won with.

The contest is for those age 21 and under. One entry per person please.

For more general details about Go Teen Writers contests and a sample winning entry, click here.

Judges still to be determined, since right now I'm working on important things like making my clothes not all smell like campfire. So stay tuned for the judges - but get writing!


88 comments:

  1. Yay!!! I love free writes! This will be my first one. And 500 words- I love it! I always nearly die while trying to cram something into 125. Cant wait to get started!!!!...Now to decide which opening to use...I'm working on five.

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  2. I'm excited about this! I've never entered a writing contest here before. Time to start brainstorming!

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  3. Awesome! *starts thinking*

    That campfire smoke never wants to leave, does it? I can never get it to come out of my hair.

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    1. Try baking soda - it takes smells of everything else out. Just shake a 1/4 cup or so into your load of laundry and wash normally.
      ~Amo Libros

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  4. Yay, I'm excited to enter! I'm going to write a few beginnings, but I might use the rough draft of my book's actual beginning.

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  5. I just had a question: Are we allowed to post our entry on our own blogs?

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  6. Ooh! I'm excited! Now, just the mental debate on what I should write. . .

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  7. Yay! A contest! This will be fun. One question: Are we allowed to post the first 500 words of a pre-existing story? (If that's the case, I'm still gonna need to do a lot of editing for the contest. ;D)

    Thanks!

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    1. Yes! You can submit whatever 500 words you want, really, but the idea of the contest is that you can feedback on the opening of a story you're working on.

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  8. Can't wait to see what you guys come up with!

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  9. can it be a little longer than 500 words?

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  10. I want to use the beginning of my WIP, but it's kind of boring/info-dump-y. Probably means I either need to make it interesting, or write an alternate beginning for the contest... The only other beginning I can think of gives away too much story, though. :/ But I really feel I should use my WIP, since this is a valuable chance to gain feedback.

    I'll give it a think! See if I can come up with something good, yet that doesn't give away too much, too soon.

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    1. I sympathize. The beginning is the worst, most completely uninteresting part of my WIP. Maybe this is a good time to do some serious revamping...

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    2. That's funny because I find the begining much easier to write than the middle. The begining come so much more easily than the middle. I have a hard time making the middle and begining fit together to make the end.

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  11. So excited for this! :D Sounds like a blast!

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  12. This sounds SO awesome. Free-write? And we get to use FIVE HUNDRED words? As you can probably tell, I'm thrilled. Thank you so much! :)

    Now, to find some inspiration...

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    1. I feel like that sometimes, Allison. Like, "Now what am I going to write about?"

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  13. I've been visiting Go Teen Writers for about a year now (SO much valuable info on here!), but I've never entered a contest. I technically left my teenage years behind a couple months ago, so I'm really glad I'm still "young enough" to enter this contest! I'm excited to work on my entry :)

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    1. So glad you've found Go Teen Writers to be a place worthy of return visits! And super glad you're going to take part in a contest!

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  14. This is pure awesomeness! I can't wait to get started! :D

    I have a question, though: does it have to be the opening of an actual novel, or does it just have to read like one? :)

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    1. I'm not Stephanie... but it only has to read like one, it can be the beginning of your WIP, an old discarded manuscript, or, like mine always are, something you randomly thought up off the top of your head. Totally your choice :)

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    2. *Can't decide whether to blush or laugh really loudly... so she does both

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  15. I'm so excited! This is totally awesome! =D I just sent in my entry, can't wait!

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  16. So exciting! Thank you, Stephanie! =)

    Question: I'm currently working on a novel that stemmed from my "Reassurer" entry earlier this year. However, the beginning of my novel-in-progress is changed from my previous entry, so my 500-word submission would be totally different (except for the basic idea of a Reassurer). Is that acceptable? (if it made sense...) Or does my entry need to be from an entirely different story?

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    1. Laurie, if it is totally different - not just the same opening revised - then yes, that's fine.

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  18. THANK YOU STEPHANIE! And 499 other followers who made this possible, at the exact time I most need it!

    See, I've been working on and/or fiddling with a series idea for over a year and a half, at least. But I've gotten through five rough drafts (not counting the 1,000 first words my Dad accidentally deleted forever) and am still struggling with my beginning. When I read this contest announcement last night I started doing my happy dance at the idea of feedback!
    And, as fate would have it, I finally found a beginning I'm almost happy with just today! So I'm just dying to enter. I'm pretty sure this will be my first time actually entering a GTW contest (although I've seen plenty pass by...)

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    1. Yes, I'm a nerd who replies to my own comments. NOTE: I'd feel like a liar if I didn't make a note that none of those five rough drafts ever made it past around chapter four or five before I scrapped them and started over.

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    2. Emily, your comment(s) made me laugh :) So glad the timing is perfect!

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    3. The timing is good for me, too, Emily Rachelle. I was just thinking, "A free-write contest would be good about now."

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    4. That's me, too. "I wish they'd have another no-prompt contest. And maybe some extra words would be nice..."

