BHC Short Story Contest, 2022: Deadline: May 31, 2022

Found this via Reddit late last week and thought there might be some interest here. I’m definitely putting something together for this.

Details and submission info

Black Hole Comics and Entertainment is running a free-to-enter short story contest.

Max length: 3,000 words.

No genre stipulations.

International entries allowed.

Must follow BHC on Instagram or Twitter to enter. (See above link for details)

Deadline: May 31st

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Thanks for sharing this, Deborah. It’s so wide open, I’ve got to give this a go! I’ve entered Flash fiction contests before wutg under 300 words and under 1000 words, but never 3000 words … gives the writer space to breath. And why wouldn’t you, with it being free?! :writing_hand:

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I’ve never attempted anything under 2k before, but at some point, I’d like to see what I could come up with for a Flash or Micro contest/challenge.

I’m using this as an opportunity to get some lore established for my original fantasy work. I’m trying to get at least the first two pages this entry polished before the 7th so I can submit it to a writing group for critique before the deadline. So far, it’s going pretty well.

I saw in another thread you’re pretty booked until May, so I wish you the best with your entry.

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I like the concept of novels being fractals. A way of thinking about stories that I first read about in John Yorke’s book Into the Woods although I’ve since heard about it elsewhere. But essentially a book is made up of sentences, that form paragraphs, that form scenes, that form chapters, that form acts, that form the whole and each of those elements (perhaps not the individual sentences and paragraphs), but certainly scenes, chapters acts and the whole, should have the same structure. In reverse, a tree trunk, dividing into branches, dividing into twigs, dividing into leaves. Of course he describes it so much better than I, but the concept is sound. If you think of a scene or chapter as being a mini novel, the idea of writing flash fiction is just that - a mini novel! So using the competition to establish some lore for your fantasy sounds like an excellent approach to this.

I saw in another thread you’re pretty booked until May, so I wish you the best with your entry.

Yup - you’re right! Not going to get a chance to start this before May, but it’s still worth giving it a go since it’s a free entry. I can’t lose anything, but the experience is worth the effort.

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Structure is one of my weak points, so I like to read craft books/articles/etc. on it whenever I get the chance. I’ve always loved fractals. I have a whole picture folder on my desktop dedicated to them. I think it’s the eternality that caught me when I first found out about them in a math class about twenty years ago. I also love the variety of colors (always been in love with rich color).

I’m reading K.M. Weiland’s “Structuring Your Novel” on and off and leaned on it heavily for the last fanfic contest piece I turned in a couple weeks back, and she uses tree metaphor in her work on occasion.

Interacting with short stories over the past few years has really challenged me to reframe how I look at story in general. I see/read so many novels out there that ramble (and not the good/interesting/relevant ramble like Sanderson and Rothfuss). Even many short stories fail to encapsulate a story readers can connect with. They fail to find the balance between the necessary and the irrelevant.

If you’d asked me nine years ago if I wanted to write short fiction, I’d have given an adamant “No.” But it’s helped me work toward finding that balance–not just in shorter works, but in my novel-length endeavors too.

All writing experience is worth it. :cherry_blossom:

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Ahhhh … that’s what we’re all about. :wink:

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So, in the end I used a micro-flash fiction story that I’d written, but wasn’t happy with so never sent it in, and expanded it slightly (from 300 words or less to the BHE comp rules of 3000 words or less). It still has a tragic end (I seem stuck on tragic ends lately, though that’s no reflection on my mood which is upbeat), but I was quite happy with it. I only gave it to my husband to read, so perhaps it’s c**p, but since entry was free for the compettion, I sent it in anyway.

Most frustrating was that all my formatting was stripped when I uploaded it. I went back through and added line breaks for each paragraph and asterisks before and after italicized print (where I had a dog thinking dialogue), but it’s done, regardless of whether it’s any good or not.

How about you Deborah? Have you submitted anything yet? Still intending to?

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Mine’s pretty much finished, but I have it out to a couple last minute betas. If they all give it a thumbs up, I’ll submit it at the end of the week.

Thanks for the heads up on the possible formatting trouble when submitting. Best of luck to you. :smiley:

Edited to add:

Just got the green light from the last beta I’m likely to hear back from in time, so Friday I’ll give it another once-over and get it turned in. :smiley:

This one’s that short story I mentioned in my newsletter–“Strings.” I’ll have to wait to hear back from the judges in June, but after that, it might be something my e-mail subscribers get to see before everyone else. :smirk: