Saturday, February 7, 2009


If you are not yet aware, The 2009 PARSEC Short Story Contest is on again. Entries need to be submitted by April 15th with winners announced somewhere between the end of May and the 15th of June.

First prize is $200US and publication in the Confluence 2009 program book and in the annual Triangulation anthology. Second prize is $100US and third is $50US. Second and third may also be published in the anthology or another PARSEC INK publication. With the way the Aussie dollar is when stacked up against the US dollar, it's well worth your while to enter. Hell the way the economy is anywhere, it's well worth your while to enter. Oh - did I mention there is NO entry fee!

To be perfectly blunt, you're a little silly if you don't enter. (personal opinion only, no offence meant)

Other bonuses: last year, my friend Amy Treadwell entered two pieces, and won first and second prize - so it is possible for a virtual unknown to win this contest. All you need is a great story. (or two) In fact, the contest is only open to individuals who currently don't qualify by SFWA standards to be labelled as professional writers.

You will gain excellent feedback. Last year I entered "The Winged Shepherd Of Innocence". From the feedback I received I rewrote it and ended up selling it elsewhere.

You should be writing these stories now so you can workshop them and polish them meticulously prior to submitting them before the deadline. For those of us outside the US, you can contact the lovely Ann Cecil (email details on the website) and gain permission to email in your submission. I have already gained permission to do so.

They do everything they can to get the best entries around. You have nothing to lose.

Last week inspiration struck and I penned a piece I had no title for, but was aimed at PARSEC. I sent it off to a couple of my beta readers. Here is where I name drop that one of those is last years winner :cp

Within hours of each other, they returned emails with thoughtful, specific, and some similar comments. Today I've spent around six hours solidly rewriting it.

My 3500 word piece ended up at nearly 4000 words. I then spent a few hours rewording, rephrasing and generally playing with my jigsaw pieces of a story, until I got it back down to 3500 words. Word Tetris anyone?

I think I've addressed the major flaw pointed out by my readers - the slow beginning, and added some other bits to add depth to both character and theme.

I'll be sending it out again in the next day or two after I've allowed it to sit and I've reread it, just to be sure it's as polished as I think it is. And to let the cat out of the bag, the new title is "Swirls in Obsidian" - cool.

I've also received Issue #40 of Aurealis to read, cast a critical eye over another writers work, finally posted off the first assignment, and now intend to read the first assignment of the second module for the year. In my inbox arrived a market report from Ralan I need to check, and four newsletters I need to go through.

Time to chill - it's not like I haven't got plenty to do...

Did I mention I brought a few new books yesterday to bring my current to-read shelf up to 29 titles.

Maybe it's time to chill while reading something...

And tomorrow I have a bathroom to do some renovations to...

Out of here.

Good luck with the contest.


  1. Have fun with the renovations. Always a good time.

  2. The theme of that contest looks tempting. Thanks for pointing it out. I might have to have a go at it.

    Best of luck with your submission.

  3. Jamie - phase one of bathroom repair complete.

    Ben - no might about it - go for it.