Monday, June 22, 2009

Submit! NPR wants 3 minute stories!

National Public Radio has announced their summer writing contest: three minute fiction.

The New Yorker's literary critic James Woods will select the winners.

from their website:

At NPR, we love to hear, and tell, your real-life stories every day. Now, we want to hear your fiction as well.

This summer, we're beginning a contest called "Three-Minute Fiction." The premise is simple: Listeners send in original short stories that can be read in three minutes or less — that's usually about 500-600 words long.


Wood tells NPR's Guy Raz that writing a 500-word story "strikes at the very heart of the short story as a project, which is to get something going rapidly." Writing three-minute fiction is good practice. Think, he says, of the masters of the short story, like Anton Chekhov, who began his career writing comic squibs for newspapers.

"This is something that interests all writers, not just short-story writers, but novelists, too," Wood says. "How do you get a character, as it were, into a room and up and going within a sentence or two?"

"One of the most effective ways to get a very short story vivid," he says, "is to think in terms of voice." Maybe the character narrates the story, for example, or perhaps the story is told within the consciousness of the character. "In other words," Wood says, "thinking in terms of the story as a dramatic monologue."


"I'm going to be looking at a writer's ability to suggest a world, rather than to fill it in and dot every i."

For more information and all the rules, click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Lisa!
Awesome blog.

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