Sunday, June 12, 2005


Tiny Stories

Lisa Snellings Clark ( and I are launching a project, and we want YOU to try your hand at it. We were both so pleased with the wonderful stories folks wrote for our recent writing exercise, and we want to try to make something out of it!

To review, the writing exercise is as follows: Write a short-short story of exactly 100 words in length… AND… don’t use the same word twice! [For samples, please look through the previous posts.]

The pieces we received the last time we did this were so good, we think we can compile some of them together and make a nice little collection. I will review the submissions and pick the very best ones, and Lisa has agreed to provide an illustration for every story that we accept for the project. We will then look for a way to get it published and make a donation to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund ( in the form of a share of any proceeds. So we’re putting out a call for submissions! Try it! It’s fun, and it hurts your brain at the same time!

The exercise:
Write a 100-word short-short story. Don’t use the same word twice (OK, we make an exception for contractions if you really really really have to, so don’t is don’t and do not is do not, but don't abuse this as a cheat too much -- see if you can work around it). This time we want the project to have a theme. Given that these are tiny stories, we want them to be ABOUT tiny things. Lisa and I have found so many different ways to explain what we are looking for, I’ll say it a bunch of different ways:

Little stories that are larger on the inside than they appear on the outside.
Stories that leave an aftertaste, that linger.
Special nod to stories that include elements of the fantastic.
Little things with big effects: lost keys, a scrap of paper, a chink in the armor, a missing screw.
The inexplicable in the definable, the fantasy in the reality, the uncommon in the everyday, that something under the surface.
The secret little things….
Now don’t let that constrain you – let it set you on your way…

Deadline: We want you to have enough time to work on your piece(s) and perfect it. So we'll set a deadline of August 5. {NOTE! THE DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 10!} At that time, we'll take a look at all the submissions and pick the very best ones for inclusion in the final collection. Multiple submissions are more than welcome, but please don't flood me. We will hope to have the finalists selected for inclusion in the project announced within a few weeks (hopefully by Labor Day or thereabouts -- we'll be more specific when we have a sense of just how many submissions we receive).

Submit your story to:

Disclaimers: By submitting a story for consideration, you agree to give us rights to it for inclusion in the project and all licensing and subsidiary rights to the collected stories. We can not at this time promise any monetary compensation, but you will receive full crediting of the work. At the time of any actual publication of the project, you will receive a more concrete, legal document to acknowledge that you have given us rights to your story. If you have any questions or concerns about this before you feel secure submitting a work, please feel free to e-mail me.

Authorship: You must include your full (real) name and physical address with your story submissions so that we can contact you if we decide to include your story in the final project. You must send your story in as a Microsoft Word document file, and your full (real) name and address should be in the text of the file along with the story.

If we get questions or concerns as we go, I will post here to this site anything we have to alter or modify as the deadline comes closer, so please keep coming back to see how we're progressing here. If you have any questions about genre, theme, length, etc. please feel free to email me.

Ready? GO!


Brandon H. said...

A note on the Word Count tool in MS Word that may help writers: dashes ("--") count as words, so if one uses dashes, be sure to count words accordingly.

mysfit said...

actually that depends on what version of word you currently have...

mysfit said...

bob, my story has a photo that i took that goes along with it, i know you said that lisa is going to provide illustraions - if i submit the photo, you are welcome to do whatever you wish with it. What do you think?

foundsheep said...

Are brand names a no-no for the 100 word thing or are they ok?


John Petrucci said...

if i submit the photo, you are welcome to do whatever you wish with it. What do you think?
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John Petrucci said...

that depends on what version of word you currently have...
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