2013 Fiction contest: Grisham's ready for you!
John Grisham isn't only one of the world's best-selling authors; he's also one of its most prolific, and this past year was no exception for the man who has published at least one book a year for more than two decades. The most recent additions to Grisham's catalog are Calico Joe and The Racketeer, and as if that weren't enough, he also produced a third installment of his Theodore Boone young adult series, and the fourth will hit shelves in May. Our fingers are tired just typing that!
As he's done for the past six years, Mr. Grisham has again graciously offered to take time from tapping away on his own keyboard to see what local authors can do by judging the Hook's annual short story contest.
Prizes and such
Knowing that one of the world's top-selling authors wants to read your work is incentive on its own, sure, but the $1,000 in cash prizes can't hurt either.
The grand-prize winner receives $550, second place $275, and third place $175.
And, of course, there's the fame. The grand-prize-winning story will be published in the Hook in late March when literati descend on Charlottesville for the Virginia Festival of the Book.
• We're looking for short stories under 3,500 words that have not been published either in print or electronically. (Any that exceed the word count will be discarded and your fee refunded.)
• All manuscripts must be typed in 12 pt. or larger font on 8 1/2" x 11" paper.
• All manuscripts must be be accompanied by a cover sheet containing the author's name, address, phone, email, and word count limited to a match-book-size area on the cover sheet so we can temporarily cover your name and information during the judging. (Entries with your name in a header or footer on each page will be discarded and your fee refunded.)
• Bind the cover sheet and story with at least one staple at the upper left corner.
• By entering, you give the Hook permission to use your name, story, and even your smiling face in our pages and on our website.
• Who can enter: Anyone– professionals and amateurs– can win, and everyone retains rights to re-publish the story in other places after it has run in the Hook. However, entrants must live in Central Virginia, which we define as Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Orange, Madison, Louisa, Greene, Nelson, Fluvanna, and even Buckingham and Augusta.
• In keeping with this newspaper's name, make sure your story "hooks" us from the first page, and please make sure it offers conflict, dialogue, action, and resolution. Mr. Grisham will not read essays, memoirs, and mere slices of life. Nor will he read any cover letters. He judges the stories blind, so he will never see your name– unless you win, of course!
• Please check your manuscript for errors; we can't accept hand-corrected copies.
• No emailed or faxed entries!
• There is a limit of two (2) manuscripts per author. Please enclose your entry fee of $5 for one entry or $10 for two entries (with cash, checks, and money orders accepted). Any fees received exceeding the $1,000 prize-money will be donated to Grisham's baseball park.
Those whose stories meet the ultimate approval of the guy who long ago unlocked the key to bestsellerdom will be notified by the end of the day Thursday, March 7.