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  19. AWESOME! Can't wait!

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  20. Sounds great! I'm excited. First one! (starts madly scribbling, mumbling to herself) Plus, I've been looking to get inspiration for my current story idea, and this might be it! How was your vacation?

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    1. Thanks for asking, Katia! It was to have the chance to unplug from the world for a few days. And our time in the mountains was as relaxing as camping with a 4 1/2 and a 2 year old could possibly be :)

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  21. The competition sounds great! I'd really love to enter, it'll be my first time.
    I have one question, though.
    If we enter, will our writing remain private (except to the judges)?

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    1. Great question, Kate. I always ask winners if I can post their entries, and it's 100% their call on whether they want it on the blog. So that'll be up to you.

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    2. Kate--First time? Good luck! You'll have a lot of fun!

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  22. Yay! Thanks Stephanie! I can't wait! :)

    Um, I just had a question about how we send our entries. Do we send them like usual except for the differences you mentioned?

    BTW: I hope you had a great vacation! Thanks again! :)

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    1. Thanks - I did!

      Here's how to submit your entries:
      Please save your entry in some sort of word processing program (i.e. Microsoft Word). Please attach your document to an email and send it to:

      Stephanie(at)GoTeenWriters.com.

      In the subject line of your email, please put: 500 Word Free Write.

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    2. I'm glad you had a good time!

      Thanks for the explanation ( I think I got it the first time :)
      I was just making sure to see if there were any details that I'm automatically meant to know. I got confused after reading ' info on writing contests.' It's just that it is my first time.

      Thanks anyway!! :) I think I get it now.

      Btw: for some reason there's no underscort on my phone so my name might have dashes... : ) lol...

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    3. Yep. Dashes it is! :P

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  23. by (at) in the email address does it mean @ ?

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    1. Yep! I just didn't want to make it a direct link since spambots like those...

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  24. Can't wait! I just started reading all these posts a few weeks ago, and I'm lovin' it (sorry McDonald's...)! I will definitely work on fixing the opening of my WIP and try out this one :)

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  25. So glad you had a good time on your trip! Family trips are fun, and if not they are always very amusing.

    Thank you SO MUCH for doing a 500 word free-write!!! Even when I miss a prompt deadline and do not get it entered, I still will write it. There was one (okay, more than one) I missed but have been working on since then. It just keeps growing and I keep adding to it. I was thinking the other day, "A free-write contest with a large word limit like 300 would be just awesome right now." And then to see a free write contest with a 500 word limit is just to perfect! Cannot wait to see what everyone comes up with!


    Thanks so much!

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  26. Yaaay! So psyched that there's finally another contest! Quick question... can we submit more than one entry? Thanks! :)

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    1. sounds good! now, which one to choose... :)

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  27. What does "word free" mean?

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    1. It's a 500-word free write, as opposed to some of our other contests which have prompt sentences that must be used. All it means is you're free to write whatever 500 words you'd like.

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  28. Hi, everyone, I'm new here. My name is Gabrielle and I'd like to enter this contest. This contest will be the first contest that I've entered. Stephanie, I have one question. Can I submit the first 5oo words of my story to you now? Or do I need to wait longer?

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    1. Welcome to Go Teen Writers! Yep, you can send it to me whenever :)

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  29. Thank you so much!! I'm really excited to be here. I've read several articles on this blog and found them all to be VERY helpful.

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  30. Is it ok if it's less ten 500 words?

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  31. I'm hugely excited! This'll actually be one of the first time someone *else* reads my work. Thanks for hosting opportunities like this!! :) I really love this blog (the posts are super helpful) and you guys are really amazing.

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  32. My first scene is over 1,000 words long, and there's nothing I can cut... I guess this one's not for me :(

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    1. Paulina, we don't expect it to be a complete scene! Don't miss out - just sent us your first 500 words!

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    2. Yeah, you can totally send in just 500 words. :) I don't think Stephanie has ever limited any of the contests to be a "scene" per se.

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  33. Exciting! :D Now I just have to pick which one out of my piles of manuscripts... lol.

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  34. I have another question.
    On the page with info about writing contests, it says to include your full name. If we don't want our full name used (if we win) is it okay to use first name only, or first name and an initial?

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    1. First name and an initial would be just fine. Just enough to make sure you know I'm talking to the right Kate!

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  35. I have a question. Can it be less than 500 words? I found this website yesterday and really want to try a contest out! Thank you :)

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  36. Hello, I have a question. I sent my entry in yesterday at 5:26 PM. I have not received a confirmation reply and was just wondering if I should check in before the due date? Thanks for your time! ---Radeda@yahoo.com (Daniel)

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  37. Hi, this is my first time entering a contest, so I'm not sure how it works: when do the results come out, and where do we find them?

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    1. The finalists were announced today (http://goteenwriters.blogspot.com/2012/09/winners-from-500-word-free-write.html)

      Those who didn't final should be receiving feedback from the judge later this afternoon or tomorrow.

      Thanks for entering!

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